View Full Version : Motorcycle wheels?

10-07-2003, 08:28 PM
All the recent talk of three wheelers got me thinking again about a long standing project of mine,I want to build a modern day replica of a Morgan sports car of the three wheeler type.I'm thinking of using motorcycle wheels for the project,trouble is what would be the best size type to look for? Consider that I want spokes and I need two for steering and one for drive,they also need brakes either disc or drum,also heavy bearings would be nice considering I are a lard arse,oh ya chain of coarse.

10-07-2003, 10:55 PM
You might have to start by finding out what weight each wheel will be carrying. Find a suitable tire, then go for the wheel that it fits. Just an idea.

10-08-2003, 12:49 AM
The originals (c.1930) used 19" motorcycle wheels and 4.00" tires. I think these are still a common size wheel/tire. Check out any of the cycle shop-salvage spots. I'd go with front disks instead of the original mechanical drums, if you plan to make it "road worthy".
Also, you might be able to dress up an old Harley Pan-Head to look like the original JAP engine. Could make a nice project. As long as you stayed close to the original design, you shouldn't have any weight concerns--tires.
I have a book with a phantom view of the '30. If you want a pic, I could probably get one.

10-08-2003, 02:43 AM

10-08-2003, 04:54 AM

I would purchase new spoked rims.

http://www.jirehcycles.com/ (deleted improper url) cycles has a midwest catalog online for prices.

Make a panhead look like a jap engine?? WHY?

If you want to hide a powerplant, they make plastic harley engines about about 350.. chrome and all.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 10-08-2003).]

Paul Gauthier
10-08-2003, 07:21 AM
That site is a Consulting Group. Nothin there about cycles.

Paul G.

10-08-2003, 08:25 AM
http://www.jirehcycles.com/ WEll.. butter my cornbread.. it was.. I am sorry... it was late, WIld turkey and a twelvepack..

The above one will work.. I'll delete the other..

I sold about all the bikes I had laying around except a 400 kawasaki.. nothing else would work right on the other side.. used to.. be able to buy spoked rims for $39.. spokes for 75 per wheel.. Maybe purchasing a set of wire wheels for a streetrod from speedway motors would be a better ideal? they would bolt to hubs.. either trailer hubs or car spindles.. lemme pull them up for ya.. http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Default.asp?wc=true this one works too.. I just came from there..

AND.. the wire wheels in thier catalog are not in the online catalog.. stinkers...

They sell wire spindle mount wheels for T-buckets.. This is the reasonable company to deal with..

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 10-08-2003).]

10-08-2003, 08:39 AM
I would start by building the plywood bulkheads, Purchase enough thick styrofoam to shape the body from, cut out the cockpit, then shape the outside.. The foam adds strength to the fiberglass.. Lots of home-built aircraft are made this way.

You can make a hot knife from a wire and your welder to cut the foam. Looks like a bow saw.

Hunt out the SHRIKE kit.. it is similar but more modern looking.. I like your ideal better now.. Perhaps, the front end off the morgan and a covered JAP crotch rocket in the rear.. but then,, you'd have to listen to it. It sure would surprise people.. 160hp in a 800 pound package would out accellerate any car I have. (The camaro would be close but I'd probably run over you cause I can't keep it in a straight line)

If you want to build a tubing chassis.. well I just happen to have this model 3 bender getting rusty..

Ragarsed Raglan
10-08-2003, 11:15 AM
Also check out the 'Malone Skunk' - see here:-

www.malonecar.com (http://www.malonecar.com)

The Grinnall scorpion:-

www.grinallcars.com (http://www.grinnallcars.com)

and also my favourite which is the 'Rocket' ( albeit this one cheats a little by using 4 wheels - but it still uses motorcycle power units) designed by Gordon Murray (ex F1 designer for Brabham team and designer of one of the best looking F1 cars ever IMHO)

www.weismann.net/rocket.html (http://www.weismann.net/rocket.html)


PS Just read that Bill Gates has 2 of these cars so I suppose Thrud won't want one now!! And this will be my final edit!

[This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-08-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-08-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-08-2003).]

pat bearss
10-08-2003, 02:45 PM
this is a great site http://www.stevproj.com/Carz/CycleKart.html
They have all kinds represented

10-08-2003, 06:01 PM
RE: Make a panhead look like a jap engine?? WHY?

JAP motors used in Morgan three wheelers stood for J. A. Prestwick (I think). NOT jap as in some Japanese engine. I'm sure that our friends from across the pond will correct me here.

If I recall correctly they used three wheels originally so as to be classified as a motorcycle to get a big break on taxes.


10-08-2003, 07:46 PM
A buddy of mine in the U.K. actually built a Morgan "kit car" and he used wheels, powerplant & drivetrain from a Yamaha Maxim I believe..... I know there's a website somewhere 'cause he showed me pics of his machine on there. Mabye you can search out Morgan "kit cars" to get an idea....

