A Trike to Like

Smooth Ave

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My first encounter of pedals was a tricycle, what a wonderful machine. Well 60 years later, a few bucks, a few days and the cheap eBay trike shows up at the door. A couple of hours of assembly and the test ride. That unstable, tipsy, rough riding, torque steering, flimsy framed machine was far from any recollection of my last trike ride. It really wasn't that it was just a cheap eBay trike, it was more of a design problem. First the seat was too high and the rear axle was not rigid enough for this fat boy. Chop the seat post 4", add a couple of braces to the rear axle. Not so tipsy now. Still rough riding, still torque steering and twitchy. Well, whack off the front up tube, graft on a nearly complete 24" suspension Next bike to stretch the wheelbase 11". What a difference it made, just like 60 years ago, "what a wonderful machine". It really is a trike to like. Tell me what you think. Any and all ideas are appreciated. Where can we go next with this?
 

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indian22

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Flimsy, twitchy & unstable 'bout right for out of the box on most of these "adult" trikes. I like the way you've addressed the problems of wheel base, rigidity and height. Relocating the pedal bracket forward was a big plus as well.

Narrow track width is still an issue; an extra 6" in axle width along with additional stiffeners would make a world of difference in cornering. Looks as though your motor is as low as possible, so lowering your own weight is about what's left & for older guys that can be a big problem and why we don't typically ride "recliners" except while watching the tube at home!

If you leave it as is it's still a vast improvement over what you started with.

Rick C.
 
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Smooth Ave

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Thanks for the ideas. I have toyed with adding width to the rear axle, but suspect it would contribute to torque steer. Right now I look like those sidecar racers contorted and leaning low and tight into the curves, just hanging on and scared! What do you think about going from 24" rears to 20". Do you think it would be worth the effort. Any thoughts are certainly appreciated. Thanks
 
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allen standley

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My first encounter of pedals was a tricycle, what a wonderful machine. Well 60 years later, a few bucks, a few days and the cheap eBay trike shows up at the door. A couple of hours of assembly and the test ride. That unstable, tipsy, rough riding, torque steering, flimsy framed machine was far from any recollection of my last trike ride. It really wasn't that it was just a cheap eBay trike, it was more of a design problem. First the seat was too high and the rear axle was not rigid enough for this fat boy. Chop the seat post 4", add a couple of braces to the rear axle. Not so tipsy now. Still rough riding, still torque steering and twitchy. Well, whack off the front up tube, graft on a nearly complete 24" suspension Next bike to stretch the wheelbase 11". What a difference it made, just like 60 years ago, "what a wonderful machine". It really is a trike to like. Tell me what you think. Any and all ideas are appreciated. Where can we go next with this?
Yeah sounds about right for a Trike. Looks like a Great job, I like very much. Especially Like the old Ford behind it!
 

indian22

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Dropping the center of gravity even lower is a good idea if by lowering the axle height with 20 " tires doesn't put your motor too low for adequate ground clearance, the torque effect you're feeling is normal in all trikes driven from the two wheels, but when only one of these wheels is driven by the motor the very real torque effect felt is multiplied. A live axle style drive, like a go cart, both wheels driven; will lessen the torque effect, but introduce some increased tire drag & wear on cornering. Pedal side drive is also effected by the switch to a live axle. No free lunch . You could use an unlocked differential, yet that's not a practical option for most of our home built bike projects.

The frames on these trikes are so flimsy that even with a great deal of reinforcement the axle will flex and it's going to be quite noticeable to the rider.

It's impossible from viewing the single photo shown from one side what you've got going on, so I'm basing my comments on assumptions which may be quite wrong. If you are driving only one wheel with the motor then felt torque effect will increase if the axle width is increased, but actual cornering stability is improved with the added width, if your riding technique is correct, power off and brake early for corners, straighten the rig and power back on. Riding in a straight line & fighting torque to hold that line may not be as dangerous as cornering, but it is fatiguing to the rider and any added axle width will increase what you feel of the extra torque.

Trikes that are slammed to the ground along with the rider's position corner pretty well with power on, but for upright trikes power off during all cornering and go slow and then slow some more (even in straight running) is the best bet.

Hope some of this helps.

Rick C.
 
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Smooth Ave

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Thanks, I loved my tricycle as a kid, I am going to mod this one until I love it as much. It handles so much better than out of the box, stock. It is still a little twitchy as you approach 30mph slow before the turn and then accel into it. I'm old but I love WOT. I have an accumulation of broken wrist pin clips and junk cylinders to prove it. If ya can't go fast..stay home and knit socks. I will try and get some better pics. Yeah the old Ford is my daily driver. Thanks for the encouragement.
 

Smooth Ave

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IMG_20190513_083613723.jpg IMG_20190513_083515735.jpg A couple of pics here, the outriggers from the be seat post out to the axle ends give it a lot of rigidity. They are welded at the seat post and clamped at the axle. The other pic is the China girl tucked up between the chain stays. It fits in there like it was made for it. The ground clearance to the engine is at 5" now. I guess it would be at 3" with the 20" wheels, probably not enough for our rough roads, may have to widen the axle. Thanks for the encouragement.
 

indian22

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I think the extra axle width 6" or so would really help the stability. Run a skid plate for insurance if you try 20" tires on it

Rick C.
 
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curtisfox

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I think the extra axle width 6" or so would really help the stability. Run a skid plate for insurance if you try 20" tires on it

Rick C.
Agree! And the best would be a differential, turns both wheels at same time, yet gives in the corners. The center drive like your bike, but also can disk brake on other end to brake both wheels at once also. http://www.staton-inc.com/store/index.php?p=product&id=184
But no need to go with 20" wheels, if you just get it wide, old Orient trike had 28" or 30" wheels, and the used to race them. Of coarse the big old motor gave it a lot of baldest and low center of gravity. LOL!
https://www.google.com/search?q=old...4KHQHwBuUQ9QEwAnoECAgQCA#imgrc=1OCLZFPY9_T6qM:
 

indian22

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Great photos Curtis, and it shows how much lean is involved in the corners under speed. Center of gravity on those trikes is still quite high with the tall upright position of the rider, but I like the way they look & to me a trike is better suited to a leisurely pace. The upright design isn't even close to ideal for racing.

Rick C.
 
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Smooth Ave

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IMG_20190515_133621041_HDR.jpg That is a 66, it was a Texas truck. My friend Leo bought it about 30 years ago and parked it behind his shop in Marion IA. I bought it 4 years ago. Mr Leo helped me go through it before I retired. It and a flock of motorised bicycles are my transportation. Thanks for asking. Riding WOT or I will stay home and knit socks.
 

Smooth Ave

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I certainly agree with what you just said. That is what makes this forum so rewarding. Like minded people comming together to advance our ideas of how to keep noses, knees, elbows and asphalt separated, all the while going as fast as we can.
 

FOG

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Hard to beat them old Ford trucks and I say that because I'm the 3rd owner of a 65 F250. My Dad bought it from a Brother Elk who bought it new and then gave it to me in the mid-90's. It's a keeper.

Ya wouldn't believe it, and you guys are probably gonna think I'm nuts, but there's no BS on this one. That old truck had the same battery in it for 27 years. I got the receipt in the glovebox from when my Dad replaced it in 1990. I can prove it! It lasted until 2017 when I got tired of jumping it.

Try that with a modern vehicle.
 

indian22

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Was it an "Interstate" replacement battery? Or perhaps a Sears? I'm a big fan of old Ford trucks...

Rick C.