Sunseeker has been around for a number of years. Formerly known as Sun Bicycles several years ago they changed the name to Sunseeker for their recumbent line. They are considered startup quality and their lowest cost model is made of mild carbon steel. They also offer Chrome Moly steel and aluminum. Of course, the price goes up with these more expensive metals. Electric Bike Technologies offers Sunseeker’s chrome moly trike with their electric motor package installed on it for $3412. Sunseeker lists this trike (without electric motor) for $2300. Here is a video about this e-trike …
The picture above shows a common place to mount a battery. However there are pros and cons about mounting it here. The best pro I can think of is that it keeps the weight down low helping the center of gravity to remain low and thus help the trike to handle better and safer. Another pro is that the key is in easy reach from the seat. I like all of that but even so I am considering relocating the battery because of the biggest con. In this location the battery is subject to getting water and mud on it. In this picture above I wrapped the battery in plastic trying to keep it clean and dry. It definitely helped. I even taped around the plug in the front which is very susceptible to water and mud getting on and in the opening and on the electrical contacts. It gets so bad that the plug won’t plug in or if I can get it in it doesn’t make electrical contact and I have no power. I have to try to clean it out and up in order to use the battery. Like I said, placing the plastic on the battery did help but I didn’t leave it on there as it was not practical to have it on there. First of all it greatly interfered with plugging and unplugging the power cable. This is something I have to do frequently when I switch from one battery to another. I probably could come up with something else to help keep it clean and dry … like maybe a plastic bag of some kind. It definitely needs something. And I really don’t want to have to relocate it. You may have noticed the rubber tarp straps on the battery and wondered about them. The battery by itself weighs 14 pounds. That is a lot of weight sitting on the battery mount to constantly be working the aluminum metal mount and fatigue it to where it breaks off at some point in the future. The tarp straps help hold the weight of the battery and take a lot of strain off of the aluminum mount in hopes that it never fails. It may not win any fashion contest but it works … it works great. Nope, this is not a good location for an e-battery as it is constantly getting mud and water flung all over it. My other battery is up above the rear wheel on a rack. That places the weight up high but it doesn’t get messed up like the lower battery does. It is always very clean and dry. Well, enough talk … it is time to ride boldly ride. Hope you manage to do the same.
Fellow triker, David Goldman, shares with us “Five Things About Recumbent Trike Riders” in his video . I added the word Recumbent to his title as we are talking about recumbent and not about a traditional trike. Anyway, here is his video …
Take a ride along with Sylvia and friends. The trails look so smooth and being in southern Arizona I would guess that they stay that way. A freshly paved trail up here in northern Indiana doesn’t last long before it is no longer smooth. Anyway, this sure looks inviting. There is only one problem as I see it … the comfortable weather for riding is short lived as soon it will be miserbly hot and last most of the year. Oh well, I don’t ever expect to be able to go there anyway. I will just have to enjoy it thru these videos.
Thanks Sylvia for posting this video sharing your adventure with us. I know I enjoyed it.
This would indeed be a unique sight to be seen riding along on. I rather doubt if it would be allowed on most trails however. I have not yet heard or read anything about the fuel economy … how far one can go on a full tank of water. I would guess that it varies according to how hard and fast you run the steam engine. And since it does not go all that fast to begin with my gurss would be that one would most likely be running it pretty near full throttle most of the time. From what I have seen watching several different videos on dare not go very fast with one of these steam powered machines as they would self destruct shaking themselves to pieces.
If you want one you can’t just put your order in. These are all home custom built machines.. After all, it is not like there is a huge market for steam powered anything nowadays.
