Category Archives: electric motorized trikes

SPEED TRIKE


came across a blog about the design and construction of electric powered tadpole trikes. It is named tadpoletrikeman. The owner of the blog has built a homemade electric assist powered tadpole trike he calls Speed Trike. Here is a photo of it.

speed-trike-1

Although he made the frame he has used a TerraTrike seat and front wheels on it so if you don’t look carefully one may think at first glance it is a TerraTrike.

speed-trike-12

At this point in time he only has this one trike featured. Hopefully other material will be offered on the blog in the future.

speed-trike-4

As you can see in these pictures he has done a very nice job building the trike. It looks great.

speed-trike-2

speed-trike-10

speed-trike-8

As you can see he used a bolt for the front axles. That is the same thing I did when I built my tadpole trike.  It is quite common and works quite well. Just be sure it is strong enough (hardened grade 5 or 8 and 5/8 inch diameter if my memory serves me right).

speed-trike-11

Underseat indirect steering was employed.

speed-trike-5

speed-trike-9

The rear view mirror is mounted on the steering head.

I encourage you to check out this blog.  And by all means …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

MOVING RIGHT ALONG


Various things come to mind I am tempted to say here in response to these videos, but I will stifle myself and let others think what they want. I have never been a smoker, but I remember in Navy boot camp the words “smokem’ if you’ve gottem”. That seems to apply here but it has nothing to do with cigarettes.

Most definitely at 45 mph or so this rider is moving right along.

Certainly not getting any exercise …

Continuing to move right along …

Another one with money to burn …

Keep in mind that here is the United States 750 watts is the maximum power allowed on the streets by law.

WINTER PLAYTIME or FUN ON 3 WHEELS


Having an electric motor pedal assist tadpole trike does have its good points … like playing on the snow covered roads, etc. You could not do most of this shown in these videos without a motor. Just so one avoids smashing into trees, telephone poles, parked cars, etc. 🙂

I am not sure what I am hearing on this next one. That can’t be the actual sound of this trike. It has to be added sound effects. What do you think?

It’s just not the same without an electric motor, but you can still have fun …

And I would think that 4 wheels would even be more fun than 3 … especially when FAT tires are involved.

Even with a motor I would not want to try this. It is definitely winter, but it doesn’t look like fun at all.

So whether you are motorized or a “plain Jane” always do your best to …

ENJOY THE RIDE

and be safe!

You might want to avoid riding at the north or south pole though.

CHEAP ELECTRIC TADPOLE TRIKES


Chinese motorized trikes

It is said that “you get what you pay for”. That is usually true. I hope it isn’t the case when it comes to cheap trikes that come from China. They certainly offer some low prices. Of course, shipping isn’t cheap ($500 – $700) so the price increases considerably over the list price of the trike alone.  The fairly well known website, aliexpress.com, has gobs of tadpole trikes listed for sale. Among them are electric pedal assist trikes. They come with either 250 watt or 500 watt Bafang brushless rear hub motors.

As you can see in the pictures the batteries are positioned up high under the rear rack. They are handy to get at there, but it also means that adding that weight at that height affects the center of gravity and handling suffers. The higher the center of gravity the easier a trike can tip over.

As to quality they do skimp on components using brands which are not among the more common names we usually see on trikes. So be aware that should the cheaper components fail sooner than later you might be laying out some money to buy better quality components. If that happens, then I would say that there was no real savings realized in buying these lower cost trikes. And the components may not perform to one’s liking in comparison to brand name components.

red 250 watt

Their 250 watt model with no suspension (shown above) sells for $1,818.76 including shipping to the U.S.

rear suspension 250 watt

Their 250 watt rear suspension model (shown above) sells for $1,818.76. That is the same price as the no suspension model. “Go figure” as they say.

silver rear suspension 500 watt

Their 500 watt rear suspension model (shown above) sells for $2,265.76 which includes shipping to the U.S.

Delivery time to the U.S. is said to be 11 to 19 days.

Their trikes come with:  high carbon steel frame, choice of 26 or 20 rear wheel, fenders, neck rest, rear rack, mirrors and a flag pole. They also come with a rear V-brake for parking which can be replaced with a disc brake if preferred. The mesh seat can be exchanged for a fiberglass seat.

They say they can custom make a trike if a customer is too heavy for their stock trike (which has a weight capacity of about 264 pounds). The same is true for customers who are too short or too tall for their standard trikes.

