In this instructable you will learn how to craft a nimble and fast drift trike from start to finish with no issues at all. Soon you will be tearing up the streets on the coolest trike you have ever seen.
Step 1: Materials and Tools Required
- A bike, Around 22 feet of 1 ¼ inch square tubing, 212cc Honda Predator engine, Centrifugal clutch with a ¾ inch bore, 12 tooth sprocket #35 chain (as long as both your sprockets use this size, very important to make sure), 60 tooth sprocket with 2 inch bore (the reason that it has a 2 inch bore is so it will fit around the sprocket holder), Live axle sprocket holder for 1 inch keyed axle, 1 inch diameter keyed shaft that is 48 inches long, 1 inch pillow bearings to mount axle, Some sort of wheel and tire, we used tires we had but they were not for a live axle so we had to buy new hubs, You will have to check the size if you already have wheels but make sure the hubs are 1 inch all the way through so they fit the axle. Our hubs turned out to be a 4x4 live axle hub with 1 inch bore all the way through, a Dirt bike throttle, as well as more wire to extend it to the engine if it is not long enough, and 1/4 inch keys
Hardware: ½ inch bolts/nuts/washers to mount bearings 5/16 bolts/nuts/washers to mount engine
Tools : Welder, Chop saw, Angle Grinder with a Floppy disk, Grinder wheel, and Cut off wheel, Drill with ⅜, 15/16 , and ½ drill bits, Compressor, Center Punch, Socket set, Wrench, Cleaning solution (Paint thinner)
Step 2: Disassemble Bike
Start disassembling your bike
You are going to want to take everything off except the handlebars and forks You have to take off both tires, the pedals, the cranks (what the pedal mounts to), the seat, and rear brakes
Once the bike is down to a bare frame you want to cut it so that only the bottom rail of the bike remain
It should look something like this, we left about an 8 inch portion of the top rail on so that we could bend it down and weld it to the bottom rail for extra support. This is highly recommended
Step 3: Beginning the Frame
Planning how to mount the frame you are going to build to the bike frame
This will be different for every bike but for ours we decided to weld our starting piece right behind the enclosure that held the cranks when it was in bike form You can also just insert the square tubing through this enclosure if your tubing is the right size but our enclosure was a weird size so this did not end up working Once you figure out where you want to mount this starting piece you are going to want to weld it on so you can start building the rest of the frame off of it The width that we found to be the best for this starting piece was 9in So just go ahead and weld this piece on
Step 4: Bringing the Frame Back
This is where the piece I just mentioned comes in
Once you have welded the 9in piece to the base of the bike frame, you can begin the rest of the frame. Cut out two pieces of pipe that are 27 inches inches long. Again, to reiterate, you MUST have a clean welding surface to ensure the rigidity of the welds. Weld the two pieces flush with the outside of the base piece. Once you are done it should look like this In order to create enough room for the seat and the engine, cut out two pieces of pipe that are 27in long
Step 5: Base of the Frame
After you have welded the two parallel pieces down the side, you have to begin to create the back of the frame in order to mount the engine and the axle.
In order to protect the engine and properly mount the the bearing for the axle, you have to cut two pieces of pipe that are 30 in long. This is a rough design of the frame, but the two 30 in long pieces will allow you to properly mount the rear end of the drift trike.
Step 6: Making the Engine/bearing Mounts
Cut out 4 equal length pieces of pipe that are BLANK inches long. These will connect the two pieces of 30in pipe together
Place two of the pieces flush with the outside of the 30in pipe. The other two pieces are the engine mounts for the trike. The width of the engine mounts are 3in long, so you must center the two pieces in the middle of the rectangle. So measure 15 inches in and 1.5in on either side of the center mark. Make sure you mark the centerline on the pipe and tac the pipes to ensure they are on the centerline and then weld it to the frame. After you are done the frame should look like this
Step 7: Footpegs
Now that the base of the frame is completed, you have to make the footpegs.