Even in the Navy steam has come and gone. I worked with and on it all the time in my younger days as I was a certified unlimited high pressure plate and pipe weldor (all positions with space restrictions). Steam can be very dangerous. It is invisible so one needs to be extremely careful around it. You can hear it but you can’t see it. It can quite literally cut your fingers off if you run them over a high pressure steam leak. You might be asking … if steam is invisible what is I see we call steam. Actually it is “spent steam” … steam that is cooling down and becomes water droplets. The Navy had both 600 psi and 1200 psi steam systems. The ships I served on were all 600 psi systems. I can’t make out what the gauge is showing on this trike but it is a very low pressure steam system. (I think the gauge shows 75 psi.) The builder of this trike said that it only takes 20 seconds to get steam up to get underway. A Navy destroyer would require about 2 hours to get “steam up” if starting from cold boilers. I am sure most all of us have seen movies, especially western movies, where they show steam locomotives which burned wood and/or coal to heat the water to make steam. There is no wood needed on this rig. The boiler has a spark plug to ignite liquid fuel to heat the water. I have a hard time understanding British people when they speak. I wish they would use English. (That is a joke, son.) Anyway, if this man said what the fuel is I missed it. I really do have a hard time understanding most British people. They sure know how to slaughter their language so that most of the rest of the world can’t understand them.
There is another video below which explains how a steam engine works. There is nothing practical about this setup. Its top speed isn’t impressive. It is just something unique. And wearing the clothes and looking like this man does adds greatly to it all. I have to admit … I would love to see this man and this trike out cruising around. If I had one I would be out there … at least on some occasions. I already have the horn and a spark plug laying around not being used. Hey, it is a start.
Hey, speaking of wood fired steam engines … This Brazilian man has experimented with several different designs. He has several different videos. I chose this one below to show here.
Some of us are riding old trikes which are serving us well these many years later. I bought my 2009 Catrike Trail new but the frame has been upgraded (replaced under factory warranty) due to a hairline crank alongside of a weld. Here is a picture of my 2009 Catrike Trail. I was hoping to get another “space frame” from Catrike, but they sent the newer type frame they were currently selling in 2013. I don’t like it nearly as well as the space frame but I had no choice. One choice I did have is the frame color. My 2009 trike was silver. I chose green on the 2013 model. They did not replace the boom so my silver boom was resused. It makes it unique. Anyway, for all practical purposes my trike is now a 2013 model. Even so, it is 9 years old and still going strong. I have replaced all three of the Catrike wheels with better quality (stronger) BMX wheels I had built. I also upgraded the Avid BB-5 brakes that came on the 2009 model with Avid BB-7 brakes. And I have had various derailleurs and sprockets as well as twist shifters. I have added various accessories as well as e-motor assist. Every time I ride it which is often I can truly say I have a blast on it …. a blast from the past. Here is a picture of my current trike … a 2013 model. I am 75 years old and can say that I feel it … at least sometimes, but when I get on my trike and ride it I feel like a much younger person. That is a good thing. We all need something to help us keep going strong and enjoying life. Years ago some folks turned to Geritol. I don’t even know if it is still being made. I have not heard the name mentioned for many years now. A quick online search confirmed that the name brand is still around. Anyway my Catrike is my Geritol. I take a dose nearly everyday and it helps me immensely. Yep … I am having a blast riding it. I don’t know how much longer I am going to be able to say that. I hope for a very long time. In fact, when I draw my very last breath (should the Lord Jesus tarry) I hope it is when I am out having a blast riding my trike. Getting into tadpole trikes was almost the best decision I ever made in life. And it has made me feel like a child again. Ya’ can’t beat that!
What is the best decision I ever made you ask? That is very easy to answer. The very best decision I ever made in my life was to repent and invite Jesus Christ into my heart and life. You can read about it HERE. It all started while sitting on the fantail of a US Navy destroyer at night looking up into a star filled sky and saying a prayer as an atheist to a God I knew not and did not believe existed. You can read about how God answered that prayer by clicking the link above. In the picture below the yellow arrow points to where I was sitting. It is the most important decision anyone can ever make and no one has ever regretted making it. All who have died without making it have regretted it. Of course, it is too late then. Their eternal fate is sealed. Jesus said, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) I won’t dwell on that any longer other than to say that it is a most serious matter … one you can not afford to ignore and sweep under the rug. A BLAST FROM THE PAST and I see no let up as Catrikes are well made and daily provide me with fun, fun, fun … til my heavenly daddy takes me away.
