I ended up using the front end off of this 2003 Honda VTX Motorcycle. The VTX has a large frame that will be able to handle a heavy load, although there did not end up being much added weight to front wheel. I personally like the looks of the Honda VTX the best out of the other motorcycles I considered utilizing.
For the engine and running gear; If I was going to build a Super Trike, it had to have a V-8. Problem is that most vehicles manufactured with V8s are rear wheel drive vehicles. It was very important for me to keep the engine behind the riders, and so I was limited to using a front wheel drive donor vehicle. I initially wanted a Monte Carlo SS but could not locate a good donor vehicle at a decent price, then I came across the Cadillac DTS. They were nearly dime a dozen, the Northstar V8 makes ample power and so……Cadillac it is! I found a salvage titled donor car that had damage to the rear end, the portion I was interested in was perfect condition for my project.The Honda VTX front end has been cut off and I have it strapped down with the Cadillac seats on blocks. At this point I am just trying to rough sketch out how this will go together. Putting it on paper is one thing, actually laying out the major pieces gives the needed visual.
Just finished cutting the Cadillac front end off. I made the cut just behind the front windshield post, I wasn’t show the weight would be distributed after the cut. I got it about right, the three concrete blocks are being used to counter balance the front end from tipping forward. The Cadillac is blocked and locked down, just checking and the leveling the front end of the car before I join the Cadillac to the Honda. At this point I have joined the Honda to the Cadillac, this was probably the easiest part of the build. I used 1 1/2″ Chromolly tubing to fabricate the frame and a tube bender to make the required bends.
Loaded up and preparing to transport to local mechanic that is a wiz at flashing computers, removing/defeating the anti-theft features. He could not get the Trike running…..after eight months and six mechanics later, I ended up bringing it home….still not running
During all the trouble shooting and taking it back and forth to the different mechanics, some of the wire harness from the original Cadillac had been damaged or deemed not needed. Well I ended up having to purchase a new wire harness from another donor car. Look at this mess, the Cadillac DTS has 13 different computers controlling everything from cruise control to the heated seats. I traced each and every wire, to see what it went to, what it controlled and if it was a critical component for my project.
After several months of work, I finally have most of the wiring sorted out. I was able to discard several of the computers and shorten the harness quite a bit. I have the seat mounted at this point as well.
Replaced the steering wheel with an electric motor that I can control via a switch operated with my foot. This will allow the rear wheels of the trike to steer left and right, and drive down the road sideways (only used during parades or special events). I built in a lock that prevents the rear wheels from steering when traveling down the highway.
I don’t have any before pictures of the donor 2010 Camaro that was used during this build. I selected the Camaro because after loads of research and many trips to used car lots, I felt that its measurements would work to cover the Cadillac front end. In this process I used both the front and rear clips from the Camaro.After two months of cutting and fabricating mounts the Camaro rear clip is mounted over the top of the Cadillac front end.
Started the process of closing off the frame. Under the motorcycle gas cap is where I mounted the Cadillac ignition switch. Used this for aesthetic reasons, and its functionality in keeping the ignition dry for the moments when I would inevitably be caught out in the rain. For shifting the automatic transmission, we decided on using a B&M unit.
At this stage I am fitting the Camaro front bumper and hood over the top of the Cadillac V8, at the same time joining the rear clip of the Camaro. Painful, but the lines are coming together. A little fabrication to close some of the gaps
Fitted a motorcycle headlight bezel facing rear, used this to mount my instrument cluster into, Ended up fitting nice with a polished look to it. Made a stainless steel cover for my switches. Getting close to being ready to paint and add some finishing touches.
After getting everything fabricated and fitted, its time take it all back apart for painting. This photos show the frame just after it was painted.
The final product, as of September 2017.