Chinese motorized trike components

I would not care for the electronic digital display to be mounted vertically. That is quite impractical trying to view it. I am assuming that the battery pack has an integrated taillight of some sort although I have not read anything about it.

As to top speed and battery power endurance these trikes don’t measure up to some of the more expensive motorized trikes out there we normally read/hear about. They won’t go as fast nor as far using battery and motor power. They do have 5 levels of power including a button to push which will give full motor propulsion which does not require pedaling.

Being made of high carbon steel rather than chrome-moly steel or aluminum they will be heavier. One plus is that should there be frame breakage high carbon steel can be readily repair welded successfully by a qualified skilled weldor. Although high carbon steel offers more flexibility than aluminum is doesn’t flex as much as chrome-moly steel does.

They also sell kits to motorize trikes which, of course, is a much cheaper way to go if you already have a trike. Installing it would require considerable mechanical ability.

BTW, they also offer lots of tadpole trikes which are not motorized which are, of course, cheaper yet. And they offer at least one FAT tire trike which I will be writing about quite soon.

In closing I am going to throw this out for what it is worth. In my nearly 70 years of life on this earth and most all of those years involved in various sorts of mechanical things including a career as a weldor and metal fabricator since age 12 I have a lot of experience with metal objects. I have a lifetime of repairing them when they break. I would be very concerned about the quality of these trikes and probably would not spend my money on one myself. My gut feeling is that I would regret it and wish I would have just spent a bit more. Then I would know I bought quality and would have the assurance of a company and dealers who stand behind the products. Buying something from China pretty much leaves the buyer on their own should problems arise. Even if there is some support dealing with a company on the other side of the world doesn’t appeal to me.

WHEEZY ELECTRIC MOTOR ASSIST


wheezy electric wheel 5

Onboard electric drives are not the only means available to assist riders in their pedaling. The Ridekick has been around for awhile and the Brouhaha trailer attempted to make it to market, but was unsuccessful in their Kickstarter campaign. Now this new comer, Wheezy, is trying to make it to market. The key word there is “trying” as this has also been in the Kickstarter campaign. According to their Kickstarter page it has been cancelled as of Oct. 24th. I am not sure what that means as far as whether or not the product will ever make it to market.

Here is some of what they have to say about this product designed in the UK:

“Wheezy turns any bike into an e-bike in a click. No special adjustments necessary simply connect Wheezy to your existing wheel and you’re good to go!

The 1.5 amp battery charger is built into Wheezy’s frame so you can charge the 166 Wh battery pack easily in the office, at home or anywhere you like. . Pull its cord out to plug it into the wall for charging. Fold it back into the frame when the charge is complete.  A full charge can take anywhere from 2.4 to 4 hours, depending on the battery capacity. You can travel 12-31 miles (20-50 km) per charge with Wheezy, depending on the rider’s weight, the air pressure of the bicycle tires, riding conditions and the model’s battery capacity (Wh). Three models are being offered:

Wheezy 3 models 2

Originally the company hoped to start shipping this product by the middle of next May. I don’t know where things stand now since the Kickstarter campaign did not go well. They offered lower prices ($400, $490 & $740) on the product to backers, but didn’t get much response. All I can say is … if those are lower prices I would hate to see what their normal price will be. I think those prices are plenty high.

wheezy electric wheel 4

Wheezy is an electric auxiliary all-terrain wheel. It operates on a brushless wheel hub motor that is entirely enclosed, protected from erosion. This means high efficiency, reliability, no noise, no maintenance and a long lifetime.

Wheezy runs on a small lightweight NiMH battery pack used for hybrid vehicles. NiMH is much safer and lasts longer than the lithium (Li-ion) batteries used for standard e-bikes.

It comes with a smart microcontroller, creating for smooth operation and utmost battery efficiency.

Wheezy is encased in a lightweight steel chassis, a frame and running gear, making it much stronger and durable than its aluminum counterparts. Its zinc coating even prevents rusting.”

Setup is fast and easy …  Generally, you need to do 3 simple things;

1) Replace the left rear wheel nut. 2) Add install Pedal Assist Systems (PAS) or Hand Throttles. 3) Connect Wheezy.

Wheezy axle attachment

Here are various items available for use with this product:

Wheezy parts

Wheezy videos on YouTube.

