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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's been a very long day, so I'll keep this short (especially for me!). For those who don't know, I've had a GL500i undergoing a transformation into a full blown trike for the last 2 1/4 years. As of today except for assembling, it is 98% complete. I picked it up from my former partner this evening and it is on a trailer in my driveway right now. I'll unload it in the AM and begin a "final photoshoot" as it goes together. It is a "true trike" conversion as God intends (i.e., three wheels, not just adding two training wheels to hold it up). It has an automotive style full differential on the new rear axle assembly so cornering is again, what God intends it to be.

I am calling it "Dances With Trikes" because as you will see in the near future, the bike will look like what an 1982 Indian Transverse Twin would have been had Honda had been the one to buy out the Indian name and bring it back from the dead. I'll do a "catch up" narrative later this week so it will eventually be the whole story in one thread.

Like I said, more to come ..........
 

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You may want to reconsider the name "Dances with Trikes". Trikes are men cross dressing as women who are prostituting.

Its a long story about a freind is how i know about this. So, lets leave the details out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
You may want to reconsider the name "Dances with Trikes". Trikes are men cross dressing as women who are prostituting.

Its a long story about a freind is how i know about this. So, lets leave the details out.
Thanks for the well intentioned heads up and for leaving out details I'm sure most of us wouldn't want to know! :rolleyes:

I'm just shy of 3 score and 10 and have never heard of that term, but then I've never paid for any kind of sex either (regular definitions, or even Bill Clinton's re-definitions).

Anyhow, I've been riding since the late 50's and in my circles a trike is a three wheeled motorcycle (like in my avatar). Also as I said, my trike is going to look like Indian built it, thus the play on "Dances With Wolves" one of my favorite movies of all time.

The other name I tossed about was "Alpha & Omega" since this was the very last trike from my old company The Trinity Trike and actually is something of a prototype for my former partner's new company, Yelvington Trikes.

But with the Indian motif so obvious, I'm staying with "Dances With Trikes."

I'm pretty sure that 99.237% of the population won't have any cross dressing confusion about it!

Again, thanks for sharing!:)
 

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This was an observed lesson during one of my trips to Asia.

My friend thought he had struck a good deal. As he was checking the equipment, he discovered more than he expected or wanted. This was in 2004, he is still trying to out live the encounter.

I understand your naming of the trike, but when coupled with "Dancing with Trikes"........ it can conjure up another interptation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
This was an observed lesson during one of my trips to Asia.

My friend thought he had struck a good deal. As he was checking the equipment, he discovered more than he expected or wanted. This was in 2004, he is still trying to out live the encounter.

I understand your naming of the trike, but when coupled with "Dancing with Trikes"........ it can conjure up another interptation.
Point well taken, first and foremost I'll stay out of Asia (I was already there for a year longer than I wanted!!). And I promise to re-name the trike the first time a prostitute with prostrate cancer propositions me!! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Okay enough of the "fun banter" about names.

I'm attaching some good clear shots of the conversion. First of all, prepare yourselves, this conversion takes a final shaft drive power delivery system and puts a chain drive behind it. What we did here was do a power take off of the rear wheel drive hub using a big twin sized 530 chain. Both new sprockets are matching with 36 teeth each so the rotations are 1-to-1. Keeping the new rear tires close to the OEM dimension keeps from screwing up the stock gear ratios. However, I opted for a slightly larger rear tire which should result in a drop of up to 500 rpm at 60 mph. We'll see how that goes.

At Trinity we tried a few true shaft drive conversions (Kawa's & Honda Shadows) all of which turned out to be excellent rides and any one of those I'd love to have back. However, each of them cost ME $3000 or more than I could charge for the conversion! Our goal was always affordability first, so we abandoned that style early on. After that time we turned our attention to the super scooter market.

