Gypsy & Summers GT750 Trike.

Haven’t known Doro, (Dorothy), & Kris all that long. They live in the same road as Ska man, who’s garage I’m borrowing to build my new trike frame in. Very nice pair. And Kris is pleasant too. I’d seen ‘em blatting around Basingstoke for a while on their black GT750 Kawasaki trike & at various local meets & shows. Certainly seemed to put some serious mileage on the thing.
We got together when we “met” on the “100% Biker” magazine forum & realised we lived in the same town. Now I’m glad to call them good friends.
They’d bought the trike second hand & freely admit not really knowing what they were buying, never having had a 3 wheeler before. Unfortunately it turned out to be a little less than well engineered. After 18 months of use, they turned up at the garage one day with some serious handling problems. Couldn’t take corners at more than 20 mph with Doro onboard. Not good. Kris had suddenly noticed the rear axle was offset to one side by an inch & a half. It’d apparently always been that way, he’d just not noticed until he started looking for the cause of the problems. Because the rear wheels were set too far to the left in the frame, the rear shocks sat at different angles, meaning one would effectively operate softer than the other & the extended swinging arm was being put under some very high stresses.
We guessed the swinging arm bearings had probably collapsed, causing the sudden loss of direction.
They’d originally asked if I could produce a new hardtail frame for them, but had only a couple of weeks to achieve it before the big “NAB’D rally up in Cheshire. I’d have loved to do it but the timescale was just too short. It’d take that long just to arrange any one-off parts that we’d need to have machined, to find some tubing, sort out mudguards etc, etc.
Luckily we had an alternative. 100% Biker magazine run a monthly “Trike Tek” feature, in which they show & explain all the secrets of trike design & building. The writer, Alik Windrush regularly builds trikes & uses them to illustrate the articles.
One such machine was a GT750 Kawasaki, put together in a fortnight to prove how easily it could be done. It was basically a standard bike with a new, wider swinging arm built from the same 1 3/8” O.D tubing I use for parts of my frames with “standard” position rear shocks, running from front to back of the bike, (the best design), rather than Doro & Kris’ which were angled sideways. Anyway, this bike came up for sale & they bought it, only to find the engine was shot, so it was languishing in their lock-up, awaiting spare parts. Simple then: take the good engine out of their dodgy black trike & stuff it into the good red rolling chassis. Not quite as easy as it sounds. It took us two or three days to hammer out a bent engine bolt, I had to rework the exhaust a little with Mr welder’s help & Kris had to transplant the entire wiring loom from the old machine as well, but it got there in the end. Now they’re back on the road & doing more runs, rallies & shows than ever.

I must admit if it were mine I’d want to spend a couple of hundred quid on powder coating the whole thing & tidying up a few odds & ends, but overall I like it. Nice proportions. More importantly THEY like it. It suits their style & they’re back out there putting more mileage on it.