The Wheezy unit weighs about 26 pounds (12 kg). It can be wheeled easily using the tongue to hold onto so that it doesn’t have to be carried. A key-based power switch and battery lock system adds security. The unit can be operated as a pedal assist system or manually with a thumb throttle.

Wheezy pedal assist system

Obviously this is designed for a bicycle. However, with some adaptive ingenuity I would rather imagine that it could be made to work on a tadpole trike. Of course, first it would have to come to market. We’ll see what happens.

48V 750W 8fun Bafang Mid Drive Motor Electric Bike Conversion Kit


Bafang electric motor installed on ICE trike

Are you mechanically inclined? If so, here is a DIY (do it yourself) project to motorize your tadpole trike. If you have money to burn you could hire a bicycle shop/independent mechanic to install this for you. This is a 750 watt brushless electric motor. That is the maximum size allowed by law for bicycles in the United States. Like so many electric motors designed for bicycles it doesn’t come with a battery so the battery must be purchased separately. Batteries are not cheap. One can expect to shell out about $1500 total for this kit with a battery. This is both a pedal assist and motor only rig so it pretty much fits the bill. Probably the one main “con” is the fact that it doesn’t sense shifting gears meaning that it will maintain power resulting in mashing gears. That is not a good thing. Of course, one can get around this by simply  turning the power way down/off while shifting.

Bafang electric motor kit

Bafang electric motor kit 2

Bafang electric motor kit 3

In this next video a KMX trike is shown. I want to include the video description here as it contains some information about this rig. Note the top speed claimed in this vs. the speed obtained on a bicycle equipped with this which was shown in an earlier video. Notice I said “obtained” as there was no mention of top speed. If I remember correctly the fastest I saw on the display was 22 mph.

“48V 750W BBS02 MAX Speed 32 MPH. 1. LCD Panel with FULL features: Speed, distance, 9 levels PAS, FULLY programmable without any patch cables, All done on screen. Motor with built Controller. Full set of new Bottom bracket mounting parts for bikes with 68mm BB Plus Chain ring (will work with 73 mm BB with longer hardware and spacers). Full instructions for installation and LCD set up and programming instruction book. Full set of quick release Wire harness with E-brake levers, throttle, PAS wires, etc. 6. Awesome acceleration, Hill climbing, Top speed of approx. 32 MPH. In the USA is classified as a fully legal 750 Watt Nominal motor by regulations. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico shipping fee is $100.00.”

Bafang electric motor inside

Here is a video showing and explaining how to install this on a DF bicycle. It would be quite similar installing it on a tadpole trike.

Bafang electric motor 8fun bbs02- display panel

Click HERE for YouTube video search results of the electric motor kit.

Bafang electric motor installed on KMX trike 2

 

Electric Bike Review

Amazon sells the kit with a battery for less than $1200 including shipping.

Ebay sells the kits. They also offer one that comes with a battery. I just discovered something while looking at these on Ebay. You have to be careful as there is tricky selling going on. I saw one of these shown as only costing $70. I thought “WOW!” … and wondered how that could possibly be. Then I scrolled down further and discovered that the seller is charging $410 shipping … bringing the total up to what most of the others are selling for.

Alibaba also sells the kits and is probably the lowest priced. They also sell other wattage models. And they too sell the kit with a battery.

From Alibaba website:

Motor

1) Has small current, high efficiency and long riding distance;

2) Light, energy-saving and protective for the battery;

3) Free of maintenance and has a long service life;

4) Produces small noise and is of soft start-up;

5) Has great output power, quick starting and powerful climbing capacity;

6) Gears are made of high strength and abrasion resistant high temperature nylon

7) Reasonably structured and durable in use.
Battery

For the 48v 750w motor, we recommend:

48v11.6ah (samsungcell 18650 2900mah,13s4p) dolphin battery

Bafang electric motor installed on KMX trike

Notice that on the KMX trike the motor is up on top of the boom and behind the crankset while on the ICE trike shown further above the motor is out in front of the crankset and boom. With this unit the front derailleur is not used. The front derailleur mounting tube on the ICE prevents the motor from being placed like it is on the KMX.  One could remove the tubing and position the motor on top of the boom, but if you ever wanted to go back to using a front derailleur a new boom would be required.

