Discussion in 'Motorized Recumbents' started by GoblinAero, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member

    I got to ride my EZ3 HD recumbent trike today for the first time today with its Honda 50cc 4 stroke motor. It's mounted to a Staton gear box. Wow, what a nice, clean, quiet set up. I have a lot of tweaking to do after setting it up, like putting thread lock on the threaded rods & nuts after determining the proper rod lengths, adjust the idle, etc.

    The sun was about to go down after my buddy Tracy at Ajo Bikes got the chain hooked up for me. I took it to him for that last bit because he's got a killer set of chain tools. We filled up the motor with oil, then gas and Vrrrroooooom! Off we went, taking turns ripping around the parking lot.

    Without adjusting the throttle setting, it goes 20 mph at full twist o' the throttle grip. It'll go faster without major changes. After a week or so, I'll swap a 13 tooth freewheel for the 16 that the kit came with to achieve some higher speeds. The trike has 3 20" wheels.

    That Honda 50cc is really quiet and starts right up.

    I have the gear box mounted at a minor angle to line up with the canted angle of the drive shaft. I had a brand new custom shaft made at a machine shop to easily accept the new freewheel. This drives the left shaft and rear wheel. The right shaft is powered by the pedals.

    I've got the power! 'Time for tweaking.

    I'll post pix soon!

    Jeff in Tucson

  2. Hardcarve1

    Hardcarve1 Guest

    No doubt about it the 50 will go a lot faster with a larger cog.

    Would love to see some pics.

  3. kerf

    kerf Guest

    You seem pretty impressed after the first meeting, good news is it will continue to get better. Then it will settle down and become as comfortable as an old shoe, you'll just get on and ride with little thought given to the bike or drive train. Oh, there will be a little routine maintenance but mostly just hours of blissful riding.

    Good luck.
  4. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member

    Pix from the install...

    The photos were taken after the install was done. There is still some work to be done like putting on thread lock and swapping out for a smaller freewheel, but its already been a blast!

    I rode it 45 miles today. I went through town, then through Saguaro National Park with its maxed-out super steep hills. People were walking their bicycles up the big hill (it's a killer) and I motored up easily at 16 mph.

    It is geared for 20mph, but that will change. I hit 23 on a minor downhill under power and 29 coasting down a steeper hill.

    On the way up the grade toward the park, a roadie talked with me and he liked the trike. He drafted me for about 3 miles then fell back telling me to have fun.

    Prior to going through the park, I stopped at McDonald's to get some breakfast. Young and old patrons alike stopped to look at the Honda motored trike. 3 could tell it was me inside the restaurant because I was sitting close by with my helmet. They asked questions about cost, how fast, how many mpg, etc. One fellow in his 60s said, "Hey you need to sell those!" We talked about how I'll design fairings for it next and he loved the idea.

    What a blast it was to ride today. 90 degrees, sunny, and lots of folks that slowed in their cars to take a better look.

    What a blast!

    Jeff in Tucson

    Attached Files:

  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    that things looking ------------------- SUPER SWEET !!!!!!!!

    enjoy yourself as you ---------------- ride that thing
  6. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    hi goblin, isnt the honda a beaut, i have it mounted about 1/2 foot behind my back on a delta trike with friction drive and the motor purrs like a baby, if it had a been a 2 stroke i would have had to wear ear MUFFS!!!!!
  7. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Cool. Another powered recumbent trike hits the road. I'm toying with the idea of building a delta. With the COG so low, how well does it corner at speed?
  8. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member

    'Rode 9,000 feet up Mt. Lemmon today!

    Yeppers, the Honda 50cc is awesome.

    I rode up Mt. Lemmon today, starting from my house near Speedway and Pantano in Tucson, Arizona.

    The trike motored right on up the mountain at 20mph effortlessly. I passed many cyclists on their way up and acknowledged all. Cyclists on the way down took strong notice of the machine.

    I thought that I might have about 1/3 tank after reaching the peak, but... nope! It ran dry right at the top by the fire station. I knew that they had gas for emergencies, so I swung in and they took a few seconds to fill me up. I gave them a big thanks and a $20 donation. I let the firemen ride it around a little, too. They loved it. 'Poor guys are bored out of their minds up there.

