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Thread: Homebuilt trike

  1. #1
    Certified Non-Voter wernmax's Avatar
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    Homebuilt trike

    I did this trike last summer. Don't know why, just figured there has to be some car alternative for short trips and grocery runs.

    Used the chrystalite Racer hub, 48V 50 amp controller, for 2500 watts, but could easily (and cheaper) be scaled down to 700 watt range.

    60' of 1 1/4" mild steel tubing makes it weigh in about 150lbs. Built it less than 32" from outer hub nut to outer hub nut to fit into 36" doors, but that makes it pretty tippy. Has three different bikes incorporated into one. Uses independent rear suspension. 48V 10amps of Dewalt A123 batteries.

    Rides nice and smooth, been up past 35mph, 15 mile range on just batteries.

    At 10' long, probably not real "cop inconspicuous" on the road. Right at $3,000 invested so far. This was the prototype for next version, just to see if it works. Still unpainted.

    Working on a fully enclosed version, with heat.
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    Last edited by wernmax; 07-28-08 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Recumbent Trike countersTrike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wernmax View Post

    60' of 1 1/4" mild steel tubing makes it weigh in about 150lbs. Built it less than 32" from outer hub nut to outer hub nut to fit into 36" doors, but that makes it pretty tippy. Has three different bikes incorporated into one. Uses independent rear suspension. 48V 10amps of Dewalt A123 batteries.

    Rides nice and smooth, been up past 35mph, 15 mile range on just batteries.

    At 10' long, probably not real "cop inconspicuous" on the road. Right at $3,000 invested so far. This was the prototype for next version, just to see if it works. Still unpainted.

    Working on a fully enclosed version, with heat.
    That independent suspension looks great! I never considered the washboard streets around here; kept mine right around 110 lbs.- no suspension but I just got fatter tires & thick seat foam.

  3. #3
    Certified Non-Voter wernmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countersTrike View Post
    That independent suspension looks great! I never considered the washboard streets around here; kept mine right around 110 lbs.- no suspension but I just got fatter tires & thick seat foam.
    I like yours, I've seen it in various pictures, was one of the first trikes I checked out when I first came to BF.

    I'm planing to build the next three wheeler with an external tubular frame, kind of "dune buggy" like with clear polycarbonate panels in between, to form a shell. I need something more "carlike", for the winters around here, since I quit driving in 1996, plus I think if any cager is going to except any alternative to their cars, it will have to be more like a car, than a bike, in form and function.

    I've also seen the Twikes, and all the variations.
    Last edited by wernmax; 07-28-08 at 11:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wernmax View Post
    I did this trike last summer. Don't know why, just figured there has to be some car alternative for short trips and grocery runs.

    Used the chrystalite Racer hub, 48V 50 amp controller, for 2500 watts, but could easily (and cheaper) be scaled down to 700 watt range.

    60' of 1 1/4" mild steel tubing makes it weigh in about 150lbs. Built it less than 32" from outer hub nut to outer hub nut to fit into 36" doors, but that makes it pretty tippy. Has three different bikes incorporated into one. Uses independent rear suspension. 48V 10amps of Dewalt A123 batteries.

    Rides nice and smooth, been up past 35mph, 15 mile range on just batteries.

    At 10' long, probably not real "cop inconspicuous" on the road. Right at $3,000 invested so far. This was the prototype for next version, just to see if it works. Still unpainted.

    Working on a fully enclosed version, with heat.

    Great work
    I have been thinking of a trike and my ideas are close to what you have already done, Darn!
    The Rear Independent Suspension was something I wanted to do, Could you
    elaberate on how those springs and the wheels preform (is there in any lateral movement issues?)

    Neil
    (I'm jealous)
    Nice Work

  5. #5
    Certified Non-Voter wernmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Fraedrich View Post
    Great work
    I have been thinking of a trike and my ideas are close to what you have already done, Darn!
    The Rear Independent Suspension was something I wanted to do, Could you
    elaberate on how those springs and the wheels preform (is there in any lateral movement issues?)

    Thanks Neil.

    There is only a little lateral movement, almost unnoticeable.

