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Old 12-01-2012, 09:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I've continued working out some details of the build, but I came accross a question that I figured might be interesting to you guys.

Since I'll be moving the radiator off it's stock location on the bike and into a spot where there can be aerodynamic ducting, the radiator hoses will have to be longer which will result in greater cooling capacity and a slower warm up time.

Therefore, my thought is that installing a block heater/coolant heater would be beneficial to my project. But there doesn't seem to be much out there for motorcycles.

Any idea what kind of wattage I would need? I don't think it's possible to put a block heater on a motorcycle, but I'm not sure.

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Old 12-26-2012, 12:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Figured I'd post a quick update as to where I am in the design process. Construction is slated to start During Summer of 2013 and I hope to finish the project by the end of the summer. In the meantime, I'll work on collecting parts for the project and work out any design kinks

My budget of $5000 is still standing strong.
Current estimated cost breakdown:
Kawasaki Ninja 250R: $1000
Ecotron EFI kit: $600
Chassis steel: $500
F16 canopy: $400
Steering Rack: $250
ATV spindles, Hubs, Rotors, Calipers $200
Total: $2950 so that leaves me with $2000 for the rest of the stuff which Iím not particular about. It will be whatever I can find for the cheapest that will do the job.

Estimated costs of these parts:
Shocks: $100
Ball Joints: $50
Tie rod ends: $50
steering wheel: $50
racing seat: $100
5-point harness: $80
Lights: $60
EGT sensor(for lean burn tuning) $100
Push Pull cable for shifter $50
Brake, Clutch, and throttle pedals
4x110 to 4x100 wheel adapters $50
Civic VX wheels $150
2 Tires 155/80R13 $100
upper and lower control arms $50
pushrods for suspension $20


A lot of this is just estimates, but I have $1000 of wiggle room based on these numbers. This money will be use for paint, misc. hardware, and anything else I need.

Here is my latest design.


The specifications are just guesses because I don't really have any of the parts with me. I would like to make the car thinner and shorter. shorter is easy to achieve by reclining the major factor in the width is the canopy width. The current design gives me a frontal area of 9 square feet. combined with a estimated drag coefficient of .16, this gives a CdA of 1.44 which is pretty good! a 2nd seat could also easily be added by extending the length of the trike. I'm not doing this for cost and time reasons, but it wouldn't affect efficiency too much.

Here is another picture to gives you an idea of size. This is to scale.


I also would have loved to make this electric but the cost of lipo batteries is huge and lead acid is too heavy.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh, one other thing is I don't know how I'm going to hand the parking brake, but it's definitely something I would like to have. I might need to fabricate a dedicated hand brake caliper for the rear rotor
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Canopy width doesn't necessarily dictate cabin width. You could do 36" wide across the hips, then by the shoulders bring it in some, mount the canopy, and then cut the hatch lower than the canopy. Give you some arm room.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The canopy I'm looking at is 32 inches wide at it's widest point so that's what I mean. I couldn't really make the vehicle much thinner than that anyway because 1.5 inch of steel + .5" is shell material.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Ever since first seeing the HyperRocket, I've always had the idea of building my own as well as all the details involved in doing so.

I have a few questions about your project, and hopefully it will help you make some important decisions.

Why are you not opting for a 1+1 tandem seating arrangement? The added length will help in a number of ways, including high speed stability, aerodynamics, and it offers significant space for storage when not carrying an extra passenger.

If you decide to go with a Ninja 250 platform, why not try to use as much of the bike as possible? When I thought about doing a project like this, i thought about using a front end of a sport ATV (already has the suspension, steering, brakes, and wheels set up how you would need) and then use the handlebars and "back half" from a Ninja 250. For the parking brake, you can have a setup that locks the front brake lever pulled in. Furthermore, you could have the front and rear brakes tied together and use a proportioning valve to adjust front:rear brake bias.

Here's the way I planned to do this:

1. Front end of a sport ATV.
- This will take care of the front control arms (which will be decently wide, think stability), steering, suspension, brakes, wheel bearings and hub, and gives you skinny wheel mounting options. So basically the front end of a sport ATV up to the steering stem. Rolling chassis ATV's can be found for very very cheap.

2, Fabricate your own canopy/cockpit area.
- You would use steel piping and design the canopy as you would want. I would design it to have ample leg, shoulder, and head room, so that you aren't crammed and rather comfortable. The seat would be low profile but comfortable (basically you can use any seat, though.) I would design a 1+1 design to have the flexibility of transporting a passenger, but also have available room for storage. I would design two "pod" like frames and connect them, in order to provide structural safety for both passengers.

3. Back half of a motorcycle.
- I would use a Ninja 250, simply because the motor's are proven to last a really long time, and it would also take care of your rear suspension, brake, drive, and also electrical. Obviously the cables and wires would have to be extended to the front, but that's easy work.

Connect all 3.

Then, fabricate a fiberglass body in sections so that body panels can be removed for maintenance.

Then you have yourself a fully functional rTadpole trike.
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: radiator: it can be in the rear ala GM Precept.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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theycallmeebryan- I like your ideas and I will be using an ATV front end as you suggested. I'll be using my own steering set-up and making my own control arms though. Im keeping the trike to one person for weight and cost reasons. If I had access to better materials, i definitely would make it seat 2 people.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Glad to see you are planning on moving forward with this. I think you're wise to use the motorcycle engine instead of going electric (re: your thread in the fossil free section). I think you should check out the Ohio regulations regarding what you are building, though, before you get too far along. I'm pretty sure regulations will vary somewhat from state to state and you don't want to build this thing, only to find out that they won't register it because of one part of the design that could be easily changed at this point. I suggest you study the streamlining template in the aero forum, if you haven't already. Your design looks pretty good but you might be able to make it better. Also make sure you get your weight distribution right or it won't handle well. This site has some good info on three wheeler design in the download section. Free Development Plans, Software and Information Good luck.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:08 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Any particular reason for wanting to do the EFI conversion? Using the carbs could free up $600, and you can do the conversion after you finish the rest of the trike if you want.

Make sure you over budget for parts unless you know for a fact that you can get them for cheap. Don't forget the cost of tools, if you don't know someone who has them.

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