Meet the new kid on the block: The Drift Trike. In 2019, Diamond Lake Resort held the original, Formula Drift Trike Race. This inaugural race attracted 75 drift trike riders from all over the country. As a result, in 2018 Diamond Lake Resort became the first place in the country where one could try a drift trike on for size, via commercial rentals. What’s it like to ride a drift trike? According to resort owner Brian Smith, “…it’s like driving on ice without the terror”. If this is all new to you, fear not, we’re here to help you get started. In our drift trike review, we’re going to meet first hand, some of the worlds best loved drift trikes.
All things considered, drift triking can most certainly be considered a niche sport, one which saw its beginning in 2008, when X-Games legend, Travis Pastrana took a trike created by Trek, and astonished spectators with some spectacular moves. Around that time, some New Zealanders began to create their own, DIY trikes. It didn’t take long for the sport of drifting to build its own audience of enthusiasts, to where today, a top drift trike can command up to and over $1000.00.
Drift triking is quickly catching on, gaining more enthusiasts every year, and captivates both spectators and participants alike. The drift trike subculture includes both novices and professionals alike. No matter which camp you see yourself in, there’s a good chance we’ve got the perfect drift trike for you. As you read our review of the best drift trikes, take some time to consider what it is you’re needing from this most unique, and awesome bit of transport. We’ve included motorized, non-motorized, as well as several offerings for kids only.
How’s your sideways style? If you’re curious to find out, then try your hand at our first offering, the Coleman Powersports, DT200 Drift Trike. Driven by the power of a 4 stroke, OHV, 1 cylinder 196cc 6.5 HP engine, you’ll have more than enough power where you can easily handle some 360 degree excitement when rounding those turns. Your Coleman comes with PVC sleeves, which are designed to decrease the traction on your rear wheels, which facilitates drifting.
This is not a drift trike for the kids. The Coleman DT200 is designed and built for riders over the age of 16, with a maximum weight of 250 pounds. Overall, this trike wears well over time, it’s built to last, so you probably won’t be having to take it in for much in the way of maintenance. If you’re really into customizing, know that the DT200 is open to performance upgrades.
This gas powered drift trike comes with an easy pull start, PVC rear wheel drift sleeves, and can hit a maximum speed of 25 mph. Braking is controlled by hand-operated, hydraulic disc brakes for front and rear. You’ll notice immediately how responsive the rear brakes are when it comes to making controlled, downhill drifts. Ground clearance is 2 inches, and the entire drift trike weighs in at just 147 pounds.
- Maximum speed of 25 mph
- Easy to add performance upgrades
- Made for riders up to 250 pounds
- Excellent, responsive rear wheel brakes
- PVC sleeves can wear out quickly on rough pavement
- Not made for kids
Remember that Big Wheel you had as a kid, how fun it was to spin out on those turns as you sped wildly down a hill? Well, you don’t have to leave those memories of fast, exhilarating fun in a cob webbed corner of your memory. Just jump onto the comfortable, hard-molded racing seat, grab those BMX styled handlebars of this 6.5 HP Motorized Drift Trike by Scooter X, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying some serious drifting.
Start up is easy, just give it a pull and you’re Drift Trike by Scooter X will begin to purr. The Scooter X trike is definitely not made for kids. The heavy-duty, tubular frame is constructed of durable steel, and can support a rider up to 250 pounds at a top speed of 40 mph. The tires are ABS plastic wrapped, to ensure you get the most out of your drifting action, resistance to physical impacts as well as being easy to recycle when the time comes.
The front wheel measures a good 26 inches, with drifting action being controlled by plastic, sleeved rear wheels. As for braking power, the Scooter X Drift Trike comes with front and rear disc brakes, operated via hand controls located on the BMX styled, chopper handlebar. For comfort it comes with easy to adjust foot pegs, and soft rubber hand grips to help absorb any vibrations.
