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Gas-powered Tortuga Trike aims to bring trike drifting up to speed


May 25, 2014

The team behind the Tortuga are looking to take the sport of trike drifting up a notch

The team behind the Tortuga are looking to take the sport of trike drifting up a notch

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Trike drifting, a sport that originated in New Zealand in 2009 and has since spread all around the globe, is typically the plaything of adrenaline junkies with long and winding downhill runs at their disposal. Drift-enthused DIYers have further indulged their taste for sideways movement by fixing motors to their rides, making it possible to slip and slide over flatter terrain. The Florida-based Tortuga Trikes is looking to take things up a notch, whacking a 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) motor on the back to bring the hobby a little closer to a drift car experience.

Much like the Verrado electric drift trike from Arizona-based Local Motors, Tortuga was inspired by a hill-less Florida landscape. With contingents of the local drift community looking for ways of getting sideways that are cheaper and more accessible than shelling out for a full-fledged drift car, the team set about devising an alternative.

The Tortuga takes a similar shape to Verrado, though with some notable differences. The 6.5-hp motor runs on any type of gasoline and delivers torque directly to the rear wheels for a top speed of 30 mph (48 km/h). The company tells us that each tank should be good for around 20 hours or roughly 40-50 miles (65-80 km) of drifting. The company opted for rear-wheel rather than front-wheel drive, as it says this allows for more advanced drifting techniques, though with PVC slicks wrapped around the 10-inch go kart wheels to create a loss of traction, we suspect it might also be a little trickier to control.

The front forks sport stunt pegs for your feet, a 20-inch wheel and are fitted with A-brakes, like those you might find on a typical bicycle frame. The frame is made from hardened steel and, according to the company, can support riders weighing up to 450 lb (204 kg). Tortuga is offering the trike powder-coated in a choice of 10 colors: sea foam green, shocker yellow, tangerine with gold flake, white, black (gloss or matte), red, silver, green, bright coral and purple.

The team has taken to Kickstarter to raise funds and scale-up production. An early pledge of US$2,250 will put you in line for one of the gas-powered drift trikes, with Tortuga hoping to begin shipping in July 2014 if all goes to plan.

You can see the trike taken for a spin in the video below.

Source: Tortuga Trikes

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

all those great pics and videos for nice gear and no friggin helmet on anyone! wake up for heaven's sake.

Brian Opert

Great idea, but that's a lot of money for no more than you get.


This looks like a lot of fun. Maybe a bit pricey, but fun is like that sometimes. I wonder about ditching the PVC sleeves and taking it on the road. Some torque windup issues may exist, but it would be a fun commute.

Bruce H. Anderson
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