These footpegs are different for every person, and you can choose the desired distance away from the seat. The most essential part of the footpegs are that they do not hit the front wheel when it is turned. We used a 20in bike tire for the front, so we made the angle of the pipe to the degree that allowed for an 11 in gap across This is key because the tire will only stick out 10in and this allowed the proper clearance when the wheel was turned. Cut 2 pipes of equal length with the same angle on both sides of the pipe. Then cut out 2 4in pipes with the same angle and weld them onto the ends of the 2 pipes. Everything in this step are designed around the user and are different for everyone, but it MUST clear the tire no matter what. The distance we chose was even with the forks of the bike when the wheel was at 0 degrees.
Step 8: Paint
We suggest that you paint the frame at this step because the frame is now completed
Step 9: Drilling the Engine and Bearing Mounts
Now that the frame is done, you can begin to drill out the holes for the engine mounts and the bearing mounts.
The front of the engine should be 2 in from the back of the first 30 in pieces on the two middle pieces. The engine dimensions and hole placement are found on the box, but the holes should be 6.38 in away from each other and look like this. The bearing mounts start 3in from the back of the frame on the outside pieces. Line up both the bearings so the outside is 3in from the back, and make the holes centered on the pipe so they will fit in the holes for the bearings. Before you commit to the bearing holes, place the sprocket on the axle and place it on the frame in the bearing to make sure that there is proper clearance for the sprocket to spin free
Step 10: Hubs and Sprocket.
Now that the engine and bearings have been mounted, now you must place the sprocket and hubs on the axle. First, mount the sprocket in line with the clutch on the engine so that the chain correctly lines up. Then you want to measure the axle 9in out on either side of the bearings so the wheelbase is even. Tighten the set screws on the bearings and sprocket to lock them in place. Make sure that you line up the keys (aka the little slots) on the axle with the keys on the sprocket and hubs and then slide in your 1/4 inch key so they move with the axle. It is not required that you weld the sprocket to the axle but we did to be sure it did not move, so you can do that now if you chose. The hubs have no way of staying on the axle so just place them about a quarter inch from the end of the axle and weld them on.
Step 11: Attaching the Wheels
Attaching the wheels is a pretty simple process. All you must do is slip the wheels onto the hubs, bolt them down, and inflate them with air.
Step 12: Attaching a Seat
Every seat mount is going to be different and placement depends on what is comfortable so this step is all on you. We used a seat off of an old big wheel tricycle that only had one mounting hole directly in the center so we just added a piece of tubing where this hole lined up once we found a comfortable seating position. Then just drilled a hole and put and a bolt through it.
Step 13: Making a Throttle
We used a throttle cable off of a broken dirt bike, but you could use a bicycle brake and it will work the same. In fact we used a combination of both because the dirt bike cable did not reach the engine. In order to connect the two cables we used an electrical wire connector and passed the cables through and then crimped them together. To attach the now lengthened cable to the engine you must loosen the screw that is on the throttle of the engine, place your cable through the little hole, and then tighten the screw onto the cable. Now to secure the cable you can use wire holders like we did, but zip-ties should work fine. Secure what every your brake lever or twist throttle to the handle bars and you are done with this step.
Step 14: Securing the Clutch
In order to hold the clutch onto the engine you are going to need two 3/4 inch washers, a bunch of 5/16 inch washers, and a 5/16 inch bolt with a 24 thread pattern. All you do is push the clutch all the way on the spindle, tighten the set screw on the back, slip the 3/4 inch washers onto the end of the spindle, slip the 5/16 inch washers on the bolt, and thread it into the threads in the spindle.
Step 15: Finishing the Build
Now that everything is all attached and fabricated, you are almost done. Just reattach your front wheel and front brake, fill the engine with oil and gas, make sure all of your bolts are nice and tight, and you are ready to ride. Have fun!