Driving the Campagna V13R and T-Rex 16S three-wheelers [Video]

Campagna Motors is a small, Quebec-based company that makes three-wheeled, motorcycle-based roadsters, and in this TFL video, both the Harley-Davidson based V13R and the BMW-based T-REX are tested.


Campagna V13R

Take a Harley Davidson V-twin, an open-top chassis based on a tube frame design, add a bit of exterior whimsy and you have the Campagna Motors V13R. Built to be a fun roadster rather than a track monster like the high-strung Campagna T-Rex, the V13R is has gobs of personality.

Sporting a 130 horsepower V-Twin engine, the V13R’s power is fed through a sequential-shift 5-speed transmission to a belt-driven, single rear wheel. It feels like a motorcycle because it is a motorcycle. Just about everything aft of the cockpit is a V-twin. The clutch is basically the same unit that comes from the motorcycle’s handlebar, converted to a pedal. Engagement is much more sensitive than a conventional performance clutch in a sports car.

The cockpit is very tight, along the same feel as the tiny Lotus Elise, with the exception of Campagna Motor’s adjustable pedals, which allows for tall folk to find a somewhat comfortable seating position. While there are very few amenities, there is a glove-box and a few options from their Campagna Motors website. I recommend getting the storage container which could hold a small weekend bag.

Driving the Campagna V13R is an assault on all of your senses. It’s loud, it rips through the air and it even smells like a Harley. The steering is direct with no assist and being that this trike weighs about 1,100 lbs, it corners like it’s on rails. It stops fast too; however, breaking effort requires more muscle than some folks are used to. Still, it’s easier to pilot than a motorcycle.

With that being said, I highly recommend staying out of traffic as this is no commuter. With a wheel width that outstretches an equivalent Corvette by several inches, it’s so wide that you have to pay close attention to driving between the lines. Fortunately, the steering is so direct, simply thinking about turning make the V13R go in the direction you desire.

Three wheels makes it difficult to avoid obstacles like potholes. You feel just about anything your large rear wheel runs over and, if you’re pushing high speeds, that same rear wheel can lose traction on the bumps. This vehicle requires you re-calibrate your expectations of how a conventional roadster drives.

The Campagna V13R starts at $55,598.00 and it’s manufactured in Quebec, Canada.


Campagna T-REX

I don’t use the word bonkers lightly, I’ve driven race cars that were less high-strung than the T-Rex 16S. Unlike its cousin, the V-twin-powered V13R, the T-Rex is a sports-bike attached to two front wheels.

This baby is hooked up to an in-line 6-cylinder BMW motorcycle engine that puts out 160 horsepower. Considering this vehicle weighs around 1,100 lbs, the power-to-weight ratio is in super-car territory. The 1,649 CC inline-6 cylinder engine is excessively smooth, yet it will shout like a banshee when prodded over 6,000 rpm. It almost sounds like an older F1 engine up-close.

t-rex16sp_side_performancered1One of the most surprising things about the T-Rex 16S was the fact that it had a better overall ride than its tamer brother, the V13R. Still, it’s a very difficult vehicle to drive in traffic and the confines are tight. Still, it feels like a street-legal racer, which is what it is!

The Campagna Motors T-Rex 16S has been around for a while. In the past, it had a Japanese motor before switching to BMW. It’s not a vehicle for the timid and I highly recommend you drive one of these at the track before venturing out on the street.

In the video above, you’ll see a briefing and a brief drive through the hills of Los Angeles, California. Yes, it was as fun as it looked.