Both a Quad and Trike have wheels. This poses the question of which of these paramotors is the right option for you.
In general, the quad is considered the best for learning and the trike is like an upgrade after the amateur’s initial wind of learning is passed. The right paramotor is a matter of personal preference, and the paramotoring world continues to argue which is the best choice.
Although the paramotoring world continues to debate about which is better, there are certain things which they all agree are the purposes and uses of the quad and the trike.
Purpose of the Quad and Trike
When the quad and trike were created, they were created with similar goals regarding the pilot’s flight experience. They both make paramotoring easier and give a more unique experience to the pilot.
For those who are just learning how to ride a paramotor, both options are a good choice as a beginning. With the option (in both paramotors) of flying in tandem. Not all trikes and quads are to be flown in tandem, but the option is unique to both.
Even though they are not exactly the same, they do have much in common. When compared to a regular no-wheel paramotor they both share similar traits to compete:
- They are great for beginners
- Stable Liftoff
- Stable Landing
- You don’t have to carry the motor on your back
- Have high frame bars which obscure your vision
- Take up a lot of storage room
The purpose of the quad and the trike, in my personal opinion, is not only to create more diversity in pilot experience, but also pilot persons. There are some people who can’t carry a 55 lb. motor full of fuel on their back. Some people have bad knees, a bad back, and low stamina.
The quad and the trike make up for much of what the regular paramotor option doesn’t offer.
Note: Another awesome feature of both the quad and the trike is that the weight limit for these paramotors is higher than a foot-launch paramotor. They can handle up to 350-400 lbs; maybe more.
Quad and Trike Differences
There are only a couple of differences between the quad and the trike. In the paramotoring world, many argue which is the best overall choice, but the truth is, the pilot is the judge. What matters is how you feel during take-off, in the air, and on landing.
Note: If you are uncomfortable while using a Trike, then you may want to switch to a Quad. (or VisaVersa)
The biggest difference between these two paramotors is their wheels. One has four and the other has three. Both are very stable compared to a paramotor without wheels, but in certain conditions each one wins out over the other.
|Comparison of Lift off and Landing on Terrain/Weather Capability|
|Terrain and Weather Conditions||Rocky Terrain||Turbulence||NO Wind||Wind|
|Quad||Liftoff Poor||Landing Safer||Liftoff and Landing Good||Less Stable Liftoff|
|Trike||Performs Well||Landing more Dangerous||Liftoff and Landing Good||Pretty stable liftoff|
*Take note that these estimates will vary depending upon pilot experience and maneuvering capability
For those who are more experienced, the differences between the quad and the trike are going to be extremely obvious. However, for those of us who are new at it, it helps to have it explained a bit more.
So, to help you differentiate between the two and doing some weighing, I’ve created some tables to look at.
Quad and Trike Pricing Differences (Single Pilot and Tandem)
When choosing what you want for a paramotor, whether it’s a quad or a trike, pricing plays a big role. Pricing may not be a big deal for some people. If you don’t care how much it costs you can continue below to see the quality comparisons and skip this section.
However, if you are like me, the cost is a make or break of whether I’m willing to buy my big toys. I want to play, but I want to play at a reasonable price.
You’ll find that whether quad or trike, the price is going to be higher than a foot launch paramotor. That’s just how the cookie crumbles. Quality doesn’t come cheap.
As I searched for various pricing options, I noticed that pricing was greatly effected by personal preference. There is more than one option for engine choice, seating choice, color, style, wings, etc.
|Green Eagle Quad||$9,700.00 – $11,200.00||X|
|BlackHawk LowBoy III Hybrid Quad||$2,995.00 – $3,720.00||X|
|BlackHawk LowBoy II Paramotor Quad||$1,300.00||X||X|
*It was a bit harder to find tandem seating for the quad.
While being more highly saturated on the market because of its popularity, the trike pricing went from $1300 all the way to $15,000. The trike also has the option of changing the color, seating, wings, and so on.
|BlackHawk Paramotor Lite Trike||$2,395.00||X|
|The Falco||$6,200.00 – $15,880.00||X||X|
|The Mini-Bullet Trike & Minari Paramotor Combo||$7,345.00 – $7,645.00||X|
|Funflyer2 Mini3 Evo||$11,022.67||X|
A lot of these prices will vary because some have tandem options and others don’t. There are also package options, wings, and things like that which are sometimes included in the price.
These tables are not an extensive list of pricing and options, but hopefully it gives you a rough estimate of how much it will cost to purchase. If it’s not clear enough, all you have to do is look into the websites and see the other options which are offered.
What is a Quad?
The quad is a paramotor supported by four wheels. These wheels are powered by the motor. The wheels give the pilot a quick start for take-off, and a smooth ending for a landing.