    Lots of folks in the little town of Summerhaven at the top took notice. Many in cars along the mountain highway slowed to get a look and some kids even had their heads hanging out of the windows like dogs to gawk at me better.

    Everybody thinks the motored trike is interesting. Very cool.

    In answer to Alaskavan's question, I rode back down the mountain mostly without power assist. Coasting, I hit speeds of 37 mph but slowed to 28-30 in turns where the speed limit was marked 30. If the speed limit said a certain speed, the delta trike could do it safely in the corners. I would not have felt safe going a lot faster in those corners (like 10 over). A tadpole would've hooked through the curves faster, but it isn't a race-track. I never felt at risk of tipping, even in the tight corners that were marked for 20mph. I took those at 20-23.

    I intentionally drove over cracks, sticks, rocks, 10" high piles of pine needles, and even a big lollipop that some kid had thrown out of the car window. The stability of the trike was impressive.

    At 9,000 feet the air is thinner, but the motor didn't seem to mind. It pulled hard and did its job.

    After getting back down to the valley, the air had warmed to 90 and I was home in a flash.

    Ballpark miles per gallon seems to be in the 100mpg territory. Not bad for taking this 270 pound boy up 9,000 feet and back. I went about 65 miles.

    I really like the configuration and stability of a tadpole trike, but I've got to tell ya, this delta trike had me up where folks could see me, it was plenty stable, safe, and I had a blast.

    Jeff in Tucson
  9. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member

    Elevation estimation clarification.

    Where I live in Tucson, the elevation is about 2,500 ft., so, I actually only went up 6,500 ft. to a total height of 9,000 ft.

    Jeff in Tucson.
  10. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    tell you what jeff, you have bigger balls than me, my trike is geometry wise, similar in design except my steering is chopper style above ground, but height of the ground is probably the same, i think having the steering underneath helps you with the stability because if i take a corner at speed alot of leaning is required to keep the wheels touching terra - firma.

    I just set up a speedo so next time out i will see how fast i can take a corner and still feel the trike isnt going to tip, if you dont here from me soon well ER......:rolleyes:
  11. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member

    Hey Vegas

    The speedo was definitely nice to have on the trip.

    Today, I purchased from Staton a bigger drive gear so that the trike will do 30 at full throttle. After I get comfortable with that, we'll see about a variable transmission.

    The only thing that felt a little bit slippery in my high speed turns down the mountain was a minor shift in my weight to the outside of the turn in the seat saddle. My hands down at my sides helped with that, though. I'm considering adding a lap belt to snug me into the seat and eliminate weight shift.

    Today I started to sculpt the front fairing for the GoblinAero.

    A work in progress is fun!

    Jeff in Tucson
  12. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    that big cushy seat is nice to sit on but i know were your coming from with the weight shifting issues...

    (maybe some industrial velcro on the bottom of our pants would work !!!!)

    anyhow dug up this old bookmarked site to help you brainstorm with the fairings,

    if you click on easy racers and sun products and scroll down to the bottom you will see your trike.
  13. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member

    Zzipper link

    I like the Velcro idea. It reminds me of David Letterman's wall of Velcro that he used to jump up against and stick to. Hah!

    I've ridden bikes with Zzippers before. I'm making a fairing that is more effective and durable. I've built streamliner bikes and fairings many times. Fun! A picture of what the GoblinAero looks like can be seen here: It's a terrible one-page website that I use to communicate with, but a better one will be up soon.

    Zzippers are great starter fairings that are quick to install and do a great job for just being a melted bubble of plastic. They're also lighter than many other options (like my fairing).

    Best regards,

    Jeff in Tucson
  14. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    holy cow thats pretty insane if i do say so myself !!!! love that bright green sure to get you noticed.

