Lehman Trikes Has Suspended Operations

Since October 2011 and facing a challenging economic environment Lehman Trikes – calling itself the “Leader Of The Three World” – and specializing in trikes, trike kits and conversions, was looking into various strategic alternatives to save its business. It included finding an investor, a merger or selling the company. On January 5, 2012 the company faced another challenge, the untimely loss of John K. Lehman, Founder and Director.

Until now, Lehman Trikes continued to conduct business under a very reduced scope of operations. Although at one time the Board Of Directors stated that it received an expression of interest from an investment firm, the company just decided to suspend all operations. Although Lehman Trikes was considered one of the trike industry’s foremost leaders and was well known for its high quality and reliable products, there is no assurance that after 25 years in business the company will be able to resume operations.

21 Responses to “Lehman Trikes Has Suspended Operations”

  1. 1 PanMan49 Mar 21st, 2012 at 6:11 pm


  2. 2 Rodent Mar 21st, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    John dies, goodby business. He was one of the few good guys in this business

  3. 3 Jeff Nicklus Mar 21st, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    This is very sad!

    Over & Out,


  4. 4 RUB Mar 22nd, 2012 at 2:01 am

    damn shame

  5. 5 Pedro Mar 22nd, 2012 at 6:34 am

    Very Sad

  6. 6 mike switzer Mar 22nd, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I am sure that when Harley came out with their own trike with a factory warranty it was the final nail in the coffin for trike conversions

  7. 7 GuitarSlinger Mar 22nd, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Thats really sad news . I know an awful lot of elderly , handicapped and injured riders who wouldn’t still be on the road if it wasn’t for Lehman Trikes . The fact that they gave you the option of several brands to build your Trike on , not to mention they could build one on your existing bike makes their loss even greater .

  8. 8 burnout Mar 22nd, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Sad to hear this! peace

  9. 9 Mark Mar 22nd, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I had a chance to tour the Spearfish factory and meet John in person. What a great business model – quality, caring people. At the time , they were building the Harley trikes for HD as fast as they could.

  10. 10 Jason Hallman Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Thanks Harley! Hey maybe you could just bull your way through the rest of the industry now? Sorry to rant here but it pi$$es me off that HD doesn’t respect or even acknowledge the intrinsic benefits they reap by all of us that bust our a$$es to eek out a living in the aftermarket. Coming from the auto industry in Detroit in 2003 and into the bike industry I cannot believe that HD still has to attack the little guys. They really are bullies. I spent a over a decade in the auto aftermarket (speed shops) and never once did someone at Ford, GM, or Chrysler run over a little shop that I saw. In fact I have countless examples of the big three utilizing the services of smaller shops like Lehman to build their products for them. It only strengthens the gene pool that you can pull ideas from. Harley never ceases to confuse me about that. They seriously think they are the only company with any good ideas and your idea stinks until they decide to steal it from you. Pigs get fat HOGS get slaughtered!

  11. 11 cwglide Mar 22nd, 2012 at 11:17 am

    It’s a sad to hear about Lehman Trikes. After a huge growth in the company that was mostly due to the Tri-Glide Classic. Wonder if Lehman still providing kits to HD? Or did HD tool up their own leaving Lehman?

  12. 12 deadwood1783 Mar 22nd, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    This is unfortunately what very often happens when a big company gets a hold of a much smaller one. The contract was not negotiated very well on Lehman’s part. And coupled with the economic downturn, it was all but inevitable after the big ramp up in Spearfish SD. It is sad indeed to see this company and so many other former major players in the industry fall by the wayside.

  13. 13 Hazy Mar 22nd, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Sorry to see this happen. I posted about just this scene taking place a few years ago, that Harley would take Lehman’s ideas and then throw them under the bus as HD saw the market share for trikes start to boom.
    The big big big mistake Lehman made just before this, which I’m sure was to appease Harley was to stop selling conversions to the public and forcing buyers to go to an authorized dealer for sale and assembly of the kits. My former shop was an authorized dealer but I can’t tell you how many sales we lost to customers that wanted to do their own builds. They always went with one of the other outfits that sell to the public and are still in business today. Even though the customer might find out he couldn’t do the build and went to a shop later, the $1500 – $1800 Lehman made us charge up front was a turnoff on an already pricey product. You can argue quality all you want – the customer sees $$$ signs.
    I pesonally own 3 trikes, 2 of which are Lehman builds and 1 ground up custom. Purchased the kits just before they stopped public sales. The quality was outstanding at that time.Just a real shame.

  14. 14 Joe Cree Mar 22nd, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Sad news. I was always a fan of the Lehman brand and thought they made ultra high quality stuff. I’m not huge into the triking part of our industry but I had heard they were working with HD on the Tri-Glide model so I’m now assuming HD somehow screwed Lehman over, it’s their MO to do so. The difference between the auto industry and motorcycle industry in how aftermarket companies are dealt with by the big brand names is such huge difference. The auto industry embraces the aftermarket companies while HD does everything it can to run the aftermarket out of business as well as kill off all small builders and manufacturers. After 20+ years I will not buy anything from HD if I can at all help it. My bikes are built with no HD parts used and I’ll make something before using anything the Motor Factory sells.
    I hope somehow Lehman can figure out a way to bring their brand back to life.

  15. 15 highrpm Mar 22nd, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    as much as corvette popularized fiberglass, i never liked the stuff. small businesses can avoid the cost of tooling metal stamps, but at some point, metal wins in quality perception. what does hd use to build their trikes?

  16. 16 eric danielson Mar 22nd, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    It was a sad day when we read our email from lehman that we, as a dealer, would not be able to receive our ordered trike kits and assemble them on the wings, and flhts we were ready to build. I wish that something, maybe a dealer buyout, could come to pass. just too good a product to quit on.

  17. 17 kc cheef Mar 25th, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Sad to hear the news.
    We have a local here in Kansas that is making some good headway in the trike Industry even in these hard times.
    Frank Pederson at Frankenstein Trikes makes some pretty nice trike kits. Last I heard he was making good headway with quite a few Harley Dealers in the Mid West.

  18. 18 bigalyts Mar 26th, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Good Biz for a Guy like JJ. He has Stupid Money. He can Build and stock Inventory. and when Things w turn around alI the Inventory. will be available and many other Dealers and small Factorys want to Build these Trikes for their Clients that need these specialty Cycles. ARE YOU LISTENING EL LOCO??

  19. 19 sodakdude Apr 19th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Current management is responsible for the death of Lehman Trikes. He allowed the HD to dictate terms in the contracts and allowed the HD people to delve into the suppliers used and the manufacturers of parts. When they accumulated enough expertise, they simply refused to re-new the contract and began their own production using the processes gleaned from Lehman. Seems to me to be purely a case of corporate suicide on the part of Leham management. Way to go Ken.

  20. 20 bigfootbob Jun 17th, 2012 at 9:27 am

    what happens now to all the trike owners that still have warrantees? where can you get needed parts? with out these things there is nothing left but a big paper weight………now i’m sorry i got rid of my moto trike…..to bad,the Lehman is a great ride.

  21. 21 ron Aug 3rd, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Thank goodness LEhman made a quality kit..now with parts unavailable! I hope i dont have any trouble now. What goes wrong with these things? Ron., B,.C., canada

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Cyril Huze