BRITT ELECTRIC PEDALS


As the saying goes … “What will they think of next?”  … E-Pedals!

Britt Pedals E-Drive

Britt Pedals are an invention of a British man named Stephen Britt. Although not a very powerful motor nor a very long lasting battery power these are a quick and rather inexpensive means of motorizing a bicycle or in our case a tricycle. Costing about $300 it is just a matter of removing the existing pedals and installing these in their place. I don’t know much about them and apparently not much is being said as to just how they work. An engineer I am not, but it would seem to me that this is not a very efficient way to go about motorizing a bike. For sure it is truly pedal assist. There is no denying that.

They are not yet in production and available to purchase. They have come a ways though from their beginning as you can see in this picture of what they looked like in their early development.

Fast Forward electric pedal

Here is a video of Stephen Britt talking about his invention. As you can see the name was orginally Fast Forward.

Here is the company statement about the product:

“These replace your standard pedals and provide you with assistance to get you up hills, or carry heavy loads. Each pedal incorporates a motor, gearbox, Li-po batteries and a control board. As you pedal the sensors detect your effort and provide assistance. To pedal without assistance, simply flip the pedals over. They unclip and slot into a charger for charging, much like with a power tool. When fully developed they will provide a range of 10 miles and peak power of 200W. They will retail for around £200 (approximately $300).”

And there have been several articles written about these. The following are just a few of them:

http://electricbikereview.com/community/threads/the-britt-pedal-very-different.341/
http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/news/stephen-britt-talks-pedelecs-electric-pedal-invention/
http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/25/fast-forward-electric-pedals-could-make-your-bike-power-itself/
http://www.greenoptimistic.com/fast-forward-powered-pedals-20100720/#.VVNIdVTd9kX
http://www.electric-bicycle-guide.com/FastForward.html

Obviously they offer no protection for the concern of leg suck so using these on a tadpole trike could be risky. And I don’t see any simple solution to this concern.

Britt Pedal installed on crankarm

With only a ten mile range it is good that the pedals can be flipped over so that the battery power can be saved for when you really need it. 200 Watts is considered to be an entry level motor (not very powerful) so I would not expect them to climb much of a hill. I could be wrong and hope that I am. Maybe these would surprise me. I have no experience with electric motors on bikes. I am only going by what I have read. But hey, if these do make it into production and they offer enough assistance they might very well be just the ticket for some to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

OUTRIDER HORIZON – ALL ELECTRIC ALL TERRAIN TADPOLE TRIKE


Horizon all electric all terrain tadpole trike 2

One mean machine as they say. “Truly one of a kind. For the Horizon we blended an all terrain, full suspension chassis with the our industry leading electric drive system – but that’s just the beginning. By making it modular, adding in a host of adaptive features, and refining the design with real-world feedback from around the globe, we’ve created a trike that offers the freedom and thrill of all terrain cycling to an unprecedented range of physical abilities / disabilities.”

http://www.outriderusa.com/Adaptive-All-Terrain-Horizon-Trike-s/1940.htm

The trike is made in Fletcher, NC and comes with a 2 year limited warranty. It weighs 84 pounds and up … depending upon options/configuration ordered. It has an optional roll bar to keep the rider safe in unstable riding conditions. The starting price is $9995.00 USD and can increase dramatically depending on options … as much as$8050 additional according to website. Battery size options can be quite expensive … as much as $4500 additional.

This video was made for the kickstarter campaign (which has ended quite successfully) …

FEATURES:
Modular adaptations for varying physical abilities – Handcycle Option, Foot Rest Option, Rising Seat Option, Tri-Pin Hand Control Option
Explore your world with fully adjustable front and rear air-shock suspension
Reliable American Made Drive-Train
3 Ways to Ride: Pedal only, Electric only, Pedal-Electric together
Fast Recharging – Spend more time riding and less time waiting
Electronic Pedal Shifting – Easy to use and ultra fast gear shifting

The motor powering the Horizon is a bit different from the other Outrider recumbent trikes like the 422 Alpha. This one uses a 2,000 watt geared hub motor capable of high torque output that makes starting from rest, even on steep inclines, possible.

