Introduction: Motorised Drift Trike

About: totally addicted maker from the UK. I get a buzz from making anything and everything (engines, karts, trikes, projectile launchers, beats, electronics...even home brew). Follow me for more projects.

Hi, this is my first Instructable so go easy on me!

I've been looking at Drift Trikes for a while now since coming across the USA scene on a random Pinterest session (see my collection here

I finally decided to build one after seeing Colin Fuze build one on his site ( Total respect to Colin. Full credit to his design (in fact this build **IS** Colin's design!) The changes I made are minor and summarised as (1) A rear disk brake and (2) a pretty sweet exhaust pipe (if I say so myself) that comes out the back of the trike. Nothing wrong with Colin's pipe at the front option at all however I wanted to let my kids ride the trike so the fewer opportunities for 3rd degree burns the better (although I remember learning plenty of good lessons touching red hot exhaust headers as a kid myself... oh and touching exposed spark plug HT wires on running engines!). Suffice to say I'm careful now.

Anyhow, I really had fun building this and the result is brilliant (many hours of fun already). I'd like to share this with you so you can have the fun of the build and the end result too.

Right, lets get cracking...

Step 1: The Stuff You'll Need

You will need:

A BMX - any one will do. I got this one off eBay. The three things to look out for are (1) that there is a front brake (2) it is made of steel or it will be hard to weld (3) it has a 20 inch front wheel. Other sizes might work but ground clearance, handling, geometry etc might not be quite right

A pit-bike engine (complete including carb, wiring loom and exhaust) - Pretty much all pit bikes are based on the old Honda Cub / Monkey bike design with a single cyl, 4-stroke, 2 valve, SOHC configuration The 3 variables are engine size (50 to about 140cc), kick or electric start and manual vs 3 or 4 speed semi-auto.

I strongly recommend going for the semi-auto. The semi-auto is based on the Cub design and is really clever in that it disengages the cluch as you select the next cog. This will save on all the clutch cable and gear selector hassle + make it easier for non-bikers to ride.

Electric start is essential for this build as there isn't really anywhere to put the kick-start with the engine mounted where it is. I went for a 125cc, 4-speed semi auto, electric start with the big valve head (12BHP or something like that?). Anyway, I reckon this is **WAY** too much power for the trike and you would be absolutely fine with a 90cc or 110cc. Save yourself a couple of quid and go with the smaller engine or find a second-hand electric start Honda Cub 90 engine.

I got the CRF 70 exhaust listed in the parts below. The end can/silencer was perfect (with a handy removable baffle for neighbour-friendly mode) but the header/pipe it's self didn't fit!. Later I will show you how I made the exhaust pipe from a chopped-up Honda C90 exhaust. You still see loads of these on ebay for £10 or so so take a look.

You will also need the full electric start bike wiring loom and a throttle grip listed below. I got my stuff from:

1 x Complete Wiring Loom For Electric Start Pit Bikes

1 x High Quality Quiet Pit Bike Oval Exhaust. CRF70 Fitment. Road Us

1 x Lifan 125cc Semi Auto. Electric Start Pit Bike Engine T/S E/C M ()

Some Bearings - I got these from here:

2 x UCFL206 Metric Two Bolt Oval Cast Iron Flange Housing with 30mm Bore Insert (UCFL.206)

Some Mild Steel - I got the steel from here: www.themetalstore,

50mm x 5mm Mild steel flat bar

50mm x 25mm x 3mm Mild Steel Box

50mm x 50mm x 3mm Mild Steel Angle Iron

500mm x 500mm mild steel sheet 5mm thick

1 1/4"diameter x 16swg mild steel tube

1" diameter mild steel (for the exhaust)

The shortest length they do on all the above is fine (3 meters I think)

Wheels Hubs etc - I got mine from Adam at

Some of the stuff isn't on their site (but probably will be soon after all there interest they have received since Colin quoted them on his site!). The parts list:

  • Rear Axle
  • Rear Hubs
  • Rear Carrier
  • Rear wheels with tyres, hubs and sleeves
  • Rear Sprocket
  • Rear Disc 160mm
  • Rear brake

A petrol tank - I made one using an aluminium tube and some weld-on bits. In total it cost about £10 (check out my other Instructable on how to make one of these.