In a power tap for these transmission-in-the-swingarm models that became obvious to us was to use the removed rear wheel's hub to drive a new sprocket linked to our replacement rear axle. This technique turned out to be a booming sucesses with the Burgman & Silverwing scooter conversions. When we once again looked at the mid-sized shaft drive bike market I decided to use a shaft drive as my own ride as well as our prototype.

Since it was to be my personal bike, I opted for either a GL/CX or Pacific Coast because of my personal affection for Honda's. Also I wanted a model that was a bit "long in the tooth" (i.e., very much on the vintage side) so I wouldn't be tempted to sell it. You see, we had built 3 different trikes for my "personal ride" and each was sold within weeks to help keep the company moving forward. I was hoping that nobody would make me an offer I couldn't refuse for a trike made from a 20 or 30 year old donor ride. Fortunately (???) for me, we shut down Trinity long before I could be so tempted.

So all that to say that's how I picked the GL500i and how it became a shaft drive to chain drive conversion. Well, that is enough preamble for today. Here are the photos of the newly installed rear conversion drive assembly:

Auto part Bicycle part Bicycle drivetrain part Vehicle brake Groupset
Auto part Vehicle Engine Pipe Car
Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
When you had first mentioned how the rear end was set up I had difficulty picturing it in my head. After seeing the pictures I am impressed. Lookin good. Cant wait to see more of the trike
At Trinity, I think we were the first to transfer power to an add-on axle in this manner. I can't be sure as to timing, but I didn't see anything like this until we built ours, but did see it right afterwards. In any case we did come upon this solution independently and it has always worked very well.

We had some early minor problems with fit as you might imagine and our attempt to use a 14mm pitch drive belt failed. Even though we had a custom American made belt done for us by Gates (one of the best) and except for sizing, it was the same belt series used on the Motor Company's big twins. However I think the short loop and tight circle (only 29 teeth) apparently put too much stress on the belts and in all but one or two cases, they finally failed. We did a voluntary, no cost retro-fit with the 36 tooth sprockets and the heavy duty 530 chain instead to anyone who wanted it. They were much better, stronger and somewhat surprising, quieter!

Actually our first iterations were chain drive, but inital reactions (from non-owners mostly) to the chain as a final drive were not too positive. Some felt it was going "backwards" to use a chain on what was a sealed CVT power delivery. That's why we tried the belts as an obvious alternative. So when we turned our attention again to the mid-sized shaft drive market, the economy had already crashed and we knew we couldn't do the shafts the way we did before, adapting the sucessfull CVT to chain conversion is what we wanted to do.

We wanted to try both left side and right side shaft drive donors. In addition to the GL500i I came up with, about 3 years ago, we did a 1983 Suzuki automatic cruiser. It was a 450cc parallel twin as I remember and it rode out real nice. After that was done, I was stoked about finishing mine and we got as far as designing and cutting out the steel side plates. After all, I sold my last trike more than 3 years before and I got into this mess because I wanted a trike that nobody was making.

Then The Trinity Trike tanked after a quick final spiral down. It went under and we sold off the assets. We garnered just enough to pay all the vendors and finish up the half dozen trikes already bought and paid for, but not built and delivered. The shut down was completed in Jan 2012 and everybody was paid off. By that time the GL had been in "dry dock" for 10 months already. I brought it back to the house after the "garage sale" was over.

Fast forward thru lots of inactivity on the rear assembly to last month when my former partner Richard Yelvington volunteered to finish off what he started. That's what I brought home Monday and showed you all in the above pictures. Next I'll see about mounting the brake caliper, finish the linkage and install the engine guards & floorboards. Maybe even this weekend for that. Anyhow, more pics to follow ............
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
is there a differential involved in the rear axle set up? If not, how does that affect the turning capabilities?
Yes absolutely (annotated photo repeated below). You cannot safely do a "live axle" (i.e. a straight, solid bar between the hubs) on a bike of this size & power. My differential has a brand new set of Dana 35 spur gears and two 40mm double row sealed bearings that have a static load rating of 44,000 pounds. The axle itself is not 3/4" or even 1" as typical in such conversions, but it too is 40mm. The left and right axles also have a set of two bearings, for a total of 6 40mm bearings for the axle assembly as a whole. I expect the rear assembly to easily out live me and whoever gets my trike after me!!

