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Old 02-18-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
Onebigelf
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Default 3 wheels and a motorcycle

I picked up a little Suzuki GZ-250 last year. I get almost 70mpg and I picked up a spare ignition module for it that Is stashed in a defunct microwave in the shed, the power cord stripped back and wired to a ground rod. In the event of EMP I still have transportation. In the event of everything else I still have transportation that gets excellent fuel economy. In good weather I use the bike for commuting the 40 miles each way to work. It tops out at about 60mph with my 225lbs on it, I'm just too tall for good aerodynamics. The wind drag is killing me.

I'm considering a conversion to a 3-wheel vehicle. In Florida, a motorcycle converted to 3-wheels is still legally considered a motorcycle. It's the same bike it was before the conversion. I have been looking at a number of designs that use the rear end of the bike for drive and mate that with a 2-wheel front end, what's called a "Tadpole" or 2F1R configuration. There are also a number of plans for plywood monococque framed vehicles.


This is a 4-wheel cyclekart, It could be converted to a 3-wheel 2F1R.



A couple of looks at the base frame.


A look at another 4-wheeler built with a wooden frame and wood strip canoe type body that could be converted.


A modern, aerodynamic design with hi-tech materials.




The vortex. Complete, plans available, motorcycle based 3-wheeler.


Homemade steel frame. Motorcycle rear frame cut in front of the engine and welded in, VW front axle. Aerodynamic body still to be added.

My intention is to find a second frame for a GZ-250 as a donor, use the ideas from these designs to build a frame (probably wooden) and build an aerodynamic shell, either wood strip or foam and fiberglass. The idea is to end up with a commuter vehicle that, in case of collapse, will provide long range capability on minimal fuel in a vehicle that I can afford now. and that I can store electronic components and spare parts for.

Input? If you are in the North Central Florida area, is anyone interested in collaborating on the terms that we will make our results, plans, etc available to all?

John



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Old 02-19-2012, 03:33 PM   #2
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I am not dissing your plan but first I would be looking at fairings and other air mitigating factors pretty hard first, by the time you add the weight of the 3 wheel conversion you will prolly loose 1/2 of your fuel economy and most of your already limited power. those light little 4 wheel roadsters look like a good plan for commuters, but that would make sence and we can't have that



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Old 02-19-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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I think you are trading one form of resistance for another. also you some other parts in your microwave. Your charging parts will come in handy. It may not run without it ifin it gets fried.
I'm with you on the 3 wheeler though. I have wanted one for years.
I like the yellow one with the VW front. Any more pics or a web site? Have you ever seen a Formula Vee race car? The are VW. Might give you something already made in the front. You could just modify the back. I sold both of mine years ago. I was just too wide in my sholders and didnt want to cut a perfectly good car. (Good I didn't! One was a very special car I found after I sold on Ebay. A guy from Miami bought it.)

I like the transmission these folks carry. It's a forward/reverse in line 1:1 ratio. A bit steep but good for 500 hp.
http://www.roadstercycle.com/

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Old 02-19-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Wind resistance is dominant, followed by sprung weight and rolling resistance. Many of these designs are really, really light. Due to the aerodynamics a number of the 3-wheelers get considerably better mileage than the donor motorcycles.

The little 4-wheel cyclecart designs are probably the lightest, frame wise, the monocoque is made with 1/4" plywood. The base design is intended as an off-road racer and has minimal brakes. The VW front end is considerably heavier, but makes for easy brake and suspension design.

I'm adding a coil to the microwave. Still need to find an alternator, as the regulator pack is part of the alternator. I don't thing the windings themselves are at risk, but that voltage regulator is sure to go.

John
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tirediron View Post
I am not dissing your plan but first I would be looking at fairings and other air mitigating factors pretty hard first, by the time you add the weight of the 3 wheel conversion you will prolly loose 1/2 of your fuel economy and most of your already limited power. those light little 4 wheel roadsters look like a good plan for commuters, but that would make sence and we can't have that
I don't think so. Recumbent bikes are more efficient than uprights despite being a little heavier. Why? Because aerodynamic efficiency from the lower profile trumps the weight increase. Velomobiles, recumbents with an aerodynamic shell, are much better than straight recumbents despite a significant weight increase. Same reason. What I'm planning is basically the same progression, but with a small motorcycle instead of human-power. Since the speed are higher and aerodynamic drag as a factor of power consumption in vehicles is a square rather than multiple, the aerodynamic improvement is even more beneficial. In other words, what limits the GZ-250 now is not it's gearing, but it's ability to overcome aerodynamic drag. That means that the bike tops out at 65-70MPH well below red-line because it lacks the horsepower to push me and the bike through the air any faster. I can lay down on the tank and get an immediate 8mph. I also get better fuel economy that way. Even if I'm rolling more weight, pushing the bike through the air at high speed with more efficiency is more important.




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Old 02-27-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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I showed those motorbikes to a buddy of mine as he was planning out a build of one last year and had everything worked out in AutoCAD. He then took the plans to Alberta registries and insurance and was informed that he could probably register the trike but, insurance would cost upwards of $5000 / year ...

He asked about creating a company to build the trikes and was informed that was also possible, but, it would cost him about a million-dollars in destroyed trikes for crash-test purposes

Right now, we are putting that idea on hold till we can work out some better financial options ...



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