Drift Trike Puts A New Spin On Things With Ice Wheels

A drift trike is a small sturdy tricycle with a powered front wheel and rear wheels with low friction so that you can drift. They’re fun but there are tons of them. Nowadays, if you want to make your own drift trike that stands out, you have to put your own spin on it. And in terms of extra spin, what better way to do it,than to use ice for the wheels. [Sam Barker] started by breaking down an old used BMX bike. A front-wheel hub motor wasn’t available so he had to make some modifications to use his rear-wheel one as a front wheel. After tweaking the seat to put more weight on the front wheel for better traction, it was time to get started on wheels.

Rather than using straight ice, he settled on using a composite. Inspired by Pykrete, he swapped the wood pulp for cotton fibers. After weighing out different percentages of fiber to water, he had a half dozen or so different samples to test. What he found was that anything about 2% was quite strong to the point where smacking it with a hammer didn’t do much. Happy with the results, he 3D printed a mold to hold the ice as it hardens. [Sam] pulled it out a little too early only to have the some of the unfrozen middle leak out. He refilled the mold and got a second wheel going. After waiting for it to fully freeze, he had one and a half wheels and it was time to go for a spin. We appreciate the furze-esk music during the drifting as he is a clear inspiration throughout all of this. We love seeing the tire skids on the pavement, knowing they’ll evaporate soon.

It’s telling that wheels lasted longer than the frame. He admits he just got his MIG welder, so perhaps next time with more practice his tacks will be a little stronger. [Sam] has a love for making electronic vehicles as he’s made a monowheel, a bicycle, and now a tricycle. Perhaps some sort of giant four-wheeled inline skate is next? Other drift trikes don’t go the route of reducing friction but instead focus on delivering so much torque to the wheels that they can’t help but slip. Video after the break.

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Heavy-Duty Starter Motor Powers An Awesome Drift Trike

Starter motors aren’t typically a great choice for motorized projects, as they’re designed to give engines a big strong kick for a few seconds. Driving them continuously can often quickly overheat them and burn them out. However, [Austin Blake] demonstrates that by choosing parts carefully, you can indeed have some fun with a starter motor-powered ride.

[Austin] decided to equip his drift trike with a 42MT-equivalent starter motor typically used in heavy construction machinery. The motor was first stripped of its solenoid mechanism, which is used to disengage the starter from an engine after it has started. The housing was then machined down to make the motor smaller, and a mount designed to hold the starter on the drift trike’s frame.

A 36V battery pack was whipped up using some cells [Austin] had lying around, and fitted with a BMS for safe charging. The 12V starter can draw up to 1650 amps when cranking an engine, though the battery pack can only safely deliver 120 amps continuously. A Kelly controller for brushed DC motors was used, set up with a current limit to protect the battery from excessive current draw.

The hefty motor weighs around 50 pounds, and is by no way the lightest or most efficient drive solution out there. However, [Austin] reports that it has held up just fine in 20 minutes of near-continuous testing, despite being overvolted well beyond its design specification. The fact it’s operating at a tenth of its rated current may also have something to do with its longevity. It also bears noting that many YouTube EVs die shortly after they’re posted. Your mileage may vary.

For a more modern solution, you might consider converting an alternator into a brushless electric motor. Video after the break.

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