Tools you need:

  1. Welder - I was using a TIG welder but a MIG will do the job just fine. If you are getting started out have a look at for excellent advice etc. The entry level MIG from Machine Mart (TE110 or TE135) is a bargain and will be ample for this project. I recommend getting a proper gas cylinder (Argon CO2 for MIG, Pure Argon for TIG) rather than using the disposable ones as you'll get through loads and pay a fortune. It definitely works out better value with a proper cylinder.
  2. Lathe - unfortunately you need a lathe for this build because of (1) the fit of the axle and the bearings you will need some way of making some shims to make the fit tight. (2) the placing of the disk brake you need to bore it to to get it to fit. If you haven't got a lathe then you might need to call on your friendly local engineering shop/mate who has one to get this sorted. Read the improvements section at the end where I'll list how I'm going to simplify the design for my next build.
  3. Hacksaw - a mitre box is also useful to get a square cut (but not essential). I was lucky enough to have a Machine Mart/Clarke metal cutting band saw to hand which saved a lot of grief but not essential at all.
  4. Drill + Drillbits - pillar drill is useful (highly recommended) but you can get by with a cordless
  5. Hole Saws - the best you can afford! Quality makes all the difference and saves untold grief.
  6. Angle grinder - a cutting disk, a grinding disk, a sanding flap disk and a knotted wire brush disk.

Right... lets build a trike!

Step 2: Make the Axle Carriers

This step is to make the axle hangers. I have attached a sketch to help you. Familiarise yourself with the dimensions then lets get choppin'!

  1. Cut 2 pieces of 50x5mm flat bar at 254mm. The odd size is because I've converted to mm from inches. Colin's plan used 8inches (I think. Taken from pausing the youtube vid and squinting my eyes). I added an extra 2 at the top as I wanted to leave space for an underseat exhaust pipe option. Even though I didn't route the exhaust there in the end, the extra space was useful routing the wires etc.
  2. Mark out per the plan. Its worth taking a bit of time get to be accurate as this will affect all the alignment of bolt holes etc. Once marked-out, make a nice deep dink with a centre punch to guide the drill to the right spot when you make the holes else it will wander all over the shop.
  3. Drill a small guide hole at the marked out points. I think I used a 5mm drill bit. If you go straight to the big bits, its likely the drill bit won't settle properly in the centre punch mark you made. If you try drilling to 16mm in one go you're going to have a bad day. Go nice and slow (500RPM ish) and use cutting fluid.
  4. Drill a guide hole for the hole saw. Then cut the 35mm hole. A sharp holesaw will be your friend here. Take it slow (lowest RPM the drill goes) and use plenty of cutting fluid. Heat will blunt your holesaw pretty quickly.

Step 3: Chop Up the BMX

  1. Take off all the stuff you don't need from the BMX including pedals, crank, back brake, chain guard etc, etc, etc
  2. Cut the frame per the dotted lines in the pic. All you want is the downtube and the complete bike front end. I used a hand hacksaw for this and it made really easy work of it
  3. Once you've done the chop, you need to spend some time with the angle grinder. First use a cutting disk to cut off what you can from where the tubes mounted to the bottom bracket housing (the stumps shown on the pic).
  4. Use a grinding disk to smooth the remaining bits you couldn't get to with the cutting disk.
  5. Use a flap sanding disk to smooth off as best you can
  6. Get a bit of emery paper to finish the job.

This will be the critical weld on this project so take your time here and make is as smooth as you can.

LESSON LEARNED: I think next time I'll strip the paint off the bike first (see the later steps) and then use the flap disk only where necessary to remove the remains of the other frame tubes. Don't use it to remove the paint / 'clean up' the area ready to be welded. It will be really hard after to get a smooth finish ready for painting after (as I found out the hard way!)

