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 Post subject: FJR Reverse Trike Build
PostPosted: March 7, 2012, 8:34 pm 
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I have gathered much information and learned a lot from this forum as I have put together this project. Today it is finally registered and on the road. Here are a few photos:

Image

Image

This has been a 2+ year project. Over the next few posts, I will attempt to take you through the story of the build, along with photos and whatever details I have or can remember. I will cover:

Background
Why a Reverse Trike
The Donor, Yamaha FJR1300
Design goals
Tools and Materials
Front End: Suspension, Tires, Wheels and Brakes
Frame
Steering, Shifter, Pedals
Electrical
Lighting
Body and Paint
Storage/Luggage
Registration and Insurance
Windshield
Reverse
The Rest


Last edited by nofreeride on August 24, 2019, 11:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 7, 2012, 11:27 pm 
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Kewlies, look forward to it.... :cheers:


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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 12:20 am 
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Very nice! We need a video too. :)

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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 7:19 am 
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Cool!!!!!!!!!!!

Any trouble fitting the car tire to the rear? I've read about folks having trouble, but they must have been using low profile tires.

I like the upside down mirrors.

The front hoop looks like a raptor. There is a "How it's made" show where they build a raptor, with interesting details on the pedal box.

I'm concerned about the fender frames at the bend, where the crossection thins to the thickness of the steel strip. You can always improve it if they fail, but the fender may be damaged when/if they fail. Just fyi.

I look forward to reading more about yours.

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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 11:30 am 
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olrowdy_01 wrote:
Very nice! We need a video too. :)


Understood.


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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 11:50 am 
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Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
Cool!!!!!!!!!!!

Any trouble fitting the car tire to the rear? I've read about folks having trouble, but they must have been using low profile tires.

I like the upside down mirrors.

I'm concerned about the fender frames at the bend, where the crossection thins to the thickness of the steel strip. You can always improve it if they fail, but the fender may be damaged when/if they fail. Just fyi.

I look forward to reading more about yours.


The FJR is one of the few bikes I know of that will take a car tire in stock, widely available sizes. It is running a 205/50/17 Bridgestone Potenza.

When I mocked up the mirror mounts, I never put the right side mirror on and sat in the car. After it was painted and reassembled, I realized that I couldn't see at all in the right side mirror because of the windshield hoop. So I mounted them upside down. Visibility to the rear is good, and I think it looks better too, so WIN/WIN.

Yes, fender brackets were among the most challenging aspects; that's why I waited 'til last to do them. They are 7/8 x ~1/8 tubing meeting 1" x 1/4 flat bar. A single piece assembly that is bolted to the spindles in two places, with a reinforcement connecting both uprights. They seem very sturdy for now, but I will keep a close eye...


Last edited by nofreeride on March 8, 2012, 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 1:10 pm 
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Part 1:Background

I've always dreamed about modifying and building vehicles. I work in IT (SysAdmin, Networks). So it's primarily been a hobby. It started when I bought an unfinished kit car from my Dad:

Image

Then I built an S10-based 4x4 kit car, the Rodster. Later an LT1-equipped Mazda RX7, and a traditional VW buggy.

Image

A rebody of a Jeep Wrangler:

Image

And then Cobra replicas:

Image

So for my next project I wanted to build something substantially from scratch. The Reverse Trikes have fascinated me since the first time I saw a picture of one on the internet, something like this:

Image

I also started riding motorcycles and loved it but there was always two major drawbacks:
1. Putting on all that gear all the time was such a pain.
2. It's not a matter of if, but when you crash, it's gonna hurt.

In the kit car world, one of the problems with designing your own car is it has to be, or look like, a car that has already been manufactured. Otherwise, there are a lot more requirements that have to be met. But registering a custom-built motorcycle is not nearly as difficult.

Which leads me to part 2, why a reverse trike...


Last edited by nofreeride on August 24, 2019, 11:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 6:19 pm 
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Thank you!

I get disappointed so many times reading build threads that just, stop...
I wonder what happened and usually we never hear any more about the build. :BH:

I like it when a build thread is started, when the project is actually usable.
They are never "finished" I know, but to be able to enjoy them is the goal.

Your previous builds are all great too.
Obviously you know how to finish what you start.

Of course, I am a bit biased since that is how I prefer to do it.

I am looking forward to learning all about your build.

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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 6:58 pm 
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JagLite wrote:
Thank you!

I get disappointed so many times reading build threads that just, stop...
I wonder what happened and usually we never hear any more about the build. :BH:

I like it when a build thread is started, when the project is actually usable.
They are never "finished" I know, but to be able to enjoy them is the goal.

Your previous builds are all great too.
Obviously you know how to finish what you start.

Of course, I am a bit biased since that is how I prefer to do it.

I am looking forward to learning all about your build.


Thank you, assuming that I do finish what I started here. There is a thread on the FJR Forum that is more like what you describe. I figure this way I can organize my thoughts and other resources, and I don't have to tell the story chronologically if I don't want to. This way no one will have to wait two years for the outcome, or wait years for no outcome at all.


