How to Put a Triumph Motorcycle in Reverse

Updated February 21, 2017

Innovations in motorcycle designs and components have progressed to the point of unlimited possibilities for custom builders. Elaborate frames, oversized tires, blueprint engines and six-speed transmissions combine to make fast, show-stopper motorcycles. Among these are the Triumph three-wheel trikes that have a reverse gear for backing up. Reverse is a combination of necessity and convenience, because trikes are substantially heavier than two-wheel motorcycles, and you have to get off the trike to back it out of a parking space. You can put a Triumph motorcycle in reverse while sitting on the bike.

Turn on the ignition and determine whether a gear position light is illuminated on the tachometer gauge. You should see a red or orange light with a number illuminated when the transmission is in a gear. A green light signifies the transmission is in neutral. When no gear position light is found, it still is necessary to find neutral.

Squeeze the clutch hand lever fully to disengage the clutch. Put your right foot on the right foot peg and put the toe of your boot on top of the gearshift pedal. Push the pedal down with your toe and release it each time it clicks to another gear. Continue this until the pedal is fully down.

Continue to squeeze the clutch hand lever and lift the gearshift pedal up two clicks with the toe of your boot. Turn the ignition on. You should see a green light on the tachometer that indicates the transmission is in neutral.

Release the clutch hand lever and start the engine. Squeeze the hand lever fully. Use the toe of your right boot as before to push the gearshift down two clicks and into reverse.


Most reverse gears on trikes are at the bottom of the gearshift range, below the first gear position. Raising the revs slightly as you shift helps to engage the transmission into another gear.

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About the Author

William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.