Critch's Trike Frame Build


This was Manky Monkey Motors inc, (I Need Cake)’s only commissioned build. Last year I rashly promised forum member Critch that we’d produce a trike frame for him, then got involved in lots of other projects & promptly forgot all about it. Unfortunately he didn’t, so back into the garage we went to fire up the welder once more.
Nigel, (“SkaMan”), & I produced this one between us, splitting the costs & profits 50/50, sharing the design work & tube bending, me doing the hacksawing & welding & him in charge of sanding & filing. We stuck to our tried & trusted

MMMotors design, a basic bike-style hardtail with rigid mounted engine, radiator hung on the front down tubes, solo seat & integral luggage rack with provision for a removable pillion pad. This saved us a lot of head-scratching, (it’s exactly the same set-up as Simon, Darren & my own frames), but more importantly it’s what Critch wanted! It does seem to be a popular design. For more detailed info on the build process, take a look at the frame building chapters hereabouts, featuring Simon’s frame.
Critch had asked for just a basic rolling chassis -no footpegs, pedals, tank mounts etc. He supplied us with a GPZ front end & we used my rear axle & wheels to set up the back end. We’ve got a dummy engine, consisting of a set of empty casings which we build around & I had an old solo seat base which Critch will get upholstered.
Sounds very easy to say we just cut & bent a few tubes & welded ’em up, but there’s a hell of a lot of work in these frames to make them appear so simple! This took us about 50 hours, spread over 3 weeks of evenings & weekends. We used roughly 40 feet of 1 inch bore, grade 3 heavyweight ERW tube, (4mm wall
thickness), plus about 6 feet of 1 ½ inch bore for the top tube & bumper bar/number plate carrier. The axle clamps were made up from 3mm steel plate & off-cuts of 2 inch bore tube, while the triangular strengthening gussets are also 3mm steel plate.
The only specially made parts were the two headstock bearing cups, machined by Reg, our local friendly Man With A Lathe. The seat height works out to around 20 inches giving enough room for the gearchange to sit under the rider’s left leg & the radiator is a standard Reliant item.
We actually ran out of welding gas & were unable to finish off the recessed mounts for the white LED number plate lights, or to attach the bumper to the axle clamps in time for Critch to collect the finished frame & travel back to Liverpool with it.

Total cost? Well as I said, this was a one-off. We really don’t plan to do this commercially. We charged Mr Critchley 500 quid, plus an extra 50 for the bumper bar & LEDs, which weren’t in our original brief. I also swapped the parts for a rear disc brake conversion, (see Trike Tech), for his old Harley Sportster tank to use on my own frame build. I think he was a satisfied customer & for the hours we put in, he certainly got his money’s worth. Hopefully he’ll keep in touch & we can post regular updates here as work progresses.