Auto part Bicycle part Bicycle drivetrain part Vehicle brake Groupset
 

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I want one. that's so awesome. I would love to build a cx trike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Aha! oh yes there it is staring me in the face! Is the diff your own design?
Yes it is/was, although there are any number of trike differentials built with a split tubular design and they all end up looking similar. After all there's only so many ways that one can accomplish this function. But we differed in the size and strength of the components we used and I have reason to believe that in Trinity's hayday that we were unique for using 6 huge bearings with a double walled, DOM 40mm steel tube axle. Come to think of it, the follow on designs at Yelvington Trikes may still hold on to that uniqueness.
 

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Most impressive!!!!!! Like you "we" had thoughts of this type design...but not as long ago as you, sir. We just didn't follow thru as much as you. Sorry to hear that you've had to get out the business. The market has changed as you note, but I still think there is a market there for this kind of "kit" for shaft-drive bikes.

I wanta re-read all the thread again as I may have missed a thing or two. I'm hoping that YOU can still keep a finger or two in this motorcycle kit. I'd surely give it a try on a Gold Wing, VT1100 Shadow or even a V-65 Sabre........just for giggles!!!!!!

LT2
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Most impressive!!!!!! Like you "we" had thoughts of this type design...but not as long ago as you, sir. We just didn't follow thru as much as you. Sorry to hear that you've had to get out the business. The market has changed as you note, but I still think there is a market there for this kind of "kit" for shaft-drive bikes.

I wanta re-read all the thread again as I may have missed a thing or two. I'm hoping that YOU can still keep a finger or two in this motorcycle kit. I'd surely give it a try on a Gold Wing, VT1100 Shadow or even a V-65 Sabre........just for giggles!!!!!!

LT2
I'm out of the business, but my former partner carries on. Although they are not yet doing any production for the midsized shaft drives like our beloved twisted twins, my partner's new company site Yelvington Trikes is the place to keep an eye on. Those really interested should maybe even drop them a note asking to be informed when they might be offering one for the GL/CX line. Although I'm sure that the Goldwing line will never show up at Yelvington (the Goldwing conversion market is already overly saturated), I very much believe that the various Shadows should most certainly show up first. It was for the vast numbers of Shadow 750's & 1100's that my GL500i was (and is) the prototype that proved the concept. We just ran out of money and time (obviously, since finishing this project stretches way beyond the life cycle of The Trinity Trike, LLC.

I've mentioned various things here and and another forum during the last two years that I intend to re-post right here so that the whole story will be in one place. Keep checking back for those inserts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Let me better introduce myself. I'm in Hudson, FL (just NW of Tampa). In 2011 I laid my hands on a sweet 82 GL500. It is the 5th trike I have built for myself over the last 6 years and it will hopefully stay with me for a good while. Sadly for me, it's predecessors never lasted more than a couple months in my garage before they were sold off! But now that The Trinity Trike (my former company) is defunct, there's less danger of that!

For what is likely my last trike, I selected the donor based upon my preference. And this is the ride I intend to keep. I've always had a soft spot for Honda's and the Moto Guzzi's as well -- so what's not to like with a GL500?? Since most of us like photos, I've posted a picture of it in it's "before" condtion with this message.

It is just a garden variety GL500i and was in very good condition when it arrived. The engine ran smooth and tight and with only 19k miles in 30 years, it was pampered. During the years I ran the trike company I always counciled against triking an "old" trike and for very good (mostly financial) reasons. However I did the GL for the same reason I'm sure that someone after me would want it -- we just love the bike and if we want to continue to ride, it has to be on three wheels! :D


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