Front Tires: Maxxis Maxx Daddy’s (20″, 20″)

Rear Tires: Maxxis Holy Roller (26″)

Wheels (Standard): Steel J-Bend

Wheels (Optional): Aluminum straight-pull (industry 9)

Shifter: SRAM X.0 Grip Shifter

Derailleur: SRAM X.7 9 Speed

Suspension: Independent A-Arm Front, Rear Shock

Motor: American Made Brushless 93% Efficient

Max Weight: Rider plus gear = 250

Battery Chemistry: Lithium Polymer

Battery Capacity: 1-4kW

Brakes: Dual Shimano Hydraulic 180 mm Disc Brakes

Frame: Chromolly / Aluminum

Charger: 900 Watt 110V Charger (220 Available upon request)

HERE is an article on this trike.  And HERE is their kickstarter website which, as I said, is over and was quite successful. And HERE is their website. And HERE is a review of the trike.

Horizon all electric all terrain tadpole trike

Horizon all electric all terrain tadpole trike 3

Here is a look at the front suspension.

Horizon all electric all terrain tadpole trike 4

And here is the rear suspension as well as the battery box and switch.

Horizon rear suspension

Hmmm, that looks like my trike often looks as far as the mud. And I rarely ride off road.

Well, it ain’t cheap, but it sure looks like it would “get ur dun” as far as off road riding goes. Of course, the main purpose of this trike is for those who have physical handicaps. With such a rig as this they too can …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

ELECTRIC ASSIST MOTORIZED “VELOCARS”


TRIKE TO THE FUTURE

It must be something in the water … seems everybody and their brother is getting into making electric assist motorized “velocars” (technically they are velomobiles) built upon a tadpole trike. Here are 3 of them … the ELF, the e-Fox and the Tripod. The concept is great. The problem I have with every design I have seen thus far is the fact that they make them too difficult to get in and out of. I mean, why not just put a door in the side like a regular car or truck has? Someone who is elderly, overweight and out of shape, or has various physical problems could not possibly deal with the design of these. I don’t understand the mentality here and I certainly don’t agree with it. It is flawed from the git go. If I were going to design one of these that would be one of the top priorities … easy entry and exit. I understand that the strongest body is one piece and that a door takes away from that. However, for me it is not an option. A door is essential. The designer just simply has to work with that. Well, I spun my wheels on that one. On with these 3 designs.

****************

The ELF made by Organic Transit is probably the best known of the 3 at this point in time so I will start off with it. One might say it has an “elfin” quality (pun intended). At 160 pounds it weighs considerably less than your more common family car (if you have a family car). BTW – I have seen the weight listed as 132 and 150 also, but their website shows 160 so that is what I am going with. It has a 350 pound payload. The electric motor is 750 Watt. It has a 15 mile range on a full charge. It takes 2.5 hours to charge plugged into a 110 volt wall outlet or about 7 hours using the solar panel on a sunny day. They offer 3 models.

ELF Bike

One thing I noticed about the ELF is that there is no floor in it. It is open to the ground. I see good and bad in this. The good is that one doesn’t have to worry about the floor being strong enough to put one’s weight on. In hot weather having air coming up thru the floor area would probably be a God-send. With no floor there is nothing to get messed up tracking all sorts of debris from one’s shoes. The bad is that one’s feet and legs could get injured if they go down and make contact with the ground while the trike is moving. Another bad aspect is that water and other “stuff” could and would come up on the rider. With no floor there is not anyway to carry stuff around that you might prefer to simply toss on the floor if there were one. In cold weather cold air would come up thru there. Hmmm, can’t seem to win for losing. No doubt being able to place one’s feet on the ground is the means of the “reverse gear” to back the velocar up.

ELF e-trike interior

ELF e-trike description

They offer a bunch of accessories. Check them out HERE. Doors (pictured below) can be added for about $200.

ELF e-trike doors

I mentioned that they offer 3 models. They are the basic model which is what I have shown in pictures thus far. The second model is a 2 seater. Actually I just discovered that they have a 3 seater as well.

ELF e-trike 2 seater

And the 3 rd model is … well, most of us wouldn’t qualify for it … it is for the police. Actually I am only kidding. I think anyone could buy this model. It has some extra features such as stronger motor and battery pack with higher speed and range on motor/battery only. It is even a traditonal police black and white vehicle … cute. Actually it is not just for police. Here is what they say … “community policing, events management, corporate and academic campus maintenance and grounds, and any situation where you need to all-day performance with heavy payload capabilities, comfort, visibility and more.” This model is heavier duty in most areas. It is also about 45 pounds or so heavier. Some of that extra weight is due to it having dual battery packs. We are talking a whopping 1000 watt electric motor and double battery pack enabling the trike to go 28 mph and 45 mile range on battery & motor only.