    Do you have any experience with the windwrap fairings they have a straight forward bolt on fairing that would fit my trike

    my main concern is the fairings ability to stand up to loose gravel etc scratching the fairing and of course the heat but living in tuson you now what summers can be like,

  15. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member


    Yep, pretty insane! :cool:

    Zzipper is older, but Windwrap seems to be a bit more creative with their application. A draped or blown buble is no more scratch resistant than anyone else's, though. The scratch resistant material can't effectively be heat formed. Applying the scratch resistant coating after forming is cost prohibitive and problematic (which is why noone offers it in a formed version).

    As long as you follow the maker's cleaning instructions to carefully remove dust and minor scratches, a heat formed clear fairing will look good for quite a while. The fairing itself should stand up to the heat just fine.

    The main drawback to these types of fairings is that after the air is parted it begins to re-join about the time that it gets back to the rider. They actually do improve your speed, though, and can improve your comfort in cold weather. I'd say that they are worth having!

    I always make my own fairings using other methods to get better performance. It costs me a lot more and takes a lot more time to do. Once I have finished the sculpting process and have made the mold, it's easy to make copies after that.

    Eventually, I'll offer a version of the fairing that has no roof and a smaller windscreen. I'll also offer a more enclosed version that is far more aerodynamic and designed to be mounted to a higher-speed 2 wheeled scooter for high speed highway romps. Ha-hah! That'll be cool.

    Jeff in Tucson
  16. cgbjake

    cgbjake Member

    You wouldn't happen to have any pictures or specs on what kind of shaft you used would you? I'm doing something similiar except using the Nuvinci hub as a jack shaft and would like to use the left side as a drive. I have access to a lathe and will machine what I need, but would like to see what the best way to attach the free wheel is. How hard was it to get that shaft done? Did you use the original bearings.
  17. cgbjake

    cgbjake Member

    And what do you guys use for throttles? I'm looking for the best idea and have come across a few, but would like to know what is tried and true. Any good ideas?
  18. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    I was a little skeptical of the efficiency of the Windwrap faring when I first got it, but it really makes the ride a lot more comfortable at high speeds, and/or in bad weather. I can't really say if it scratches "easily". Mine is pretty scratched up, but I am Very hard on stuff. A person who is capable of taking care of stuff should be able to have a faring look good for several years.

  19. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member


    I'm using a twist grip throttle that I had gotten from Staton. It's a cheap unit that most vendors supply, but it works well. I bought a throttle lever as well, but I'm not sure if I'll try it or not. Time will tell.

    Any one of the motor kit vendors should be able to sell you one. If you call David at I suspect that he'll send one out to you today. If he says he's going to send it out that day, he does.
  20. GoblinAero

    GoblinAero Member



    I had Ajo Bikes take the original shaft out of the trike, then I took it (along with the frewheel) to a local machine shop. I gave them the measurement that was between the shaft and the end of its housing and asked them to add that length, plus the correct diameter and length for the freewheel to fit onto. They did like I had asked except that they messed up a dimension in the middle of the shaft. It didn't show up as a problem until the new shaft was installed. It allowed the brake rotor to hit the housing (frame).

    So, Ajo pulled the shaft back out for me and I had the machine shop do it again. They apologized and re-did it, making sure to make it just like the original shaft, plus the additions that I had asked for. It slipped right into the standard bearings and the freewheel fit on perfectly. No problems after round 2. The mistake that the machine shop had made was to measure from each end of the bar stock that they had cut and didn't verify the overall length, leaving the middle section off a little.

    I only got shafted on time, not resulting quality. The machine shop made good on their work and Ajo Bikes did a stellar job of putting up with the dleay in getting the correct shaft to them.

    It works out just fine to take the existing shaft to a machine shop and tell them what to change or add. I've heard of someone welding onto their existing shaft to run a set up like mine, but that doesn't sound like a good idea to me. You'd have the weak spot from the weld, plus you'd have to deal with trying to make sure the added section was centered.

    It only cost me $80 to have the shaft machined. I don't have dimensions, but the machine shop has them. I don't have a photo of the shaft uninstalled.

    Here's a BIG TIP for you... David at now has his brand new milling machine set up so that he can provide people like you a motor kit along with a shaft. =) I'd give David a call.

    Jeff in Tucson