Introduction: 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

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Step 1: 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

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

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

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

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

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
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Runner Up in the
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