Building Mini-Trike

Hello this is my 1st post, and I have a story. When I was a poor kid growing up in southern Florida, somehow my dad got me this old mini bike. I really liked that thing and rode it as much as I could. Problem was the clutch was on its last leg, and we never got a new one for it, so... I really dont know what ever happened to it.
During the 40+ years since then I had always thought about getting a motorcycle, but my lack of coordination and strength made that a bad idea... so I never did. I have owned restored and modified a lot of cars in those years and really appreciate a cool modified vehicle.
About 5 years ago, on a whim and to relive the minibike years I purchased a Coleman BT200 made a few changes to it and would ride it around my neigborhood not doing anything crazy but pretty much just cruising. I live in like a regular platt community in Ohio with sidewalks and etc. I really enjoyed it, however, I had to have knee replacement, and then less than a year after that a hip replacement on the same leg. With that it seemed like riding the minibike may not be a good idea, because if anything were to go wrong, I may use use of one of my legs.
Still itching to ride, I came up with the idea that a trike might be a "safe" alternative. So I set into building one, purchasing a raw frame and parts to put one together. I have a hemi predator left over from the previous mini and initially planned on using it for the trike. Then I saw the HF Ghost so I had to have one of those. After I got all the parts together I spent a few weeks painting and assembling the thing and it came out looking really cool.
So version 1 of this has the Ghost, a live axle, torque conv, and for some reason a bad attitude. The HF Ghost engine was too much for me to pull start on initial startup (I am also not real strong) so my wife went and got my helpful neighbor and he came over and after a few pulls it started, and idled well. Then we blip the throttle and right away the torque conv grabs and it tries to run over us. We kill it, and then lesson learned we start it up again... and I promptly run the thing into one of my wife's flowerbeds and the chain comes loose, the thing is really hard to steer.
The wife is watching this the whole time... so none of this is cool... so I park it for the night.
Over the next few days I put the chain back on it and setup the hydraulic brakes parking brake. So my wife and I struggle pushing this thing from the backyard and into the front driveway so I have a little more room and I am able to get it started myself and it idles well and sounds really good. I reach down to do something on the bike and accidentally hit the throttle and off it goes again!!! burning rubber and going in a large arc right into the garage door! Its crazy! there is no reason why this thing should just grab and take off like that. So now the wife is at DEFCON 1, so we push it back and chain the thing up and cover it and I get to work fixing the garage door.
I will come back and post some pics of Ver 1. of this thing and continue the story...
After the less than stellar performance of the original setup I decided to change a few things. I have removed the ghost for now and just put in a regular predator hemi. There are 2 reasons for this, 1 I think for now the ghost was just too much for what I am trying to do, and 2nd I couldnt for the life of me figure out which electric start kit to use on the ghost.
Which brings me to the main change, which is electric start, I went with the vpower hemi kit, because it seemed like it was going to be a complete kit and actually work, I probably could have saved a few dollars and bought off of Amazon... I used a box for a trailer brake and a YTX5L battery and some 8 gauge cables to supply power. Also installed a lighting/charging kit and a regulator.
On the engine I installed a gopower top plate and filter and jet kit. Painted the engine to match the bike. Removed the pull start and installed the torque converter and etc from the original engine. I left off the chain for now so I can run the engine and test to make sure it isnt going to act weird.
Also I removed the keys from the "drivers side" wheel so only 1 wheel has power. This makes a huge difference at least pushing the thing around and such. I didnt realize how much the 2 wheels we going to fight each other with the live axle. This will also probably make it much easier to turn. Honestly I dont like this solution and want to install a differential and 2nd brake. Questions below.
And finally I installed some different handlebars and some 30mm risers. These are not included in the pictures yet.
A few days ago I finally got to start this up, and it started after cranking for a while and seemed to run pretty well. What I have noticed is that in order to get it to start cold or warm, I have to open the throttle just a bit, and it starts right up. Given the previous problems I really dont like this, even though the torque converter doesnt grab, I am still worried about it taking off on its own. The engine is an EPA engine and doesnt have an idle air screw, so I bought a replacement carb off amazon and it sucked. I tried it as it came and the engine would barely start and stay running, so I put the bigger jet in it and the engine smoked and didnt run well. So i have pulled it off and went back to the stock carb and bigger jet. I have a Tillotson TCB carb on its way hopefully the fix the idle/start etc problem
So the questions
I am hoping the TCB works and makes this servicable, I dont really want any crazy power here, just for it to start and idle without having to monkey with the throttle... any ideas better than that? I was thinking maybe a Mikuni if this doesnt work
Any good idea for a transaxle? I am looking at a Peerless 100-224, but to get it to line up I am going to have to move the engine over and raise it, move my battery, and do some mods and get some machine work done on the axles to get it to work. I dont like the idea of one wheel brake and power.
Right now for me the bottom has dropped out of the temperature and we got like 3 inches of snow!!! yesterday. So the whole thing is on hold for now and until I get the engine to start and idle right. Hopefully it will give me at least one more "warm" period before winter sets in.
The wife is still supportive but very wary, and this has to work right the next time or I am afraid its going to have to go away.
I will post pics of V2 later today


Active Member
For kids it is better to stay low center of gravity. I have a TRI-ROD it has 2 shocks on the front and 4 shocks on the rear. Set it up like a drift trike and stay low it is safer. Here is my son on mine and I have the ski for it too.


Thats cool looking. Due to my replacement knee and hip though, I dont know if low center of gravity is a good idea for me!
I probably could get sit down in yours... but never get back out of it!


Well-Known Member
At the very least, put a block under it so that the wheels are off the ground and it doesn't just take off. Then when you think its operating ok, just push it off and ride. The one wheel drive will give you fits also. If the front end comes up or just gets light, it going to turn away from the drive wheel.
thanks for the tips Wjustice. I have been doing exactly as you recommend only just leaving the chain off until I get the engine tuned / setup the way I will feel safe on it.
Any ideas on a good source for a differential for this?


Active Member
My son is 6'2"or 3" I am 68 5'11" and disabled and I ride it with no problems. It is very soft to ride too. But having it too high is why honda stoped making 3 wheelers they would tip right over if turned too short.
I have been looking at the Peerless 100-244 at but it is going to take some machine work and revision to the bike to make it work. I did receive my TFB carb yesterday and will hopefully get to work on it tomorrow or this weekend. Unfortunately its really cold here now... so my window of opportunity to work on it may not be until next week. But then that is going to be Thanksgiving and getting ready for guests.