Anyone motorize a recumbent tadpole trike?

Discussion in 'Motorized Trikes' started by stevetroyer, Jan 5, 2009.

Tags: Add Tags
  1. stevetroyer

    stevetroyer Guest

    I'm riding now a recumbent bike with a GEBE engine kit. Way too much fun but I'm getting older and do not want to fall off the bike. So I was thinking of building a tadpole recumbent trike and putting the 32 cc Tanaka on the trike.

    Will a trike be stable enough to handle the speed of over 40 MPH?
    Will my speed increase due to less wind resistance? I will be running a velomobile type windscreen / body for riding in the rain and for more comfort.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  2. Abeagle

    Abeagle Guest

  3. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    sounds like your heading down the right road steve, Will the gebe 33cc be able to pull that sort of speed for you, if you go with the 14 teeth you might have a chance, but you could loose your low end torque lots of pedaling on steep hills. Maybe if you switch to a chain drive and the right sprocket sizes 40 mph could be obtained. How fast can you top out at the moment.

    The gebe i ride is on a normal upright and tops out at 34 mph with the 13 tooth, have yet to try the 14 tooth its been lying in the garage for a while, this spring will test it out...

    not sure if alaska ever told us the top speed of his machine but the tadpole trike looks like a viable setup for those speeds.
  4. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    The tadpole is very stable. Mine has direct steering, which can be a bit touchy. I added handlebar extensions and stretched the frame. I'm not sure which of those changes had the most effect, but it calmed the steering right down ( I often take my hands off the bars to adjust clothing etc at speeds in excess of 30mph). It tracks straighter than many cars. At the '08 PNW Rally, I let people ride it. Some had probably never ridden a recumbent, much less a tadpole. No one had a problem with the steering. I exceed 40mph on a regular basis. The little Tanaka will probly get you into the 40 mph area. You may have to pedal some, but a very wide range of peal gears are available. My trike is way overpowered.

    For distance travel, it can't be beat. After riding about 200 miles from Seattle to the Rally, if someone had said, "Let's ride to Seattle." I would have gleefully jumped back on the trike and been ready to ride.

    Go for it.
  5. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

  6. azbill

    azbill Active Member

  7. maxwell65

    maxwell65 New Member

  8. stevetroyer

    stevetroyer Guest

    OK...I finally finished my motorized recumbent trike. Thanks to everyone for all the information on this site.

    This trike is scratch built from plans from Atomic Zombie. I changed some of the design features to accommodate the motor and to make chain management easier.

    This trike is a blast to ride and I am probably the most photographed trike rider in Ohio. I am constantly answering questions about the bike. It handles like a very tight sports car and really is a blast to ride. My top speed so far has been 64 MPH down hill. On the flats it averages close to 40 MPH with the Golden Eagle bike engine kit. It has the Tanaka 32cc engine with the high performance carb and air cleaner. I'm running the Schwalbe Big Apple tires. Those tires make it seem like I have a suspension on all three wheels. Awesome tires. I really feel the road vibration and very smooth ride.

    I've had police stop me to ask questions about where they can get one. They want one for patrols. I would have to install red and blue lights on it for them. I have a few ideas on how to power those lights with lithium ion batteries from a cordless drill. I told them I could build one for them. Who knows. I may go into business building these. It was really fun to build a bike from the ground up. My first one by the way!

    I must warn all the guys that women cannot resist this bike. I get more women smiling and waving at me as I ride by or when stopped they ask ...."Are you married?"...or..."I would do just about anything to have one of those.....What could I do to get you to build one of these for me?"
    No kidding....I have had these questions asked of me in the last two weeks.

    My next project will be a motorcycle powered recumbent tadpole trike with Air conditioning, heat, anti lock brakes and will be enclosed with a soft top so I can open it up on sunny days. My winter project.

    Here are some photos:

    Attached Files:

  9. vegaspaddy

    vegaspaddy Member

    Thumbs up, great build steve, looks like a solid build that you will many happy hours flying around and been a chick magnet is always a bonus.
  10. ollicat

    ollicat Member


    I love your setup. How loud is that motor behind your head? That seems to be a concern for me and the main reason I have hesitated going with this kind of setup.
  11. stevetroyer

    stevetroyer Guest

    It is a little noisey but I have put on the muffler a tube to direct the noise and exhaust to the rear. It does a good job of doing so and makes it quite a bit quieter. I also wear ear plugs when I ride.

    Here are some more photos of the final painted Streetfox with the Golden Eagle 32 cc bike engine.

    Attached Files:

    • me.jpg
      File size:
      97.4 KB
    • rear.jpg
      File size:
      119.7 KB
    • back.jpg
      File size:
      91.7 KB
  12. Alaskavan

    Alaskavan Guest

    Good work. Looks comfy.