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Old 03-06-2013, 03:32 AM   #71 (permalink)
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walk around vid

...and that's about it for awhile, the 'T3' is pretty much "finished" aside from a billion minor adjustments, some fine tuning & dialing in - just about all of which is dependent on test runs, of which I can't do at the moment as ofc it's still winter in Maine lol



Sure, there's still some little things like weld my rear disc brake's caliper mount, but as I "need" to ride it to work to use the welder, we're back to waiting another month or two for the weather to clear, more importantly for the roads to be clean as it's not even mud season yet & still snowing, the muck, salt & calcium chloride isn't something the newborn taddy should be subject to... which poor Mongo can illustrate;



So while ofc I'll still be tinkerin' away and more than happy to answer any questions, there won't be much in the way of updates in this thread until spring, actual for real spring that is heh, not the silly calendar & it's lies - at which point the really fun stuff begins lol, the much anticipated "testing phase" where I get to find out just how mad this madness has truly been.

So, to all that offered their interest & assistance, suggestions & comments... to be completely honest this project would have been tedious without them so I thank you, thanks all so very much for lendin' that helpin' hand

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Old 03-06-2013, 07:01 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Beautiful machine and truly one of a kind.
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You can use some Corrosion X to treat all of the metal parts but of course it has a smell so you don't want to cover your garage floor with the over spray. It doesn't smell quite as strong as WD-40 though. I tested it on a piece of steel wool which I then bathed repeatedly in salt water. The piece on the right is untreated. I still have the sample sitting on my bench somewhere and it hasn't changed in over a year.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:38 PM   #73 (permalink)
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I was looking for a Tadpole project to make something similar. I wanted it to run on the freeway around here to commute with to a new job i may be starting the first of April. I can easily drive my TDI Beetle but once the weather turns nice around here I wanted to get this going. I figured if Sendler can get 95mpg with his CBR then I could get that or more with a Tadpole project using the CBR as a power plant and the front half of an ATV for the front end/suspension. Then use some coroplast and make a Vetter fairing for it. I came across this one from western Oregon and thought it was pretty neat. The guy somehow used motorcycle wheels. I just can't figure out how he managed the front hubs to make it all work strong enough for hwy use... any ideas? Bumble Bee Recumbent Tadpole 49cc Motor Assisted Bicycle Human Hybrid Trike | eBay
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:47 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Thanks sendler Corrosion X has helped preserve Mongo the ebike throughout this Maine winter, it's defo good stuff but there are some minor problems w/it in relation to the taddy build currently, namely it leaves a residue that's hard to remove (as it's s'posed to ofc) - which would make it even more difficult to clean & prep the chassis for the final paint. As it stands the taddy's paint is patchwork at best w/missing spots (late additions & welding), the "plan" is to scuff & squirt wherever there's bare metal to get through the road testing phase, then next winter strip the whole thing down to powder coat. I'd like to say I'd do it later this summer, but I suspect there's very little chance of pulling it off the road once I'm riding it lol

HHOTDI - interesting, I didn't know that taddy was up for sale again lol - but if you check this vid (35sec in): Bumble Bee it looks as if they simply used grade 8 bolts welded in place to act as spindles (not unheard of) for what's most likely sealed bearing moped hubs, they could very well be motorcycle wheels as said but they look a little small (diameter), not that it matters as either would be fine, though obv I prefer disc brakes & weight reduction heh

Using an ATV front end & suspension (dual A arm is a must for higher speeds) is defo the way to go, saving you much heartache & grief particularly in the suspension geometry (math) aspect but also in the spindle/brake mount assemblies, though usually they use a tapered spindle whereas you'll need change it to a straight shaft for sealed bearings. Just remember to adjust the caster/camber, Ackermann compensation & toe in to account for your altered wheelbase... which is far easier than it sounds, this primer I found to be quite useful (pg11 on): http://www.hellbentcycles.com/trike_...n%20Primer.pdf
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:24 AM   #75 (permalink)
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Weeeell... temptation got the best of me and I just couldn't resist any longer, so this past weekend I dragged the taddy out just for a quick initial test run around the lot... and it went far far better than expected! *lil dance*

Sure, there were some teething pains - as it turns out I'd bunged up a jackshaft bearing the last time I removed it, due to the keyed shaft being somewhat stuck & my impatience. Still, they're inexpensive & I got some good laps in before the bearing really started hatin' on me, at which point I just limited myself to the electric drive for "just a few more lil runs". heh... yea... just a "few" lol

That's the "bad" news - the good news is everything I was really worried about turned out to be fine, even better than fine & in fact I was surprised at just how well it all seems to work. It's the important stuff that can't be just "fixed" with replacement parts that concerned me, the math - the ergonomics, handling characteristics & suspension, clearance & turning radius, emergency stopping - all those pesky design details that I'd had to mostly guess & hope for the best, the ones that if faulty I'd have to chop up the frame to change.

