Electric-powered Verrado puts trike drifting on the level
By Nick Lavars
April 3, 2014
Since originating in New Zealand in 2009, the sport of trike drifting has slowly but surely spread to hilly regions all around the globe. From the United States to Puerto Rico, adrenaline junkies are mounting customized three-wheeled machines to drift and spin their way along switchbacks and steep downhill descents. Now, Arizona-based Local Motors has developed an electric-powered drift trike dubbed Verrado, which aims to extend this form of recreation to residents in flatter parts of the globe ... or just make it easier to get back to the top of the hill.
A conventional drift trike could be described as an extreme tricycle for adults. The front forks usually harbor a BMX wheel with either pedals or stunt pegs protruding from the axle, while two smaller go-kart wheels bring up the rear. As the trike turns and the rider shifts his or her weight, sleeves fixed around the rear wheels, generally made from either PVC or polyethylene, create a loss of traction and set the drift in motion.
While there's clearly plenty of good times to be had riding a drift trike, when downhills and the forces of gravity are removed from the picture their value becomes questionable at best. But the team of engineers from Local Motors, inspired by the horizontal planes of the Arizona desert, have set about motorizing the fast-growing extreme sport.
The Verrado incorporates a MagicPie 3-hub brushless motor and a lithium cobalt manganese battery to power its 20-inch front wheel. The two five-inch steel rear wheels are fitted with 10-inch karting tires and wrapped in PVC sleeves almost an inch thick, while disc brakes with regenerative braking bring the trike to a stop.
The company says the trike can be charged in around three hours, with each charge providing 45 minutes or 12 miles (19.3 km) worth of riding, though this will vary depending on how many are spent traveling sideways, if you catch our drift.
The steel frame sports a cushioned seat and is powder-coated in either black, white, red or silver.
Local Motors has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for refining the brake caliper mounting system, finalize the battery mounting and ultimately take Verrado to market. A pledge of US$1,560 will put you in line for one of the electric trikes with Local Motors hoping to begin shipping in June.
You can see the Verrado taken for a spin in the video below.
Source: Local Motors