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CX500 Trike Building, the other side of the Wooden Motorbike Bet

This has been a long project, but all the best things in life are worth waiting for!  This iDoStuff project started many years ago.

Once upon a time: We had a few beers (just the way every good bike based project should start) and I was persuaded, an almost finished, but abandoned CX500 Silverwing restoration should be triked.  Many years went by (and after another few beers) the project got the motivation it needed.

The “ I can build my trike before you can build you wooden motorbike “ bet.

wooden motorbikeWith £20 (roughly $30 or euros) riding on it the race was on.  The rules did get a bit specific though as in the UK I had all the rules and regulations to follow, the wooden motorbike however, coming from Ireland, didn't have quite the same restrictions.  Although fortunately for me we did stipulate they both had to be able to be driven on the road. 

The wooden motorbike can be seen here, he beat me by a few years in the build but failed due to engine trouble and  the lack of time to get it running.  But as of 2012 I still need to get the legal side of things sorted.

For now, the trikes a runnner but the legal stuff is still to come. The only testing I've been able to do so far, is up and down the back lane.


HOW TO BUILD A TRIKE Build Bits and Bobs on iDoStuff.

I’ll be going in to the various stages in detail. See below for what the stages are and if I’ve put in the detail  

PLEASE COMMENT OVER ON THE BLOG IF SOMETHING I COULD BE COVERING or with any questions.

DESIGNING a TRIKE

Over all this probably took longer than the actual build but especially when I take thinking time in to account.  I wanted something a bit unusual and at the time I was thinking of needing to transport 3 Kids on the back.  However by the time I’ll have finished at least another one of them will have left home but now I have grandchild so all is not wasted.
It had to be small, light as it could be and low so it would be fun when it’s just me on it. To complicate things I also wanted some suspension on the rear.  And just because… It had to look neat.  The other major set of constraint relate to it having to comply with the regulation and pass an MSVA (Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval)
More to follow on the design later

Trike Design- Many Sketches, fag packets and even working drawings later
Even a wooden prototype of the trike suspension to check out some angles and geometry.

Trike designs sketches on the drawing board

"Cheers Dave for the initial encouragement, assistance, oh, and the parts. Not forgotten"

Trike Building Details

So much to go in to in detail:

Chopping the existing frame. Some of the old frame was just too far gone "rusted" so had to be rebuilt. More to follow

Chopping bike frame to make trike

Fabricating and attaching the new frame. Going from 2D to 3D in steel tube, bending with a home made tube bender, getting it accurate and welding it all together. More to follow.

Fabricating and attaching the new trike frame

Fitting metric wheels to imperial axle. Little details like 0.8mm calls for some ingenuity. More to Follow

Redrilling half shafts to fit metric wheel

Custom made mudguards. Putting the welder away and moving in to plastics, for custom trike, off the shelf parts just wont do. More to Follow.

Mould for custome trike mudguards

Fibreglass a new seat base. Useful for any one wanting to lose some weight, the original base was steel the new one is much lighter. More to follow.

Fibreglass a motorbike seat base

Plus a multitude of fiddly bits that need sorting. Yes it needs lights, seatbelts, immobiliser, not to mention silencers and seats.

Electrics and the rest of fiddly bit to finish the trike


Sorting out the Legal stuff: Trike DVLA inspection, MSVA testing etc.

Bane of the Trike Builders life. Their seems to allot of misinformation and anecdotal misconceptions surround what has to happen to make a legal trike. I think this comes in part because those in "authority" you might speak to don't actual know. Hopefully I'm going to be able to cast some real life light on it all.

The Trike has been built to the best of by ability to comply with the MSVA regulations (more to follow).

The first part of dealing with the Authorities has been smooth although time consuming. The trike had to be taken to the local DVLA office (Sheffield) for the inspector to do a quick examination before it was issued with a new VIN number. Despite the engine number not matching the V5 log book (they will amend and use the new engine number, not a problem) they will send me a VIN number. This will be used along with the rest of the paperwork to identify the trike as "manufacturer" AGB and the "Model Number" AGB1. I wish I' de had more time to think about those but I was a bit under pressure filling the forms in at the DVLA office.

Custom built Trike on its first Road Trip to the DVLA office. I sacrificed our trailer tent for chassis but now I've got a trike trailer that doubles up as transport for the hand hewn beams to take to Whitby. (another story altogether)

Trike trailer, custom built

If you've got any comments, questions or suggestions, please visit the trike build page on the blog.