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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I'm back again because we have another problem that we're hoping someone can help solve. A friend wants my husband to build him a three wheeled "delivery" bike with the two wheels in the front and the one wheel in the back. Says European or Asian style. He only wants a 250 to 500 cc bike. Here's the problem. Dave would like to find some info on the 'net to show how to make a good steering apparatus for it. Just wondering if any of you are old enough to remember the cushman ice cream trikes... That's kind of what he had in mind - without the ice cream. Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.
 

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Brownie7746 said:
Well, I'm back again because we have another problem that we're hoping someone can help solve. A friend wants my husband to build him a three wheeled "delivery" bike with the two wheels in the front and the one wheel in the back. Says European or Asian style. He only wants a 250 to 500 cc bike. Here's the problem. Dave would like to find some info on the 'net to show how to make a good steering apparatus for it. Just wondering if any of you are old enough to remember the cushman ice cream trikes... That's kind of what he had in mind - without the ice cream. Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.
Well, I'm not old enough to "remember" them, but I have seen a few of
them around shows and such...

If I recall, they were small lawn-mower style engines, nowhere near
even a 250cc engine.
There was nothing fancy about their steering. They used a simple
pitman arm and tie rod combination.

If you are considering building something of the same size of the Cushman,
I'd be VERY leery of putting such a large engine (relative to the engines on the Cushmans) on a front steering 3 wheeler.
The ability or temptation to exceed the vehicles "stability" would be too easy.

If I were going to build something like you are talking, I think I'd build a
two wheeled cart and put a single wheel dolly behind it (like old tractors used to do and some modern landscaping mowers still do).

Not sure exactly what type of speed you are looking to obtain....
It's hard to give any advice without knowing exactly what you are looking for.
Load capacity, speed, sidewalk or street use, etc?

**Edit** Found this:

 

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Discussion Starter #3
This guy was specific about wanting the two wheels in the front. When I looked at his sketch I said, "Yeah, but he's got the handlebars backward." Dave says if it weren't a little on the weird side he wouldn't want it. Maybe he just doesn't really want that large an engine. He was talking about the European or Asian style "delivery" bikes. His sketch was very basic. Not showing anything like the ice cream box at all. Mostly a frame and seat, handle bars and fenders. Not sure how he's going to finish it off. Dave is just doing the building, not the finishing. I'm not sure what he wants to use it for. I'm sure he's not looking for a street bike. Would guess either just a conversation piece or maybe for local parades. I'll see if I can get more info for you. Thanks so much for coming through for us once again. My husband is going to love this picture!!
 

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There are "industrial type" bicycles with 2 wheels in front and one rear(3 wheeler bicycles....Schwinn). Might look in that section of the "internet". Some are "heavy-duty" enough for small gas or electric motors. Some with hard-rubber tires or more normal "cycle tires". Some have "wire baskets or boxes on the front axle area.

Other wise there's these sites:
www.3wheelers.com
www.reversetrike.com
www.vt-rod.com
www.rqriley.com

Those should peak your interest.

Bullzeyet
 

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bullzeyet said:
There are "industrial type" bicycles with 2 wheels in front and one rear(3 wheeler bicycles....Schwinn). Might look in that section of the "internet". Some are "heavy-duty" enough for small gas or electric motors. Some with hard-rubber tires or more normal "cycle tires". Some have "wire baskets or boxes on the front axle area.
Yeah, I've seen those in warehouses. They use them as parts pickers.

You could always get one of these and put a trailer hitch on it! :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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3 Wheel

You might want to go to your John Deere dealer and look at a John Deere F525 mower. Two wheels in front and one in rear. Steers from rear. Has 17HP Kiwasaki engine and cuts grass at 8MPH. Hydraulic drive Something like this could be easily converted to what your client wants. I have one and it works great for cutting grass. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
3 wheeled reverse trike

Ok, guys, I showed the replies to Dave. First of all, the site on reverse trikes looks like it's going to be interesting and maybe helpful. I printed out all 18 pages and when Dave's finished reading he can mark any other sites he wants me to look up for him.
In the meantime, I have the notes Charlie left with Dave. I already have a couple of concerns that may not even cross your minds. But, being the B***CHY wife that I am... With the $1,000 budget I am wondering if he plans to pay Dave anything for his labor and out of pocket costs. Then I wonder who he thinks is going to do all the running and "shopping". I would hate to have Dave find a red and black tank just to have Charlie say, "Gee I wish you had found a blue and black one." I guess I will just lay down a couple of rules and let the guys work that part out.
Anyway, here is what Charlie wrote on a piece of notebook paper for guidelines.

CB 3 wheel mototcycle truck idea similar to Euro/Asian old utility cycles.
Std. frame from front handlebar back.
1 meter wide front width track
Cable drum brake on back
Drum or rub bar on front ( Dave says NO rub bar)
Keylar (SP?)black epoxy spray paint
Small trailer leaf springs on front?
Straight axel (5 tabs welded to tube axel)
250-600 cc Honda(?) 4 stroke
Back frame end (Fork back) lightweight like an old trail bike frame
Front basket bed area 1 or 1.5 in angle iron rectangle
Basket frame with 1 in electric conduit top rail and conduit Z reinforce bars like bridge trusses for strength.
Steel mesh on bottom of basket bed
Street tires like old small street bikes
Basket size 75 cm by 50 or 75 cm ( I asked if this guy knew he was back in the US where we use inches)
Street legal with lights and horn
Valid frame title?
Fenders on front two and back wheel
Electronic ignition for reliability
Simple carburetor
Two-tone Black with red or blue gas tank
Target price of project $1,000
No hurry, find donor frame and engine first

This last leads me to believe the running will be Dave's responsibility and makes me wonder if he will be spending his own (our) money when he finds these things. Maybe I'M the one who needs to discuss this with Charlie! OK, I'll stay out of it - as much as possible.