Instead I was stunned by how well it performed, summoning up my courage I took the laps a lil faster each time to see how she did in the hard, slightly inclined turns of the lot. I was getting some sidewall roll from the front tires, but they were a bit low in pressure so I aired them up to 60psi (max) and tried it again. Now I was able to take these turns at least as fast as I could with my two-wheelers and still the taddy felt rock-solid stable, with me leaning a bit to help ofc. I wanted to try it even faster, but I was starting to get sketched out given I've still only front brakes, there's not a lot of room in the lot, it's an untried vehicle and ofc that jackshaft bearing was failing...

So I figured I'd switch to electric only and toodle down the road a bit, just to the next lot down (bout 1/16th mi) to see how she went in a straight line. I got to the lot & thought "gee, lousy place to turn around" and decided to go a bit further to the corner store as everything was going so well in any case. Cutting across the road I hauled into the lot & did a lap around the pumps and thought to myself "gee, I might as well finish the trip to my buddy's place, I'm halfway there" & zipped on over to the far side, cut out back into the road and off I went - making the trip & back again (a mere 1/2mi or thereabouts) without any problems save I desperately need mirrors, it's a pain to see behind me on this thing.

I came in hot, turning across the road & into my parking lot, leaning hard the silly thing still felt like it was on rails w/o any feeling of instability or even raising a wheel - I decided I'd do some braking stability tests as taddys are known to nose over during panic stops. I'd already tried full front braking on dry pavement with nothing interesting happening save stopping, this time I tried hitting the brakes hard right before a strip of glare ice, locking both fronts up fully then hitting the dry pavement on the other side to see if I could get the pedal boom & crankset to hit ground...

...nope, no nose over, no instability or pulling to one side, again - it just stopped like I'd asked it to.

That's a major relief as I'd had to move my seat, my body's center of mass at least 4" further forward than pedal taddys, praying the engine's weight would counterbalance it. Not only did that work out, as apparently I can't make it nose over it seems more stable than your average racing taddy!

A bit bummed that I couldn't try the four stroke drive more than I had, it couldn't overcome the sheer joy of overall success - I parked the thing and just walked around it, fighting the temptation to take off down the road again w/a a battery pack of unknown reserve being my only drive, I poked & prodded, checking fasteners & bearings, bushings & bolts... while everything still looked good I decided I'd be mature for a change & just park the thing until I could get some replacement jacksaft bearings, it really should have a thorough examination with partial disassembly to be sure everything was actually as good as it seemed before I headed out again - and there's the fact I wasn't "supposed" to be riding it at all, I was supposed to wait till spring & while it was nice & dry out, there's a wall of snowy crap headed our way... which was the final straw, why I dragged it out a lil early as it's gonna be at least another month before I get another chance.

Still, to say I'm relieved & excited would be the understatement of the century lol, the one failure an $8 part I'd broken months ago & just didn't know it.

I wish I'd taken some real vids, but I was a bit preoccupied & I hadn't planned any of this, it was a "spur of the moment" sorta thing as I caved in to a sudden impulse - I did maintain enough presence of mind to stick the cam on a stump to grab just the last few seconds of the testing, the ride down the somewhat steep, rough, muddy & root strewn trail I use to get to my shop, the final test of the day - clearance & suspension, which as you can see for yourself also went really well;

motorized recumbent tadpole first ride - YouTube


Safely tucked away in the shop I thought about the one handling characteristic I wasn't completely overjoyed with - the front tire sidewall rollover. I thought about just upgrading the tires to take 90psi, but wondered about high speed turns, potholes & pinch flats. Bustin' out the laptop I started hunting around for wider 20" BMX rims and surprise surprise - Alex rims now had the exact same DX32 double wall alloy I'd gotten for the rear (26") in a 20" version, more than I could have asked for & in fact wider than I'd hoped to find I bought a set of those puppies before the page had finished loading, or so it seemed heh

They're gonna be monsters lol;

2x Alex DX32 20" 36h Black, 39.1mm Width


Here's a coupla pics of the taddy outdoors for the first time ever, a little muddy, a little snowy it was still worth the filth on a brandy new machine just to finally play for a day;

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Old 03-21-2013, 05:16 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Let me know when you are ready to design a fairing.
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:26 AM   #77 (permalink)
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lol, will do Grant - but I'll warn ya it's prolly gonna be a while, first I gotta play... erm ..."refine" the taddy through a series of test runs & deal w/the the never ending "finish work" details, which is likely to take a good bit of the upcoming warm season, I suspect there's some kinks that haven't reared their ugly heads yet. It would be nice to get some averaged preformance & mileage data before I add a canopy/faring anyway.