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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 7:09 pm 
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Part 2: Why a Reverse Trike

It should be common knowledge by now that a reverse trike is better than a traditional trike for handling, safety and overall performance. A traditional trike has the advantage of looking more like a motorcycle or chopper, if that is something you are interested in.

So the question in my custom build, really is, why a reverse trike versus a car? What it eventually boils down to is having something truly unique and being able to legally drive it. It can be very difficult to register a car that is not a REPLICA of something else, or cannot be registered as the vehicle and VIN whose parts were donated. In my previous projects (see part 1), I had a Chevy S10, an RX7, a Jeep Wrangler, and a VW Beetle, regardless of what those cars looked like when I was done. The only one that started with a custom frame was the Cobra REPLICA. So a person is really limited by what they can make the car look like (think Lotus 7). [That being said, a mid-engine 7 replica like the Midlana might be just the ticket. Amazing what a change in proportion can do to the overall look.]

I was looking at retiring from motorcycling. Fear was starting to get to me when I thought about the 'not if but when' eventuality of a crash. So naturally a motorcycle-based build with a Roadster feel would be just the ticket.

The T-Rex and the CanAm Spyder have helped pave the way for the acceptance of the 2F1R layout by both the driving public and official agencies. Other sources of inspiration for my build:

RQ Riley
Aptera
SandRails
Exhilarator Reverse Trike
Exocars


Something like this:

Image

Next, Why the FJR1300 donor...


Last edited by nofreeride on August 24, 2019, 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 8, 2012, 9:43 pm 
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So for my next project I wanted to build something substantially from scratch. The Reverse Trikes have fascinated me since the first time I saw a picture of one on the internet, something like this:

Image

I saw this picture.. I thought: that's butt ugly. I love it!
some leftover exhaust tubing, a VW front end, it could not have cost more than a c-note total!
real LoCost!



944Tim


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PostPosted: March 9, 2012, 3:59 pm 
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Part 3: The Donor, FJR1300

I've wanted one of these since before they came out in 2003:

Image
(toy version I got for Christmas)

I got an '04 ABS model in '08:

Image

And eventually I painted it:

Image

For awhile though I had been thinking about the reverse trike project. It occurred to me that the FJR would be perfect, because:

1. Adequate Power - 145hp
2. Ability to run a car tire - 205/50/17
3. Low maintenance shaft drive
4. Good fuel tank capacity
5. AE model has electric thumb shifter
6. I was already familiar with them

Drawbacks - No Reverse

Oh well, that's not a big deal, right? I can figure out reverse.

A wrecked one came up for sale and I drove to CA to pick it up. I put some of the accessories on my bike, and sold some of the other parts and accessories. So it really didn't cost me much at all.

OK, so I was building a Reverse Trike. What exactly did I want this thing to be?

Next, Design Goals...


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PostPosted: March 12, 2012, 5:34 pm 
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Part 4: Design Goals

1. All new parts besides donor motorcycle
2. Ground Clearance for daily driving
3. Side-by-side seating for two
4. Roomy cockpit for large drivers, comfort, and adjustable seats (no contortions required)
5. Windshield
6. Wide track and extended wheelbase for stability, at the same time keeping the dimensions as compact as possible.
7. Simple bodywork
8. Locost - no custom machining, race parts, aluminum/carbon fiber etc.
9. Enclosed cockpit for safety and ability to add top/curtains
10. Use as many donor motorcycle parts as possible, keeping complete frame/drivetrain.
11. Front Cycle Fenders
12. All street legal requirements for a motorcycle (lights, fenders, etc.)
13. Good looks while achieving all other design criteria
14. Wet weight below 1450 lbs (145hp)

Here's what the sketchup design looked like:
Image

I later modified the front and some other aspects to this:
Image

As you can see, the final product turned out very close to my designs. Some may argue that it doesn't really meet #13, but you should have seen some of the earlier designs :). It either looked like a helicopter, a pickup truck, or a motorcycle with a car tacked on to the front of it. All of these I wanted desperately to avoid. Everything else has been achieved, although I have not yet added the windshield or top, and I still haven't weighed it. In my opinion, it does look better in person than any pictures I have been able to take of it so far.

Weight distribution was as far forward as possible, without putting the passengers on top of the front suspension. The wheelbase was determined simply by the packaging and constraints of the components, including the radiator and underfloor cooling intake in the center of the vehicle.

Most of all, it had to be something I could finish. An ambitious project, to be sure, but not too amibitious that time and money would run out before it could be completed. Initially, it was to be done last summer, but of course you know how those things go.

On the Locost front, it certainly fits the bill. No, I haven't added it all up yet, but I do have a stack of receipts. Nothing on the car/bike/trike (how will I be referring to it?) was over $300, including the donor motorcycle after I sold all of the excess parts.

Comments welcome. Next up, Tools and Materials...


Last edited by nofreeride on August 24, 2019, 11:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 12, 2012, 8:24 pm 
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Quote:
but you should have seen some of the earlier designs . It either looked like a helicopter


Uh-Oh, here goes the helicopter bit again... OhhhhhhNooooooo.....
:rofl:

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PostPosted: March 12, 2012, 8:33 pm 
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Do you have anymore info on that goldwing powered RT?


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