Introduction: Trikke T-12 Electric Conversion. ( 55lb / 25kg )
Second Prize in the
Green Tech Contest
I am an Avid Trikke rider from Melbourne, Australia. I found out about Trikkes from Youtube a year ago, since then i have lost 30kg and can't get enough time on my T-12 Trikke, I live in a reasonably flat area, but it has some short steep hills here and there, also some days there are 30kmh winds, Hills and Strong winds are a Trikkers curse.
To Get a Electric Trikke from USA, after postage, would be nearly $3000 for me, so i looked around for a Kit for a long time, and finally found one that needs next to no machining or welding, and is except for 4 hacksaw cuts a perfect fit. the kit i found is here.
So Here is how looks after it went together........ (6 hours with meal break and coffee breaks, say 4.5 hours all up)
Here is the kicker, Its all finished but at 9pm here in Melbourne, its too damn dark to film or test it out in the street. so as of this moment, its UN-Ridden !!!!!!!
Hacksaw or Cut off wheel on a 4" grinder
Allen Wrench : 2.5, 3.0, 6.0
Two Long 1" bars/pipes that will fit inside the ends of the Fork Tubes when the end caps are removed.
If you have an air compressor, To remove original handgrips, use the Air Duster to inject air between the handlebar and grip, the air releases the grip from the handlebar and just slides off with hardly any effort.
Speed: 21.5kmh ( Drops to 20kmh after battery drops 20%)
Battery Range: 34km (20km and still reading Green Light at this point in time, Orange, then Red as it drops)
Charge Time: 3.5 hours
Step 1: Unpacking.
The package was Armour plated, waterproof and zip wrapped, took 10 minutes to get to into the box...... I scored a free tyre.
Interestingly, the Battery was 95% charged, the red light turned green in just over 9 minutes.
Quality: The Battery, Motor and all the components except the brake levers (lower quality than those on the Trikke) are very acceptable.
All Parts were Well wrapped, either in bubble-wrap, taped or wedged in styrofoam
Shipping took 7 days, considering the 18kg total weight, and it being 2 packages, that was Very fast shipping. (with Tracking)
Step 2: Fitting the Wheel
First step, Remove the old Wheel.
Then loosen the c clamp holding the fork to the Column, press the lock button in and remove the fork.
The hole for the Trikke wheel is actually the right width for the new axle, so grab your hacksaw and cut carefully the exact same width of the hole to the lower edge of the wheel mounting tag thats welded to the fork tube. (see picture of finished cut), this is the only physical mod that happens for the whole Install.
The wheels Axle needs two extra 2mm thick washers, on the Inside of the two existing lock and pressure washers, which is the pain part of the build, you have to disassemble the wire plug end to slide the two washers of, then add the extra washer, then put the Original two washers back on in the same order and reassemble the plug. all done with a pointy tool, (write down the order of the wire colors before you do this as they aren't in the Chinglish Manual).
Fold down your fork-less Trikke and slip the Cut fork back on and tighten it up, This is where you need 2 people, as one person is spreading the forks with two long bars that are inserted into the bottom of each fork tube, while you slip the wheel (Wires to the Left) into the slots you cut, make sure the Two added washers are between the forks as a spacer. the new wheel with washers is 8-10mm wider than the 90mm Trikke fork, there's more than enough flex in the Trikke fork to spread them the needed 10mm.
The end of the axle is also notched so the wire can flow through the notch and up the fork, make sure you put the notch to the rear of the Trikke as the steel of the axle actually protects the exit point of the wires.
NB. as an afterthought, the two pressure washers that are on the axle would probably be good spacers instead of Adding two. but you will still need to remove the plug to switch them around as the keyed washer is inside the pressure washer.
This is where i bench tested the motor, (remember when i said the wire has to be on the left) i got it spinning at 30kph, but backwards, so ... undo bolts, spread forks, switch wire to left by turning wheel around and reassemble...... its pretty easy to get it wrong, the Trikke handlebars can spin 180 and reverse the wheel....so double check which way your forks are before putting the wires in to the left.
Step 3: Using the Optional Battery Bag (option 1)
This step took the longest as there were no instructions on how the Rack body, battery bag and the Battery slide plate go together.
(Firstly, i took the time to Solder the bags wiring EYELETS tabs to the backing ring as they are soft metal and one of the tabs popped off while i was fiddling with the rack and bag). I only used the rack body, not the V arms.