    The bigger issue is the kind of shocks they are. Just springs instead of actual oil dampened shocks, so it's kind of springy, which if you hit the right bumps at the right speed, can be a problem. I found small go-cart versions for the next proto.

    Also you would want some kind of sway bar arrangement, but I canted the wheels in a bit, which really helps in cornering.

    This is a terrible picture, need a camera that can do Macro, but this is a rough idea of my next build. I want wider, shorter in length, enclosed tubing frame, lighter overall, non-independent rear suspension. And a locking, waterproof, trunk.
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    Last edited by wernmax; 08-05-08 at 06:43 PM.

  6. #6
    Faith-Vigilance-Service Patriot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wernmax View Post
    Thanks Neil.

    There is only a little lateral movement, almost unnoticeable.

    The bigger issue is the kind of shocks they are. Just springs instead of actual oil dampened shocks, so it's kind of springy, which if you hit the right bumps at the right speed, can be a problem. I found small go-cart versions for the next proto.

    Also you would want some kind of sway bar arrangement, but I canted the wheels in a bit, which really helps in cornering.

    This is a terrible picture, need a camera that can do Macro, but this is a rough idea of my next build. I want wider, shorter in length, enclosed tubing frame, lighter overall, non-independent rear suspension. And a locking, waterproof, trunk.
    I know this sounds a bit crazy, but for your next project, it would be nice if you had the extra money to get ahold of some carbon fiber tubing, and a bunch of cloth to make your own lugs. Imagine how much lighter, and faster it would be. Heck, even using steel piping to make lugs, then epoxy the CF tubing into the lugs would drop the weight by a good 50lbs or more. One step at a time, I guess.

    Overall, your project looks quite innovative.
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  7. #7
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    looks like it weight a ton! how much DOES it weigh?

  8. #8
    Certified Non-Voter wernmax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patriot View Post
    I know this sounds a bit crazy, but for your next project, it would be nice if you had the extra money to get ahold of some carbon fiber tubing, and a bunch of cloth to make your own lugs. Imagine how much lighter, and faster it would be. Heck, even using steel piping to make lugs, then epoxy the CF
    Doesn't sound crazy at all.

    I considered mocking up the whole body out of tubes of foam and then CF wrapping it all for a nice monoquoce approach.

    But still, the main weight problems are...

    1) Motor - 25 lbs
    2) Batteries - 20 or more lbs
    3) That plastic seat - 20 lbs
    4) Wheels, tires, metal running gear - 40 lbs
    5) Me, at 215 lbs

    I'd guess the actual frame at about 40 to 50 lbs of 1 1/4" .090 mild steel tubing, which I chose because you can bend it by hand with large electrical conduit benders, and because it Mig welds so easy.

    The body weight starts to be the least of the overall weight problem.

    Now I figure if you have to carry the weight of the frame, you may as well move it to the outside, and around you, where it might do some good in the event of a bike/anything encounter.

    Btw, 1 hp is the measure of work it takes to lift 100lbs straight up against gravity 330' in one minute, and 740 watts of power for one minute is 1 hp. 740 watts at 36 volts requires 20.5 amps to flow, or about 15 amps at 48 volts.

    Battery pack is 48 volt, 11 amp hr, for about 500 watt/hrs. I open up 10 cell DeWalt 36 volt Li-Fe packs and cut them into 4 cell 12 volt packs. Bought 4 LiFe 12v chargers to complete the package.

    You do not want to short one of these cells. Lots of smoke and tea-kettle noises involved.
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    Last edited by wernmax; 08-07-08 at 03:43 PM.

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    That looks fun!!

  10. #10
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    Wernmax, you did a great job with this trike. You are very creative and I also like what you did to to get independent suspension in the rear wheels. I have been working on an experimental etrike conversion as well because like you, I find the common rigid trike to be horribly dangerous from a tipping standpoint. Here is a photo of the experimental unit from a clean tech expo we exhibited at last November.
    trikeatexpo2.jpg
    Since we will have plenty of on board power, I would like to install a gyroscope/accelerometer control to keep the rider stable at all times. It should be a fairly doable control since I know many have done it with Arduino circuitry.
    I hope with can find a kind hearted individual or group that will take on this part of the experiment.
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    califronia-ebike.com

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