Every once in awhile someone asks about how to mount their camera. Here is what I did. The standard tripod for cameras is a 1/4-20 thread which screws into the camera. To mount my camera I used the tripod mount threaded hole in the bottom of the camera. I simply took an extra headlight mounting clamp and placed a 1/4-20 bolt thru it. It was easy to do and works great. Here are a couple of pictures of it.
The 1/4-20 bolt has its head ground down so that it doesn’t protrude down too far and interfere with the clamp as it is placed on the tubing it mounts to.
With this clamp mount I can mount most any camera. Aiming it straight forward it does catch my right foot as I pedal … something I don’t personally like to see in videos.
Below is a video I filmed with this camera mounted as shown. I apologize for the in and out of focus going on. The camera has a feature which won’t stay turned off which automatically focuses on the face or whatever it perceives as its focal point. I turned it off before I started but it turned itself back on. I hate this camera. It is a Sony. I have a Samsung camera which I like much better but the screen display quit working on it.
Gary Solomon of Laidback Bike Report brings us another video offering information and help for those who would like to add e-assist to their trike. Here is the video description … If you want to add an electric motor to your existing trike David Hall offers some compelling and inexpensive solutions. David is the founder of Eco Cycles in Nashville and shows us how you can install their motors, batteries and displays on any trike.
Whether you ride on trails or roads or both there is danger out there. This picture above is of one of our local trails crossing a rural road. As you can see there is a painted crosswalk as well as flashing yellow lights on the road to let motorists know if any trail users are present. The law in Indiana requires motorists to stop and yield the right away to anyone who is IN the crosswalk. If the person crossing the road has not yet entered the crosswalk motorists are not required to stop. Unfortunately all to many motorists don’t seem to know and understand the law. I have to admit that I was mistaken myself. It was my belief that motorist are required to yield to anyone who is AT a crosswalk so that they could get across the road using the crosswalk. Personally I think that is the way the law ought to be. Mind you, I don’t know what the law is about this in other States or countries.. The picture above is of the same trail crossing. Just a few months ago a female trail user was killed while crossing the road in this crosswalk. She had the right of way since she was IN the crosswalk. However, that is not the full story. Here is what happened and I have witnessed it many times myself as I sat there on my trike at crosswalks.
A motorist is driving along and they see someone there at the crosswalk waiting to cross. The motorist wants to be kind and nice so they stop to allow the trail user to cross the road. It is a nice gesture, but it can be quite dangerous. The problem is they may be stopped but that doesn’t mean other traffic will also stop. Many times I have seen motor vehicles go around them and drive on down the road. Also traffic coming from the opposite direction may not stop. If the trail user happens to be crossing the road they may very well be hit. That is what happened to the women who was killed a few months ago. https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/carroll-rd-closed-at-pufferbelly-trail-as-police-investigate/ I still see it all the time. Some well meaning motorist will stop to let me cross the road. I just wave them on and wait until it is safe to cross.I may have to wait awhile before it is safe to cross but at least I am not going to become another victim. I have seen many motorists drive around past them shouting obscenities and flipping them the bird while honking their horns. They obviously have an attitude problem. And, of course, there are always many motorists guilty of inattention … texting or whatever. It is just not worth the risk folks. It would be nice if all trails crossed under or over roads instead of “at grade level” but that is too costly.
Here is the same trail with a crossunder under Dupont Rd. being constructed. And here it is completed. It is great to simply ride under the busy road and not be concerned about one’s safety.
Now I ask ya … what, if anything, is keeping you from getting up out of your comfortable perch and going out for a ride on your trike? Maybe you don’t struggle with this but many do. I am among them. I love riding my trike and I always enjoy it when I do. I do struggle with motivation however. I find myself procrastinating … putting it off. I have to force myself to get going. Once I am underway it is a different story. I am glad to be out there riding. I can’t explain it and I certainly don’t like it but I lack motivation to get started.
Fellow triker, David Goldman, tells it like it is … making the effort to get out for a ride makes a difference. Once again, I fully agree with him. Hang in there David! And may we all … ENJOY THE RIDE!