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Old 08-18-2013, 06:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Reverse Trike Build Log

Hey guys my name is Dave, I have been active in the electric bicycle scene ever since, well ever since I lost my license. The need for an alternative source of transportation has led me to some profoundly different thinking in my approach to living an independent lifestyle. Screw you California DMV! Haha, sorry had to get that out before I could go on.

Anyway, here I am 50 miles away from work and the ol' CBR600 is no longer an ideal solution to my commuting needs (and electric bikes are definately out). I like the reverse trike platform for ultimate efficiency and DMV compliance.

While the Vetter fairing bmotorbikes and the AeroCivic have their place, I just can't see myself climbing in one. I want something more like an Aptera, I want airplane and motorcycle all in one. I want people to look at it and be jealous (like when I split lanes in bumper to bumper traffic). You will never change the hearts and minds of the people if they see it and laugh at you. This is not just to save money, otherwise I would get a Honda Civic VX and be done with it. I want something that turns heads and inspires at the same time. The HyperRocket does this. No need to backpedal, he nailed everything I want in that very clean and proven design.

The purpose of this thread is to share my findings and share my experience with others that might be attempting the same path. I will be making molds with sandable foam for the body, I will use an airplane canopy for the cockpit, the frame around the passenger compartment and front steering will be made from a 4 wheel quad frame and suspension (everything is there, just cut it down the middle and widen). I will use a wrecked 600cc motorcycle for the VIN, motor, and rear end. So in essence, I am taking an airplane, shoving a quad under the front and stuffing a motorcycle in the back.

I welcome any experience or research any fellow ecomodders bring to the table. Please, nitpick my plans here and now, so that together we can get a plan going that all can be happy with the end result.

My budget for the build:

CL quad $250
wrecked CBR 600 $500
Fiberglass body $750
Canopy $500 (?)
Misc Hardware $1500
Building your own vehicle $priceless

I am taking inspiration from the Edison2, HyperRocket, Aptera, T-Rex, and various other streamliners scene here and elsewhere.

Thanks for your comments.

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Old 08-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't think you'll be splitting lanes with a 3 wheeler. You can ride a motorcycle without a license? (legally I mean)

I was going to do a 3 wheeler once upon a time, but abandoned the idea after realizing that with the front end needing to be wider, the steering geometry of the quad front end would be off and make for too much wheel scrubbing. That, and I didn't have the technical skill (nor time or money) to reliably correct that. (and I still don't )

I'm doing a Vetter fairing for my Honda Reflex scooter. (slowly, but surely). Kind of funny you mention airplanes. A neighbor out walking his dog could no longer overcome his curiosity and finally approached me one day to ask what I was building. When I told him, he kind of chuckled and told me that he thought I was building an airplane.

BTW, I met the guy that built the HyperRocket at a gas station to deliver some quad mag wheels with car tires mounted that he bought from me. He used them on the front of the HyperRocket and some other time used motorcycle wheels and tires up front for better fuel economy. (less wheel scrubbing with the narrower MC wheels and tires)

Good luck with your project. keep us posted. Maybe I'll see what could have been....
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the encouragement Stilleto.

I am not familiar with the "scrubbing" effect you are talking about, if you could enlighten me further...

I am planning on mounting motorcycle tires and rims on all tires for rolling resistance savings.

I am also planning on putting a reverse gear on it by means of an electric motor, similar to what the buggy guys do when they install a motorcycle motor in thier buggies.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If you start with this: Piaggio Scooters :: Scooters :: Listing available models
you'll be halfway already.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like a plan

All I've got to contribute is some experience with repurposeing front end assemblies, something you may well already have experience with... but I'll go ahead & babble anyway lol

A four wheeler front end, ie the a arms, shocks & mounts/section of chassis is a great way to go, provided you're in roughly the same weight range it's almost plug n'play. The snags are straightforward - you'll very much want to go with a dual a arm assembly despite the weight penalty as they'll not increase their negative camber angle under compression as singles do, which can lead to some handling issues with the greater speed & traction pavement provides.

You'll most likely want to construct/convert to spindles capable of accepting motorcycle wheels/rims with a reduced width as most four wheelers have a comparatively massive footprint, leading to part of the scrubbing Stilleto was referring to, where the tires are fighting each other and/or themselves, the inner & outer traveling at different rates & skidding a bit, much like a tight turn with a posi rear.

Then again, wheel width & size is often a matter of preference, so that's your call lol

The steering box ratio likely won't be what you'll want for street use (sensitive/twitchy) but there's a plethora of boxes & ratios to choose from, just be sure to not change the geometry of your tie rods as if it's not correct you'll get changes in steering under compression again, this time in toe (more scrubbing).

Other than any modification you may wish/need to do in wheelbase width (turn stability) the only other major point is altering your ackerman steering compensation to account for your new wheelbase length (scrubbing yet again heh), which admittedly if you've not dealt w/it before seems complicated - but really isn't as the pic illustrates;

This is what remains of a chopped & dropped 'Yerf Dog' go kart front end on my taddy for example;

Hope that was of some help, "recycling" a front end like this is defo the way to go as you can skip a lot of tricky math & experimentation & best yet, you'll have readily available replacement parts if/when you need 'em.

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The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to BarelyAWake For This Useful Post:
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