The ROADSMITH Story
Passion. Innovation. History.
Pre-The Trike Shop
Dinosaurs still roam the earth. Overall hostile conditions and lack of paved roads not very conducive to motorcycle/trike riding. However, one day when pumping his feet as fast as possible to avoid being a T-Rex’s afternoon snack, Fred Flint(d)stone has the idea that independent rear wheel motion would greatly improve comfort and performance, and three wheels would not only be far more fun than four wheels, but it would also speed up the handling… All of this equaling less work for his legs and, in turn, at least a couple more years of not ending up as something’s snack! (Now if he could only think of something other than rock for the wheels...)
*Several billion years and an Ice Age later – plus or minus another 2000 or so years – and Ansestry.com reveals the Flinstones to be distant relatives of the Lindholms.*
The Trike Shop offers its first Volkswagen-powered trike kit. They are simple kits offered for the DIY guys that were looking for something different than a regular motorcycle. The metal flake bodies and big, fat rear tires had a look like nothing else at the time.
Where it all began: The Trike Shops Original Trike
The Trike Shop launches a new line of touring trikes.
Dick and Helen Lindholm had the vision to create a more touring oriented trike; trikes that were more luxurious, that offered greater storage, stereo systems, and automatic transmissions, and that gave riders the choice of crossing the country or simply running to the store.
The Trike Shop Trikes quickly become the industry-standard. They began building almost all of them complete to ensure the best quality for the riders. With a family like following in Minnesota and Wisconsin, they would have scheduled rides with customers and friends.
The 1990s marked the beginning of the motorcycle/trike conversion kits. There were a couple of trike conversion companies emerging and they saw potential in this motorcycle conversion concept. The current offering were a solid axle type design and the owners complained of the rough ride and steering effort required.
The Trike Shop re-imagined conversions kits from the ground up. The resulting kits offered a smoother ride and easier steering. We adopted the design of the VW trikes independent suspension and a longer wheelbase.
They called it The Ultimate Trike Conversion Kit for Hondas, and these original kits featured:
- Independent rear suspension and longer wheelbases, which ensured a far smoother ride with exceptional control at higher speeds.
- An exclusive steering design that enabled riders to turn with less effort, thus making riding for extended periods of time easy.
- For the Goldwings we developed an auxiliary fuel tank was an option.
- An added, spacious trunk, with a large watertight-door to support longer rides and keep everything inside dry at all times.
- A built in trailer hitch as part of the frame, not an add-on
- Vast improvements to the design of the kit itself, which enabled buyers/dealers to convert the motorcycles to trikes in just a couple days.
- These design improvements also greatly reduced the amount of maintenance and didn’t require alignment adjustments.
- A new, heavy-duty bulletproof automotive drive-shaft on all Honda models.
In 1995 they came out with a Harley Davidson model with similar Independent rear suspension and a longer wheelbase. They developed an exclusive electric reverse system. Others were using a mechanical gear system that was undependable. Later others have tried to use starter motors, but have proven to be loud and again, unreliable.
The Trike Shop officially changes its name Roadsmith, Inc. (or Roadsmith Trikes as it is more commonly known throughout the Industry).
Roadsmith introduces it’s all new, fully-redesigned body-style for the Harley-Davidson line of trike conversion kits, called the ROADSMITH HDTR.
The kit receives broad acclaim and goes on to win the ‘2011 Motorcycle Design of the Year’ in its debut year at the annual V-Twin Expo by ‘Easyriders Magazine.’
Roadsmith also introduces the industry’s first ever auto-leveling suspension system, aptly dubbed AccuRide.
Dick and Helen Lindholm, the original founders, sell off their remaining share of Roadsmith, Inc to their son Doug Lindholm and his lifelong-friend Jim McGurran, which, by this point, basically equates to the changing of some names on few official documents, as the pair have already been running the day-to-day operations at Roadsmith for over two decades.
But those ‘official pieces of paper’ ensure Roadsmith will continue to be a family-owned-and-family-friendly business for another generation to come…at the very least…
Having produced conversions for prior renditions from this iconic brand, the new conversion amplified the heritage and classic looks of the Indian, while integrating many new cutting-edge technological features.
They were also one of the first trike manufacturers to release a conversation kit for the all-new 2018 Honda Goldwing GL1800. Available for both the manual and all-new automatic (DTC) transmission models, the ROADSMITH HTX1800 conversion kit continues to set industry standards to this day and is still one of, if not the only kit that seamlessly mates with Honda’s automatic DTC transmission – which now makes up a staggering three-quarters (and growing) of all new Goldwings sold!
So..what’s next for Roadsmith you ask?
Well, we can’t give away all our secrets, but one thing is for sure: We will never stop innovating, always making sure we are not only the first to market with the latest new models, but we will do so with the class-leading technology we have been know for for almost five decades now!
Furthermore, we believe that there’s no such thing as a trike that’s ‘too good’ — it’s like saying you are being paid you too much money — it’s simply not in our vocabulary at Roadsmith.
So, you better believe that we will never be fully satisfied and that we will continue to make what is already regarded as the industry’s leading product even better — always making sure it’s up to date with the latest technological advancements on the market!