Recently I showed this adaption of a motorized bicycle pickup truck to some friends at
church. Some of the missionary outreach people were immediately engrossed with it
seeing it as solution for the needs of a community in Peru that they are active in. The only
thing I don't like about the design is the motor placement and long sprocket chain to the pedals.
Would the villagers be able to maintain it to keep it dependable. I'd rather have a friction drive
motor over the front wheel that has enough power to move it along with a load. (I don't believe
motor displacement or hp will be a problem where they are wanting to deliver some of these)
Some other solutions for assisting with bulk transportation of farm produce in third world areas
would be the powered wagon which would use a drive similar to what trikes use. A 4 cycle
motor would set where the X is located and a centrifugal clutch would drive the trailer. The
throttle cable and kill switch would reach the seat post thru the trailer tongue and mount near
the seat. Ideally a seat safety switch where you have to be seated to complete the circut
would serve as the kill switch. In emergency the opperator could stand up on the pedals to lift
up off the seat and kill the motor) This would only require a bicycle without any other
modifications in order to haul some freight. Sketched is only the base frame but a plywood box
would mount to it with a shroud to enclose the motor. The right front corner would have openings
to vent outside air over the motor much like an RV uses for it's aux generator.
If you remember the "mini bikes" with the Briggs & Stratton engines then this propulsion unit could
answer some needs. It's from Dran'n'fly.org But if people had servicable bikes then these motor
units could be made available. I could see using a cylindrical fuel tank above the rear wheel where
the gas cap is on the opposite side of the motor's exhaust. This would leave the top of the frame
ready for a larger open basket so small units of produce or freight could be carried. Even a cooler
with fresh fish & seafood, or meds that require refrigeration. But in the trailer and Drag'n'fly
power units a 4 cycle motor could be used that has a readily available parts and service outlets available in that part of the world.
I'm guessing that in a third world environment that the Dran'n'fly concept would be the most viable.
Those with regular bikes could get around by peddling or using a Chinese frame mount motor. If they
had a standard bike these trailers or minibike basket units could be available, or for rent like the U-Haul trailers. With a safety seat cover that contains the kill switch and a clamp on throttle lever the units could offer a solution to the occasional need for bulk transportation of items too heavy for
their personal transportation but yet too small for commercial truck freight delivery.
But yes, I've given this some thought too.