VW Trikes & Parts for Sale USA

VW trikes are guaranteed to catch the eye while cruising down the highway. Volkswagen trikes for sale are among the most highly prized three-wheel vehicles because they offer exceptional reliability, stability, and speed.

At AmericanListed, we feature a range of old-school VW trikes for sale, built and cared for by passionate roadsters in your local area. From modern custom trikes to vintage VWs going all the way back to the 1970s, we offer the best platform for locating sellers in your local area.

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The History of VW Trikes

Trikes may seem like a relatively new addition to the roads, but they have a longer history dating back to the 17th century. The original trike was invented by a man named Stephan Farffler in Germany. Farffler’s trike used a series of gears and hand cranks, with the pedal-powered version not emerging until 1789 in France.

First, the VW trike is just a name. Volkswagen has never sold trikes. Instead, they were made by independent stores and passionate road warriors from old Volkswagen vehicles. Every authentic VW trike motorcycle is based on the original VW Beetle. The Beetle is still considered the perfect air-cooled motor for running longer and helping drivers feel supported in their trikes. It may not offer the most extraordinary speed or be the most economical, but Beetle parts were cheap and easy to source.

Since the emergence of the VW trike, these vehicles have used the Beetle’s rolling chassis with its front section removed, the gearbox, and the rear subframe. Attached to the front end is a motorbike.

VW trikes for sale from the 1970s onwards are nearly all based on the Beetle’s engine. Additionally, Volkswagen trikes can be built by obtaining the rear section of any old VW Beetle. From there, builders can build any type or style of the trike.

Most contemporary projects begin with a classic 1200 Volkswagen Beetle. As original versions of the popular vehicle are worth considerable amounts to collectors today, most trike enthusiasts have always preferred to select a rusted donor vehicle.

Hundreds of trikes can be adapted from the VW transaxle, with plenty of options available to purchase online. Some builders have even manipulated existing designs to give themselves an edge in competitive motorsports events.

While the history of trikes with the Volkswagen branding isn’t as long as many think, it is a movement that continues to be popular today. Even Elvis Presley once rode a VW trike, which increased its popularity in the early days.

Who Invented the VW Trike?

Unfortunately, little is known about the true origins of the VW trike beyond the basics. As a niche market, little was documented, and many facts have been relentlessly disputed. However, all roads link back to one man: Chris Ireland. He acquired his reputation because of his classic red-and-white striped VW trike. Ireland’s claim to fame comes from his trike being featured in Back Street Heroes Magazine.

Ireland would establish his own custom shop around the late ‘70s, Desperate Dans, dedicated to building trikes. In this shop, he built a trike known as the Praying Mantis, which is by far the most famous VW trike in the world. Known for its insect-like appearance, this VW trike spawned hundreds of trike conversions all over the world.

While Ireland may not have been the first to come up with the idea for the VW trike, history shows that Ireland was possibly the most influential figure in establishing it.

Why AmericanListed?

If you’re searching for “VW trikes for sale near me” AmericanListed is the number one online solution for searching for VW trikes for sale by owner in your local area. Search and filter the latest listings for a rundown of different old-school trikes for sale, from the glory days of the 1970s through the present.

Whether you’re searching for your first VW trike or a new one to add to your collection, take advantage of the top platform for local classifieds to find your next purchase with AmericanListed. If you have any questions regarding purchasing through our site, contact our customer support team.

VW Trikes FAQs

What makes the best trike conversion?

If you’re exploring VW trikes for sale, you may wonder what makes the best trike conversion. The answer is one that matches your requirements. Today, the top three requested trike preferences are smoothness, better trunk design, and exceptional handling. But if you prioritize speed and transmission, there’s a design for you.

What is the average price for a trike?

The average price for a trike ranges from $10,000 to $20,000. Most of the cost is the trike conversion kit, which can cost up to $16,000, depending on the branding and model. You will also need to consider the cost of labor and installation if you decide to use a shop. Some trike drivers prefer to build their own, which cuts out the cost of labor and installation.

If using a store to build your trike, you may need to factor in shipping costs. Depending on where you live, this could amount to a significant outlay. Purchasing a trike through AmericanListed means you can find VW trikes that are priced lower than the average cost.

How much safer are trikes than motorcycles?

VW trikes for sale are considerably safer than motorcycles. Adding the third wheel makes the trike a more stable vehicle to manage. Moreover, riding a trike puts the driver in a far more natural position. You control the vehicle by using the handlebar, not your body. In many ways, riding a trike is a lot like driving a car.

While cars are considered a safer option than trikes, they are still an excellent choice if you’re concerned about safety.

What’s the difference between a three-wheeler and a trike?

There is no difference between a three-wheeler and a trike. Some people prefer to call a trike a three-wheeler, but the vehicle is the same.

Are trikes legal in the U.S.?

Purchasing used VW trikes for sale by owner may make you wonder whether you can legally drive them. Every state has rules on three-wheeled vehicles, but no general prohibition prevents you from taking a VW trike onto the road.

Most states classify any vehicle with fewer than four wheels as a motorcycle. Due to this legal quirk, you must obtain a motorcycle license before legally taking your trike onto the road.


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