The minibike is an American phenomenon which fascinates those of us from countries in which such contraptions are illegal on the road; they seem to deliver bucketloads of low-octane fun in which we are unable to participate. [HowToLou] has one, and as it’s something for use in the Great Outdoors it naturally requires some means of fixing a brew. His solution to the need for a mug of boiling water in out-of-the-way places? A gravity-fed heat exchanger for the exhaust pipe, fed from a reservoir made using an upturned bottle.
As can be seen in the video below the break it’s a simple enough piece of work but surprisingly effective. A piece of small-bore copper tube is passed through a cork into the bottle, then wrapped round a piece of pipe which forms an exhaust The resulting heat exchanger is insulated, the engine started, and the cork loosened just enough to cause a bit of water to flow. The result – a good flow of hot water for that morning coffee.
The Volkswagen Beetle is a true automobile icon, and while it may not be the fastest or most breathtaking looking car ever built, its unmistakable shape with those elegant curvy fenders and bulgy lights holds a special place in many people’s hearts. And then it inspires them to build minibikes from those same parts.
The idea of the Volkspod is to take the Beetle’s two front fenders, weld them together to one symmetric body, and turn it into a small motorcycle. [Jonah]’s version does all that, but instead of taking a whole minibike as core of the project, he only uses a minibike frame and substitutes the engine with a 2000 Watt e-bike motor along with an e-bike battery pack. Fitting the frame within the dimensions of the fender construct required some extra welding work, but in the end, it all came nicely together, and with its red paint job, it kinda looks like something from a vintage post-apocalyptic sci-fi cross-genre movie. Watch him taking it for a spin in the video after the break.
There are just somethings you don’t see often when it comes to motorcycles, 2 wheel drive and tank tracks. Well, [jeep2003] has combined both those oddities into one project he calls the Track-Powered 2×2 MiniBike.
As his descriptive project name suggests, this minibike has tracks instead of wheels. The track assemblies originally came off a snow blower. As if just having tracks wasn’t difficult enough, both sets are powered. The back has a straight forward chain and sprocket setup while the front ads in a clever jack-shaft and universal joint contraption which is shown in the video after the break around the 3:08 mark.
[jeep2003] doesn’t say where the tubing for his custom made frame came from, but from the photos available it appears they were once old bicycle frames. The powerplant is a 6.75hp vertical shaft Briggs & Stratton engine. The output shaft connects to a Peerless 5 speed transmission that also has reverse. This transmission usually outputs to two rear drive wheels of a riding lawnmower. [jeep2003] dedicates each axle output from the transmission to power one of the two track systems.
Although this minibike won’t be breaking any land speed records anytime soon, we here at HaD still think it’s a pretty rad build.
DPX Systems seems to deal exclusively in devices powered by handheld drills. In addition to the mini bike in the video above, they’ve made systems for wheelchairs, toolboxes, and hoists. The device costs $630, but we know most of you just need prompting that something is possible to be well on your way to building your own version. We’re still more fond of weed whacker machines.