ELF e-trike police

HERE are the various models and features that can be ordered.

****************

Next let’s look at the e-Fox made by Nu Way 2 Commute out of North Carolina. It is built on a TerraTrike Rover.

Update Bulletin: I just read that the kickstarter fund raising for this e-trike was unsuccessful.

The Nu Wa y 2 Commute company website is no longer available.

So this project is dead in the water. Consequently I am not

going to spend much time and effort writing about it.

 e-fox

132 pounds, 36 volt 15 amp hour battery, 500 Watt hub motor, 30 miles per charge with upgrades available.

 

http://www.gizmag.com/e-fox-velomobile/29531/

****************

Lastly let’s look at the Tripod. It is made in Portland, Oregon by Columbia Cycle Works. The operator sits higher and more upright than most tadpole trikes. This helps not only to see better while traveling along, but it also helps others to see the operator of the vehicle and the vehicle better. It comes with a retractable battery-charging cord, lights, horn, and windshield wiper. The top part is removable. The windows open as does the sun roof. The top lifts up aided by gas filled struts so that one can get in and out of it. It has a 500 Watt hub motor which will propel the 110* (without a battery) pound vehicle up to the maximum legal speed allowed of 20 mph. Any faster than that you will probably find yourself dealing with the police. The Tripod doesn’t come with a battery so that means that the buyer has to come up with his own battery. The 110* pound weight I mentioned does not include a battery. An exterior keyed lock, locks the hatch when not in use. All 3 wheels have disc brakes. The Tripod comes in three bright colors: lime green, tangerine orange and canary yellow. The cost of a Tripod is US$7,450. Because Tripods are made to order, completion usually takes two to three weeks from the time of order. Also, because they are made to order a one-half purchase price non-refundable deposit must be received with the order. The remaining balance is due at the time of shipment. All purchases are handled by certified check or through Paypal.

tripod velomobile left side view

tripod velomobile front view

GIZMAG article

****************

Of the three of them it looks to me like the ELF would be the easiest to get in and out of although I would say even it would be a bit challenging for many folks. And the ELF is by far the cheapest base price. At least for far less money than the Tripod which doesn’t even come with a battery.  Batteries are not cheap so add that onto the price of the Tripod and you are definitely talking about some money. I really don’t understand the considerable difference in the price of these two machines. The Tripod is half again as much as the ELF, and did I mention that you still need to buy a battery?

****************

While I am at it I will mention one other brand that is out there … the HORNET. It is Canadian and is pretty much a velomobile built around a 350 Watt electric motor.  It is a little bit more than the ELF in cost, but far less than the Tripod. And it comes with a battery. There is no top for it however so the rider is exposed to the weather. This is a bare bones model. Lights and turn signals are extra cost accessories. A larger motor is also available as is a 26 inch rear wheel. Overall I am not impressed with this offering although I will say that is is one of the lowest cost velomobiles I have seen and it even comes with an electric motor. It is just not in the same category of these “velocars”.

Hornet velomobile

Gizmag article

****************

Well, that is it as far as these 3 offerings. What do you think? Are these “trikes to the future”? Hold on … next week there will probably be some other new offering. Everybody and his brother is getting into this. You knew that, right? It will be interesting to see if these trikes succeed and the companies can stay in business.

ELECTRIC MOTORIZED E-TRIKE WITH REVERSE


Go-Hub … is a kit which can be purchased to motorize a tadpole trike. What is unique about it is that it offers “REVERSE”. That’s something we talk about, but this is the first I have actually heard of it. You can check it out in more detail HERE.