Firstly take the rack body and the bag and use the velcro tabs to attach the frame, the bags main battery flap hinge must be at the wide end of the frame, (the other frame end normally attaches to the bike seat post, we will call that end "UP" ).
Play with the battery slide plate and battery, using the keys to lock and unlock the pin through the locking hole so you understand how it works, (i used my hammer and slightly Decreased the distance between the pin and the plate so it locked better ). The charge point for your lithium battery is under the handle on the battery, so i don't expect to be pulling it in and out a lot seeing as theres more than enough room in the bag for the charger too.
Now the tricky bit, hold the rack in the UP position and put the battery plate in the bag with the locking hole DOWN, i then sat down and turned the lot over onto my knees, with the rack up, the battery plate on my knees, get your Phillips head screwdriver and use it as an awl and make a hole through the bag (there were no pre-made holes) using the bolt holes in the rack as your guide. use one of the long 3.0 supplied bolts with the bolt head in the battery slide plate and the nut on the rack side, sandwiching the bag between them. (for the second hole, smooth out and realign the bag and battery plate then make the diagonal hole and bolt it. Do the remaining Holes and Bolts.)
I modified 2x 3" soft iron bolts by cutting their heads off and bending them into a U to hook through the slots at the UP end.
I modified 2x 4" similar bolts and bent them into a L for the lower part of the bag as there are there are vertical holes in the rack i could use.
Use Felt ( i used peel and stick VELCRO Loop as its hard wearing and soft) on any parts of the rack that will touch your Trikke frame.
Step 4: Not Using the Battery Bag (option 2)
This option is what i toyed with first, and requires some decisions i never got to, but as the battery says KEEP DRY i went with the bag.
This option requires 2x52mm exhaust clamps and some padding to stop scratching, and mounting the controller will be entirely up to you and how its fixed.
Firstly, fold your Trikke on a bench or table, using a container or books, place the battery pack between the frame up against the steering column. The brake cable loops will hold the plate clear of the cables,
Take your exhaust clamps and loop them over the column and mark the battery slide where you will need to drill the holes.
Mount the battery plate using whatever padding is required. ( as the heads of the bolts are INSIDE the slide, you will have to grind them down to 5mm or less after tightening them to the column, lock-tite the threads in this case.)
I have some shots of a possible battery layout.
THIS IS DEFINITELY A DRY WEATHER SETUP
Step 5: Mounting the Bag to the Column
This was a little frustrating, (I had nobody to hold the bag while i clamped.)
I ended up using a quick release clamp to get the u-bolts through the pipe clamp, but before i did that, i had to modify the clamps with a hacksaw.
The clamps need to allow free travel of the brake cables, so i carefully measured the first clamp and cut channels where the brake cables run, the hacksaw worked fine and two neat V's appeared in no time at all.....
The second clamp sits right over the top of the lower Cable end lugs where the covered cable end mounts to the frame so i did some creative inventing, i measured the width of the lugs and cut the clamp wider than the width of the lugs, then flattened them outwards so the middle of the clamp was a flat area that would sit on the lugs, leaving the curved clamp tines where they were on each end.
I then cut most of the flattened stikky outty bits off and removed the rough edges. when you mount the bag, i put a packer (small bolt) between the cable end mounts to stop any possibility of crushing, KEEP TESTING BRAKE CABLE MOVEMENT while you mount the bag, a little bit of wiggling here and there and it all came together..
DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE CLAMPS, THEY CAN CRUSH THE TRIKKE!!!!!! USE JUST ENOUGH PRESSURE TO HOLD THE BATTERY FIRM, USE RUBBER / FELT / VINYL BETWEEN ALL CONTACT POINTS.
Step 6: Mounting the Controller, Grip, Throttle and Brake Levers.
I found some Aluminium Channel from my junk box and fitted large washers to my clamps, the channel fitted perfectly in between the clamp bolts and the washers pinned it perfectly, the rise in the center of the channel left perfect room, to run the brake and throttle wires nicely out of sight behind the controller, i have to cover the wiring loom with something yet.
There is not really any need for the controls and wiring paths step,
so I took some photos of the throttle and brake levers to just give some visual info's.
If you have an air compressor, To remove original handgrips, use the Air Duster to inject air between the handlebar and grip, the air releases the grip from the handlebar using an air cushion effect, and just slides off with hardly any effort. (The new passive grip took a rubber mallet to install, hope the Air duster trick works when i have to remove it later.)
Step 7: My First Test Ride
My photographer has arrived, hoping for funniest home videos, i hope to disappoint.........
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.