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 Converting my 900 to a Trike 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
I'm not really up to making my own fiberglass body for this baby.
I talked with DNA again today. They were not able to find anyone willing to make me a one of a kind pulley. We also talked about the difference in offset side to side vs the Harley bikes this axle was designed for and when I measured the distance between the inside of the tires and the frame of my bike there is a 3" difference (about 76mm for anyone outside the US). Which means that the axle needs to slide 1-1/2" back to the right to be perfectly centered, but if I do that the sprocket won't line up. So, I'm even more frustrated with the whole thing now. I've sent two more e-mails to the company I bought the kit from asking if they have solutions for these problems but so far no reply. :?


Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:27 am
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:35 am
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Location: Toledo Ohio
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
Sounds like you were sold something that isn't compatible with your bike. I hope u get some solutions to the problems you've encountered.

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:58 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
I finally got some replies from the company I bought the kit from. They basically admitted that they haven't put this kit on a Vulcan 900 before when they responded that they were going to "contact other trike builders to ask them how they handled these problems". They initially said they would find a longer belt, but in a later e-mail replied that they were not able to find a longer one. Between something they said and some research I did I was able to pretty much find a solution to resolve the side to side balance issue. I've ordered wheels with different backsets from Summit. The left wheel will set in toward the frame more than the current wheel and the right wheel will set out from the frame further. I will also add a 1/2" spacer to the right wheel to put it out even further and that will bring me to within 1/2" of perfectly symmetrical side to side. I don't think a 1/2" will be visually noticeable. I'll put fenders over the wheels and weld on some support brackets to hold them securely and have them painted to match the color scheme of the rest of the bike. I think that will look okay. I'm going out to my shop today to make some brackets that will allow me to mount the touring trunk behind the passenger seat. I'll get some saddle bags to fit between the fenders and the center frame of the bike, the ones that came with my bike are to wide to fit.
I've requested that the kit supplier take back the fiberglass kit and the wheels they sold me that won't work with my bike and fully refund that part of my purchase. Hopefully they will honor that request. If not I may look into doing something like WW suggested and make that kit and the wheels into a pull behind trailer or something. If they do not then I will at least file a complaint with the BB bureau and post warnings all over the internet not to deal with them. You may have noticed that I haven't named them in any of my posts yet. Hopefully though the kit supplier will do the right thing and refund that part of my purchase. I recommended to the kit supplier that they should change their advertising and not tell anyone this kit will work with the 900, at least not with the body kit and the wheels they are selling. I did pay with a CC and I'm sure I could send everything back and fight those charges, but I want a trike, I've put a lot of time into it so far and I'd rather just try and make the best of a less than perfect situation.

I'll let you know how they respond to my request for a partial refund of the parts I can't use. If they work with me on that they I probably will not seek any other action against them. If they refuse to honor that request that will change.


Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:11 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
I'm feeling better about all of it today, especially after I made my brackets and mounted the trunk on the bike. I ordered fenders today and once they come in I'll have some welding and bolting to do to get them ready for the paint shop but basically I'll be finished at that point. I even climbed up on the passenger seat after I got the trunk mounted and it was pretty comfortable. My wife said she'd probably ride 2 up with me on this when it's done. I've tried to get her to ride with me before on two wheels and it just was NOT going to happen.

Here are a few shots of the trunk mounted on the bike and the brackets I made from some checker faced aluminum I had around the shop.

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Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:11 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
Got something of a response from the Trike company today. The owner kinda tried to belittle me and make it sound like I just didn't know what I was doing and that she wouldn't have the same problems if she had this in her shop, but in the end she did agree to refund the money for the fiberglass body if I sent it back to her. She failed to say whether she would do the same with the wheels, so I've sent another e-mail asking for an answer to that. I also took some pictures of the bike from the rear that show how badly offset the entire thing is now, so here they are.

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She requested that I put the fiberglass body back on and send her pictures to show this but I told her I had already put the OEM fender, seat and made brackets for the trunk and installed it and I wasn't going to pull all that off again just to take a picture for her. I think it is pretty clear that there is 3" of difference in the distance between the tires and the frame from one side to the other.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:05 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
I got a call from Summit today, one of the wheels I ordered is no longer made, so I cancelled the other and went back to looking at my wheel options. It actually worked out in my favor. I found a set of nice Chrome wheels with a 3" difference in backset, so now I won't even need the spacer and it will be dead on centered up. The icing on the cake . . . they cost less than the ones I had ordered first so I'll get a few bucks back, and the center caps from my original wheels are the correct size for these wheels. They promised me they would get here by Friday, which would be nice. My fenders are scheduled to arrive this week so maybe I can weld everything up and have it ready to go to the paint shop next week.


Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:29 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
When I realized the fiberglass body kit was not going to work, I opted for fenders and saddle bags to fill the space between the fenders and the bike. I wanted to make a support bracket that would be welded onto something solid, but I also did not want to weld near the bearings in the axle housing because the heat can really distort the shape of the steel and cause problems. I decided that the 1/2" plate steel that holds the brake calipers in place would provide an good place to weld to, and it bolts onto the axle housing, so I was able to remove it and do all my welding away from the bike and then just bolt it back in place.

