Schwinn Motorized Tricycle?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Johnny10, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Johnny10

    Johnny10 New Member

    Hi folks, I am brand new to motorized bicycling and found this forum to ask some experts a couple of things.

    A couple of weeks ago I bought my wife a Schwinn 26" tricycle and then we found out she has to have replacement knee surgery, so I am entertaining the idea of trying to "motorize" it for her.

    Question #1: Has anyone out there done this before? (don't want to try and reinvent the wheel)

    Question #2: Which engine and which kit would do the best job at a reasonable price and what company should I buy it from?

    I look forward to some dialog!

    Happy days!

  2. Daeouse

    Daeouse Member

    I've seen a few motorized tricycles on here, so it can be done. Look around, you never know what you'll find!
  3. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. I think we have a tricycle and recumbent subforum on this site.
  4. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Hey johnny10, Welcome to MB.c
    I've built a couple of trikes. One full size 26" and one recumbent, (sort of.) On the recumbent I cheated and married a gocart frame to a goped. I've been riding it for about two years now, no problem.
    Building a trike is a LOT more complicated than just building a two wheeler. also, unless it's a low center of gravity bike, it can, unless you're very carefull, Flip very easily.
    Anyway, just to give you some idea's, I'll include some pic's of my builds.
    Good luck,
    Big Red.
    Was having computer problems, Got it now.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  5. Johnny10

    Johnny10 New Member

    Beautiful trike Big Red, but I want to add a motor to an existing new 26" Schwinn "womens" tricycle, this is not looking to promising.
  6. MikeJ

    MikeJ Member

    Hi Johnny10 -

    Look around a while before you purchase a powerplant (petro engine, electric motor, steam engine, etc.) bike or trike. Two-stroke engines appear to be a solution, but the downside to them is the tendency to break, they take gasoline to run, and sometimes a LOT of physical effort to start.

    If you are an older couple or one of you has difficulty getting around, look into an electric motor powered trike or four-wheel quadracycle. They are a bit more expensive up front, but they are an "unplug and go" operation. If you can get one that runs off marine deep-cycle batteries, replacements when the battries get used up are readily available. If a doctor legitimately prescribes one as necessary to your health, you might be able to claim it as a medical expense on your tax return. (The IRS may flag that item as "prove it". They are so hard to get along with...)

    Look at a site called "". They offer four wheel bicycle-type vehicles that offer optional electric motors: "Optional electric motor is available on all models except the Z1 and ComfortRide." Where the land is flat (I've been to Tampa, I don't believe there is a hill anywhere), this might be an option (Several residents of Florida ride them. It sounds like local laws permit them on Florida streets.). If I had knee-replacement surgery, a hard-to-start pedal bike would be low on my list of desired vehicles.

    I have known of their existence for over 20 years. They may be one of my options in the future.

    Let us know what you think.

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  7. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member


    Hey John, I think MikeJ it right about going electric. A much easier install. You can buy a front wheel with the motor already installed for you. No worries about sprocket lineups and such. I watched a vidio the other day about a system that hits 40mph and gets a range of between 30 to 50 miles. I don't recomend doing 40 on a trike, but you get my meaning. And, like the man said, unplug it and go.

    Big Red.
  8. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member

    stanton gebe friction drives...gas and go
  9. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I haven't seen a 40mph electric trike,, & wouldn't recommend one.
    An electric hub powered front wheel is a great way to add " power assist " to the trike. Only bump the electric motor when needed for hills or when she is tired . Note , they have a strong surge of torque at the wheel, so many use a brace of some type.
  10. IbedaYank

    IbedaYank Member


    how deep are your pockets??
    you can spend some MAJOR money on and engine and ...or batteries or less than $500
    How often and how far it will be ridden speaks for how much $$$ it will cost you
    quality costs $$$ but its worth it so you dont have to pedal home