It usually has side bars which frame your headspace and kind of put you in a little cubby-like space. There’s also a space you can usually rest your feet on for comfort and convenience.
Pros of the Quad
The quad is very balanced. Riding it is like riding a fourwheeler in the air. It’s reliable like my grandpa and will last quite a long time. You won’t want for dependability in this baby. It’s not my personal favorite, but you can definitely bet on its safety.
The quad is often used as a beginning paramotor. It is not the only one used, but because of its safe history, it’s often chosen as a beginner’s paramotor.
The video below demonstrates the quad’s ability to balance during takeoff. It isn’t assured that the quad won’t tip, but the probability is fairly low. (I mean, that’s what it was designed for.)
Cons of the Quad
Some think it’s ugly when it’s up in the sky. The quad isn’t the most glamorous paramotor. It’s rather bulky and its wheels generally stick out pretty far.
It’s not great in certain flying conditions like turbulence and rocky terrain as mentioned previously. As stated in the video, the pilot has to have the right kind of start or the paramotor will tip.
Because the quad is heavier, it will not be very fast in the air. Wheeled paramotors will not usually be as fast or light as a single foot-launch paramotor.
The reason that is, is because the lighter you are the faster you’ll fly. The same goes for liftoff. I mean, if you are super light weight and the person next to you is super heavy and you both liftoff at the same time- the lighter one in the quad, the heavier in the foot-launch you might be pretty even.
However, generally speaking, the heavier you are, the slower the flight.
What is a Trike?
Just like a tricycle, the trike is so named for its three wheels. This paramotor is my personal favorite. It can also handle a lot of weight like the quad and is really stable.
Why is it my favorite though? Because it’s sexy! The three-wheel design makes it feel like the sports car version of the quad. It’s also a lot more popularly used by pilots who are more advanced and experienced.
When you make a turn in a trike it is so much more exhilarating than the quad. I feel so cool in the trike! You know those commercials when you can see the car’s wheels roll across the rocky terrain super smooth-like and it makes you want to run out and buy yourself one? Yup, that’s how I feel watching the trike.
Pros of the Trike
Aside from being super sexy, the trike is just fun to watch. In light of that information, I’ve found a video which demonstrates the trikes liftoff abilities.
The video below compares the trike with the quad. While both are well-balanced, the trike wins the ribbon for this one.
The trike looks good in the air and follows the flight pattern of a three-wheel design. Just like an airplane, the three wheels are specifically designed for stability and safety.
Fun Fact: Usually when the trike lifts off, the front wheel should be the last wheel to leave the ground. On landing, the back wheels land first.
Whether it’s safer than the quad is honestly a bit of a gray area. They are both safer than your average foot-launch motor though.
Cons of the Trike
A possible con the trike is probably that it’s heavy. It’s not as heavy as the quad, but it’s still weighty. A lot of the cons of the trike are similar to that of the quad.
They don’t take turbulence very well. The landing will be much more dangerous in a trike with turbulence.
It’s a good beginner’s paramotor, but the quad beats the trike in being the best beginner’s option no matter how beautiful the trike is.
Tandem Quads/Trike options
The unique thing about both quads and trikes is that they can also be flown in tandem. With foot launch, you can’t fly in tandem.
The great thing about a tandem trike/quad is that you can take a passenger who is not a pilot. So, whether you are someone who is a pilot or you’d like to fly in a paramotor, a tandem is always a great option to get you or your friends involved in paramotoring.
Tandem is very safe and is a blast! You can experience that thrill of flying free in a truly unique way. My favorite part about it is that as a passenger you don’t even have to know anything about flying.
You have the opportunity to go for a ride without the stress of steering and/or liftoff and landing. All the passenger has to do is enjoy the ride.
If you are a teacher, you can keep your student at ease by being there to guide them. Although many teachers would rather that you have the satisfaction of flying on your own, it’s nice to be able to be there for those students who are not as confident.
Here is a tandem trike:
Here is a tandem quad:
Which Would I Choose? Trike or Quad?
I would personally choose the trike. It’s sexy and looks nice. If you can find the right one, you can get it for a super cheap price. It’s usually lighter than the quad and can handle the liftoff better.
The quad is bulky and honestly reminds me of a bicycle with training wheels. Some pilots have even gone so far to say that the quad is a trike with training wheels. The quad isn’t a bad choice, it’s just not my favorite.
For me, the trike is just all around a better choice. You can get some nice looking trikes.
If it were me, I would get a one-man trike and a tandem trike. If you do that, you will be able to fly solo with just you and your thoughts while also having the option to fly with someone else. It’s always good to enjoy wonderful things with friends and family.
There is also the option of starting out with a quad and eventually moving to a trike. You can work your way to three wheels. And, if you want to be more daring and ambitious, you can ditch both the quad and the trike and do a foot launch.