AFTER PREVIOUSLY owning two trikes and going on many cruises, I was not happy with the handling and engine performance of the currently available trikes so I set out to build a better one. After throwing thousands of dollars of material away, and spending hundreds of hours of time and a lot of hair pulling, I finally came up with a trike I was happy with.
My initial intention was to build a naturally aspirated 2.4 litre engine with fuel injection, but after talking to the engineer who informed me that horsepower was not an issue for individually constructed vehicles, I promptly built a high-horsepower turbo engine.
The motor is built using Volkswagen engine components consisting of a EMPI bubble block, SCAT forged 86 stroker crankshaft, EMPI H beam rods with ARP rod bolts, 94 mm custom made forged pistons, and Wedgeport heads.
The inlet manifold was made in-house using a custom Autronic fuel injection system; the M&W CDI ignition is also controlled by the Autronic computer.
The stainless steel exhaust manifold was custom made in-house and ceramic coated by Swift Engineering.
The IRS gearbox is fitted with a full set of custom ratio gears from Albins Gears; the super diff was built in-house.
I used double A-arm rear suspension for easy rear suspension adjustments and ground clearance.
All chassis and suspension components were zinc’ed and then powder-coated for a more durable wear and rust resistant finish.
I wanted to make the trike as light as possible and spent many painstaking hours and dollars in designing a light-weight attractive and aerodynamic body and guards.
This particular trike has custom Dragway wheels; 18 x 10 inch rear with 295/30/18 tyres; front rim is 17 x 6 with 190/50/17 tyre.
The trike is wired completely user-friendly using Weatherpak plugs for ease of connection and disconnection; fuses and relays all in their own fuse box in an easy-to-reach area in the false fuel tank.
The dash contains seven gauges: electronic speedo with digital odometer, tacho, fuel level gauge, oil temperature and pressure, voltage, and a boost gauge (the standard trikes come with analogue clock instead of the boost gauge).
Seats are bucket style to give the passenger and rider a more comfortable but race-car feel. All upholstery done by Gary Moltzen.
After completing this trike, I went chasing winding roads through the mountains and hills to see how well it actually handled and performed. To my surprise, it was better than I thought so I booked myself into the next poker run which was the put on by the Southern Cross where I gave the bikes a run for their money.
Leon’s Motors, Unit 7/284 Musgrave Road, Salisbury, Qld: 07-3277-7489.
pics by Jo & Chuck; words by Kiwi