This was made from plans I found online at americanspeedster.com. The plans called for 1″ pvc pipe, but I made this one from 1 1/4″ pvc pipe as I used larger wheels, twin electric motors and heavy batteries. In hindsight I likely could have used 1″ pvc and it might have been fine. Using larger pvc pipe I put a fence post inside bottom rail to give the frame strength, per plan recommendations. Building with 1″ pvc a piece of electrical conduit is used for strength.
The cost to build the quad pedal powered only was around $400. The hub motor kits were about $1,500 for two.
The original plans used 20″ rear / 16″ front wheels – I stretch frame to accommodate 26″ rear / 20″ front wheels, and make room room for battery packs and controllers. Drop frame had to be installed so pedals would clear battery’s & controllers.
Pedal drive system and rear brakes came from a 26″ big box bike, front wheels and brakes came from 20″ big box bike.
Twin electric motors were installed on the rear – 36 volt 1,440 watt per motor. It had plenty of power so I never had to pedal! I could not afford lithium battery packs at the time so I utilized sealed lead acid (SLA) battery’s. I would have preferred lithium packs for substantial weight savings. Motors were operated independently with throttles, but hooked up to one cruise control switch. This way if one side failed, I could still use remaining good motor system. The photos of the dash below also show the throttles and cruise control.
It would go an average of 18mph on level ground.
LED lights were installed. There is a video below. It may just show a black space with link to download file, depending on browser. I had to start the camera, walk to quad to turn lights on, then walk back and get camera, video will be dark for eight seconds. The flashing lights were hooked up to separate flash units, so they doubled as turn signals.
The photo of the dash / glove box shows the switches – green for flashers, blue for headlight & tail lights, red for REVERSE!
A couple of photos show the front derailleur setup, which was never completed.
The frame is glued together. Unfortunately the right rear was slightly off, which caused the tire to wear through to the cords by 300 miles. I could not determine an easy fix since it would have to be cut apart, so I disassembled the quad, sold the hardware and threw the frame away.
With the proliferation of fat bikes, I have the itch to build another. It will have a pair of 72 volt, 2,880 watt hub motors in 20″ fat bike rims on the rear. The top speed of these hub motors can be in excess of 50mph in a 26″ rim! Since I am planning on using smaller diameter rims, it will not be that fast, but should have enough power to pop wheelies! Prices on the 72 volt kits in 2017 was nearly $2,000 EACH (with lithium battery packs), so this will be an EXPENSIVE build.