Tru-Test Trike!

Oh look! Another one of them "Tru-Test" minibikes!

Hey all,

After selling my pride and joy bike recently, I am able to begin work on another project I have been contemplating for a long time now. A classic styled, rat-rod minibike drift trike! Bit of a mouthful if you ask me, so i'll have to come up with a better name :laugh:

Some of you may have seen this frame before, I believe I posted it in the "Minibikes In New Zealand" post mid last year.

This frame is well beyond restoration, so we drew up a frame template for future reference and put the frame in the garden as "art".

After letting the frame hang up in a tree for a year I decided to bring it down, and blow all 3 different species of spiders out of it. I proceeded to look at it for a good 10 minutes before beginning convince Dad that it was a good idea...

...I then began to bend up some old galvanized television aerial tubing and cut it to the correct size. I will be replacing the bottom right section of the frame, and the fork tube. Since the bike will not be ridden on the streets & neighborhood, I decided to leave some of the badly pitted areas of the frame intact.

I plan to mount the axle underneath the frame, therefore giving the bike a sort of dragster look. I plan to use go kart wheels, and PVC sleeves to slide around.

The engine is a bit of a mix of parts. It's a worn 5hp Briggs, with 4HP tins. I also noticed that someone put the 4HP head on the 5HP. I understand this was a popular mod to do back in the day but I read that I loose flow. The engine runs perfect for what it is, and it was a no brainier for the pricey sum of $1. The paint will stay as-is, its got that patina look. Tins are from 1962, an unusual year for big block Briggs.

I have cut the worst section of the frame out, and the new section is sitting in place.

I'll try and update this as much as possible, but there might be a big gap between updates at times.

Let me know what you think,




Active Member
This should be fun ill be following this one. If your replacing the fork tube already why not go for one a little wider with a bearing so better life
This should be fun ill be following this one. If your replacing the fork tube already why not go for one a little wider with a bearing so better life
Not a bad idea. I'll see what I can do, I have some old bearings laying around so I might be able to work something out.


Active Member
I just feel like it would give a smoother ride and giver you longer life out of it. I pan to do it when i do a rat build. What kind of brake setup are you going for?
I was thinking of a hydraulic disc brake on the rear axle. I have a large brake disc and I can go and buy a hydraulic 2 piston brake, but I'm not entirely sure yet. I want to keep costs to an absolute minimum. I am currently more concerned about the rear axle. I was thinking of finding a kids quad bike and using the rear axle out of it but I'm not entirely sure how that would pan out. The other option is to go the more expensive route and buy a new axle/bearings/hubs/kart wheels/brakes/sprocket etc etc...



Active Member
Thats not a bad idea for a cheaper route thats what i always keep in mind when i do projects i love reusing old stuff for new projects im looking forward to watching this
Since I'm going for the rat rod look, I don't have to make anything look good either :laugh: I think the kids quad axle is my best option if I can fit wheels to it and get the correct sized bearings.

On a side note, I have a 12v battery laying around. I thought about what I could use it for today, maybe I could make some sort of lighting system? Would be a useless amenity, but pretty cool to have. I also have a little metal license plate with my name on it I was planing to throw on as a bit of decoration...:laugh:

I need to find a way of putting a replacement fuel filter screen on the pickup tube. I was thinking zip tie some fine mesh on, but I doubt that idea would last long. The tank would also benefit from a clean up inside. In fact, the whole engine would! What annoys me is that I can't remember if I did an oil change or not...:shrug:

I also made a new rear clutch guard bracket :thumbsup:


Got everything welded up and painted. I think it's looking good so far! Added a bit of detail to the license plate and "faded" the fresh paint. Next step is to get an axle and bearings and start aligning everything :thumbsup: My plan is to run the sprocket on the outside of the frame, therefore I will have to move the engine to the left. I plan to mount the axle underneath the frame rails so it sits high in the rear and lower at the front.

Any suggestions as to what gear ratio I should go for? I feel that I have found something that was not thought through -- the wheelbase. I want to have the wheels as close into the frame as possible but if I wanted to drift this thing I don't think that I would be able to (too short of a wheelbase). I'd love some opinions on this! It appears most "drift trikes" have an axle length of about 1m, I was planning on using a 0.5m long axle...

Today I made a little battery box for a 12v battery that I have. Pics of all the new stuff tomorrow!

Certainly have my work cut out for me! Or... ...already welded back in depending on how you look at it :laugh:

After doing some hunting i cant seem to find anything about suggest gear ratios, From what i recall people hearing they say low 50's in the rear