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Motorized Big Wheel Drift Trike speaks to your inner child


July 10, 2014

The Big Wheel Drift trike is proportioned to make an adult rider feel like a kid again

The Big Wheel Drift trike is proportioned to make an adult rider feel like a kid again

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Attaching motors to drift trikes has seen the sport's popularity flourish over the last 12 months. Traditionally a recreation for residents of hilly areas, both companies and DIYers have begun integrating gas and electric motors in a bid to extend the experience to flatter terrain. Auto parts manufacturer SFD Industries is at the forefront of this rise in motorized three-wheeled drifting, and is staking its claim in the form the Big Wheel Drift Trike that boasts a whopping 26-inch front wheel.

"The thing that really sets off our drift trike is the big 26-inch by 3.5-inch wheel," August Agner, owner of SFD Industries tells Gizmag. "It feels super stable and is proportioned similar to a child's big wheel to really make an adult look and feel like a kid again."

Like the Tortuga Trike we covered recently, the Big Wheel Drift Trike runs on a 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) motor. According to Agner, the PVC sleeves wrapped around the rear wheels to create the loss of traction are thicker than most, and should allow for months of sideways action. Another point of difference for the Big Wheel Drift Trike is the resting place for the rider's feet. Other trikes, including the electric-powered Verrado, use stunt pegs mounted to the front forks, while Agner has taken a slightly different approach.

"The most unique feature we designed is the frame mounted pegs that eliminate foot lift while drifting, so you don't have to worry about the tire scrubbing up your leg," he says.

The frame is CNC bent out of Benteler chromoly, fully TIG (tungsten inert gas) welded and assembled in house at SFD's workshop in North Carolina. The trike is set in motion with a twist throttle fixed to the aluminum bars, while hydraulic disc brakes at the rear will bring the drifting to a stop.

The standard Big Wheel Drift Trike is available now and priced at US$2,000, though Agner will cater to those looking to take their drifting experience up a notch. Custom upgrades include a dyno-tuned, "high horsepower" motor with exhaust for $500 and an aluminum down tube mounted fuel cell with pump and throttle plate for $200.

Source: SFD Industries

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. Having worked for publications such as The Santiago Times and The Conversation, he now writes for Gizmag from Melbourne, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, the city's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches. All articles by Nick Lavars

I can see these being more fun than go-cart racing as a holiday resort attraction. Though any pianist wishing to remain one would be well advised to demand a guard for the chain drive before having a go on one. Also, I think there needs to be something to stop the feet from slipping sideways off the footrests.

As for "hydraulic disc brakes at the rear will bring the drifting to a stop" might be factually accurate in that the drifting will stop, but it will likely turn the trike through 180 degrees, or cause it to produce a series of pirouettes any leading ballerina would be proud of instead of actually stopping the trike

Mel Tisdale

Okay there are a lot of silly ideas posted on gizmag (not trying to shoot the messenger, it is their job to present everything). This concept however looks flippin sweet. I loved my bigwheel! Looks like fun. Hopefully the back wheels don't wear through as quickly as when I was young. ;-)


Looks like fun, I do agree! BUT! Why not mandate registration? Adults (and kids with money) will be all over the streets risking life and limb with almost no recourse for accident victims ... let alone becoming statistics themselves. The infestations of those tiny motorised trailbikes or mini-chopper bikes should be example enough - up down and across roads and footpaths (sidewalks) everywhere, pollution for the ears and atmosphere! Motor mowers and leaf blowers were bad enough! Now we have skateboards, skooters, rollerskates, everything gets a motor!

The Skud

Since the back wheels are made to slip, I wonder about the efficacy of those rear brakes. I would love to jettison the sleeves and use this bad boy for my short commute (a tall flag pole would be in order).

Bruce H. Anderson

This isn't the best idea. It's cool but the engineering sucks.

First of all, the brake should be on the FRONT. Now I know that "normal" drifting is done by locking up the rear wheels, but on a trike a drift can easily be achieved by turning and locking the FRONT pneumatic wheel, as then the rear of the frame now has the front axle as a pivot point. Result? A LOT less "PVC sleeve" changing.

6.5HP isn't much for a fat ass such as myself but is WAAAY more than needed for anyone under 150 lbs. They only turn at 3600RPM you know...it's not going to be any faster.

This is cool, the welding appears very good, and I love that it's made in NC. Americans DO rock at this stuff. But more please??

How are the wheels driven? Who does major repairs? Who makes the engine? My bet (probably 100% correct) is that it's a Chinese copy of a Honda GX-Series engine...not all bad if its babied but a 2 compared to Honda's 9.

You would be silly to buy this. I'd get a trike like this for adults (like Razr makes), beef up the weaknesses, and go with an American engine with some oomph...like a 2-stroke (if they're still legal). A 2-stroke less than HALF the size of the 4-stroke mounted would make over 2x the power AND feel MUCH faster.

If you have MINIMAL tools (drill press, bits, and a MIG/TIG) be a man and build one! I could do it in a weekend and I have never fabricated anything bigger than a jig for a tool. Now that I've sketched it I see this would be SIMPLE--the powertrain the simplest thing of all (centrifugal clutch horizontal-mount Honda engine, a sprocket, and some chain...along with a fabricated sprocket backing plate and 8 socket-head cap screws (with nuts and Locktite Blue).

Ron Damato

You guys need to light'n up and have fun with it

The Gooch
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