TerrorTubby’s Reliant trike

Click here to view larger imageMake: 2 Blokes in a shed
ModeL: Crimson Darkling
Engine and box Reliant 750
Frame and fabrication: Trike Paul and Gary
Engineering: trike Paul
Axle: Reliant with Mini Lites
Front End: Suzuki GS 850 Forks and running gear
Frame Finish: Mick and Gary
Paint: Martin.

This started life as a frame bought off an online auction site. By the time I'd got round to starting the build and realised it was not fit for purpose it was too late to do anything about it. When I first fitted all the parts it was apparent the frame was not square -so, after much discussion & a deep breath, my mate Paul & I decided to cut the whole back end off and rebuild it. The front would be changed and improved to suit our needs. We rebuilt the back end first and made a prop shaft with a back to back UJ and then got the axle mounted squarely and welded it all up.
Once the frame was doing what it’s supposed to do, we mocked up the engine and box along with the tank and seats. We then sorted the mountings and foot controls. We rubber mounted the engine and box just as Reliant did in the original car.
Click here to view larger imageThe pedals are home made to a design Paul has used many times before. They work well and give a good feel. A handbrake lever was fitted to the left side and the brakes were connected up and tested. The gearshift is something Paul made up too. It's a simple A arm design, but works remarkably well, taking out the sloppiness of some other trike gearchanges. It looks nicer than a bent stick or a welded up jobbie, works well and is smooth to use. The clutch on this is really light too and is easy to operate.
The rear drums and one front disc are all connected to a single pedal on the right. The other disc on the front is operated by a Honda “Fireblade” master cylinder. It can be stopped rather quickly if needed.
The dash holds the idiot lights and speedo, flanked by oil pressure and temperature gauges. It has the starter button mounted in the centre for easy access. The key is tucked away out of sight. All the other electrics are in a small box on the frame. The solenoid is up out of sight under the seat. The tank dash housing and mudguards were painted black at one stage but a mate knows a young lad who was trying to get into painting bikes. After a chat with the lad we decided to let him loose on the trike parts and what you see is what he did with them. Not too shabby for his first go.
Click here to view larger imageI don’t expect it to break any speed records but it’s running an SU carb instead of the original Zenith down draught and as soon as I can afford it I’ll get it tuned. I also want to have a stainless exhaust made for it with 4 down tubes instead of one.
It rides really smoothly apart from a little shimmy at about 10 mph and then it settles down. The apes are sort of comfy and make a change from having my weight on my wrists on the GSXR. It’s pretty rapid off the mark and stops well and should do what we intended. We have some great roads with great views here in Derbyshire, so we won’t be rushing about on it. It’s a hardtail so I don’t see us doing any major trips on it but as long as we can get to Astle park for the NABD rally once a year and to Roughleys Bike Show in Stockport then that’ll do for me. Most of our riding is round Woodhead and Buxton way occasionally so we will never be in the saddle for more than an hour anyway.
Paul did all the clever stuff on this and much of the credit for it even being built must go to him. I did a bit of filing here and there and some cutting and a bit of drilling but none of the good stuff. Paul showed me how to do some things and then left me to it and those will be the dodgy bits you can see on the trike. Mick and I did a lot of the finishing and refurbishing but had to rely on neighbours and friends to do all our heavy lifting. That caused delays some times as you can’t expect people to drop things every time you need a hand. The work Mick and I did on the trike was time consuming because we are both a bit crook. We can only muster three hands and one good knee between us. Mick was knocked off his bike about 12 years ago and is held together with baling twine; He lost his right arm as a result. I have bad osteo arthritis and drop things a lot. I fall to bits as the day progresses.

Click here to view larger imageThanks to Paul for all your help. Mick too, no one polishes better than you mate. Cheers to Wendy and the kids for putting up with me.
Thanks all those of you who have been supportive on the forums when things went pear shaped.
I think I did Ok for my first effort at a trike. I wanted something that looked like a bike but with the convenience of a reverse gear without spending a fortune.
I'm going to try and learn to weld. I don’t want to ever have to put a mate through 12 months of me in a confined space ever again. I think Paul deserves a medal for putting up with my madness!
I’ll do the next one myself and pay for any milling or turning I need done.
Or perhaps I’ll not bother and just enjoy riding this one.
That’s all folks, I'm off for a ride.


Click here to view larger imageUpdate.

It's now done just over 200 miles so it's getting a once over from Mick and myself just to check things. It's comfy for a hardtail and handles pretty well too. It does 70 comfortably and would probably get to 85mph if we ever tried to go flat out. Not over blessed with power but rather sprightly considering.
I dread having to ever drive a car with this little power and the only use for a Reliant is to use as a trike donor or for spares for a Reliant trike.
Being a hardtail I wouldn't want to do more than an hour or 100 miles on it in one go. The tank will hold 100 miles or so before reserve -we didn't plan it that way it's just a happy coincidence. The Honda Shadow seats and tyre pressures actually provide a degree of comfort I didn't think could be achieved on a hardtail, another stroke of luck there too.
Anyway, the final verdict is that for a trike built in a shed on a limited budget out of a pile of bits, an old engine we were given and a wobbly frame, it's not too shabby and does exactly what it says on the tin.  It's never going to be quick with this engine but for tooling round the A and B roads we have locally it's brilliant.

That's it folks this job's a good ‘un.