Step 4: Make the Rear Subframe

  1. Cut a length of 50x25x3mm box section to 14 inches
  2. Cut a length of 50x50x5 angle to 14 inches
  3. Cut a length of 50x25x3mm box section to 17 inches
  4. Get welding!


Give everything a good scrub at the surfaces to be welded with a piece of 240 sandpaper to get rid of the mill scale. Wire brush then give a bit of a clean with alcohol/methylated spirit. This might be an overkill but only takes a second. Certainly ups your chance of a neat looking weld with TIG. If you are using a MIG welder you might get away with a bit more dirt but its probably worth doing anyway.

These welds need to be pretty strong so go with as much heat as you can without burning through. I used the recommended machine settings for the material (about 130A I think) and made sure I got full penetration.

Tack first then make sure its still square! Tap back to square with a hammer if not. Heat and cooling expands/contracts the metal and therefore pulls things around. Tacking at opposite sides helps balance out but always check you are still square after tacking before you do the full weld.

Check the notes on the arc shots for more tips.


Step 5: Modify the Sprocket, Disk Brake Carrier and Make the Shims

This step uses a lathe. This is actually my favourite tool in the workshop but its bulky and I realise not everyone has one. The next trike build I do will try to use only off the shelf bits to remove this step. Anyhow, if you haven't got a lathe to hand, see if your local garage, engineering company, college etc has one you could use or a mate that can do this stuff for you. Using these parts there really isn't that much alternative.

Lets make some swarf..

Bore out the disk carrier to 27 mm. I used a 10mm boring bar with an indexable Carbide tip. The interrupted cut removing the splines inside the carrier made this very unpleasant. My lathe is a cheap Chinese job and not that rigid so this was pretty hard work.


  1. Try to clamp everything down as tight as possible
  2. Make sure there is no play in your cross slide gibs
  3. Use the saddle lock
  4. Use coolant (if you haven't got flood coolant, squirt cutting fluid in all the time
  5. Have patience! light cuts and you'll get there.
  6. try out the carrier on the axle as the diameter approaches 27mm. You want the tightest fit possible,

The rear sprocket for this trike is a front sprocket welded to the rear axle. Reason: a C90 motorbike/pit bike has a big rear wheel (22"-27" or so) and the engine is designed to turn this wheel up to 50-60MPH using a 36 tooth rear sprocket (or thereabouts). We are using a very small rear wheel so we need to turn this faster to get up to any sort of speed. For this reason we need the smallest sprocket possible to compensate for the small wheels.

Welding the sprocket onto the axle isn't great since when the sprocket wears out it will have to be cut off to replace but then I'm not expecting to cover 5,000 miles a year on the trike so it should last for a bit.

Advice for boring out the sprocket is as before. Everything clamped down tight, lots of lube. This was absolutely HORRIBLE since I think the sprocket metal was hardened steel of some sort. The interrupted cut on the splines made this even worse (I thought the lathe would self destruct!).

The shims are needed to give a 27mm axle a snug fit inside 30mm ID bearings. 27mm is a funny size and there was nothing out there that would fit it directly.

  1. turn down a 90mm length of mild steel bar to 30mm
  2. As your diameter approaches 30mm, skim very light cuts while trying the diameter in the bearing to get a tight fit.

Step 6: Make the Brake Calliper Mount

OK this step is a bit fiddly. WARNING!!: the dimensions on the sketch are APPROXIMATE. I made this brake mount by eye then tried to bake a sketch afterwards. Here's how I did it.

  1. Cut a length of 50x5mm flat bar to 97mm length
  2. Mark out the 8mm holes per the sketch and centre-punch.
  3. Place the calliper in place over the flat bar so that not lines up with the holes you just drilled. I used some long bolts to help position.
  4. Draw round the brake cylinder with a pen as shown
  5. Cut a 44 mm hole on your pen mark
  6. You should end up with the same dimensions (roughly) as per the sketch. Its not really that important as long as the calliper mounts nicely on the plate.

