Instructables
Picture of A bike for the desert and for the water
BBARide.JPG
BikeInProcess.JPG
     Last year I decided to go to Burning Man and knew I needed a bike.  Rather than decorate an existing bike I chose to make one that could fit two people and carry anything else I wanted with me.  Also important was durability, I wanted as few delicate parts as possible and to keep it as simple as possible.  As you will see this bike was very successful and I continued to use it around town for the last year.   Now this alone would make a complete subject for an instructable but why stop there?
 This summer I entered an art boat race and decided to make my big bike float.  With the help of a friend we made our team and retrofitted my bike so it can now ride on land and float in the water.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Gathering your base materials

Picture of Gathering your base materials
BBFrames.JPG
     The first step in building a bike like this is to collect lots of raw materials.  I spent about a month cruising junk yards and yard sales buying old bikes that I could use for the frame.  I decided to use bikes with 24 inch wheels because they are abundant and cheap.  I figured with the style of the bike the wheel size would not matter.  I stayed away from bikes with suspension forks and tried to get them with about the same frame size. 
      After I collected a half dozen bikes I picked four of them to use for the four corners of the big bike.  For the rear I made sure the rear triangle dimensions were as close as possible.  I tried to match the front as well.  The pictures show the four bikes I chose set on a chalk outline of the finished bike.  I figured out how much room I needed for the seat, and how big I wanted the bike to be.  I was limited by the dimensions of a sheet of plywood that I would be using for a roof rack.
Tater Zoid5 months ago

What an awesome project. I really liked how you were able to repurpose your bike after Burning Man.

Random23 (author) 1 year ago
Your welcome, thanks for looking.
Interesting design...i was looking into design and fabing a tricycle to have my 2 grandchildren be able to ride it together. thanks for some ideas.
Hi, love the project!! This is a bit random but i dont suppose you were at Secret Garden Party last week were you? Wish i had a welder to make one of these beauts!! Jim x
Random23 (author)  jmckenzie19882 years ago
No I was at the Rivertown Revival last weekend racing the bike. I use the term racing very loosly.
Chucknsc2 years ago
I love the design and the love I can see that went into the build. Ya see, I own a fully equipped machine and fabrication shop. And it's paid for,,,,Laugh Out Loud . However in 2008 I had to lay everyone off but me and the dog for lack of work. What I'm tying to get out is that sence that time I play ALOT, and one of my projects has been to figure howto put a blow up system on my 4wheelers so when riding I could just stop and turn a pump on to have a flotation device blow up all around or under the 4wheeler. I'm still working on the idea so any help could go a long way guys! LOL.

So if any of you could use my help please get in touch. I have CNC Mills, manual lathes, full weld and cut shop,andmy wife and friends think I'm a little crazy, but as all you guys who make things like this already know, a little crazy always helps,,,,
I'm in South Carolina, email = chucknsc@yahoo.com ,,, have a great one all!
Random23 (author)  Chucknsc2 years ago
Chuck,
That's a very generous offer to use your shop. The biggest hurdle for a project like this is the all important welder, cutter, grinder, and misc tools that just are not in most tool boxes. I am lucky to be able to use the shop at my work and it is very well stocked with all kinds of tools.

I think what you want to find for your ATV project are the inflatable pontoons that many Kinetic racers use in the Kinetic Grand Championship they hold in Humbolt county each year. http://kineticgrandchampionship.com/

There is a company up there that makes torpedo shaped pontoons. They are expensive but they pack down into the size of a small back pack. I don't know the name of the company but google can help you with a little looking. Otherwise you are forced to have something larger or detachable.

Good luck with the project and I hope work picks up for you in the future......but not so much that you don't have time to build something fun.

Daniel
madenairy2 years ago
im going to use this as a basis for a sort of runabout on the farm ware i work, weve got qwod bikes, thare stable state of existants is to be broken or about to be broken!, having sumthing like this wood be a good stand-by (moving a 1/2 ton of agricultural feed by hand from won billding to another thats 350 yds away isnt fun!) so thanx for this!

btw if thats your girlfriend, your a lucky man!
Random23 (author)  madenairy2 years ago
Thanks. Would love to see pics. The girl is my awesome burning man camp mate who went carousing with me when this pic was taken. She is smoking hot in her pleather suit.
IDThoris2 years ago
My son and I were just one step ahead of you in anticipation of what the next solution would be, until we got to the rudder/s. Genius! Good luck on the chain drive in the water, and a splendid Burning Man to all!
Adding drink holders? Wow - just when I thought it couldn't get any better! Thanks for this great job!
Random23 (author)  lovethebackwoods2 years ago
It needs them for those times when I need to steer and brake at the same time. Also with the cargo tray on it holds a small cooler.
Sweet! Glad you got it up here @ instructables.. now there will be MORE!! See ya in the dust! - Scotty C
Random23 (author)  sideshowdesign2 years ago
Definitly, more is better! I realized I don't have time to build a new trike this year so this bike is getting a makeover and will come back to the playa with me. I'll make a new canopy, cup holders, better pedels, and maybe even gears. It's gonna be a great year, 25 days till blast off.
Great idea, but the Floats? not so much, If there is a Next Time, you might try Finding a local John Deere dealer and Purchase 1 or 2 Rear tractor Tire Tubes ( if they still sell them) a Few good Hose-Clamps and a Tire pump (hand-pump)
The rest you can figure out. Think-Out-Riggers on a Canoe .
Random23 (author)  Quester552 years ago
Thinner pontoons would have been nice but we were going for the ideal budget of $0 so the barrels fit the bill nicely. Good idea on large tire tubes though.
chaitanyak2 years ago
nice detailed pics! thanks!
Random23 (author)  chaitanyak2 years ago
Thank you.
vmertsalov2 years ago
Thanks. Super. Будь здоров
Random23 (author)  vmertsalov2 years ago
Thank you
rhino2 years ago
You could leave off all the drive and braking components and make it work like Fred Flintstone.
Random23 (author)  rhino2 years ago
I do love my pedels.
prank2 years ago
yeah!
i bet this could be a cheap way to make something close to a car if you were to add an engine somewhere on it!
Random23 (author)  EngineerJakit2 years ago
I see it working well with a small electric motor and a few batteries on the cargo tray. It would also need better brakes.
mochimaster2 years ago
I love the idea, love the planning, and definitely love the result.

One question though: how practical are the plastic side barrels on land? I just hope it doesn't spoil any fun when on the road for the size. But–hey, who said this was a thing only designed for the road in the first place? It obviously ain't no civilized discreet chain and wheel vehicle– It's a 4 wheeler for innovative thrill-seekers who like to experience some fun adventuring elsewhere, most likely a little farther from the big cities. THAT'S when that bike becomes ultimately practical for any situation!

Random23 (author)  mochimaster2 years ago
The plastic barrels were not so good for land travel. The bottom support was only a few inches above the ground and so we scraped a lot if not on flat pavement. My plan now is to remove them and covert it back to a land only bike where it works best. It may even return to the playa with me next month. Thanks for the kind words.
you sir are awesome!
Random23 (author)  Trainman 20012 years ago
Thanks!
rimar20002 years ago
¡You are a master!
Random23 (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thanks, it was tons of fun.
Awesome! So So So cool!
Random23 (author)  audreyobscura2 years ago
Thanks
Absolutely fantastic! Sad to hear it didn't fare as well in water as it did on land, but it sounded like fun anyway. :P
Random23 (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks. Sometimes thats how things go and doing all this made me appreciate it as a bike more so I'll finish it up a bit and make it easier to use. Also add drink holders.