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Old 04-01-2009, 07:21 PM
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Default Awful handling trike (help!!)

As the title says really need help to figure out why my trike feels so bloody awful when you ride it
Best way i can describe how it feels is that the suspension is too hard and the wheel is buckled (wheel is okay and suspension is as soft as possible) so the trike feels like it is shaking its head when you ride in a straight line
Or to put it in car terms its like you have a puncture or soft tyre and your power steering is only half working)

Is this just how trikes feel

The trike is a hardtail z1300 kawasaki running a reliant back axle with 15" porsche wheels fitted with 295/50/15 tyres

Front end is pretty much standard 91 zxr 750 except the forks have been lengthened by 5inches (headstock angle is 28 degrees as far as i can tell )
120 /70/17 tyre fitted
Would a 120 /60 /17 help by having a lower profile and having a slightly bigger footprint

New head bearings fitted and correctly set

Wheelbase is roughly 62" or 157 cms

Got huge wide bars on too (about 3 1/2 to 4 ft)

Will fitting a damper help ? or will it just cover up the cause

Tyre pressures in the back tyres are 15 psi and fronts have been tried at 20 25 30 psi but with little difference

Am i looking for a problem that doesn't exist and is it just that it feels shit because i've never ridden a trike before and am a complete bottling mingepiece

All help greatfully accepted


Last edited by dubmeister; 04-01-2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:49 PM
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is it a round profile front tyre ?
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:26 PM
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Hard tail and low profile rear tyres is a really bad combination, it will shake your fillings out. Steering weave is common normally sorted with a steering damper a squarer profile tyre and lowering the rear tyre pressures. So IMHO you need smaller diameter wheels with a taller profile tyres on the rear flash isn't always best, that will make the ride more bearable and will help to prevent feeling every grain of dirt on the road through your spine. Fit a steering damper, and to improve the steering weight have the bars pull back more, beach bars look cool on the beach naff elsewhere and your steering will be really heavy like that. Just a few observations, I thought you sorted this after your first thread ........
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:47 PM
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Cheers for the replys
Shaggy nope didnt get it sorted after the first thread coz the handling issues went on the back burner coz the camchain tensioner fucked up and took out all the valves so had to buy another motor and fit it
The rear tyres fitted are not the ones in the pictures (can't get any decent pics on the pc from my phone) the tyres are fairly tall when you consider they are 295/50s so the sidewall is 150mm 6") tall and they are running 15psi
Only fitted the beach bars to get extra leverage to see if it helped which it did but not enough , i fancy a set of the v style pull back bars but the 7/8" ones cost loads as most are to fit 1" switchgear .
Need to keep any remedies to a minimum cost wise as i work for Pirelli (make tyres for porsche,rangerover ,landrover,maserati,and any other high performance cars you can think of) and as you can imagine our tyres aint in demand at the moment and i have just had my working week halved so on half wages
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:51 PM
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Oops sorry borg
No its more triangular than i would like hence the question whether a 120/60 would be better
Does anyone do a square profile 120 /17 tyre? thinking of squaremasters or roadrunners and any other old school tyres
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Old 04-01-2009, 10:38 PM
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Yer I would try a new square section, V shaped tend to make the forks bounce as steering is totally different forces on a trike to a bike. If one folk dips a bit it will skip all over the place
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:39 PM
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This is the trike as of today ,give you an idea of tyre sizes etc
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Old 05-01-2009, 08:47 AM
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Hope I'm not talking complete bollocks here, but do you have enough castor angle. Looking at the pics its hard to tell but it appears that it's almost zero.
However I've never built a frame so what do I know.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:10 AM
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Pig pen
I dont think your talking bollocks as i think headstock angle (standard 28 degrees) rake ,trail etc are not ideal for a trike however it should work better than it does because it has been a trike for at least 12 years that i know of

All i have done since i bought it is change the back wheels from 14's to 15's but kept the overall radius almost the same by fitting 295/50/15s as the sidewall of the tyre is the only suspension i have on the back
The front end is zxr 750 which has been modified to replicate the front end we took out as near as possible ie forks are same length yoke offset the same ,however the front wheel was a xs650 wheel with a avon speedmaster 2 square section 90/90/19 tyre and horrible pull back ape stylee bars

So to recap
Next for me is a square section skinny as possible tyre and a set of v stylee pull back bars and a steering damper
Think the pull back bars will definately help ,thinking similar idea to the longer a spanner the less effort it takes to tighten a nut so longer and more pull back on the bars less effort to turn (bit like the tiller bar on a boat rudder)

Feel free to jump in and tell me this is wrong if you think so as i am more than willing to listen to the vast amount of knowledge on here although i may not be too keen when people tell me to buy a new set of yokes with built in offset for 500
Think budget remedies here people
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:20 PM
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Has it always done this?