I'll most likely get a canopy at some point or another, once I can finally accept that they're just pricy & there's no real way around it - but I think my next upcoming project will most likely be a travel trailer for the taddy to pull, for the longish wanderings & camping trips I built it for.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:47 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Jackshaft oopsie sorted & my new front rims built, this time indexed out (spoke/hub alignment) as much as safely possible to widen the front wheelbase width & gained just a lil over 3/4" (10mm each side = 0.39"x2 = 20mm or 0.78"). The thing was rock stable in turns already, but every lil bit helps & they'd originally been built indexed centered, typical for bicycles.

Dragged the thing outside into a balmy 30F "spring" morning, I started out doing laps in the lot at 5:30am, tiring of the NASCAR action & everything seeming to be holding together I took off down the road to the corner inconvenience store to grab a cawfee and ran into a problem...

...I didn't get my cawfee till almost an hour later, I made it to the store just fine, never made in the door as apparently the public finds this thing somewhat interesting, I hadn't even managed to shut her down and had the store clerk, a random customer & a cop all eyeballin' every inch & askin' a billion questions while I was trying to clean the windsnot off my face... well 'cept the cop whom just nodded, said "nice" with a smile & wandered off to do whatever law officers do 6am Easter Sunday lol

About an hour & a half later (one small cawfee?) I was left w/a dilemma, I didn't really want to head off to parts unknown with a test vehicle but I really didn't feel like doing anymore lot laps & after some musing decided it was time to take the back road I always use for shakedown & speed runs, hilly & twisty but with pavement that's mostly ok I've a friend that lives around the halfway point in case Murphy attacks... a touch early for a surprise visit maybe, but I didn't think they'd mind.

It's quite a rush riding this thing, feet first & ass less than a foot off the ground I'm comfy but disconcerted and even pedal speeds feels like mach 1, starting out with a long but gentle uphill grade the lil 49cc four stroke & electric worked in harmony even while I tried to figure out which gear range worked best for the incline. Clearing the hill top the road goes into a coupla gentle curves, a mild downhill & then another long uphill, this one no joke it gets gradually steeper & it drops my 66cc two smokers down to 15mph, my ebike to about 11 (if I don't help) - but the hybrid tadpole shrugged it off & maintained 20 to 25mph all the way up, which may not sound amazing - but then again none of my two smokers could manage that, not even my geared & built "fast" one, the torque advantage of both the electric and the four stroke really coming into play on hills, the takeoff acceleration from a stop impressive as well.

A couple more unremarkable hills, a few more twisties and I found myself at the turn to my friends house, the turn drops right into a short but crazy steep downhill, the one I blame for so many burned out tires as I try to slow at the base to cut into my friend's driveway - no worries with the taddy as the front discs work wonderfully well, doubled up as they are with the two front wheels n'all... but it was getting back up it from a near dead stop that gave me pause as no bike I've built can take that monster, every single one requires me to stand on the pedals & pedaling as furiously hard as I can just to make it to the top.

Ah well I figured, I'll chill w/my friend and see what happens & after some time shootin' the bull & checkin' the ride over for problems it was time to try - and after making a big deal about how "I might not make it up, don't worry", crossing my fingers & hoping I wasn't about to smoke the ehub or pop the four smoker I dropped her down into low/low range and...

...trucked right on up that hill like nobody's business, I didn't even pedal a stroke! Stunned I sat at the intersection at the top for a moment thinking "did that just happen?" & chuckling, shifted into cruse range & took off, still laughing to myself, my foolishness & what to all appearances seems like a successful build FTW

Not that the tinkerin' is over ofc, not by a long shot I'd just doubled width in rims, lightly wider wheelbase and while the results were amazing with no sidewall flex or rollover, I've still got to adjust the alignment as it's only eyeballed & I'm scrubbing, which makes it a lil twitchy, drags down my speed & wears the fronts - given that and my "testing phase" heeby-jeebys, not to mention this is the first tadpole recumbent, or any recumbent I've ever ridden, I didn't exceed 30mph... which again as it's just a 49cc four stroke really isn't bad at all (e assist konks out at about 25), she had more but I wasn't ready for that yet, time enough for speed tests after I weld my rear brake caliper mount on & sort the alignment.

Still, a good day indeed lol;

new rims: vs old:

Out n'about at last;


Sorry, no vids at all this time - although had the cam & tripod with me I was so preoccupied it just didn't happen, I'm sure ya'll understand heh
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:05 AM   #79 (permalink)
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Threw together a test ride vid, the original footage helped immensely with diagnostics;

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:55 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Are you using the engine or the motor for the footage? Looks like a lot of fun! I'm looking forward to your mileage numbers, and I hope you can build a equally great body shell.

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