Honda Goldwing Powered: 1984 Tri-Magnum


Here’s your new daily-driver: it’s a Honda Goldwing powered 1984 Tri-Magnum and it can be found on eBay with a current bid of just over $3,100 but the reserve isn’t met. This cool reverse-three-wheeler is in Fairfax Station, Virginia and yes, it’s street legal and is titled as a motorcycle, so you’ll need a motorcycle endorsement to drive this baby.


As you have probably guessed, this is a kit car, or kit bike, or, a kit trike. For $4,000 plus the cost of any used motorcycle drivetrain you’ll be in business. Well, it took the seller of this Tri-Magnum two solid years to make this one, but it looks like it’s a factory production machine to me, it’s super cool. Normally I’m not a big Cragar wheels guy, but oddly enough I love them on this thing. You can still get Tri-Magnum kits today from their website.


No, you don’t want to hit a Chevy Suburban head on with a Tri-Magnum, but you don’t want to do that even with another Chevy Suburban. This machine is really no more or less safe than the millions of motorcycles on the roads. That isn’t saying much when you’re faced with a world full of SUV-wielding commuters putting on makeup, texting, and otherwise practicing the horribly distracted driving that plagues the roads today. One could argue, possibly, that some drivers pilot the biggest possible vehicle just so they can pay even less attention behind the wheel because they know that they’ll be safer in a crash. But, as with everything, those drivers are a small percentage and they’re just giving everyone else a bad name. Off of the soapbox now, Scotty G, and back to the Tri-Magnum!


Randy Newman fans must be at least 5′-10″ tall to drive this one, so “short people” need not apply.. The only adjustment would be to physically and mechanically remount or otherwise adjust the foot pedals. I’m not sure if I’d like the Craftmatic-Adjustable-Bed-like driving/seating position, it seems like it would be too cocoon-like and far too restricting for me. And, at 6′-5″ tall, I usually don’t fit in fun vehicles like this one anyway so I have just come to expect not to fit in a lot of the vehicles that I want. This is a 5-speed manual and it has a Volkswagen front suspension, so yeah, you could say that it took a lot of work and craftsmanship to build this “kit car”.


This is the Honda Goldwing engine. It looks like a lot of modern engine bays in that there are more hoses and wires than engine showing, but it’s in there somewhere! This is Honda’s 1182 CC boxer (opposed) four-cylinder with about 95 hp. This Tri-Magnum only weighs 1,200 pounds so that 95 hp will cause it to get up and go! This probably isn’t a year-round vehicle as there is no heat, no AC, and no windshield wiper, not to mention there is no reverse gear so practice your hyper-miling and find the pull-through parking spots at the big box store parking lot. I can’t imagine what the reserve will be on this one, any guesses? $5,000? More? Could you see yourself driving a Tri-Magnum?


  1. Coventrycat

    No matter what you drive, you hit something hard and fast enough your next ride will be in a big, safe hearse. If we all thought about how unsafe we really are on the roads we’d be walking. Cool vehicle and I’d love to at least try one.

    Like 1
  2. Alan (Michigan)

    Well, one might call this a kit car/bike/2/3 wheeler/whatever….

    But the word “kit” does not seem to apply here.
    The only thing available is a set of drawings/plans for $95.00. The body and frame are to be entirely constructed by the builder. I think the guy did good at 2 years. But, there have to be better options for the front end than the old VW Beetle style. And seriously, there are options for a drivetrain which has reverse, notably many of the Honda Interstate and Valkyrie bikes.

    I dunno, looking at this one leaves me with the feeling that it is not quite done. Dangling wires, etc. Why not add a bright combination running/CHMSL above the license light? The use of a big “Suzuki” mud flap is baffling.

    BTW, it is “Cragar” not “Craiger! :-p

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Argggg.. good catch on Crager, Alan!

    • Richard Switzer

      Yes, a 1500 or even a 1800 Goldwing with reverse would a better option.
      need some ventilation too.

  3. Mark


    • Scotty G

      So much for my spellcheck, I’m giving up on Crsigerd.. (Cough) (sorry, folks)
      After all that work it gets screwed up by a misspelled word, sorry about that.