Now attach it to the rear subframe.

  1. Mount the calliper on the plate you just made with a couple of bolts.
  2. Slide the brake disk into position over the rear axle.
  3. Position the calliper so the disk is correctly positioned between the pads. Note that this calliper comes with a plastic spacer thingy to keep the pads apart in transit. This will have to be removed with a screwdriver before.
  4. Position the calliper (on the plate) so that (1) the brake pads are completely over the disk (2) the assembly is straight. I used a set square.
  5. Once everything is aligned. Clamp it TIGHT with a welding clamp and tack weld it into position. Check everything is still in alignment after.
  6. Remove the calliper, axle etc and weld. Here we are welding 5mm plate onto 5mm plate so turn that welder right up. You want good weld penetration here.
  7. Re-assemble and check that everything is still in alignment.


Step 7: Mount the Engine

Make the engine mount plate.

Dimensions for similar engines can be found on this site:

Worth having a look.

  1. Have a look at the sketch in the pictures and get familiar with the dimensions
  2. Cut the engine mount plate from the 5mm mild steel sheet. I used the angle grinder for this hence it doesn't look great. It will be under the trike and covered in cr&p so not to worry too much.
  3. Mark out the drill holes per the sketch. IMPORTANT. This needs to be ACCURATE or the bolts won't match up with the underneath of the engine. Which..... of course I didn't do because I was rushing and had to fiddle around with an end mill to get the holes to align. Save yourself the trouble and really take your time here.
  4. Once marked out, make a good dink with a centre-punch on the 4 marks.
  5. Make a pilot hole (3mm or so) then drill to 8mm
  6. Check the fit with the bottom of the engine. Because you took your time, the bolt holes match up perfectly right?

Now it all gets a bit fiddly..

Mount the engine to the crossbar

  1. Assemble the rear axle with the bearings, bearing shims, sprocket and disk carrier prepared in the previous step. Tighten the bolts up on the bearings so that everything is lined-up as it should be.
  2. Fit the engine mount to the bottom of the engine and bolt it up.
  3. place the frame somewhere were you can get underneath it to do some tack welds. I G-clamped mine to the welding table.
  4. Place the engine on the cross-bar and centre it.
  5. place the chain over the top of the rear sprocket and the top of the front sprocket and line the rear sprocket up with the front sprocket.
  6. Get the welder and tack the rear sprocket onto the axle. Don't overdo it here incase you muck it up and need to grind it off and realign it later.
  7. Position the engine so that the kick starter spline clears the brake calliper with about a centimetre to spare
  8. Now wrap the chain around the bottom of the sprocket and see how many chain links fit in that distance/where you will need to cut your chain. Mark the link with a marker.
  9. Cut the chain to the marked-out length with an angle grinder. Bit of a trick to this so Id recommend looking up a demo on youtube. I tried capturing with my camera while I was grinding but it didn't really work out.
  10. Once the chain is cut, insert the split link provided with the chain (there was one in the packet right? Time to rummage in the bin)
  11. Now get a ratchet strap and really tighten the engine to the crossbar so it stays in position. Realign everything and make absolutely sure that the front and rear sprockets are aligned and the chain is *tight*. even if it all seems too tight right now, as soon as you ride the trike a bit this will all slacken off a bit. Tighter the better.
  12. Climb underneath the frame and tack weld the mount to the crossbar. After doing this, check everything is still in alignment.
  13. Now take the chain off again, remove the engine and weld the engine mount onto the crossbar.
  14. Weld the rear sprocket onto the axle.
  15. Weld the disk carrier onto the rear axle. This ended up looking horrible as I think there was some cutting oil left in there which leaked out when I started welding. Not happy.

Step 8: Attach the BMX Front End to the Crossbar

This is the most critical joint on the trike so it needs to be STRONG. Take your time. Do the best fit-up you can. Weld nice and hot.

