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Need help to ID a Trike


Guest ironyman
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Guest ironyman

Picked up this trike and have no idea what it is. PO said his Father got it at an auction about 40 years ago. He said he wasn't ever able to find out what it is. post-105402-143142909066_thumb.jpgFirst I thought to was a Mutt before going to look at it. [TABLE=class: tborder, width: 100%, align: center]

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[TD=class: alt1, bgcolor: #E5E4E9]I now think it's all original. May be a Cushman or something. Think it is missing the engine cover. Guy picked it up with a Front end loader. At least two sets of chain drives and three belts. Maybe more. Heck of a motor. Has a starter and generator. Has a distributor that has a metal cap held on with clips like distributor caps on a car to get to the points. Has a round can coil. The voltage regulator said Chrysler Motors. Other than that there are no marking or numbers to ID it.[/TD]

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The first clue, the rear suspension. A distinctive design used in the forties and early fifties. Most common on Indian and BSA motorcycles. The frame and forks are not heavy enough for Indian, therefore most likely BSA. Also the forks, headlight and gas tank look BSA or at least British. Sunbeam is another possibility, they were made by the BSA group but in much smaller numbers.

The frame has been cut and welded together again.

Engine is an old single cylinder flathead industrial type, of fifties appearance. There were several makes that looked quite a bit alike. Maybe someone will come along with a positive ID.

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Guest ironyman

I haven't dug into it deep. But looking at it close up it doesn't look to be hobbed together. Every thing on it looks to be Factory done. I may be wrong. But I do know metal work to some degree. If it was pieced together, some one knew what they were doing. The belts and chain system on it would had taken some doing.

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Guest ironyman
What you have is an Indian Warrior trike. They are quite rare. Yours has been butchered by a backyard inventor. It may be well done, though I don't see it. It is not a factory machine. It probably has a fair amount of value to an Indian restorer

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I can maybe see it. Googled it and saw other pictures of this trike. I see the engine is a side by side and not a 'V'. What CC is it? What does it have for a transmission and reverse? I'm thinking maybe the gears are with the engine and then the reverse built into the rear end? Picked mine up with my FEL to move it and didn't even think to take pictures under neath. Might pick it up again today just to do that. I know I would never be able to get the right engine back in it. But if I were to try to put a motorcycle engine back in, what would you recommend? I'm thinking maybe a Honda 360 or something like that. Want something that would not be all that hard to come by.

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Well you can wrap me in tinfoil and bake me for a potato. I knew Indian made single cylinder and vertical twin bikes in the late 40s with English style frames but never heard of the trike version. It did cross my mind that the frame and forks might be Indian but I dismissed the idea because they are too rare.

Whatever it is, should be worth something to an Indian collector although, no where near what it was worth before it got cobbled up.

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Indian made 2 motors for their lightweight machines. A 220cc single and a 440cc twin. They shared the same cylinder and head, a unique OHV pushrod design. The motor in the red bike is the parallel twin.

They were meant to compete with the English BSA, Triumph, Norton etc singles and twins that were enjoying a lot of success in the American market. The Indians were quite competitive, then England devalued the pound from $4.20 to $2.40 which cut their prices in half. This pretty much killed the Indian lightweights, and made them go back to their old V twins.

Later they sold English Matchless, AJS and Royal Enfield machines with the Indian name on them.

You will have to measure the space available but something like a Honda 350 twin should be ideal. Enough power to be useful without overpowering the chassis.

Reverse is very simple, put your feet on the ground and push backwards. I suppose you could rig up some kind of reverse gear but why bother?

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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You know if I had that thing I would be strongly tempted to build an electric trike for tooling around outdoor car shows and flea markets.

These days there are excellent conversion kits made with motors, control systems and batteries. Or if you are the do it yourself type there are instructions on the net for making your own out of auto parts and fork lift motors etc. usually aimed at converting the smallest import cars.

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