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.
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
gas engine motorized trike
solar charging motorized trike
ecospeed motor on boom
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. Only motorized wheelchairs are permitted.
A FREE GIFT awaits you!