Take care,

10-08-2003, 09:06 PM
Thanks all for the info,this has me thinking more,(EXPLAINS ALL THE SMOKE) http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Ibew,catalogs are a coming.

Model 3 bender,we must be brothers in law,I got one rusting away myself,hey I know,we could get Evan to store them for us http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

10-08-2003, 09:22 PM

DOes yours have hydraulics?

I been a wanting, perhaps putting a long ram jack on it? I have a old cherry picker jack laying around, plus some cylinders.

Have you had any luck using power steering pumps like that with a cylinder?


10-08-2003, 10:44 PM
Gypsie, I was going to explain the "JAP" engine but K.Garver beat me to it. The engine sat exposed in FRONT of the radiator! The three wheelers had a two-speed trans, drive shaft and dual chain drive to the rear wheel. Pretty cool set up. Bet it was hard to change a flat though.

Oh yea. PS pumps work great. You have to pull or re-adjust the restrictor though. Those things will pump 2400+psi without the retrictor. Don't know what the flow is. Should be up high enough to drive a 2" cylinder.

10-09-2003, 12:05 AM
I may have what you need.
two(2)16" spoked wheels set up to fit early ford spindles, complete with disk brakes, calipers are from Kawasaki. All were removed from drag car that was converted to street rod.
Where are you located? I am in zip 95301

"Make Chips Not Sparks"

10-09-2003, 06:32 AM
Better jump on them wheels Mtlwrker has..

Sounds like a deal in progress... If he don't take them, let me have second shot..


10-09-2003, 04:20 PM
Ragarsed Raglan:
I have to admit I am rather partial to the Skunk myself.

10-09-2003, 10:33 PM
Mikey says that would be a good application for a REVTECH engine.. it is made in Thailand? Harley gaskets don't fit.. it is a different design that looks similar. Fits a harley frame, transmission, just parts don't interchange.

I wanna build one too now.. You guys.. I got enough irons in the fire..

10-09-2003, 10:52 PM
Powersteering pump?Yes,I have a customer at work who built his own stump grinder,he uses a pump that comes from a Burick Shylard same as his engine to run his lift and swing cylinders,he says that the bypass is set for about 850psi,doesn't sound like much,but its enough to move the machine side to side and up and down,heck you could maybe add a little to the spring and get more out of her?Anyway his machine will make a 20"stump disappear in 2 minutes flat so its no sissy.

But why?I used my model 3 for a couple of production jobs 100 pieces just alike,but setup and bend one PITA

I may have an answer to my problems or uh maybe the begining of more ,but a buddy told me he has an MG hulk and wheels I can have for zip,since they ain't good for making cars maybe they'll make a three wheeler?

10-10-2003, 01:42 AM

A local guy, about ten years ago.. had a bead blast cabinet he used to tig weld in.

He'd purge it with argon, and weld motorcycle parts. He welded two V65 honda engines together, imagine that, 320hp in a 180 pound? package. Now that is power to weight I even like.

I wanted to put one in a MG midget we had. It has a narrowed 9 inch rear in it now. under the hood is gutted.

10-10-2003, 11:15 AM
Sandblast cabinet for argon purge?very interesting!Ijust happen to have a big'un,just add a hole for the leads and could still be used for blasting-neat!

What do you think about a Geo motor?Like 90hp in a 75lb package,real little too.

10-10-2003, 11:50 AM
Sounds like a lotta fun. I love motorcycle engines for real power to weight.

Burt Rutan made a foam-fiberglass single seater (airplane) that used a lawnmower engine to go 140mph. I always wanted to use a motorcycle engine and chain reduce rpm to a prop. It'd take a scientist to design the proper prop thou.
You figure the wings allow you to go 140mph at design speeds before cavitation, but more horsepower equals more climb rate, you'd need a special prop. The pitts comes to mind , standing on it's tail climbing like a F16..

The trim tabs, used a notched hacksaw blade catching on a aluminum plate to lock in. I saw the plans, but didn't purchase a set. Lots of different things in that design. He was not set to follow anyone. I liked the canard perspective to stablilize a airframe.
Perhaps the wright brothers had it RIGHT to start with.

Airplanes are up there with speedboats thou, purely a fun toy.. You can justify having one to yourself.. but a acrobatic or homebuilt is a toy and not much else.

10-10-2003, 11:54 AM
Wierd.. he'd also preheat the cabinet.. I think, he used large light bulbs..

It took quite a bit of purge gas to fill the cabinet. BUT.. it was gased on both sides of the weld at once. He did welding for me several times. He was the only one who could fix a oil perforated transmission. Nobody else would touch it.

gotta jet.. tattoo shop time.. A cute appointment.