Oh, and the chair was a great idea. I can see a few modifications are in order, though. WAY too many wheels and we probably would need to add fuel injection...

Let me know if all this info helps you any. In the meantime I think I will check out that reverse trike site a bit more. Thanks again.
[/i]
 

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Re: 3 wheeled reverse trike

Brownie7746 said:
Ok, guys, I showed the replies to Dave. First of all, the site on reverse trikes looks like it's going to be interesting and maybe helpful. I printed out all 18 pages and when Dave's finished reading he can mark any other sites he wants me to look up for him.
In the meantime, I have the notes Charlie left with Dave. I already have a couple of concerns that may not even cross your minds. But, being the B***CHY wife that I am... With the $1,000 budget I am wondering if he plans to pay Dave anything for his labor and out of pocket costs. Then I wonder who he thinks is going to do all the running and "shopping". I would hate to have Dave find a red and black tank just to have Charlie say, "Gee I wish you had found a blue and black one." I guess I will just lay down a couple of rules and let the guys work that part out.
Anyway, here is what Charlie wrote on a piece of notebook paper for guidelines.

CB 3 wheel mototcycle truck idea similar to Euro/Asian old utility cycles.
Std. frame from front handlebar back.
1 meter wide front width track
Cable drum brake on back
Drum or rub bar on front ( Dave says NO rub bar)
Keylar (SP?)black epoxy spray paint
Small trailer leaf springs on front?
Straight axel (5 tabs welded to tube axel)
250-600 cc Honda(?) 4 stroke
Back frame end (Fork back) lightweight like an old trail bike frame
Front basket bed area 1 or 1.5 in angle iron rectangle
Basket frame with 1 in electric conduit top rail and conduit Z reinforce bars like bridge trusses for strength.
Steel mesh on bottom of basket bed
Street tires like old small street bikes
Basket size 75 cm by 50 or 75 cm ( I asked if this guy knew he was back in the US where we use inches)
Street legal with lights and horn
Valid frame title?
Fenders on front two and back wheel
Electronic ignition for reliability
Simple carburetor
Two-tone Black with red or blue gas tank
Target price of project $1,000
No hurry, find donor frame and engine first

This last leads me to believe the running will be Dave's responsibility and makes me wonder if he will be spending his own (our) money when he finds these things. Maybe I'M the one who needs to discuss this with Charlie! OK, I'll stay out of it - as much as possible.
I don't know how much fabrication your husband does or has done in the past, but $1000 for what you listed is going to be pretty tought to make happen.
Making it street legal (by what you described) is very unlikely to happen, although it is possible.

I think he'd be better off going out and buying something that will serve
the purpose he wants.

It would be a fun project to do, but it's going to cost you way more than what it's worth and the "legal" aspects are going to be a nightmare for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think it's the problem-solving aspect that mostly appeals to Dave. You can give him something and tell him it can't be done and he won't be able to leave it alone. He used to be a machinist before he retired and has quite a bit of equipment in his shop here on the farm. And you have to remember that we live in the middle of nowhere in mid-Missouri so he may be able to scavenge some of the things they need. Dave has a 350 Honda he would be willing to sell Charlie and then cut up and make what he wants out of it. But that will be half his budget right there. I'm hoping after a little thought that the $1,000 was DAVE'S share of the budget. I hate to see him cut up the Honda because he spent a lot of time getting it fixed up for me and it really looks nice. I am of the mind that you shouldn't disassemble anything until it's absolutely no good for anything else. (Oh, he has since fixed up a 185 Honda for me to use to get back into riding but I was hoping to graduate to that 350 by next year. Maybe I'll make him buy me a 250 Rebel. I like the looks of those.)
So the guys will have to talk it over a bit but unless Charlie is just impossible in what he wants for how many $$$ I think Dave will bite. He is mostly concerned about the stability when turning the thing. He says he would like to just take a front wheel drive car, cut it in two and put one wheel on the back, but that's not what Charlie wants.
Also, living where we do, the street legal aspects might not be too bad. Dave says the title goes with the frame (except for HD) so if he uses a frame from a Honda he should get a title. He has built homemade trailers from mobile home frames and has no trouble licensing them as "homemade". Anyway, I think the title and license will be Charlie's problem. He can check at the courthouse and see what they will want.
 

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I'd be interested in hearing what he comes up with...

On the legal aspects, the home made trailers are a whole different ball game.

Trailers are fairly easy to get licensed as "home made", but they are not
motorized vehicles that must conform to safety and emissions standards.

If he uses a frame of an existing bike, it will definately be easier.

I was thinking more along the lines of a complete build...which would be
quite difficult to title.

Much of it depens on the state you are in and what the state laws say.

Good luck... hope it goes well for him... like I said, I know it's a lot of
fun tackling projects like this...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
By the time they get finished discussing this project Dave may not think it sounds like so much fun. He is only interested in building the basics and will let Charlie do the "pretty" stuff. I will let you know whether it ever even gets off the ground and what, if anything, they decide to use for steering. Will try to get some ideas from that reverse trike site. Thanks a bunch.
 
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