Electric tricycle build log is like hacker crack


This tiny little scratch-built electric tricycle is a insanely powerful. Some might think you don’t need a crash helmet for testing a trike, but seeing the video after the break where [Ben Katz] is flying through a parking garage while slaloming between the support beams proves that this ride has some pep to it.

Looking through the presentation post linked above is fun, but when we started digging though the six build log posts we felt ourselves getting sucked into the project. It’s a delight every step of the way. It started with an aluminum box which will host the two rear wheels, drive train, motor, and battery. [Ben] decided to go with A123 Lithium cells, and after testing to see how many he could fit in the space available he started making choices on the motor and driver circuit. When he finally got his hands on the actual cells for the project he took on the fascinating process of constructing his own battery. Dozens of them were hot glued, then soldered together before being encased by placing them in soda bottles and hitting the plastic with a heat gun. And we haven’t even gotten into the bicycle hub-gear transmission system, disc brakes, differential, chain-drive, and motor… you see what we mean about sucking you in.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering this is not [Ben's] first electric vehicle build. Last year he was showing off his all terrain scooter.


  1. henry says:

    So “dangerous” the other guy tests it out while wearing crocs…..

  2. Ren says:

    In addition to a differential, it also allows the driver to lean into curves (like!)
    Does it have regenerative braking in addition to the disc brakes?
    It does seem to run by surges, that makes it noisier I think.

  3. electronics says:

    This is sweet!
    Me wants ;-)

  4. 0xfred says:

    Excellent. I really want to build something like this for my son some day. (He’s only 18 months so I’ve still got some time.)

    The plan is that he can drive it himself but I’ll have a remote override / speed limit for when he’s heading towards something dangerous. And of course an auto cutout if he’s out of range.

  5. MrX says:

    I have the perfect music for this video:

  6. Tom the Brat says:

    Shorts, socks and crocs: Now there’s a true geek! I’m off to read the blog.

  7. Hirudinea says:

    Man that’s one sweet ride, every 4 year old would be busting their piggy bank to get one! I do like the way the body tilts in turns though, that must make it far more manoeuvrable.

  8. Justin says:

    300wH sounds like it doesn’t last very long with that much power! Looks to be 3P12S arrangement. Maxing out that controller looks to be around 7C discharge on the batteries, well within specs. I’m estimating ~10 minutes of max throttle at 100% DOD if setting the current to max continuous rating of 50A. I love that drivetrain. Awesome build!

  9. FrankenPC says:

    The differential is pretty ingenious. That and the pivoting front end. Smart guy.

    Still…he’s a chicken. I want to see some power slides…

  10. jpnorair says:

    I love it. Anyone interested should also check out the professionally offered “YikeBike.” I rode a YikeBike once, and it was tremendous fun.

  11. ChalkBored says:

    Looks like the head tube could use some rake. With those forks, the steering has a lot of negative trail.

    • EliTheIceMan says:

      Now in english… (I understood rake anyway but what’s negative trail? Like understeer?)

      • ChalkBored says:

        It’s caster.

        You want the steering axis slightly ahead of the contact patch of the wheel so the steering self centers. If it’s behind the wheel like it appears to be in this case, you have to fight the steering from doing a 180 whenever you move it off-center.

  12. This… is a bit underwhelming.

    Don’t get me wrong, the build is awesome in ingenuity and quality of the work, but for the size of that engine I was expecting more POWERRRRRR (imagine this as screamed bj Jeremy Clarkson). Madly spinning wheels, stupid acceleration, shrieks of terror from the testers, the like.

    • Orion says:

      LOLZ!……..have you ever noticed the way he (Jeremy Clarkson) says “BUT THENNNNN!…….” in that deep rumbling voice? Makes whatever it is he is talking about seem a little more impressive!

  13. fabio says:

    search for Drift Trikes

  14. Orion says:

    “This tiny little scratch-built electric tricycle is a insanely powerful” <– sounds like modern cave language. No offence, just couldn't help it! :D

  15. Matt Starbuck says:

    Does anyone have a link to something that explains how that kind of differential actually works?

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