  1. Notch the crossbar tube with a hole saw of the same diameter as the bottom bracket tube of the BMX frame. Take some time with a file getting a nice fit.
  2. Tack weld twice on top, twice underneath. Check the alignment.
  3. Now weld all the way round.

NOTE: I welded the cross bar on totally level to the ground (look in the pics). This was fine but meant that the trike doesn't have a lot of ground clearance (an inch or so). Building this again id have a look at fiddling the angle where the crossbar meets the BMX frame to see if i couldn't raise it off the ground a bit more. Granted the rear of the trike will be a bit low also but worth having a bit of a think about this before welding. Cutting the bottom bit off the bottom bracket tube helps with ground clearance but the trike rides LOW!

Now make the reenforcing braces.

  1. Mount the engine
  2. make a cardboard template to get the angles of the BMX down tube to the crossbar and the curve of the bottom bracket tube. If you look at the photos, I screwed mine up a bit. Take your time, you can do a better job.
  3. Cut the template shape out of 5mm mild steel flat bar.
  4. Weld the puppies on.

NOTE: I didn't leave myself enough room between the cylinder head and the BMX down tube. The measurements I have given are an inch longer that the ones I used so this won't be so tight, I ended up needing to angle grind the top off the reenforcing plates for the engine to fit. This is a bit of a bodge.

As mentioned, I cut the bottom half off the bottom bracket tube remaining from the BMX. I then welded in a plate of the 50x5mm flat bar which fitted perfectly and probably added to the rigidity too. The bolt in the middle of the plate was to allow my to clam in some removable kids foot pegs at some point in the future.

Step 9: Make the Exhaust

What you will need.

  1. An exhaust to fit a Honda c90. Have a look on ebay for a second hand one. You can probably get one for £10 or so. New I've seen for about £30.
  2. 30cm of 1" 16SWG mild steel tube
  3. A pipe bender with a mandrel for 1" pipe. If you haven't got one, Machine Mart do loads of options starting from £30 or so.
  4. A slip-on silencer (end can) for a CRF70. See the parts list on the first step. I got this can from pitbikeparts.
  5. An exhaust reducer from 38mm to 25.4 (1 inch). I could have made something on the lathe but this part from ebay saved a lot of hassle:

Ok lets go..

  1. Cut the C90 exhaust just at the end of the header pipe as shown
  2. Tack weld on the length of 1" pipe
  3. Mark out where the 1" pipe meets the rear subframe
  4. Bend the tube here to your preference. I liked the pointing up/moto-x look. You may want it lower. If you haven't got a pipe bender just leave the pipe pointing out straight.
  5. Fit the exhaust again and look where the end can should go (remember the reducer sticks out a good 10cm and you don't want the pipe sticking out too far).
  6. Remove the exhaust again and clamp down on the welding table so you get a nice fit up against the pipe and the reducer.
  7. Tack weld and pop it on the trike again to check fit with the end can fitted.
  8. If all looks ok, weld it all up. This time, make sure you keep the heat low. SWG16 tube has a 1.6mm side wall if I recall correctly. About 50A weld current here is fine. Anything over that and you risk burning through.

Done! We will create a support for the end can in a later step.

Step 10: Mount the Seat and Exhaust Mount

Here we will make the mount for the seat which also doubles as the top engine mount. The engine takes the weight of the rider here so it works out well.

  1. Cut 2 pieces of the 50x50x5mm angle section to 22cm length
  2. Fit this up to the back of the rear subframe and mark out an L and R for left/right pieces,
  3. Where the top of the engine has a 'bulge', mark this out (roughly) on the piece with a marker.
  4. Use a hole saw to approximately cut out a shape to clear the 'bulge' bit. An angle grinder will do a decent job of this too.
  5. Fit the pieces up and check that they clear the engine OK.
  6. Clamp on the two pieces with welding clamps and tack weld.
  7. Remove clamps, check everything is still in alignment then weld up. Again, this is 5mm plate so will take a good bit of amperage from your welder without fear of burning through.
  8. Make a hole to mount to take the top engine mount bolt. This was a pain in the a***. I couldn't think of a precise way of doing this so I had to drill both sides by eye! I got lucky and it worked. Racking my brains to think of a way that this could be done better.
  9. If it all went OK, you should be able to get the engine mount bolt through and tighten up.

