Rideable Tank Tread: It’s A Monotrack Motorcycle That Begs You To Stop Very Slowly

There will always be those of us who yearn for an iron steed and the wind through your hair. (Or over your helmet, if you value the contents of your skull.) If having fun and turning heads is more important to you than speed or practicality, [Make it Extreme] has just the bike for you. Using mostly scrapyard parts, they built a monotrack motorcycle — no wheels, just a single rubber track.

[Make it Extreme] are definitely not newcomers to building crazy contraptions, and as usual the entire design and build is a series of ingenious hacks complimented by some impressive fabrication skills. The track is simply a car tyre with the sidewalls cut away. It fits over a steel frame that can be adjusted to tension the track over a drive wheel and a series of rollers which are all part of the suspension system.

Power is provided by a 2-stroke 100cc scooter engine, and transmitted to the track through a drive wheel made from an old scuba tank. What puts this build over the top is that all of this is neatly located inside the circumference of the track. Only the seat, handlebars and fuel tank are on the outside of the track. The foot pegs are as far forward as possible, which helps keep your center of gravity when stopping. It’s not nearly as bad as those self-balancing electric monocycles, but planning stops well in advance is advisable.

While it’s by no means the fastest bike out there it definitely looks like a ton of fun. Build plans are available to patrons of [Make it Extreme], but good luck licensing one as your daily driver. If that’s your goal, you might want to consider adding a cover over the track between the seat and handlebars to prevent your khakis from getting caught on your way to the cubicle farm.

This is project number 0100 for [Make it Extreme], and they have made regular appearances here on Hackaday. With projects ranging from an electric gun to shop tools and no-weld e-bike batteries to height extending footwear, we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

44 thoughts on “Rideable Tank Tread: It’s A Monotrack Motorcycle That Begs You To Stop Very Slowly

  1. I like, but needs some safety work.

    Looks like if you brake too hard can fall forward onto the exposed track and be extruded under the handlebars, coming out a new and different shape through the front. So the article’s title is +1.

    Very interesting project. I don’t want one. I’ll wait till version II or III.

    1. Very cool, and good video too. They showed enough to show the important parts and left out the boring bits (I’m slightly unsure where some of the ore-made parts came from, but i assume they were parts from the donor scooter?)

      But in terms of practicality even for a silly vehicle, as noted above, there’s a lack of evidence it can turn. And for a tracked vehicle, it’s a shame there was no off-road demo… I’m guessing it was actually really unstable?

      Still, very cool and impressive.

  2. How is this steered? One of the best advntages of caterpillar tracks for most use cases is that a vehicle with them can turn on the spot, with only one track I fear this will have an extremely wide turning circle, if turning is possible at all for I asue all the rider can do is lean and hope?

    1. Was thinking same thing.

      We need one made with one of those earthmover truck tires and a twin turbocharged engine.

      Also, needs a flamethrower on front. Because.

      I seriously desire making one of these…

  3. An arrangement of a pair of these on the back of a dirt bike/quad racer frame as 2- 4 independent driven in a traction control arrangement would be pretty sweet. I mean technically there are already systems similar to this to bolt on to 4-wheel drive trucks and 4-wheelers as spindle powered setups. Beyond that, 4 independent motors with slightly bigger overdrive gearboxes or drive spindle wheels to compensate for the increase in speed and power would be wild. [the tire is a gear reduction ratio to consider]

    1. I’m just getting ready to get back into for a few projects and where I last left off in the early 90’s, before working on government jobs… going through all the OxyAcetylene torch, Arc, MIG and then TIG welds wrapping up with magnesium alloy was the best they could do with the resources. MIG is more production work and I know back then I didn’t like as much though is suitable. TIG produces the most aesthetically pleasing and probably best integrity welds other than maybe Arc for cast iron. Correct me if I’m wrong as I’m finding new features I don’t recall using back then.

    2. TIG can weld just about anything (if it’s arc-weld-able in the first place), but it’s slow and demanding in terms of skill and labor.
      If you’re a hobbyist, you don’t really care about the speed, but you do care about the cost of the machine vs what it can do.
      With MIG/MAG, you need the filler material in a spool of wire, which may be difficult/expensive for the special ones.
      I own a big, iron-core transformer “production-grade” MIG/MAG welder just because I could buy it for the price of metal scrap. If I had to buy a new machine, I’d go for TIG, way more possibilities.

    3. I see the same and it bothers me a bit, I have a workshop so have tig and a single and 3 phase mig. I like mig, it’s my go-to welder of choice it’s fast, easy, and consistently good results can be achieved by my two hands, I can lay a tig bead just fine but always recommend mig to anyone starting cause a good safe weld can be made by an amateur on less than perfect materials with only a little guidance.. obv I always say to buy a big old welder not a 90a hobby glassless piece of garbage.

        1. Flux core. When running flux core wire, it doesn’t require a shielding gas, as the core of the wire itself burns, and becomes the shielding gas. Really cheap MIG welders are generally flux-core only. Flux core does have some advantages (can be used in windier conditions, doesn’t require a tank of shielding gas), but does require some cleanup after.

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