I came across a video where all the different models of Catrike tadpole trikes are shown and described. I was impressed with it so I thought I would share it here. Please be aware that since this video was produced Catrike has come out with two more models, the 550 and the Dumont.
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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.
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.
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.”
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.
Click HERE for YouTube video search results of the electric motor kit.
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:
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.
For the 48v 750w motor, we recommend:
48v11.6ah (samsungcell 18650 2900mah,13s4p) dolphin battery
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.
Ten months of on and off work produced this nifty machine. I am so very impressed with the results. Obviously a lot of thought, planning and work went into it. You can even back up with this puppy by just pedaling backwards. Now that is neat!
Bike: KMX typhoon
Motor: Cromotor V2 with a temperature sensor from Methods
Controller: Lyen 10kW 24 FET modified by Zombiess.
Battery: 18s4p Lipo ( 75V, 32 Ah )
CA: Cycle analyst V3
Rear wheel: Mopped 16″ alu rim with a motocross studded tire laced by JRH.
As you can see he has a pretty aggressive tread on that rear tire. With all that power he no doubt needs it.
Even his safety flag pole is electrified …
You can read more about this trike and future plans HERE. It sure looks like he is enjoying the ride. And I truly hope all the rest of us do as well … even if our ride isn’t this elaborate.
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.
From their Kickstarter webpage:
Length: 82 inches
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.