I had an XJ trike which shook it's head violently if you so much as thought about taking one hand off the bars. Turns out the frame wasnt quite straight! The headshaking was managed with 2 steering dampers but not ideal by far. Dont mean to scare ya eh
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Old 05-01-2009, 01:43 PM
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Don't know if it's always done it but i got 7 old mots with it and they all had a few miles more on each one so it's been getting used every year
Have measured front wheel to rear axle both sides and it all seems ok and straight no sign of damage or flaky paint or stress cracks round the headstock
Back axle seems straight enuf ,checked as best we can with one of those lazer chain alignment tools
Got a set of horrible bars that are pullbacks somewhere in the garage so will try them when i manage to get hold of a square section front tyre,struggling at the moment though coz they obviously keep them stored somewhere with all the hens teeth and rocking horse shit
The trike had sat for a couple of years before i bought it because the guy i bought it off managed to fall off a ladder and damage his spine
The trike had seized front calipers ,perished tyre,horrible steel wide yokes and a set of xs650 forks that were starting to pit badly so that is why we chose to stick a complete front end in out of the zxr (and i already had it for a streetfighter project) so cant put it back to the way it was when i got it

Tried drackens shop for bars but nothing on there like i need any other places to try ?
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:23 PM
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This was the trike when i bought it and as you can see it sits the same before and after the front forks where changed add about an inch to the length of the forks coz its strapped down (bars are different though)
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:35 PM
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That trike looks like the back wheels are too big/wide.

I seem to recall seeing an Ogri cartoon where Malcolm made himself a trike with tractor wheels at the back. When he set off the front pivoted round and he shot off like one of those pencil/cotton reel/elastic band toys you get.

Could you be having a similar (but not so spectacular) problem?

Physics never was my strong point
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:49 PM
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It's possible the wheels could be too big but it's ran on wide wheels for a loooong time it only seems to be shit since i've changed the front end but i never rode it before i changed everything so can't tell how much i've changed it
Maybe the previous owners just had more experience of trikes or just had bigger balls
Can't go any smaller on the wheels and tyres because if i do i have no ground clearence coz the exhaust collector pipes scrape on the ground

Last edited by dubmeister; 05-01-2009 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:26 PM
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Looks to me like the original tyre was a flatter section (as others have said) also looks lower at the front with the original forks, try dropping the forks through the yokes to roughly the position of the old front end and see if that helps (funny thing geometry)

Im only an hour away if you want me to have a look over it for you, (will travel for coffee! )
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:10 PM
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Looking at it even if the forks are of equal length when you changed them, you would have lost height by using Low Profile 17" front wheel, the one on the original trike pic looks like a 18" or 19" wheel and by dropping to a 17" with low profile tyre you are likely to have lost a good 3-4" in ride height if you still got the old front end offer it up and see the difference and that would make your steering heard angle much steeper and cause a lot of the problems your mentioning, I forgot about your engine probs good to hear its at least running again. PS if you still got the original Weller wheels and want rid ...... I could be interested as it looks like they don't have the 5 stud adaptors your using now and would fit my reliant axel.

Last edited by shaggy696969; 05-01-2009 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:24 PM
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Shaggy If you want the wheels there yours ,they came off the reliant back axle as you say they are 14s running torque twister tyres that are unfortunately fecked (cracked with sitting flat)
Had a better look at the headstock tonite and cant tell for certain but looks like its been altered slightly and braced too
The front forks were lengthened to take into account the discrepancy between the 17" and 19" wheels and low and tall profile tyres so the difference shouldnt be that much if any
I've got a standard z1300 front end in the garage in another trike frame but dont really want to use it as it has one caliper missing ,no mudguard,and a 110/80/18 normal profile tyre and doesnt look anything like so nice as the zxr one (forks are same length as zxr ones too) and speedo drive is electronic too
Cables would be too short as well
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:44 PM
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V8 trike
The standard front end only looks shorter coz its strapped down onto the trailer and we measured the front end and altered the zxr one to be the same ,cant shorten the front end or drop it thru the yokes coz the exhaust touches the ground all the time (we know this because i tried it )
Once i,ve decided on what front end etc is going in i may take you up on your offer of checking the trike over even if you only try it up the road and tell me whether or not it is shit or whether it just needs preload or damping on the forks etc done
Got a damper coming and on the look out for some other bars (all 1" fuckers tho )whatever happened to the one inch bars that used to be 7/8 at the end
Fancy something like these
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:56 PM
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i would try smaller thiner wheels on the back if you can borrow some for a day. with those size wheels i would exspect the trike to be as long as mine
(9-10Ft) and about 5ft wide. Smaller back wheels will make the rake appear slightly larger aswell. like i said borrow wheels its a cheap trial option.
you can take the exhausts off for a day and pick your roads.
Also mine was a hard tail ive given it 1.5 inches of movement on rear suspension and it improved handeling and ride.

