In my ongoing quest of continueing improvement, I reached the limit of store bought springers... They worked good, but had some drawbacks. Namely no true shock action, just spring against spring. They cost a lot and the chrome isnt triple plated and needed a lot of attention to keep looking good.. The chrome springers do look great.
The very best front end design for sidecars and trikes is the leading link design and it has been around forever and have been done in many different styles. Iv seen a lot of homemade forks recently, mostly built with square tubeing, as the machineing is easier for most home builders..
I desided to go with round tubeing, and big tubeing at that! My downtubes are 2" DOM 1/4" thick. big and heavy. The general lenght is around 3ft or less.
The slots in the bottom of the tubes are a slip fit for the 5/8" thick rockers, and are 31/2" long.
The rockers are 2x5/8" bar with 3/4" holes for the pivot bolts and 3/4or1" axle holes, and are 51/2" center to center apart for the pivot and axle. Notice the threaded holes for the axle set screw (VERY important) and the grease fitting for the pivot bolt.
The pivot bolts are 3/4" shoulder bolts from McCarrMasters. Castleised nuts are used with a cotter pin for safety.
My machinest threads the ends of a 3/4" rod for the axle for the double lock nuts, with the outter nuts being nylocks.
Iv hand built 10 Monsters before these precesion versions and It took ALL day at the drill press to hole saw 4 2" holes in the triple trees. Thats not good... I went to General Saw, a local lazer company to cut my new trees.. 26 trees were ready the next day!!
The trees are 1/2"thick mild steel and 4"wide. The big holes are 91/2" apart center to center and have 3/8" lip to the edge.. The neck stem hole is 1"
One note on the lazer cutting, the edge isnt as smooth as I expected, but is still liveable and could be machined/sanded/filed smooth. Iv double checked on how accruate they are and all 26 trees are right on!
One of the features of my round tube design is that the tubes can be slid up or down in the triple trees to get just the right frame ground clearance desired.
note the use of the hose clamps to help keep the tubes in place while aligning
The shock mounts are made from square tubeing to match the width of the shock to be used.. This one has the common dune buggy coil over shocks ($65)
I have them 11/2" long to keep the shock angle within reason.
I build my trikes as strong and solid as possible.. My Monster necks are super heavy duty. They are 21/2"DOM tubeing 3/8" thick.. They are 7" tall and machined for the common 1x2" roller bearings. 12 bucks each at the local auto parts store.
I offer them for $80 without the bearings, $100 with two bearings. All the specs are based on Harley parts.
Im sure this design can be build with lighter and cheaper parts and material and still work great and even safely.. But to match the materials and machine work here, the cost will exceed the bargain price of the knock-down, unwelded raw kit. Which is $350 without shocks. ( I hate the overpriced retail rip-offs) Neck stem, washers and locking nuts included. (neck not included)
This one is useing Harley rear shocks and changed an undriveable hardtail trike into an excellent machine!! (Im way proud)
Monster leading link kit and a Monster neck and bearing combo..$ 450
took some pics of a super long Monster I put together yester day.. The pics may help you..
Hey Trikertroy, I finally got the new front end installed. I just want to thank you, it is a great design, and went together easily. It makes a lot of difference in the way the trike handles and rides. I attached a couple of photos. I will definitely recommend your front end to others. My son is moving to Florida soon, and will be near you. He rides a harley with a sidecar now, but I have gotten him thinking about a trike. He is in a wheel chair. I showed him your website and he will probably look you up when he gets down there. Once again, I just want to say thanks, I'm a very happy customer. Walt