In the simplest terms, choosing the right Frame for a trike can make all the difference. Vehicles that have high torsional rigidity deliver a superior ride, superior handling and better response to driver input. Improving the torsional rigidity of a vehicle allows the suspension to work more efficiently and predictably. Vehicles with high torsional rigidity will see more travel in the suspension, as the chassis isn’t moving. Considering the suspension uses dampers and the chassis doesn’t, it makes sense why you want the suspension to move and not the chassis.
When a country has its oil price go up over four times (America 1973, Oil went from $3 a barrel to $12) and the government starts talking about a fuel tax, people begin thinking outside of the box. Bob Keyes was one of those people and he saw an opportunity to produce a 3-Wheel Car (Trike) to combat the problem. The Trivette Trike delivered four times the fuel economy of an average American car with an increase in handling and performance.
Our builder of today’s amazing trike is Dick Kincheloe and he lives in central Texas near Austin. It is a one of a kind vehicle that he designed and built himself, in a two car garage at home. It took five and a half years and approximately 3,500 man hours to build. He’s a pretty normal bloke who is married with two children, and a grandchild. He is an avid cyclist (road bike, averaging about 1,500 miles a year), a watercolor artist, he plays the keyboard and organ and is a photographer.
The short answer is, “Yes”. It makes the trike handle a lot better (as leaning does to a motorbike and as it would to a four wheel car) because it changes the position of the vehicles centre of mass and counteracts the centripetal force a vehicle experiences during cornering. See the video below to see how it works.
There are a few trikes that we owe a lot to. One of them is the Messerschmitt KR200. One of the early micro cars designed just after WWII when the attitude of saving was high, it blazed the trail for cars that were built to transport two people and keep the costs as low as possible. I have said it before but it needs to be said until people start acting on it. We need to stop driving two-ton cars around to transport one or two people. 3-Wheeler Trikes are the answer.
I’ve had a few really nice daily drivers in my time. I had a 1991 Honda NSX which is one of my favorites. A BMW 535i with a couple of sweet modifications to make it hum and a Jaguar XJS12 for the power and prestige. BUT none of them compare to a 3-wheeler trike for the “Fun To Dollar Ratio”. Let’s see why.
With all the research I do to find the best Trikes in the world and what makes them so great I keep coming across BRILLIANT ideas that either went into production and failed or just never got to production. Today I am going to run through FIVE trikes that I believe need to be built.
Seating layouts in a Trike come in four different forms. Single seat, middle. Tandem seats, middle. Side by side seats and One Front Middle, Two Rear. Other than those configurations, the only thing you can do is to move the position of the seats forward or backward depending on whether the trike is a delta (one wheel forward and two rear) or Tadpole (Two wheels forward and one wheel rear). Is one configuation better than the others? Which one is right for your trike?
When we look at building a trike, we have to decide on the question of what engine should we choose? At this point in time there are a multitude of options all of which have different parameters that they bring to the table. Electric, In Wheel Electric, Petrol Hybrid, Diesel Hybrid, Motorcycle Engine or Car Engine.
When it comes to trikes there are several parameters that change the trike dramatically. The main one is the wheel configeration because it affects the balance of the trike. There are two main options when considering a three-wheeler, Two wheels Front and one wheel rear (2F1R) which is known as a TADPOLE and the other is One Front Wheel and Two Rear Wheels (1F2R) which is known as a DELTA configuration.