gohubkit700

  • Brushless Crystalyte motors are silent, powerful and more efficient; no brushes to replace and 750 peak (500 continuous) watts of power move you over virtually any terrain
  • No external connectors to fail, all connections are internal
  • Gearless motors have no gears to make noise or wear out
  • Bicycle kit carries up to a 250# rider, Trike kit carries up to a 300# rider)
  • Trike kit includes reverse
  • Tool kit included
  • Your choice of twist throttle (motorcycle style), or thumb throttle 
  • Throttle mounted power gauge tells you how much charge is left in the batteries
  • Motor delivers power from a dead stop – other brands require you to pedal first
  • Uses 3 (included) model BP1212 top quality B+B brand batteries for 12ah capacity at 36 volts (Sealed Lead Acid)
  • Top quality Soneil brand 2-amp charger provides fast charges while protecting batteries for extended battery life
  • Battery bags include key switch to prevent unauthorized use
  • Choice of small or large battery bag.  Large bag provides room to store the charger on-board
  • Super durable double-wall alloy rim with stainless steel spokes, and “Slime” filled self-sealing tube ensures you’re never left stranded due to tire or wheel failures
  • Optional safety brake levers automatically turn off motor when you hit the brakes
  • Available in 24″ or 26″ configurations
  • Requires 3.75″ width between front axle mounting holes, 3″ width between forks for motor to fit and .4″ (10mm) diameter axle mounting holes in the forks

Now that I am looking into this I just found another one which claims to offer reverse. HERE is a link to it.

And then I found … How to make a hub motor reverse.

How to install an e-trike kit.

So far what I am finding it all DIY approaches. So I am wondering … does anyone manufacture an e-trike with reverse? I will let you know if I find out anything. If you know anything about the matter please let me and others know by commenting or emailing me. Thanks.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

ARCTRIKE … A NEW ELECTRIC MOTORIZED TADPOLE TRIKE


Note (added later after this article was written): It appears as though

this trike’s manufacture and marketing situation has come to an end

and at best is in limbo. The website has been taken down.

With the growing popularity of tadpole trikes comes new companies offering various products. One of them is Arctrike. They make a nice looking and sporty trike. The really great aspect of their trikes is that the trike is built as an electric motorized trike … not taking a tadpole trike and motorizing it. That means it is built heavier duty to hold up to the extra demands and stresses put on it. Arctrike is headquartered in London, Ontario (Canada).

Here is a statement found on their website:

“The Arctrike. Our promotional video, showing some of the attributes of one of the best designed, coolest looking, and baddest handling Electric Recumbent trikes on the market.”

They presently offer 3 models ranging in price from $5300 to $5700 to $6250. With each model the range of travel on a battery charge and top speed increase as does the price. All models are 7 speed. Hey, with a motor you don’t need 30 or whatever. All models have front suspension. For $6250 you can “fly” 75 kph (46.6 mph). Compare that to the 28 mph top speed of an $8000 German competitor which will go unnamed.

Arctrike left side

Arctrike right side

Arctrike battery panel

Arctrike front suspension

Arctrike 3 speed switch

Arctrike front suspension 2

Arctrike rear hub

Arctrike rear rack

From their Kickstarter webpage:

Specifications

Length: 82 inches

Track: 34.5

Frame: Aluminum

Weight 93-99 lbs

Volts: 48 Phase 1/ 60 Phase 2/ 72 Phase 3

Brakes: BB7 for Phase 1 and 2 Hydraulic Phase 3

3 Speed switch: Phase 2 and Phase 3

Quick release seat: All models

Regenerative braking Optional on Phase 2 and Phase 3

A high powered headlight and taillight will come with the trike as will a headrest. Phase 3 model will come with a rear rack.

There is a 3 year warranty on the frame and frame components. There is a one year warranty on the batteries and motor. The quality of the frame and components as well as the electronics gives us the confidence to say that you probably would never need to use it!

The batteries are Lithium Ion. They are composed of Headway Cells. 3.3 volts and 15 amps per cell. They are top quality and are the latest in battery technology. The have a lifespan of proximately 2000 charges after which they are reduced to 80% capacity and then they will go another 1000 charges!!!. They can also be charged in a quick 2.5 hours from totally exhausted.

The rear motor is the famous Crystalyte HS3540 rear hub motor. This motor is used extensively by high end bikes such as the Stealth fighter and the Picycle. It is reliable and robust. We are using the non sensored version for ultimate reliability. Combined with the specially modified Lyen Controller it only requires a fraction of an inch of movement before the throttle kicks in.

Arctrike offers the following colors: purple, orange, red, yellow, green, white & black.

If you like watching videos HERE is a playlist of the YouTube videos the designer/builder has posted.

