Step One—Buying an Off-the-Shelf Quadricycle

To see this quadricycle in more detail, go to this address:

After the long slog of building Moonbeam, my previous microcar (see  and spending 6 months of 40 hour weeks building a car from scratch; I knew that this time I wanted to buy an off-the shelf “rolling chassis” to begin the Sunbeam project. For a few weeks I had dithered about using two side-by-side mountain bikes with new cross framing, but I soon felt the project was getting bogged down with engineering that I just didn’t have the energy for.   Being 70 feels different from being 65.   Energy is running down.   Time to substitute money for energy.   But, if you take this de-personalization too far, and no longer add your own creativity; the project loses interest.  In sum, I felt that electrification and body-building were enough challenges.

So I looked around and found that a company called Utah Trikes had converted a Terratrike recumbent trike into a quadricycle and I soon swallowed my pride, opened my checkbook and bought one.  I got the extended chassis, for the extra length for the electric components; the additional rear brakes, since this baby will go from weighing 55 pounds to 105 pounds; the ‘big apple’ tires, and the pedals with straps.  This chassis would give me a great head-start and allow the project to fit into my 5 month time frame.   The quad cost about $4000.   It helped a little to remember that many HPV’s, that is human-powered vehicles cost over $10,000.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s