420cc Drift Trike Build


More progress on the trike tonight. Because this trike is under a strict deadline for phase 1 there will be a lot going on in the first week of this build and then it will slow down as I continue work on frame pieces 3the rat rod. With the 2 pieces of the frame welded last night it was time to tie them together and get the main portion of the trike mostly finished up. I strung up another jig that would help me hold the front end in place where I wanted it to be and allow me to measure and make sure all dimensions were in spec. With the front end in the jig I dialed in about 25 degrees of rake into the front end. That would give it an aggressive look, but make sure it was very useable and work properly.

With the 2 main pieces of the frame tack welded together it was time to add in the spine bar and tie everything together to make sure it was rigid. Once I held the spine bar in place I knew the design that I was shooting for had come together and the look was going to be great. With all of that in place I welded everything together to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere while adding in the last few pieces of the initial frame design. With the main portion of the frame welded together solid it was time to add the side rails of the frame. I bent and cut them to length and made one more temporary jig that would hold everything in place while I welded them on. I also took the time to set the motor mount plate in place and weld it on. With that completeframe pieces 4 it was time to call it a night.

Nearly finished with the frame I was very happy with how it was coming together and couldn’t wait to start adding the big pieces. During the next work day I would be able to add the engine and rear axle mounts. That meant I would be able to put the axle, hubs and wheels on so I could see the stance and be able to roll it around the shop.



Building got started last night on the new 420cc trike because I sold the blue one last week and I have been itching for another ride. I spent way too much time in the garage working on it and not quite enough time sleeping last night! However, all in the name of fun and good times. The goal for this trike is to explore the crazy side of what can be done with the trikes. The last build with the square frame blue trike was to see how much of a simple budget build could be done for people so now I am going to explore the crazy side. The inspiration partly came from my want to ride a motorcycle again as I sold mine last fall and have wanted another since then. I also wanted to see how the drifting characteristics of the trike would change with a front engine setup. I will also be using twice the amount of engine for this build with the 420cc engine and a torque convertor to help in ultimate torque on the low end of the rpm range and max speed on the higher rpm side.

Parts for this trike have been sourced from a few different places. I will go through the different parts as I use them and keep a full running list at the bottom of the page. The front forks and tire frame pieces 1setup is a combination of a 1999 GSXR 600 and my old 1998 ZX6R. The front wheel is a early 90’s Performance Machine Chicane aftermarket wheel. The front spokes are large and flat giving plenty of surface area for paint/ hydro-graphics. The main frame is all custom bent/ built 1.5″ round tubing I purchase at my local metal shop.

Work started with bending the tubing for the front of the frame and the spine bar. Then cutting and notching all the tubing for the lower portion of the frame. With that part complete I cut the pieces for the head tube. I didn’t want something very bulky so I bought a new set of bearing races and decided to weld them directly to the head tube instead of buying a piece big enough to slide them into in order to keep the head tube looking a little thinner. I tack welded it together and set it in place on the triple trees in order to make sure everything lined up correctly. I then had to make start tack welding the main frame pieces together. I started with the 2 curved bars at the front of the frame jig 1frame. With those tack welded together it was time to do the flat tubing on the bottom. Unfortunately there is a completed trike sitting on my jig table behind the rat rod I am building and I didn’t have a good way of getting it off so I had to improvise on getting it all to line up correctly. I used the frame rails of the rat rod to line everything up and make sure it is flat! The bottom turned out quite nicely and should work very well to hold the 420cc engine in place. After tack welding all of that in place I setup the front end using another improvised rig to get it to stay where I wanted it to.



Front Forks/ Triple Trees: 1999 GSXR 600

Front Wheel: Early 90’s Performance Machine Chicane

Front Clip Ons: 1998 ZX6R

Main Frame: Custom Bent 1.5″ Round Tubing

Engine: 420cc Predator from Harbor Freight with a Torque Convertor

Wheels:  Phase 1= 1 piece aluminum 6″x8″

Tires: Maxxis

Rear Axle: Phase 1= 1″ solid 40″ wide

Hubs: Phase 1= Aluminum 1″ bore, standard bolt pattern

Seat: LaRosa Iron Cross


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