My goal for this project is to build a commuter vehicle capable of highway speeds (60 mph), a reasonable range (25 miles) and a budget that won’t require a second mortgage ($5K). I have a small bit of experience having built a 500W mid-motor recumbent trike. (See photo 1). Details of how that trike was built can be seen here.
A year later, wanting a little more power and a little better range, I built a 1000W Yescom USA hub motored trike. This trike is still ridden daily some three years later and has logged over 4,000 miles. (See photo 2). Details of how the trike was built can be seen here.
I have also built a number of adaptive bikes and trikes (some electric and some pedal powered) for special needs students at the request of our local Department of Education. All of these trikes have been built using salvaged bicycle components incorporated into custom fabricated frames and new electronics.
These projects have wet my appetite for something bigger, faster, and more utilitarian (grocery getting, running errands, Home Depot jaunts, and local cruising.) I have chosen to stick with a three wheeled trike design for the following reasons:
a) I am familiar with it from prior builds.
b) It is relatively light weight.
c) It is more stable (for me at age 72) than a two wheel “motorcycle”.
d) It is easier to license here in CA as a motorcycle than if it were a hand-built four wheel vehicle which would require licensing as a car.
e) although the trike will be “open air” I am fortunate to live in California’s Central Valley where year-round motorcycle riding is quite common.
The trike will be built using two 3000W, QS Motors hub wheels mounted on the rear. The hubs have 16″ rims, 273 ring size, 40H magnet size and are dual shaft, requiring drop outs on each side of each wheel. The other major electronic components include:
Two Kelly controllers model KLS7230S (includes regeneration, electronic reverse, and cruise control)
Two controller heat sinks
Cycle Analyst V3 instrument cluster
Dunlop Motorcycle tires (150/80/16)
Kelly 400A72V contactor
Holdwell ED250B-1 emergency shut off
Hydraulic disc brakes on both rear wheels
Dual disc hydraulic brakes on front wheel
Mechanical parking/emergency brake kit
6 – 12 volt EverStart 29DC deep cycle lead acid battery pack rated at 125 amphour.
4 awg welding cable for all main battery wiring.