I hadn’t long finished building my last trike when my youngest son told me he was getting a burnt out project from my eldest son’s place of work for £2 scrap value and a bottle of cherry brandy as a good will gesture to his boss. So we got it home in the landrover & soon had it stripped down to see what damage had been done to the engine. To our amazement, it was just the outer cases and rocker box tops. The electrics and pretty much everything else were shot though. My lad spent a whole day cleaning up parts as quite a few bits were stainless but very black and gungey. With a bit of polishing with a mop on a drill they cleaned up a treat though. After the first day my lad said to me sod this for a lark it’s going to take for ever, so like a fool I stepped in and said I’d have it and sort it out. I could see the potential. Little did I know it’d take me nearly 3 years due to my health and lack of cash for parts to get it up and running. May I add it’s driven me pretty close to the edge of insanity quite a few times, but it’s all been well worth it. I wouldn’t take on another in the cremated condition this one was though!

I’ve sprayed it myself -not too bad for a novice. I did all the electrics too. The forward controls lessen the aggro on my hips and were made from stainless bought from my local scrap dealers. I made a new gear peg from some flat plate & a bit of square bar then had a play on my lad’s lathe to make all the little odds & ends, like the ally choke knob to replace the melted plastic one. It’s an old lathe but it does the job. I haven’t used one since I left school. My wife keeps telling me to throw out all my bits of scrap metal but I’m glad I kept them cos they all get re-used in the end. I straightened out the buckled front mudguard & re-used the rear one too. To get the rust out of the petrol tank I had to fill it with gravel then shake it like a demented maraca player! Even made me a little tool box at the front of the frame from a bit more stainless I had lying around. The chain drive motor’s coupled to the Reliant axle by a Yamaha XS1100 bevel box -£10 for the axle, £25 for the bevel box, £30 for the chain, plus a bit of steel for the rear frame. Another £15 for two sprockets & I’d made me a chain drive rear end for £80.A hell of a lot of wet & dry & polish, including the polishing kit my wife bought me for my birthday, has gone into bringing back the shine on the ally casings. Wifey keeps threatening to move my bed & kettle into the garage cos I spend more time there than indoors, but at least it keeps me off the streets! My eldest lad’s just given me a pair of higher profile tyres cos the low profile ones are a bit hard & I can run the new ones softer. He even swapped them over for me at work. I’d like to thank: Albert Looms of Derby for the parts and original burnt-out donor vehicle.Big Al and his friends, Charlie and Logie of No Nonsense Choppers for the nice cheap parts they sold me.Plus my lads & wifey for all their help & patience.

Getting the trike registered was a breeze. I had a visit from the local Police vehicle identification squad. They said it was O.K to re-register it. I insured the vehicle then mot’d it and weighed it. The log book listed it as two wheeled so I filled in the new details & sent it off. Now it said it had three wheels. Next it was off to my local DVLA office in Nottingham who were superb and very helpful. I took all the documents and my passport plus a household bill to prove my address. I only had to wait 1 week for an inspection to be booked and while I was there I paid for a year’s tax. I enquired how much I owed for the MSVA test and new log book and to my sheer amazement was told there was no charge at all because the vehicle hadn’t changed frame or engine and I hadn’t cut the frame at all, just added an axle, even though it was a rigid back end as I’d changed my mind about having it soft tail and welded it all up but left the shocks on for show. The inspector said I could even keep my age related number plate! I was stunned but secretly hiding a big grin! I took it for an inspection of road-worthiness and didn’t even have to take it off the trailer. The guy just looked around it asked me a few questions –“O.K, it meets my standards. Come back in 5 days and pick up your tax and documents”.

I’ve just done that so now it’s time to get out there & put some mileage on it!


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