      • TC

        No Scotty just the usual nit pickers who delight in finding all the stuff that’s not quite right that most of us just pass off as a simple human mistake and move on. We all knew what you meant, someone even gave you a thumbs down, get a life, It must be terrible being perfect!
        I thought this site was about cars, etc. not to embarrass and put people down.

        Go find a pronounciation/spelling site to pick people to bits, you’ll be in your element !

        Like 1
  4. Hank

    I love me some Cragars!

    • TC

      Hank, I like Kraygers too !!!!

  5. Howard A Member

    Man, this is a new one for me, although, 3 wheelers are nothing new. Kind of reminds me of the “X-wing” fighter in Star Wars. I think it would be a blast to drive, and with 23g’s on it, someone drove it. I’d have to think reverse would be imperative on a vehicle like this, with no open floor. Someone sure saw the answer for the future of people transport, too bad, it didn’t catch on,,,,yet. While I don’t care for 3 wheelers, of any kind, this is a very cool find. BTW, are those 1963 Ford tail lights?

    • Alan (Michigan)

      The 23K miles were likely put on the Gold Wing, BEFORE it was used in this construction.
      And, I thought the same thing about the tail lights!

  6. Mark S

    The use of a GL drive line is an excellent choice. Just so you guys can know they call this an autocycle. And they are very stable with the 2 wheels up front. I have a 1977 GL 1000 with a custom sidecar attached to it and I truely love the riding experience, and my rig will clip along at 80 mph all day long so I would expect that this autocycle would do the same. What I don’t like about this one is there is no room for a passenger, where as my rig has room for two passengers and I’ll bet that is why it’s for sale. As for no wiper if the builder would have used automotive glass instead of lexan he could have installed a wiper, not to late for a refit. Lastly I’d want side windows that would wing open to let some air in.

  7. Mark

    A decent truck starter motor mounted to engage with a gear on the rear wheel would take care of reverse. A backup camera would also be a cheap but important addition. Lightweight alloys in place of those chrome steel Cragars would liven up the handling I suspect. If no roll bar, you’d want to have room to wear a helmet.

  8. Scott

    If your going to put windshield wipers on it, think primitive. I’m not talking Fred Flintstone primitive. June 18th 1903 Mary Anderson filed for a patent & on November 10, 1903 the US Patent (743,801) was issued to her. There’s a set of her drawings on the web. Let’s do it right if we’re going off the wall. Basically you have a Can-Am Spyder with a hardtop, no heat no AC no reverse as well as no windshield wipers.
    The first ever windshield wiper design isn’t a stretch, its better than what you get to start with. I just wonder why you go to all the expense, time & effort to design & build this thing with no creature comforts you very well might of had something who knows Can-Am may of never built the spider with this built years ahead of it. You could be in the Bahamas with a set of 21 year old twin blondes living on your yahat. For people with no sense of humor this a joke.

  9. Mike Reese

    Cute, but after just getting nailed from behind this week, I wouldn’t take a chance on something like this on regular roads … maybe just to play with on the weekends at events and such? Maybe dress it up as a UFO for parades and the like?

  10. Jay

    If only I was 20 years younger, I might be able to fit.

  11. MikeC

    Prefer my own custom built 3 wheeler – now has a screen since this shot

  12. DW

    I lusted after the TriMagnum for years in my youth. It was designed in the 70s I believe and was featured in Popular Mechanics. I’d stare at that thing and wish myself into the cockpit so much that even now, 40 years later, I’m still hankering for a reverse trike. Still on the bucket list :)

    If the owner put in two years of work, I’m guessing his reserve is north of 10k.

  13. Jason

    Where is the Pink Panther?

  14. tony

    the fundametal flaw with the tri magnum is that the center of gravity is i the wrong place and they are awful to drive.

  15. Jeffrey Lynn smith

    I’ve always wanted to build one,I’ve always had all sizes of cycles since having a cycle repair business all my life,had a man wanted to trade me a tri magna only had a 500 shawdow he said needs a bigger engine, you think, yes not to mention no reverse and get out of a mopeds way.still as of right now you can get a very reliable 1000 or11 wing running and very dependable for tween!!! 8 and 1200 dollars all day long, not to mention that now to find out you can’t wear one out, 1,000,000,miles not joking, nobody had owned one lone enough to see what they would do,

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