Last edited by northernpesant; 05-01-2009 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:43 PM
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Got a set of 8 " wide porsche fuch wheels to try 195/60/15
Or 215 /50/17 porsche cup2s
Or 245/45/17 ultima gtr kitcar wheels by image wheels
Or a pair of 295/25/22 porsche gemballa alloys but might struggle to get them under the mudguards
Reckon this trikes always had fairly wide tyres on though just going off the size of the rear mudguards(295/50/15s on now are by far the best looking)
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:58 PM
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I reckon its going to be a problem with the front not the rear, try the steering damper then the bars if you manage to source some, I had mine made by a guy on american ebay cost was a bit pricey at 130 incl delivery but they are 1 1/2" down to 7/8" for levers cant thinkof his name but im sure a flick through will find him. The taller rim narrow sidewall in comparrison wil make the ride hard, Just for comparrison try the narrow porsche wheels see how that goes. after fitting damper .

Last edited by shaggy696969; 02-12-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:26 AM
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Yeh i reckon its front end not rear
Mate i share the unit i have the trike in reckoned earlier on today he could make something suitable up handlebar wise if he used 7/8" solid bar for the ends
He's got a degree in engineering and has done a lot of the work on the trike (extending forks etc) so know i can trust his work
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:03 AM
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mostly what shaggy said. just an observation but it looks as if all the weight is on the back, ok for wheelies but not much good for riding. if it wasn't built right in the first place you could be in for a lot of money. But what would I know? my experiance is on bikes and combis (sidecar).

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Old 06-01-2009, 04:44 AM
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I think that the problem lies with the force needed to get the back wheels moving. The bigger or heavier the wheel, the more force is needed, and the lighter the front goes.

The only time I've seen wheels that big was on a VW trike about twice as long as yours. I'd agree that trying narrower/lighter rears would be a good idea.

This post does come with a 'crap at physics' caveat though.....
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droid View Post
I think that the problem lies with the force needed to get the back wheels moving. The bigger or heavier the wheel, the more force is needed, and the lighter the front goes.

The only time I've seen wheels that big was on a VW trike about twice as long as yours. I'd agree that trying narrower/lighter rears would be a good idea.

This post does come with a 'crap at physics' caveat though.....
Your forgetting Yoda's trike, ive seen plenty of big wheeled trikes which dnt have problems and they are short bike engined ones.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:19 AM
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I've got to agree with shaggy on this one as i have seen numerous short arse big tyred trikes with a similar headstock angle etc in 100% ,bsh and websites
The wheels on the trike in the first photo are billet alloy with lightweight low profile tyres and wont weigh much more than 10kg a corner so should roll easy(wheels are image split rims and were 2200 without tyres when new ) and are smaller rolling radius than the ones on now i couldn't feel the difference
Theres at least a 100 to 120 bhp and a geared down back axle turning these wheels too
Got to be honest though the back brakes are shit because of the size of the back tyres but i will be fitting the rear discs and calipers of a mk3 golf if i get a few quid together(maybe nova discs)

Have come to the conclusion that the front end will probably end up coming out and try a standard z1300 in to see if its any better but gonna have to wait for bits (longer clutch cable etc ) its a voyager front end so its got multi adjustable high handlebars built into the top yoke which means i cant use normal bars and my wiring will probably be too short
Any other bikes use the same front brake calipers as a z1300 ? thinking gpz 1100 s etc (its a 83 model )
The z1300 front end is longer than the zxr but i can drop the forks thru the yokes easier
Its ground clearance i'm short of though coz of the way the downpipes join the mid pipe in a triangle rather than 3 horizontal
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:48 PM
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Point taken shaggy, as I've hinted, me physics is crap.

Have you checked the engine mounts dubmeister?
I've heard of cases of loose ones shaking the front around.
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:18 PM
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I don't believe it is the width of the tyres, I started off with 155 x 70 x 13's on mine, now up to 365 x 50 x 15 and has not had any effect on the handling, steering damper will help (mine is from Audi 100 - works great!)

As for your handlebars, may be better to make some up to suit (you can always turn down some 7/8" ends in lathe to fit into 1" tube)
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:28 PM
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I was on about the mass of the rear wheels, not the tyre width. But 10kg isn't that much, so I guess that idea's out the window.

It still looks very tail-heavy to me though.
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Old 06-01-2009, 07:43 PM
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I think the trike is nose heavy rather than tail heavy as the motor is a hell of a weight and is front heavy too ,if you draw a line thru the middle of the trike most of the weight would be towards the front
If i can rustle up enough scales i will try and do a corner weight test
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