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I drew out a rough sketch of the brackets and then cut my pieces out with a porta band saw I borrowed from a neighbor. (It's nice to have neighbors like that.)
Each bracket was unique since I was having to deal with that wheel offset situation. One had to move out away from the caliper plate and the other needed to move in from it.

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Once I got them welded I used a grinder to smooth up all the welds and then sanded and cleaned everything and degreased it. I then sprayed them with a self etching primer I've decided I like to use more than the standard grey primer. It just seems to bond better and it lays down nicely.

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I then used a Rust-O-leum auto paint and painted everything black before mounting it to the bike.

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I ordered fenders from a trailer supply and welded pre-cut backing plates to the back of each fender. Once I got everything welded up and ground down smooth I primed them with the same self etching primer and then used truck bed liner to coat the underneath side so they wouldn't get dinged up easily and start rusting on me.


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I pre-drilled mounting holes in the brackets so I could use those holes as a guide to mark the fenders for drilling. Then I bolted them on using Stainless steel bolts and acorn nuts on the inside towards the bike. These are definitely just some "plain jane" fenders but they should do the job. One of my neighbors builds custom bikes and after he saw this sitting in my driveway today he offered some great ideas on making those fenders really cool. He showed me how I could have cut the back side flange and bent the radius in so it would have "hugged" the tires better and he also suggested ways to make them dressy by cutting a pattern shape in the front and back of each fender. Great suggestions, and if he'd made them before I got this far along I would have done that, but at this point I'm not willing to undo all that work, so these will just stay plain.



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I got my wife to snap a shot of me sitting on the bike after I got the fenders on.

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I think I may change the exhaust system later, but for now I bought some 12" "Mufflers" and welded them on and then put the OEM Chrome shields back in place. Kinda loud but the mufflers were cheap ($58 Pair) and I am chomping at the bit to get riding again.


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I took some time this morning and put about 20 miles on her riding around the area. I ran it up to 70 mph on Highway 27, and toured through part of the Chickamauga Battlefield, spotted about 30 dear grazing around the road. Three of them came on across the street right in front of me, but I spotted the buck and slowed way down while the doe and fawn followed him across. The rest of them just turned and stared me down as I went on past them. I'll have to put some major hours on this thing before I feel as comfortable on it as I did on two wheels. It will take some getting used to turning the handlebars to go around curves and it shakes me a lot more going over bumpy roads than the bike did, but overall it was great to be back out riding with the wind in my face and the bike underneath me. :2tup:


Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:11 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:35 am
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Location: Toledo Ohio
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
burkbuilds wrote:
One of my neighbors builds custom bikes and after he saw this sitting in my driveway today he offered some great ideas on making those fenders really cool. He showed me how I could have cut the back side flange and bent the radius in so it would have "hugged" the tires better and he also suggested ways to make them dressy by cutting a pattern shape in the front and back of each fender. Great suggestions, and if he'd made them before I got this far along I would have done that, but at this point I'm not willing to undo all that work, so these will just stay plain.


you can always make another pair of fenders..... Glad things are coming together for you and you've gotten back out there.

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Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:06 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
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Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
That's a good point Triangles. I might do that this Winter. The materials are not very expensive. My biggest expense would be having them painted again and maybe there will be enough paint left over that I'll only have to pay labor for that.


Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:20 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:21 am
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Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
John, the way I see it, you are creating a lovely trike. And what I like even more, you seem to enjoy what you're doing, regardless of some (inevitable) obstacles.
I'll take a peek every now and then to check how things are going :D

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Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:48 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
Posts: 350
Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
Hey Jablonsky,

Great to see you post on here. Hope you are doing well. I sent the bike off to the paint shop but I haven't gotten it back yet. I'm hoping it will be finished this week. Should be great riding weather here after today. Low temps around 60 F and high's in the mid to low 80's.


Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:30 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
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Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
Well, it is still in the paint shop. They are almost done, everything is painted and has at least one clearcoat on it and once he finishes the next clear coat he's going to pin stripe it and I can pick it up, he promises, Friday, this Friday. I hope.

Here are two pics I snapped this afternoon when I stopped by to see the progress.

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I have to admit the paint looks as good as the factory paint, but it has taken a while to get it done.


Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:35 am
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Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
looking good.

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Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:12 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:29 am
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Location: Rome, Georgia
Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
I finally got the Trike back from the paint shop late yesterday afternoon (Friday November 10th). This morning I started putting things back in place like the passenger backrest, the chrome luggage rack, crash bars and such. It's supposed to hit the low 70's here today and tomorrow so I hope I get everything back together and ready to ride by this afternoon. Here are a few shots of the progress:

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The last shot is just a close up of the fender paint. This guy is the best I've seen, this looks exactly like the factory paint job on the rest of the bike. I had to wait a long time for him to get it done, but it is a really great paint job. The colors match perfectly it has several clear coats on it and the pin stripes are arrow straight. I miscalculated the amount of pin stripe material it would take so I have to order one more stripe to do the trunk and then it will be completely done. :2tup:


Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:29 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:35 am
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Post Re: Converting my 900 to a Trike
looks awesome. The trike turned out great despite all the setbacks. Get out there and ride!

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Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:11 pm
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