Dragonfly Super

Here's my design sketch for a 2F1R trike (two front wheels, one rear wheel - also known as a Reverse Trike). 

The chrome headlights, hood, and front fenders from a fiberglass Gazelle (kitcar) body evokes the classic cyclecar era.  The 'boat tail' rear of the body will be fabricated from hand-laid fiberglass using a 1940 Chevrolet pickup hood as the mold.


Other components to be used (in no particular order):

  • Transverse air-cooled four-cylinder 650cc engine (right), 5-speed transmission, rear suspension, rear wheel/tire, and rear disc brake from a 1982 Suzuki GS650GL motorcycle
  • Acrylic urethane 1K paint (wimbledon white) and Raptor bedliner interior (saddle tan)
  • Folding (rear) bench seat from a 2000 Jeep TJ with aftermarket seat belts
  • Acrylic Brooklands-style windscreens
  • Frame, front coilover suspension, rack and pinion steering, disc brakes, and a pair of 185/70R13 tires on slotted alloy wheels from a 1980 Triumph Spitfire sports car (left)
  • I'd need to have a custom driveshaft (with support bearings) fabricated to connect the transmission output to the final drive in the rear, but the rest is easy peasy for a healthy car nut.

    The resulting vehicle (a motorcycle in this state, see below) should be a blast to drive . . . in fair weather!

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Definition of Motorcycle

"Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, on which the driver:

     (1) Rides on a seat or saddle and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a handlebar; or

     (2) Rides on a seat in a partially or completely enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a steering wheel.


You donít need a sidecar/trike endorsement on your driver license
to operate a 3-wheel vehicle, and you don't need to wear a helmet in a 3-wheel vehicle, if it meets all of the following requirements:

  • The seat is in a partially or completely enclosed seating area.
  • The vehicle is equipped with safety belts.
  • The vehicle is steered with a steering wheel.

A Primer on Trike Handling Characteristics

"The single front wheel layout naturally oversteers
and the single rear wheel layout naturally understeers.
Because some degree of understeer is preferred in consumer vehicles,
the single rear wheel layout has the advantage in this department.

Another consideration is the effect of braking and accelerating turns.
A braking turn tends to destabilize a single front wheel vehicle,
whereas an accelerating turn tends to destabilize a single rear wheel vehicle.
Because braking forces can reach greater magnitudes than acceleration forces . . . ,
the single rear wheel design has the advantage on this count as well.

Consequently, the single rear wheel layout is usually considered the superior platform . . . ."

- Robert Q. Riley                                       
Excerpted from Three Wheel Cars -                  
Primary Factors That Determine                          
   Handling & Rollover Characteristics