Introduction: Motorized Drift Trike!!!

Picture of Motorized Drift Trike!!!
This is my first Instructable

If you haven't heard of the new craze called drift triking then you are missing out!

A drift trike consists of a tricycle with a pneumatic front wheel and hard plastic rear wheels.

The front wheel can have a freewheeling crank or foot pegs

Original Drift Triking

If you you like this instructable please vote for me in both "Make It Move Challenge" and the "Toy Challenge"

Step 1: History

Picture of History

Drift Trikes are tricycles that have slick rear wheels, normally made from a hard plastic material. They are usually ridden on paved roads with a steep downhill gradient and some corners. Smooth roads are preferred to coarse chip sealed road as coarse surfaces tend to wear rear wheels faster.

Riders gather momentum through gravity, although some drift trikes have pedals. Pedals are useful for slow speed riding, but are of no use at high speed. Drift trikes can reach speeds of up to 90km/h, but the normal operating speed is between 25 and 65km/h.

Drift trikes have come along way, one of the first mass produced trike was the Huffy slider as pictured.

Many people upgrade huffy sliders where as some build them from scratch. In this instructable I will be using the front end from the slider and building a bolt on MOTORIZED rear end.

Most of the parts can be bought bought from the hardware and the rest from eBay.

Step 2: Part List

I have split the parts up into where I bought them


1x     m16 threaded rod (Found with the nuts and bolts usually, length is approx 1m
10x   m16 nuts
2x     1m lengths of 30x30mm steel stock
1x     1m length of 20mm steel angle

Various nuts and bolts


1x 49cc pocket bike engine with clutch (eBay) known as a cag engine
1x Pocket bike muffler
1x 7 tooth pinion 25h
1x 62 tooth sprocket 25h
1x 25h chain 


Bearing store 2x 16mm pillow block bearings

I was able to find some things around the house including fuel tank, fuel line and chain tensioner

Step 3: Rear Frame

Picture of Rear Frame

The rear frame is made from the 30x30 steel stock welded together in a very basic shape.

(This was my first time welding and I managed)

The measurements shown are what I did, they can easily be changed to meet your requirements.

Step 4: Axle Setup

Picture of Axle Setup

The axle (threaded rod) was mounted to the frame through 2 pillow block bearings.

My bearings had mounting holes 80mm apart and were centred on the frame.

Once these are bolted on, the axle can be mounted

I went with the configuration of

m16 nut, m16 nut, wheel, m16 nut, PILLOW BLOCK, m16 nut, space  m16 nut, wheel hub, sprocket, wheel hub, m16 nut, space , m16 nut, PILLOW BLOCK, m16 nut, wheel, m16 nut, m16 nut,

Step 5: Engine Mounting/alignment

Picture of Engine Mounting/alignment

All engines will have a different mounting pattern but the same technique can be used

I used angle iron as seen in the diagram and cut 30mm off each end from one surface so it would sit on the frame.

I approximated the alignment and

Clamped, tacked, welded

Later on when adding the chain, the sprocket can be finely adjusted into alignment by moving the nuts up/down the thread.

Step 6: Wheel Setup

Picture of Wheel Setup

The wheels used were 10 inch in diameter and had a 16mm bore.

They were fixed to the axle by clamping down nuts on either side EXTREMELY HARD.

Wheel Sleeves

To be able to drift, the rubber wheels must be sleeved in plastic

at first I was unable to find PVC that suited so I was originally using huffy slider wheels cut open.

I then picked up an off cut of 225mm PVC for $30 which is a LOT slipperier.

How to get sleeves on wheels

1. Deflate wheels
2. Force sleeve over tire (Use tire leavers, flat screw drivers ect)
3. Inflate tire

Cutting Sleeves

In my opinion, the best way of cutting sleeves is using an angle grinder.

1. Clamp angle grinder to bench
2. Stand PVC up and feed through cutting blade
(see picture)


Step 7: Other Bits and Pieces


Cut chain to size, I did not have a chain break but did have a joiner link so I got away with using and angle grinder to grind the head of the pin off and rejoining it with the joining link.


Chain is run over sprockets and joined, using spanners, fine tune the alignment by moving the sprocket over to straighten the path of the chain

Chain Tensioner

A basic bike chain tensioner was welded in alignment with the chain and can be slid up and down to ajust chain tension.


