This trike started life in August 2007 as a virtual basket-case, bought from Ebay, the final resting place of all unfinished projects. I didn't view it before buying, but from the write-up and the photos the seller had posted, it looked like it had potential. After getting it home, I soon discovered the tank was porous and the engine died quite soon after I bought it. So the plan was to make good what I had and replace what couldn’t be salvaged.
I haven't got a clue who did the original build. The frame is reasonable but far from perfect and definitely not square or true. I'm pretty certain it’s a one-off. At the time of purchase the rear end was sprung but it was so poorly done that a hard-tail conversion was the best option. The engine had little or no compression on number 3 pot and I tried for a fortnight to get the head off before I gave up. Time for a complete strip down.
I needed a donor bike. Fortunately, a good mate of mine, Graham, had just got his hands on a Yamaha 535 Virago which soon became mine and that’s where it all started.
So now I had a stripped down trike and a stripped down Virago. All the bits I needed were cleaned, serviced and put on one side ready for the rebuild, while the remainder went back on Ebay to pay for the rest of the parts I needed. Another mate of mine, Steve, handled all the welding. New engine mounts were fabricated, as were the exhausts and numerous other bits and bobs along the way. The front end is from a Suzuki GSXR750G and carries an over sized tyre. The forward foot controls came off the donor Virago and bolted straight on.
The axle that came with the original build turned out to be bent -we calculated that there was 13mm of ‘toe-in’. Not good. So that was replaced and all new brake components added. The brand new Suzuki Marauder tank was yet another Ebay find, for the princely sum of 26 quid, and is in it’s original paint, while the Suzuki Bandit brake lever, rear master cylinder and filler cap were donated by Graham who also serviced the 535 engine before it was fitted.
The polished cylinder with the tap, slung under the front of the trike, will eventually contain tools. It started life as a storage container for pasta! The grille under the seat is the back of the battery box and the rear grab handles are from a classic Leyland Mini, courtesy of Mini Spares in Potters Bar.
The exhaust heat shield is from a classic trials bike. The red toggle switch cover is hiding the hazard light switch. The marker lights have all had an LED conversion, plus the spotlights, (Ebay again), have “Angel Eyes” halo lights in them.
The number plate holders are bathroom mirror mounts from the local B&Q DIY store. The badges on the tank are some Scorpion badges I found at an auto jumble. The rear reflector housings are home-made. I can’t remember what they were originally. The rear mudguards were cut and shaped by hand. The pillion seat is fitted with double springs. The inners are tapered ones from a car engine manifold mount and the outers were kicking around in the garage. All the upholstery will eventually be re-done in leather instead of the vinyl you see at present.
Marauder Tank and petcock
Virago Engine & electrics, foot controls, headlight, switchgear, passenger sissy bar and chrome engine side pods.
Bandit filler cap, brake reservoir and lever, mirror and rear brake reservoir.
Yamaha US custom handlebars.
GSXR750 front end, (fitted with GSXR1100 springs), speedo, wheel, brakes and calipers.
GS1000 clutch cable.
Most other items were either self-fabricated, lying around in the garage or sourced through Ebay.
I had no vision of what the finished machine would look like -it just gradually evolved into what you see here.
Hope you like it.