Trike Gallery

The Long Haul to Building a Trike

Husky (Shani) my better half (for the sake of not getting bashed) after being in a motorbike accident with yours truly decided she still wanted the feel of wind in her hair but not on two wheels. We decided to go and see a mate of mine about building a Trike for the chief cook n bottle washer and what sort of costs were involved. After some long discussions she finally settled on a frame and body to suit, keeping in mind she likes Harleys so it had to have a Harley front end complete with all the trimmings. The Backyarder told us a Harley front end would be great and look the part too. So she decided on it and after being ripped off we find out that they are no good on the Trike frame she chose as the rake and trail is all wrong (more on that later). It took 2½ years and lots of phone calls to get the frame and body off him, in the end we went down there and brought it all home to do ourselves. We had no idea what we were going to do when we were left with a Trike (or so we called it) about 25% finished and didn't know where to turn next. Luckily for us we had been in contact with a club over here called the West Coast Trikers. So we joined hoping we may be able to pick up so good tips on where to go and what to do. The club was and is very obliging and helped us out immensely. We were very lucky to make some good friends there who guided us through the maze. Mick the Triker guru (Yoda) who manufactures Trikes as a business was a wealth of info and he helped us through numerous hours either manufacturing parts or helping put it together for us. Without his knowledge we might as well of sent it all to the tip.

We felt doomed from the start, we had to find a donor car which came in the form of a 1600 VW Fastback with a Type 3 motor. The body was not an issue and motor and gearbox were sound. I drove it home with the driver door wanting to jump open all the time, parked it up and the Backyarder came and picked it up and took it to his garage. We contacted him several weeks later and he didn't know when could cut it all up so we waited and waited. Finally it was out of the car and ready for the insertion into a nonexistent frame. We were excited and went down to his premises to find the car still intact and no motor out (a big saddy). Around 6 months later it was out but sat there waiting for the frame which took another 12 months. When we brought the frame home with the motor in it we were excited and the build started in earnest. We had a good friend Hiltonman (Steve) from the West Coast Trikers come and spend hour's and hours on the electrical system of the Trike. Picture if you will trying to match up a Harley front end (complete with switches) and a Harley dash and then trying to join and work properly with a VW motor. Yes it took some doing and lot of coffee, headache pills (alcohol after) but when it was all together it looked great. Thanks Steve!

So now we have electric's and we get some nice rubber from Associated Tire Wholesalers here in Perth. The wheels which we bought off the Backyarder, we got some 295x50x15 and they look beefy and smart. We bolt the wheels on and add the body (oh-oh), the tires are too wide. The nitwit had made the fiberglass shell over the wheels not wide enough and it says on his site they will fit!!! So another $800 later we get some made to the right dimensions and the tires are now 265x50x15. So it looks like I have an extra set for mine. Now we finally have what looks like and resembles a Trike. The tank we ordered from the Backyarder finally turns up and doesn't fit by a country mile. I ring him up and tell him to get his rear up here and make the changes to the tank to make it fit (another 4 months later). So now we have a petrol tank as well (Woo-Hoo!) We load the body on, do all the connections and fire the beast up. Didn't it sound so sweet and the cheese and kisses had a grin from ear to ear! Off she goes into the wild blue yonder and we have lots of fun riding it. Now comes the issue of rake and trail (this is where you have to know what's what). Rake and trail are a funny thing because if you get it wrong you are going to be very upset as it will be so hard to corner and turn the Trike. In our case if we hadn't ridden other Trikes we wouldn't know the difference, but we do. A Harley front end (Sporty or Wide Glide, like a mate put on a frame) is not the way to go. We went and saw our "Guru" Mick from Custom Trikes Australia and ended up putting on a Springer (not HD) front end with a wider wheel and what a difference! It was like having power steering. It cost over 6K but was worth the effort.

So now the girl is on the road and is a happy little camper and talking about a colour change to a Pink (I won't be riding it then eh). A few minor body changes and she will be over the moon. Stay tuned for the beast (mine) as I have just sold the Dyna Wide Glide so it's Trike time for me.

Perth Australia
Down Under

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