Indian Tadpole

Discussion in 'Motorized Tandems, Trikes and Recumbent Bicycles' started by silverbear, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I wanted to share this photo and also some thoughts about a convertible tadpole I've been thinking about. The photo was sent to me by fasteddy of sidecar fame and we've each been been talking about building something in the same spirit... vintage, early motorcycle look powered by a 5 horse Briggs & Stratton engine. I've also been talking to BarelyAWake and though it best to stop high jacking his build thread and give this subject it's own. I said to him yesterday...
    "The thought rolling around in my head is of a convertible early days looking cruiser... straightbar frame like a Panther or your Rollfast... with a 5 hsp briggs motor all set up as a two wheeler, but with a convertible feature where at the front fork tube the fork comes out and a tadpole front end goes in in it's place making it a three wheeler. I'm over simplifying and it would need more tie in to the frame of the bike, but you get the idea. Actually a convertible in three ways. A stand alone two wheeler, a detachable canoe sidecar to fit on to it or with the different front end a tadpole with the sidecar body now on a two wheeled trailer pulled behind. (The dog has to have her ride). Something to think about. The ultimate geezer 3 in 1 ride. Sigh...
    Your dream machine inspires others to dream, too. That's a good thing, my friend, to inspire dreams. It makes the world a better place.
    SB"
    And this morning...
    "Don't mean to highjack your thread, Barely, just want to talk a little about tadpoles, kind of like hanging out while you're working on your project and shooting the breeze about related stuff. The picture is something Fasteddy shared with me as he's gimpy, too, and for that reason we share an interest in sidecars, three wheelers, etc. I don't know where he found it, but I think that bike is just beautiful and can't stop thinking about it. So I'm seeing a panther frame, a five horse Briggs with a kick start, nice cream tires like that and handmade wheels. So while you're lying on the floor turning wrenches give some daydream time to that tadpole front end in the picture and whether or not I'm nuts for thinking of a convertible bike. Some other time we can talk about it maybe.
    SB"
    So I thought I'd share this with everyone, if nothing else for the cool picture of a three wheeled Indian. If this catches your interest, lets talk about it some. I'm thinking to do a Briggs build over the next year or two as a slow, long term project of my conception of the ultimate bike. I'd like to share ideas about that tadpole front end... suspension, brakes and such.
    SB
     

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  2. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    IHMO that thing looks very unstable. It looks like it steers like a wagon whereas a tadpole steers like a car and it has a high center of gravity. It would probably be o.k. at LOW speeds. a tadpole could be built with an upright seat and a little higher than normal. Take a look at these pages.
    http://www.fleettrikes.com/ and http://www.ihpva.org/projects/tstrike/home.htm
     
    #2 Elmo, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  3. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Hey Elmo,
    I don't want to build a recumbent, but I am interested in a three wheeler. Do you think then that two wheels in back would be better? I had been thinking the two up front might be more stable at turns. I understand about lower speed and I know it doesn't make much sense with a 5 hsp motor, but I love the look of the briggs builds and am thinking of one bike that I can use in different ways as I get older. Right now I'm good on two wheels and I may be for some years yet. If the paralysis in my feet and legs gets worse then I may need either a sidecar or three wheeler and understand that either one suggests lower speed. I'm no speed demon anyway, but I do like power even if I don't have to use it other than on hills and such.
    I like what Barely is doing with his recumbent and it fits him, but I'd never be able to climb out of that bike and I like sitting upright so I can look around. Is there a way to both sit upright and be able to change the steering on that Indian in the picture to make it turn better? Thanks for your thoughts on this, bud.
    SB
     
  4. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    I am sure that making the front wheels steerable could be done but it would take a lot of design and fabrication. It is probable that someone has already done this and posted it on the web somewhere as there is very little that hasn't been done by someone somewhere.

    The reason that I sent one of the links was that there was a tadpole on one that is pretty upright and could be built more upright. Pic below. http://www.ihpva.org/Projects/tstrike/trike3.htm It might still be too hard to mount and dismount though. Keep dreaming and looking and you will find or build what you are looking for.
     

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    #4 Elmo, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  5. 2door

    2door Moderator

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    Unstable or not, that is one cool looking old trike. Even if all you did was poke around at 10 to 15 mph, it would be neat. A leather flying helmet and goggles would just top it off. Thanks for sharing that with us, Silver B.
    Tom
     
  6. Cogswelln

    Cogswelln New Member

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    i have a trike with the two in back in turns i dont have any issues honestly. of course i do slow down for them just to make sure of it. I am definitely interested in seeing one like that indian and seeing how it handles.
     
  7. buzbikebklyn1

    buzbikebklyn1 New Member

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    Love the "hammer head" design, very nice ride.
     
  8. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    #8 Elmo, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  9. fasteddy

    fasteddy Active Member

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    I found the Indian reverse trike while cruising the internet one night at Moped Army Indian Tadople Triped. All there was was the photo and a brief write up about where they found it.
    Anyone building this bike and looking for speed {over 20} is going to be very disappointed or badly hurt. This is not Death Race material or you may give the name more meaning. This is one of those, look what I can do, I have one and you don't, builds that is ridden and enjoyed for the pure pleasure of showing people what can be done.