To mount the seat (this wasn't great but worked OK),

  1. Position the seat and make sure its properly centred,
  2. Mark the mounting holes with a marker and centre punch.
  3. Drill 3mm, then 5mm, then tap M6x1.0.
  4. Bolt the seat on with some M6 bolts.

Exhaust mount.

  1. Take a piece of 20x20x3mm angle section about 150 mm long
  2. Place this against the back of the rear subframe and mark out the angle this makes with the exhaust pipe mount.
  3. Cut the piece to length
  4. Clamp onto the rear frame, tack then weld in place.
  5. Drill the 8mm hole fort the exhaust end can mount and bolt into position.


Step 11: Fit the Electrics

If you got the full loom with the engine there is really no way to wire it up wrong (* I will not be held responsible for that statement). The plugs all seem to only go in one place and the wire colours all match up.

If you want more of an idea whats going on, there is also a good wiring diagram on this website:

OK so here goes.


  • The engine is running on a 12v circuit. The voltage is probably in the 11-14.5v range from cold with the starter motor going to under 14.5v when the engine is revving and the battery is charging
  • The standard Lead Acid type pit bike batteries are rated about 7AH like this one here

  • 7AH or 'Amp Hours' is the capacity of the battery as in the maximum amount of time the battery can kick out 1 amp of current till the battery is flat i.e. 7 hours in this situation.
  • Theoretically, this would mean that you could draw 2A for 3.5 hours, 4A for 1.75 hours, 16A for about half an hour. This rule breaks down at some point because of the internal wiring of the battery, heat, chemical properties of the cells etc etc.
  • The battery above is perfect for our needs except its a bit bulky and heavy. Also there wasn't really anywhere to fit it on the trike.
  • This is why Colin used a Lithium polymer battery (LiPo) which gives a much better power to weight ratio and is much much smaller.
  • A 3 cell (3S) 30C LiPo battery will kick out a nominal 11.1v and 12.6v and 300A fully charged so this will do the trick right?
  • Not so fast. Yes a LiPo will definitely kick out enough power but they are VERY sensitive to use. (1) they can't be discharged below a certain remaining capacity or they will die. Most equipment designed to run on LiPo batteries (e.g. RC cars, quadcopter, drone etc) have cutouts or warnings that stop you using them when any individual cell voltage drops below 3v per cell or 9v overall for a 3-cell battery (2) even worse they CATCH FIRE if you over charge them or puncture them (Google 'hoverboard' and 'catch fire' to get the gist).
  • This means that if you leave one connected to the wiring loom and go for a longish ride on your drift trike, the charging via the wiring loom will damage the battery or set it on fire (probably the former).

There's a great Instructable on getting to know LiPo batteries here. Really good and well worth a read:

My Conclusion:

  • LiPo's are brilliant and a good option for starting the trike.
  • You don't need a 5.2AH one. A 2.6AH one is fine for a good few starts and is a lot cheaper. Go for a high current one like this 20-30c which should be good for providing a short burst of up to 300A!!!
  • Remember that to charge a LiPo you need a special charger. You won't just be able to do this using you car charger.

BUT: I would recommend plugging the battery in, starting the trike then taking the battery off and sticking in your pocket or something as not to damage it through the charging. There may be a way of disconnecting the charging circuit (e.g. taking out the rectifier?) but i haven't researched it yet.

Have a look at the pics for how to stash the wires in and around the frame.

Step 12: Test Drive!

Take the trike out for a blast to make sure everything is working OK!!

I always find this a difficult part of the project. As you start riding it and having fun, the desire to strip it all down again and finish the project with paint etc fades or diapers completely. I try to strip it back down again immediately so the temptation to leave the project unfinished goes away.