Exhaust was bought online and developed more power and sounded a LOT better

Fuel Tank

The fuel tank in the picture is a drink bottle which I do not recommend as it is not rated for fuel.

It has since been changed to a lawnmower tank I got for free from a mower shop

Throttle Control

I used a standard throttle cable hooked up to a brake lever on the right hand side of the handlebars. I found this better than twist throttle due to the amount of turning you do and how this affects the throttle.

Step 8: Finished Product

Picture of Finished Product
Overall, the project was a success but has some flaws.

It tops out at 40km/h which feels really fast on a kids tricycle.

If I was to redo it, I would user heavier duty sprocket/chain combos and would build it in a cleaner matter.

It works really well! and is extremely fun!

The video below does not do it justice! Being on it, drifting and holding corners is a huge thrill. 

I will upload a properly edited video when I have time but I rushed this instructable as I wanted to enter it in 2 competitions

If you are unsure of ANYTHING, ask and I will answer

Please follow and vote for me in both contests "Make It Move Challenge" and "Toy Challenge


CameronP31 (author)2017-06-28

What tools were needed to make this?

I have none at home so a list of everything I need would be great.

Thanks in advance

ianbobick22 (author)2016-12-27

Is it possible to use a 5/8in bore bearing instead of 16mm and go 5/8 with rod and nuts?

MWDI made it! (author)2016-09-01

here is my trike.. hvy duty front forks, 225 cc engine piston rod and crank upgrade, aluminum flywheel. adjustable seat mikuni race carb, jetted 34 mm wet clutch pillow block bearings and a 51 tooth sprocket. throttle cable thru frame rear brake hyd line thru frame. upgrading axel to minimum slip and adding 2 more pillow block bearings to the axel to bolster the diff housing. i may use a comet torque converter for a test period see how it affects performance. the trile is crazy fast and has more than enough power. its redline is approx 6000rpm +/- some springer forks i want to get for front end upgrade, give it old school look and a trike i started building last weekend. the large down tube is there to help hold profile and frame level. it will be entirely constructed from 304 vstainless steel schedule 40 tubing. a bit heavy i get it but with a loncin 250 2 stroke 5 speed motor cycle engine im not a bit worried. if you want link contact me

coolblockx (author)2016-07-17

so u think that that is cool do this design but with a a predator 212cc 6.5hp engine and get a sprocket that will work for a predator 212, it drifts faster it goes faster u get up to speed faster and the speed is higher when u drift its fun

JacobY6 (author)2016-03-07

How does the sprocket attach to the axle?

HeinzD2 made it! (author)2016-02-24

check out my video of us the weekend playing around getting ready for the streets


Im also doing something with a scooter ill post what i have but ill post all when im done keep checking for more I THINK A SCOOTER WOULD MAKE AN AWSOME DRIFT TRIKE

Billyjobob8 (author)2016-01-23

I want to build one it is awesome

guitarshredder19 (author)2015-08-18
Littlebear20 (author)2015-08-10

All I can get my hands on is a 1 hp electric motor. Is this enough?

jvoutselas (author)2015-05-15

This is really cool do u think you could do more motorized things like a snowblower engine powered go cart?

Rockstar energy (author)2015-03-18

I made me a good ol 'Berta rigged up drift trike rock star energy decals and paint and a 160cc honda gx 5.5 horse and oh good lord she rips This is her without the engine rigged up

tpinga (author)2015-03-11

Here's my bad boys. Similar to yours but with Go Kart wheels instead of the tiny ones you're rocking.

spatching (author)2015-03-02

I'm having trouble finding a suitable sprocket with a 16mm shaft carrier, what did you use for this part please?

DanielC17 (author)2015-03-01

can we buy one

motor_mad (author)2015-02-27

where did u get the engine bracket or what did you youse.