    Elmo, I agree that a tadpole trike is a great ride. Silver bear and I were joking a while ago when BarelyAwake first told us about his build that it would be ticket worthy to see us getting in and out of one. Also for those of us who are interested in historic style build, a tadpole trike holds little interest unless we need a commuter bike and then they can't be beaten for saftety and comfort.
    As for speed,when you've driven a car that the rear end breaks loose and sends you sideways when you shift into 4th at 100 mph {1969 Chevelle SS 396/375hp/4speed} you have had all you need of speed.

    As I said to Silverbear when we were talking about what would be our fantasy build, mine is a Sportscar Pat frame and oil tank with an Indian style gas tank for the look and a 1920's/30's Brigg and Stratton motor with Worksman drum brakes or maybe caliper brakes. Going is great but stopping can't be over rated. Creme tires and go-kart steering for the front. Just have to wait for my budget to catch up to the dream. Damned budgets. Always in the way of genius.

    Steve.
     
    #9 fasteddy, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010
  10. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    Steve years ago I owned a 66 Chevy II with a 327 that I built to over 400 HP so I know what you are talking about. And I understand the difficulty some would have getting into and out of a recumbent tadpole like mine. The last link that I posted is for an upright tadpole. I thought it may give some ideas on steering linkage and so on. That site has some interesting trikes.
     
  11. fasteddy

    fasteddy Active Member

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    Elmo, your ChevyII was one of my favorite cars of that era.
    Went over the trike pages that you posted again and they do indeed show the steering right up close. That helps for any 3 wheeler your building. I would love to build a tadpole with a body as 2 of the photos showed. As KiM/Aussie Jester shows on his e-bike build, he has helper wheels that come down to support the bike when he stops. With a recumbent I would have the same idea to lift the seat up to sort of "dump" me on to my feet so I didn't have to struggle to get out of it. Really starting to like the tadpole idea.
    With BarleyAwakes gas and electric bike and a body because it would just be fun to build, the bike world would be ready for someone slowed up by age or mild physical problems. Adjustable pedal hight would be a help too.
    Now I'll have to live to a 110 to build them all darn it. And a lottery win wouldn't hurt.

    Steve.
     
  12. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    Take your convertible thought one step further, make a front end with skis on it, that would be kinda cool in the snow if you could find a tire that would grab. Now instead of getting funny looks from motorcyclist you could get funny looks from snowmobilers.
     
  13. fasteddy

    fasteddy Active Member

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    ferball, having lived in Concord, Boscowen and North Conway that would be a perfect idea for your area if not a down right need. My son lives in Deering and I'll suggest it to him..
    Myself I prefer to live in an area where they put a snowmobile suit on when it hits 50 degrees.

    Steve.
     
  14. curtisfox

    curtisfox Active Member

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    I think you should take a closer look Steve sent me that picture and there is tierod and spindles up front so it does stear like a car.
    It would be one awesome build with 5hp Briggs. I cant waite to see it if you build it.
     
  15. Elmo

    Elmo New Member

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    My bad you are right. It does appear to have spindles so I would think that it would not be unstable as I said.
     
  16. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    The exchange of info & ideas in this thread is awesome! Without a doubt in my mind I gotta say that somethin' sweet is developing here... but I gotta agree w/Steve lol

     
  17. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    What a lot of great and helpful responses. For awhile there I was thinking maybe it was cool looking, but not practical. Now I'm back to thinking this is possible and something I want to pursue. I hope others do builds along this line, too, so that we can learn from each other as we go.
    I'm also really liking the concept of a convertible core bike which can be altered to suit different situations and needs. Ferball's idea of skis up front is thought provoking. I can see skis from a kid sized snowmobile built so that all you do is change the front fork. A rear tire with studs just for snow and ice conditions would be perfect. I recall someone using zip ties successfully (like tire chains on a car) to give more traction. Boy, would that be fun!
    Having a core bike with a bullet proof engine and drive system, strong frame and wheels would be the first stage and no small endeavor. But then it is something to add to in coming years without all the expense of another whole build doing frame, engine, etc. all over again. Build the bike, then the sidecar and frame. Then the two wheeled front end. And yes, skis for winter riding. If a person had an interest in a four wheeler you could have a removable trike kit rear end. Four wheeler doesn't interest me a whole lot as I don't know where I'd be able to legally ride it. But for someone it might be a cool thing.
    But back to the original photo and idea of two wheels up front on a vintage cruiser. We need for some smart people to figure out a convertible tadpole front end with good steering and maybe even some kind of suspension. I'm not clever or knowledgeable enough to design something that would work well. But some of you guys are. As thoughts and ideas come to you, lets share them to see if we can make this work.
    SB
     
  18. curtisfox

    curtisfox Active Member

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    You guys are getting me stired up I might have to abandend and change plans to this??
    I keep looking and the spindles seem to be toller on top as if there is a smll coil spring on top of the spindles. Thats what I would do.
    Some were in the forum someone posted a picture of a bike with a track that fit the rear wheel it had a small boggy type wheel behind it, that and the skies???
     
  19. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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  20. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    For a potential front suspension, I stumbled over this simple yet effective setup that although it's a recumbent pictured - I thought it sorta well-suited for "blending" into an upright vintage design...

    [​IMG]
    More pics here: Pictures by JulianEdgar - Photobucket (last page)

    While the "small coil spring" in the Indian pic is simpler still, a large chunk of channel/C stock with two holes, a sideways "T" - being your spindle & a vertical shaft w/the spring around it... it's old school alright, some gokarts & whatnot still use it - & it's pretty rough. It'd be easy to replicate and would be "period" tho...
     
    #20 BarelyAWake, Dec 4, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

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