- Fast, can reach speeds up to 40 mph
- BMX styled handlebars with soft, rubber hand grips
- Can hold an adult rider up to 250 pounds
- ABS plastic wrapped tires
- May not ship to California residents
- Much too powerful for kids
Many of us have grown up riding Razor kick scooters, so are quite familiar with the quality Razor puts into each and every design, and this is no exception. The Razor DXT Drift Trike is made for riders 14 years and up, who weight in at a maximum of 198 pounds, and is built to give something for kids and adults to move onto, once they outgrow their Big Wheel.
Once you freestyle downhill on one these adult DTX Drift Trikes you’ll be hooked. You’ll be amazed at the strength and power of this lightweight, 2-piece welded steel frame, and the control afforded by the flat, moto-styled handlebars, with their comfortable soft, Pro-style rubber grips. Speaking of the frame, it sports a trip-crown fork design with sealed bearing headset.
Not only that, but be prepared to get a great workout you’ll get with the Razor DXT. There is no motor, and no gear system, it’s propelled solely by pedal power, with platform pedals positioned on the 20 x 2.125 inch pneumatic front wheel with aluminum rim. As you make swift, tight 180 degree turns courtesy of its 10 x 4 inch rear wheel slicks to enable drift, complete with speed bearings and chrome hub caps. The bucket seat is adjustable to suit your height. Braking is achieved by alloy V brakes positioned on the front, much like those you see on your bike. There you go, freestyle, pedal and skid your way to a happier and healthier you, with the Razor DTX Drift Trike!
- Gives adult riders that feel of riding a Big Wheel
- 2-piece steel welded frame supports the rider
- Pedal power, means it’s a cost effective way to stay fit
- Adjustable bucket seat
- The hollow, blow mold tires may wear out faster
- Not made for those looking for a foldable, pedal driven drift trike
The new Razor Power Rider 360 Electric Tricycle is made for those of you who enjoyed the thrill of a Big Wheel as a child, and want to pass that memory off to your own youngsters. Except, the Razor Power rider 360 is much better. Easy for your youngster to operate, and quick to start, no pedal power and no pulling, simply press a button and you’re ready to do some simple cruising.
This is not a typical drift trike per se, that you’d take off road, or on race tracks. With a build designed for kids 8 years of age and up, a top speed of just 9 mph, the 360 it’s more of toy for kids to have some fun, carving out some sweet, 360 degree spins, drifts and slides. This Razor’s chain driven motor is powered by a 12 volt battery, giving it’s riders up to 30 minutes of drift time on a single, 12 hour charge.
As for braking, your young one will have no trouble stopping, due to the dependable, easy to use hand operated front brake. Features of the Power Rider 360 include: Impact resistant, front pneumatic wheel, comfortable rubber hand grips, and folding foot pegs. If you’re concerned your child won’t be getting a workout with the electric Power Rider, fear not, as they will be developing strong core and arm muscles as they control the Power Rider through the drifts and slides.
- Slow top speed of 9 mph for kids
- Easy to operate via a push button
- Folding foot pegs
- Able to handle 360 degree turns
- Charge can take up to 12 hours
- Only runs for 30 minutes per charge
One of the best examples of a high performance, kids drift trike is the Triad Counter Measure. In fact, many consider it the overall best kids drift trike on the market today. That being said, let’s go take a look to see just what makes this kids drift trike so special. The Counter Measure is designed to support the height and weight of kids between 7 and 12 years of age. and comes in two styles: The original Counter Measure, and the Counter Measure 2.
This is a non-motorized drift trike, that gets its get up and go from large, platform resin pedals. It comes with an adjustable tractor seat, 18 x 2.125 inch, 36 spoke front wheel, interchange slick drifting rear wheels, OATH Chameleon grips and an alloy U braking system. The durable steel, twin down-tube frame is more than tough enough to handle whatever your child puts it through. The handlebars come with soft touch, TPR BMX grips.