JamieH3 (author)2015-02-20

Drift triking is so much fun! I test rode the electric ones at Local Motors ( I want to actually build one myself though, but I might resort to just buying one. It's quite a bit of work and time.

kyle.hediger (author)2014-12-11

Making a trike out of an old pit bike and i'm using 5/8 rod for the axle. Any idea on where to get a sprocket hub to fit 5/8? can't find one anywhere and don't want to have to make one.

aspato (author)2014-10-31

can you send me one picture of the drift trike´s meausurements pls here is my email

john.drake.969 (author)2014-09-01

where can i buy the wheel hub? and what holds it to the shaft? is it welded to the shaft? please reply i would love to build 1 of these for my son...

Here you go man, this website has lots of good things for builds like this.

AustinL (author)2014-09-30

Price range?

13224 (author)AustinL2014-10-03

depens how big

jeff.noyes.31 (author)2014-09-05

I could use more details on your wheel set up. I can't find 10" wheels on ebay, and of the ones I find, they have their own bearings. Where and how did you make this set up?

john.drake.969 (author)2014-09-01

First of all cool idea. but here is my issue. where do i buy the wheel hub? or what can i use for a wheel hub? and is it welded to the shaft? what holds it to the shaft so it drives?

bmarble12 (author)2014-04-22

is your threaded rod only threaded on the ends or is the whole rod threaded?

Benheywood (author)2014-03-13

What and where did you get those wheels?

cwcorbin (author)2014-02-26

It's been a little while since you posted this instructable. Looking back on the project, are you happy with all of the choices you made? I am looking at building one, and am wondering if the CAG 49cc motor is still a good choice in your opinion.

robot797 (author)2014-01-11

i kind of want one of these

but i am not skiled enough to build one

is there a dutch guy who wants to help me?

mattwilkinson (author)2013-11-30

What holds the sprocket in place?

Lpower93 (author)2013-10-23

Thanks for the tips. For those who cant find sprockets, sprocket hubs/clamps and pillow bearings here's the links.

Deriva98 (author)2013-10-23

What did you need the steel angle for in the end? I'm building this right now so please reply! :)

bowmaster (author)2011-07-18

Do you think a 190cc lawn-mower engine would work? I know it had 6.25 ft-lbs of torque, but I don't know about HP.

willisdaye (author)bowmaster2013-09-23

that would power it all right, and maybe too much power at that!

josh333 (author)bowmaster2011-07-18

Im sure it would have more than enough power..

seanthesheep101 (author)2012-12-20

if this is in australia which im pretty sure it is WHERE DO U GET UR PILLOW BLOCK BEARINGS!!!! pls help also im making an electric one :)

willisdaye (author)2013-09-23

Yo I got an old craftsman chainsaw motor to hook up to a trike. do you think I could get a clutch for that? Like a pocketbike clutch?

gamnoparts (author)2013-08-14

I'm gonna start out by saying we had big wheels & mean green machines in the 80's, not necessarily new... But I'm gonna finish by saying adding the engine is a ridiculously cool idea.

jbod1 (author)2013-08-04

What's a wheel hub

oscarqwe123qwe123 (author)2013-07-08

how much di it cost?

AJD42 (author)2013-05-20

Where did u get that trike please get back thank you

thegreatkoua (author)AJD422013-05-31
I saw this one way cooler

MicahMan10 (author)2013-02-25

Id like to know what size drive your engine has, because i have an 87 cc 1/2 inch drive that i am trying to find a pinion and sprocket for...PLEASE help me!

mmkaliski (author)2013-02-21

I notice that this engine does not have a transmission. Do you think the same engine with a transmission (as seen on ebay) would be better or worse for drifting.
And another quick question, can it hold long drifts around corners? Just wondering.

sblack10 (author)2013-02-02

What Wheels did you use?

grapenut (author)2012-10-22

Just to clarify; Why is it that your feet are not going around in circles (on the pedals) as the trike moves forward. Is there some type of free spooling sprocket or something up there that works similarly to most rear wheel sprockets. I probably used all the wrong terms, but I hope you get my meanin.

seanthesheep101 (author)grapenut2012-12-20

on my one im just going to rig some stunt pegs on just as foot pegs

josh333 (author)grapenut2012-10-26

Yep, there is a freewheel mechanism in the front hub which stops them from spinning..

bmccourt (author)2012-10-23

hello where did you buy the back sprocket from?? i cant find any!

josh333 (author)bmccourt2012-10-26

poket bike store on ebay, they are pretty common

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