Step 13: Painting

The preparation

  1. strip all the paint off the frame. I used chemical paint stripper but people looking for an arm workout and want to waste lots of time should use sandpaper to remove the old paint. A note on paint stripper, the normal B&Q stuff e.g. Nitromorse has lost a bit of 'oomph' in the last few years due to regulations etc. If you can, get your hands on some paint stripper containing Dichloromethane this will do the job much faster. WARNING: This is restricted to professional use only so don't use unless you are a professional paint stripper. That said, this definitely does the job much better but IT IS EVIL STUFF. Follow the precautions etc to the letter. Use outside with rubber gloves and eye protection.
  2. After stripping the paint and giving everything a good wash n' dry, its time to put in some elbow grease. First wire brush the frame bringing it to a nice smooth shiny finish.
  3. Sand the frame down with 240 grit wet n' dry sandpaper. Especially try to get rid of all the black mill scale on the rear subframe. This is a bit of a pig to get rid of but the final finish will depend directly on how much time you spend getting the metal prepped.
  4. After the sanding, give all the metal surfaces a good wipe down with a rag and some paint thinners (e.g. Xylene or Cellulose thinners.

A word on paint

This is my first time spraying with a gravity feed spray gun. Previously I'd just use a rattle can or send frames off for powder coating. I'm pretty happy with the end result but am wondering whether the extra effort of using the spray gun (setup, paint mixing, cleaning, crazy overspray) is worth it for the extra quality in the finish. Anyone starting out I'd recommend just using a few cans of the Halfords paint or even the smooth Hammerite stuff (I think thats the equivalent to Rustoleum in the states).

If you do use a spray gun, DO NOT USE PAINT CONTAINING ISOCYANATES unless you have an air feed mask and somewhere to paint where no-one else will breathe the fumes. This is usually found in the hardener of '2K paint'.This stuff is no joke and not in a you might get a bit high inhaling it sort of way. Basically, your lungs will get sensitised to the Isocyanates and you will have nasty asthma forever (look it up).

Heres what I used:

Etch primer (Jawel paints) - a base primer that grips to/burrows into bare metal.

High Build Primer (U-POL P88) - a grey primer that smooths over small scratches and uneven surfaces.

Polyester Base Coat (Jawel Paints) - The colour layer. Needs a clear coat or will not resist UV etc

1k Acrylic Clear coat (U-POL 20:85) - a shiny, hard wearing varnish to go over the top

The spraying sequence

  1. Etch primer. 3 coats with 15 mins drying time in-between
  2. High-build primer. 3 coats with 15 mins drying time in-between
  3. Wait for an hour
  4. Colour Base coat - 3 coats with 15 mins drying in-beween
  5. Clear coat - 3 coats with 15 mins drying time in-between.

Verdict - Better than the cans but with my NoOB technique, only just (and a lot more grief).

Step 14: Epilogue

I'm very happy how this project turned out. It rides really well (youtube action vid to follow).

The things I'd look to do differently on my next trike build would be:

  • Use a keyway axle - welding stuff to an axle is a bit of a bodge. I'd like to use a keyway axle and proper carriers for the sprocket and brake. This gives much more room for adjustment and changing over chainwheels when they wear out. The configuration on this trike means that when the rear sprocket goes, I'll need to angle grind off and go through the trouble of welding on a new one!
  • Don't screw up the reenforcing brackets. These look a bit pants.
  • Use an adjustable engine mount/chain tensioner. The chain is fine now but they tend to stretch through use. On this trike, when the chain goes slack, not really that much that ca be done apart from going a size bigger on the drive(front) sprocket or, extreme case, grind off another link. A chain tensioner would give more fine control.
  • A front disk brake - the existing BMX brake is a toy! It does nothing at all so i think a sensible upgrade would be a front disk brake as this is really the only tyre of the three that has grip!
  • A bit more ground clearance - This trike rides about an inch off the ground which is is fine on a flat carpark bit bottoms out quite easily. I have had a few scrapes already.

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