Who knows what will be coming out next in the tadpole trike industry. I reckon I will stick with pedalin’. I need the exercise. Besides, I would probably wrap myself around a tree piloting something like this. 🙂  I want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

NOTE: The manufacturer has been providing additional information via comments so I highly recommend  that you read  the comments.

TO MOTORIZE OR NOT TO MOTORIZE, THAT IS THE QUESTION


They say it is wise to let a sleeping dog lay. I am about to do something I hope I don’t regret. I am going to post an article below which is one I wrote and is posted on Steve Greene’s Trike Asylum blog. When I first wrote it it stirred up a hornet’s nest so to speak. I dared to express my opinion and it got me in trouble with some folks. Anyway, Steve Greene was kind and gracious in giving me his permission to post these articles I wrote for his blog  on my blog. So here goes:

To Motorize or Not to Motorize, That is the Question
I am getting into something here which I will state upfront I am very opinionated about. I”M ‘AGIN’ IT! To my way of thinking motorizing any type of human powered vehicle is defeating the whole concept of the thing … exercise. I mean, come on … if you want a motorized open air vehicle buy a motorcycle for crying out loud. I rode them for over 50 years of my life until I finally decided I would give it up for strictly pedaling around. I was also riding a bicycle all those years so I still got some exercise … just not nearly as much as I do now.

I am sure that there are some folks who are not able to pedal to get around … perhaps can’t use their arms and hands to propel a vehicle either and so they may NEED something in the way of a motorized trike. But there are a whole lot of folks out there who are perfectly capable of pedaling who really don’t NEED to go this route.

That being said, I know it has become pretty popular. The man I sold my homemade tadpole trike to told me he planned on motorizing it. There is lots of information out there on the subject. And I am sure riding a motorized tadpole trike is a lot of fun even though it could lead to an added element of danger. And there may be some folks who just need help pedaling up hills as just maybe their bodies can’t deliver what it takes.

Obviously there are two main ways to go … electric motor or gas engine. Those who oppose gas engines because they “pollute” would no doubt only consider the electric motor route. But I AM STILL AGIN IT!

Here are some pictures of various setups:

KMX trike motorized

KMX trike motorized

gas engine motorized trike

gas engine motorized trike

solar charging motorized trike

solar charging motorized trike

ecospeed motor on boom

ecospeed motor on boom 2

And I say to ya’ll …

KEEP ON PEDALIN’

(We all need the exercise!)

By the way,  one needs to be aware that there are trails where it is against the rules to ride a motorized bike or trike. Our local trails here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area do not allow them. Only motorized wheelchairs are permitted.

 

RIDEKICK ELECTRIC BIKE REVIEW


Lots of folks are into electric motorized tadpole trikes. One option is the Ridekick trailer pulled behind a trike. It has the battery and motor on board and can push the trike along.

ridekick on tadpole

http://electricbikereview.com/ridekick/power-trailer/

Most definitely anyone considering one of these units would do well to read the review as the list of pros and cons is interesting.

Here is a YouTube video of this product and here is the description of the video: The Ridekick is a bicycle trailer with built in motor that pushes the rider like an electric bike. It’s easy to connect and disconnect, learn more in this review and interview with the CEO of Ridekick.

The approximate price is $700. The top speed is about 19 mph motor power only. The standard lead acid battery is good for about 12 miles (45 minutes) of riding while the lithium battery is good for about 25 miles (2 hours). The lithium battery version is about $1359. The unit weighs in at about 43 pounds with lead acid battery and 38 pounds for the lithium battery version. Battery replacement is $125 for the lead acid and $795 for the lithium battery. Charge time for the batteries is 5 hours for the lead acid and 3.3 hours for the lithium. The batteries can be recharged an estimated 400 times for the lead acid or 1,500 times for the lithium before degradation.

The trailer has a cargo volume of 41.8 Liters and can haul up to 75 pounds of cargo.

ridekick carrying capacity

I am sure it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but some may like it. For sure you need to know the rules where you are riding. On our local trails here where I am at motorized vehicles are not allowed. It is lesser money than most electrice trikes. Extra batteries could be purchased and extend the time and distance the trike could be ridden. Of course, pedaling will also increase the time and distance. And pedaling is the whole purpose … exercise!

tadpole trikes … bring out the kid in ya’ 🙂

[Update] Ridekick trailers are sold out through the end of 2014. The company is refining the product and working on the next iteration. All existing warranties are being honored and the company is still in business.