Updated Video’s below: The Speederz concept bike came to us while we were playing with our Lego (The greatest toy ever invented!) Speeders from the Chima characters line of vehicles. We thought, “what would it be like to actually ride one of these!” So Reagan went to work in his CAD program and began designing the Speederz Concept Bike. We quickly learned that trying to design a single large front wheel bike powered by an electric motor is quite a design challenge. So we changed the design to incorporate a rear wheel, and designed that wheel to be the steering wheel, yes that’s right a rear steering front wheel drive mode of transportation! Once we settled on the basic design, we needed a place to build it and fortunately we live in an area where there is a place to build things like this! Local Motors is located in Chandler Arizona, they build cars (Rally Fighter),their mission from the website: “Is to combine co-creation and micro-manufacturing to bring hardware innovations to market at unprecedented speed.” They also build the Verrado Drift Trike, which is an adult version of a big wheel, with a large front wheel that has an electric in hub motor on it! Its also the place where they designed the worlds first 3D printed car! They have a lab there called Local Motors Labs, its a place to go and build, with the help of some very talented and knowledgeable people, all kinds of things. That’s where we met Galen who runs the lab, he’s been a huge influence on us, his knowledge of engineering and design has taught us a lot and has helped make this build a reality for us.
When we started our goal was to have the prototype done in time to take it to the Bay Area Maker Faire, we were able to get that done in no small part because of the help and mentoring from Galen, Carson, Riley and everyone else at Local Motors. We have chronicled the entire project in pictures and video. This is an open source project so we like to hear all your ideas on ways to modify the design. You can follow our Speederz project postings at Local Motors at https://localmotors.com/makerx3/speederz-project/
Speederz concept drawing by Reagan.
We have been learning how to use the water jet machine. Early in the project Reagan using Solid Edge and AutoDesk Inventor designed the mounts for both the front and rear assembly.
The basic frame was the first to be welded.
We then welded the front brackets for the tire, rim and electric motor on to the frame.
We used one of our old bikes as a donor for parts nothing like using a band saw to cut off the front end of a bike. We used the front fork assembly for rear of our bike. We cut out the rear wheel support structure on the water jet machine and then with help from Galen we welded the plates on. We needed some structural strength so we added some support material, a metal strap, to the bracket.
The basic frame mock up with brackets and seat in place. Reagan sitting on it for the first time, and measuring for the handle bar position.
As we began work on the steering mechanism we realized the frame was too short. We cut and added 4 inches to the overall length.
The steering set up is a challenge, we have a number of considerations to keep in mind. We want the riders experience to be as close to what they would expect as possible. So we designed the steering so that if you move the handle bars right you turn right and if left the bike turns left. In order to do that Reagan and Galen came up with what we have above, the rod slides through the two bearings and then we welded a connecting plate to the right side. This is where the steering shaft connects to and crosses under the bike where it is welded to a second plate which is attached to rear assembly using heim joints.
The front attachment point. We used heim joints to allow for movement in the steering arm.
Here we are with Carson and Galen from Local Motors.
Carson from Local Motors checking out the steering configuration.
We are using an in hub Magic Pie 3 electric motor powered by a 48 Volt 500 Watt LiFo battery from the Golden Motor Technology Company. The motor has software which allows us to customize the power settings and speed. It also has cruise control! One of the more time consuming efforts so far for us was learning how to string a rim. Especially trying to string a rim with an electric motor, it took us quite awhile to get everything lined up properly and tightened down.
The Speederz Electric Concept Bike Movie. We took the prototype out for testing the other day, we have training wheels on while we are trying to figure out where the balance point is, and if there is a trail and rake positions which will work to give us the ride we are looking for. It’s a lot of fun to drive around!
Speederz Movie Part 2: