A Monotrack Bike With Only Basic Tools And Parts

Tracked vehicles are cool, but can be quite complicated to build. [XenonJohn] wanted to skip the complexity, so he created Vector, an electric tracked motorcycle using only basic parts and tools. No machine tools required.

If it looks familiar, it’s because it was inspired by [Make It Extreme]’s monotrack motorcycle that we covered last year. [XenonJohn] liked the concept, but wanted one that was simpler to build. That meant ditching the custom machined parts like the wheels and the suspension system. These were replaced with three go cart wheels and axles mounted in pillow blocks, on a simple welded frame. An e-bike battery powers a 500 W golf cart motor that drives the rear wheel. Like [Make It Extreme]’s version, the track is an SUV tire with the sidewall cut off. [XenonJohn] used tin snips to do this, but from personal experience we would recommend a utility knife. This track design will have a tendency to collect debris inside it, so cutting some hole in the tread could help. As with most single wheeled/tracked vehicles, you really don’t want to try and stop quickly.

It looks like this bike works fine in straight lines, but there is room for improvement with the steering. [XenonJohn] has some ideas to do this, which we hope to see some time in the future. Let us know in the comments how you would make it turn better.

[XenonJohn] really like vehicles that can make you face plant. He built quite a few self-balancing motorcycles, one of which was supposedly designed with first responders in mind. It honestly seems more likely to create an emergency than respond to one.

25 thoughts on “A Monotrack Bike With Only Basic Tools And Parts

    1. Do it in two passes, cutting away from yourself. First a light cut to set your path, then push down on the side wall to open the slit and then cut through. Did it to make some tire planters and it worked well. Medix’s idea of a hook blade could work well for the second pass.

    2. You start with the tyre mounted on a rim, mounted on a car. While driving along the road, you hold the utility knife against the sidewall. You must make two passes on the outer sidewall to remove a section so you can reach through to cut the inner sidewall from inside the tyre. This is slightly safer if you work with an assistant. Ensure you are wearing your safety tie.

      (And if you think you should try this method, you really should NEVER touch another tool in your life. Starting now.)

    1. From the text on the YouTube page…

      “Small tracks from diggers and snowmobiles for example are quite expensive so for a fun project a cut-down car tyre (not my original idea) works really well at around US$45 part-worn.”

      Yeah, I know, I didn’t really answer your question…
      B^)

    2. I meant the running system, not just the tread, they seem similar. Now that I think about it though I suppose you could modify the tread (it is cheap enough) by putting studs in it and you could run it in winter as a tiny snowmobile that’s hard to steer.

    1. I remember seeing one around that time (in Popular Mechanix?) about a tiny min-bike (is that redundant?)
      that used a small two stroke engine ( from a chainsaw?) and could supposedly fit in a school locker (like I did a number of times during my Freshman year -not by my choice).

  1. Thought the tin snips looked much safer than suggested utility knife, even if cutting away from yourself, but the cheap-o’s from Harbor Freight, etc. would likely need re-tightening every so often given how they loosen cutting thicker plastic sheet [for me anyway].

    Could you not use a jigsaw or similar reciprocating hand tool with a short metal blade for more safety and control?

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