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Kid-Safe, 4-Wheel Mini-Bike
Cross a mini-bike with parts from a lawn tractor, and you get a kid-safe 4-wheeler. The four wheels give it more stability than a mini-bike, while the geared down transmission keeps it at kid-safe speeds.
"It can do doughnuts without tipping and has a maximum speed of about 10 mph," says Tom Busse, Adell, Wis. "It only took about 40 hours labor and $50 in parts to build it."
Purchased parts included a centrifugal clutch and some pipe for the frame. The main frame came from the mini-bike, while the steering, transmission, axles and wheels came from the Simplicity lawn tractor. Power comes from an old 5 hp Briggs and Stratton engine.
"I liked the 3-speed manual transmission on the Simplicity," explains Busse. "Originally I had a belt tightener on it, but the kids had a hard time engaging it, so I bought a centrifugal clutch for about $30. It fit right on the power shaft of the Briggs."
He used a jackshaft with a sprocket on the clutch and one on the transmission. "Lining up the two sprockets was the most difficult part of the project," recalls Busse.
To transform the two wheel mini-bike into a 4-wheeler, he used a wire welder and 2-in. and 3/4-in. water pipe. The 2-in. pipe was used for a front axle, while the 3/4-in. pipe connected the mini-bike frame to the front and back axles and connected the axles. A small bumper on the front of the 4-wheeler was also fabricated out of 3/4-in. pipe. A small shock mounted ahead of the transmission provides limited suspension.
Busse welded spindles and front wheels from the Simplicity to the new front axle. He also attached the Simplicity steering system.
Initially Busse thought he would have to add spacers to the axles to spread the wheel base. An alternative took longer to think of than it did to do, he says.
"I cut the bolt pattern center out of the wheel rims, turned the rims around and welded them back in place at the edge of the rim," says Busse. "It only took about half an hour per wheel."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tom Busse, N 1655 Maple Tree Rd., Adell, Wis. 53001 (ph 262 626-1812).

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2006 - Volume #30, Issue #4