Trikes: Whats easier/better? Shaft driven bike, or a belt/chain bike? - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hi! Ive been enthralled in everyones Trike build posts, to the point my wife is hitting me on the head and saying not another "hobby"!! So thanks Skip, SPiderbob, dcryder and all others, youve made me want to build a trike!

Anyway, what do you think would be easier to do? A chain/belt driven rear axle of some sort, or, shaft drive all the way?

Ive been trying to "learn" how to build a trike from reading some of the things you all are posting, and I wonder how in the world you all figured out what car to match the final drive gear ratios to, etc.

In my inexperience, I was thinking that for a chain/belt driven rear axle, all youd need is remove the rear sprocket from the rear wheel, and mount it on the rear axle and Viola! Its now a trike (after some assembly, of course! ) But once again, coming from someone who owns 3 shaft driven motorcycles, and never having owned a chain/belt drive!

I was just curious on what you all think is all!

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-08-2012, 07:11 PM
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Since most car rear ends that are used for making trikes are already shaft drive setups I would suspect trying to make something with a chain drive would be a whole lot harder to do.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 10:01 PM
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Chain or belt drive axle is also still gonna need some sort of differential so the left and right wheels can spin different speeds around corners.
Shaft drive is the way to go .... unless you solve the differential deal.






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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Hm interesting! Allll these things I never would have thought to even wonder or figure out. I think im going to turn my 2006 suzuki c50 into a trike (Dont want to cut into my 1987 GL1200I!!) its a left side shaft driven beastie so we'll see!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 09:13 AM
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Most automotive rearends have the pinion offset to one side. So finding one set to the left shouldn't be all that hard. Then it's just a matter of figuring out how wide you want it and cutting it down to those dimensions.
When you get it cut down give the info to Moser Engineering and they can make the axles you need.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 12:31 PM
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Shaft drive lining up the diff with the engine pinion is def the most straight forward.. converting a chain or belt drive to run rear wheels will def require more setting up...

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 02:20 PM
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Just remember .... on a bike, the ring gear is always between the bike's rear wheel and the pinion gear / drive shaft comingfrom the motor.
If the drive shaft is on the right of the rearwheel, the shaft turns counter clockwise as the bike faces to go forwards.
If the drive shaft is on the left of the rear wheel,the shaftturns clockwise as the bike faces to go forwards.
To "trike" it with a car rear end, you have to find a rear with a ring gear likewise placed in relation to the pinion. As far as I can recall, just about everything on the road uses a pinion gear on the right side of the ring gear, like a right side shaft driven bike.


Some old rear ends going back into the early years could be flipped over and the pinion gear still got lubed but these were usually straight bevel ring and pinion gears with the two's axis on the same level.Most all that I can recall built in the last half of the 20th century were hypoid bevels, the pinion gear was somewhere below the ring gear. Flipping one of these places the pinion gear high and may .... or maybe not .... result in insufficient lube getting to the pinion bearings from splash / fling off the ring gear.

Maybe a rear out from under a 41 Ford is laying in your back yard?



We need testers!






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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 03:06 PM
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I have been watching all of these different "trike" build outs, most have used the Ford Mustang rear ends, have to cut them down, do a lot of welding on the housings, then need to have the axles resplined...One that has caught my attention was the one Skip built using a Jag rear end IRC??....It looked far more simpler to cut down, had the brake rotors next to the differential???...One member took a shaft drive, no reverse and made a bracket for a starter motor to where it had a reverse...Cool!!!..Now finding a rear end that is already Chain drive is not going to be easy...No I haven't built a "trike" but I do know that after looking atthis oneweb site I see that they do have rea ends made for belt drive Harleys, but none listed for any Suzuki....

http://www.cyclestufftrikes.com/harl...road-king.html

Here is Lehman trike kits

http://www.lehmantrikes.com/img/cms_...%20Pricing.pdf

this last one is more of a Voyager kit, can be taken off, ride it two wheels, put it back on insta trike...So you may need to spend the bucks to buy a rear end that is already set up for belt or chain drive...Good luck with it...

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 05:56 AM Thread Starter
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@CrystalPistol: Ill definitely be willing to try and flip an axle over and see what happens! No worries about letting everyone know, heh, if you see me post a thread starting with SON OF A B***H, you know not to flip it over heh. But really, Thanks for the helpful information! Also, checked my back yard, no 41 fords lying about!

@redbaron: I was just curious what people thought. All 3 of my bikes are shaft driven. My inexperience tells me that a chain drive would be easier to trike than a shaft drive, like a bicycle. Now I know better! But also its a project I want to do for projects sake, and cheaply and with as much ingenuity as possible. Thanks for the links, but I have nooo desire to buy thousands of dollars worth of equipment for my least liked bike, heh.

Thanks all
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 07:30 PM
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Thousands of dollars worth of equipment won't cut it. I have perhaps $10,000 dollars worth of tools mig tig welders metal lath etc but i'm sure I would be buying a few thousand more if I took on a trike project.
I know you could gt buy with less but you would then have to pay others to do the fab and machine work.
To be brutally honest you do not have the experience to take on a project like this.
Pic a project that more fits you skill and talent level and gain the experiance to do larger projects like this
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