- Specifically designed for kids 7 to 12 years of age
- Have the option to purchase the Counter Measure 2
- Slicks for rear wheels make drifting a snap
- Durable steel, twin down-tube frame
- Not one thing
Criteria used for Evaluation
Ease of Handling
For a drift trike to make it onto our list, it has to be able to handle well. When you drift, you’re performing a controlled slide involving taking a vehicle and purposefully skidding it around turns, in a sideways fashion. if the drift trike is non-responsive to your movements you risk loosing that controlled slide and crashing into the nearest tree.
Durability of the Overall Build
Let’s face it, nothing good will come of it if you spend you hard earned dollars on a cheap knock-off whose frame snaps in two during a downhill slide. That’s exactly what can happen and does happen. As fun as drift triking can be, it is still a dangerous sport. That’s why each and every one of our offerings in our review of the best drift trikes sported welded frames made of the high quality material.
In 2015, drift triker Daniel Clements lost control of his trike on a New Zealand road, and found himself involved in a high speed collision. Remarkably, he walked away. When we evaluating our selection of drift trikes, it became apparent how important responsive braking is, for both adult and child models. The Triad Counter Measure, for instance, utilizes traditional, caliper U braking system, the type you find on most bikes. This makes it easy for any child to handle. The Motorized Drift Trike by Scooter X, on the other hand, uses a disc braking system.
Price and Performance
It was extremely important to us, that the trikes we selected were a good buy for the money spent. For instance, the Coleman Powersport turned out to be an excellent buy, due to it’s high performance ratings, longevity and ease of customization. Whereas the Triad Counter Measure, is priced perfectly for the high quality materials, attention to detail as well as the customer support offered to the customers.
Other Important Things to Consider
When the drift trike bug bites, that’s all she wrote. Once you get on one of these little beasts, you’ll be wondering what took you so long. But, in order to truly enjoy your experience, and become a bonafide enthusiast, there are some important things to consider.
Go for a Name Brand
This cannot be stated often enough. These trikes will take quite a pounding as you drift downhill or along a track. With a cheap drift trike, you risk your frame snapping apart, or your wheels tearing up sooner than expected. Do it right the first time. Whether you intend to purchase a drift trike kit and build it yourself, or order one online, please select your drift trike from an accomplished brand, with a strong record of satisfied customers, instead of going for a cheap knock-off.
Motorized or Non-Motorized
Motorized or non-motorized, there are pros and cons for each, depending on what you’re age, weight, preferences and skill levels are. Motorized drift trikes are perfect for adults who are really into the sport. These gas powered trikes are made to chew up the pavement, go up hills and handle some pretty sweet moves. They are perfect for trike enthusiasts who consider themselves gearheads, and enjoy the prospect of upgrading their trikes by purchasing additional parts, and becoming involved in customization.
Non-motorized drift trikes on the other hand, don’t have the luxury of being able to make it up steep hills for that down hill slide. They usually have to be transported via a car, truck or van to the top. The plus side is that there is very little maintenance involved, and no fuel costs. Not only that, but it goes without saying that pedal power is a great way to stay in shape.
Legal Issues and Safety Standards
Before you purchase your drift trike, it’s a good idea to look into your states regulations regarding recreational vehicles. For instance, where can you ride them, and what safety gear to wear during your rides. It’s no joke, lately many modes of personal transport are being scrutinized by communities who are considering a ban on their usage, or at the very least, limiting their use. So, it’s a good idea, before you make your purchase, to do a double take at any community, county, city or state regulations.
There you have it, our best drift trikes of 2018 review. Whether you’re thinking of purchasing one for yourself, or as a gift for that someone special on your Holiday list we’re more than confident that our selection has left you with a better idea of just what these machines are capable of. But always keep in mind, that as fun as they are, that rapid paced, exhilarating feeling you get, that thrill, is actually due to your rear wheels losing their traction when they come on contact with the pavement. So please remember to check out some rad safety gear. Seriously, with such a vehicle, a baseball cap, shorts and sneakers will just not cut it, if you happen to lose control and smack into a tree. All in all, the drift trike is a fabulous addition to any family garage. it’s a great way to have fun, reprise old memories and make new ones. So, what are you waiting for? Start building some new memories, today.