Bicycles

Electric-powered Verrado puts trike drifting on the level

Electric-powered Verrado puts ...
A pledge of US$1,560 will put you in line for a Verrado, with Local Motors hoping to begin shipping in June
A pledge of US$1,560 will put you in line for a Verrado, with Local Motors hoping to begin shipping in June
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The team from Local Motors were inspired by the horizontal planes of the Arizona desert, set about motorizing the sport of downhill trike drifting
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The team from Local Motors were inspired by the horizontal planes of the Arizona desert, set about motorizing the sport of downhill trike drifting
The Verrado incorporates a MagicPie 3-hub brushless motor and a lithium cobalt manganese battery
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The Verrado incorporates a MagicPie 3-hub brushless motor and a lithium cobalt manganese battery
While there's clearly plenty of good times to be had riding a drift trike, when downhills and the forces of gravity are removed from the picture their use becomes questionable at best
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While there's clearly plenty of good times to be had riding a drift trike, when downhills and the forces of gravity are removed from the picture their use becomes questionable at best
A pledge of US$1,560 will put you in line for a Verrado, with Local Motors hoping to begin shipping in June
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A pledge of US$1,560 will put you in line for a Verrado, with Local Motors hoping to begin shipping in June
The company says the trike can be charged in around three hours, with each charge providing around 45 minutes or 12 miles (19.3 km) worth of riding
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The company says the trike can be charged in around three hours, with each charge providing around 45 minutes or 12 miles (19.3 km) worth of riding
The steel frame sports a cushioned seat and is powder-coated in either black, white, red or silver
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The steel frame sports a cushioned seat and is powder-coated in either black, white, red or silver
The two five-inch steel rear wheels are fitted with 10-inch karting tires and wrapped in 0.875-inch thick PVC sleeves
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The two five-inch steel rear wheels are fitted with 10-inch karting tires and wrapped in 0.875-inch thick PVC sleeves

Since originating in New Zealand in 2009, the sport of trike drifting has slowly but surely spread to hilly regions all around the globe. From the United States to Puerto Rico, adrenaline junkies are mounting customized three-wheeled machines to drift and spin their way along switchbacks and steep downhill descents. Now, Arizona-based Local Motors has developed an electric-powered drift trike dubbed Verrado, which aims to extend this form of recreation to residents in flatter parts of the globe ... or just make it easier to get back to the top of the hill.

A conventional drift trike could be described as an extreme tricycle for adults. The front forks usually harbor a BMX wheel with either pedals or stunt pegs protruding from the axle, while two smaller go-kart wheels bring up the rear. As the trike turns and the rider shifts his or her weight, sleeves fixed around the rear wheels, generally made from either PVC or polyethylene, create a loss of traction and set the drift in motion.

While there's clearly plenty of good times to be had riding a drift trike, when downhills and the forces of gravity are removed from the picture their value becomes questionable at best. But the team of engineers from Local Motors, inspired by the horizontal planes of the Arizona desert, have set about motorizing the fast-growing extreme sport.

The Verrado incorporates a MagicPie 3-hub brushless motor and a lithium cobalt manganese battery to power its 20-inch front wheel. The two five-inch steel rear wheels are fitted with 10-inch karting tires and wrapped in PVC sleeves almost an inch thick, while disc brakes with regenerative braking bring the trike to a stop.

The two five-inch steel rear wheels are fitted with 10-inch karting tires and wrapped in 0.875-inch thick PVC sleeves
The two five-inch steel rear wheels are fitted with 10-inch karting tires and wrapped in 0.875-inch thick PVC sleeves

The company says the trike can be charged in around three hours, with each charge providing 45 minutes or 12 miles (19.3 km) worth of riding, though this will vary depending on how many are spent traveling sideways, if you catch our drift.

The steel frame sports a cushioned seat and is powder-coated in either black, white, red or silver.

Local Motors has turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for refining the brake caliper mounting system, finalize the battery mounting and ultimately take Verrado to market. A pledge of US$1,560 will put you in line for one of the electric trikes with Local Motors hoping to begin shipping in June.

You can see the Verrado taken for a spin in the video below.

Source: Local Motors

10 comments
f8lee
This is a thing? Like "the Fast and the Not So Furious"?
Brian Atchley
Leaving shredded PVC all over the ground is not cool at all.
Darus Zehrbach
Pretty wimpy with the bicycle motor. There are several other brands of these on the market now where they use motor scooter motors and brakes for more power and better traction. ZEV Electric motors with 4 kw are in a bunch of them so they can scoot back up the hills and the big fat 5 inch across front tire lets just the back end get loose.
Steve Montgomery
Oh, yeah! I had one of these when I was a little kid (along with most of the kids in the neighborhood). Except ours were all pedal-powered and we called them "Big Wheels". (If you haven't seen one of them, do a Google search.)
Griffin
Wow! I did this 40 years ago on my "Big Wheel" trike.... those cheap,hard plastic wheels REALLY slid on concrete! We didn't call it drifting,though.... and they weren't $1,500+ dollars!
Gregg Eshelman
Remember the Green Machine? That was a big wheel designed for drifting. The front wheel was fixed and it steered using a pivoting rear axle and two levers the rider pushed and pulled like old style tank steering levers.
Jamie Hobbs
Well to be fair, this drift trike is powered unlike the "Big Wheels." I happen to like the electric ones over the gas powered ones I have been on. I've also tried the Verrado. It's a lot of fun. The PVC makes drifting a breeze, and it doesn't leave shredded pieces all over the ground either.
unklmurray
Yeah,I have to holler BULL, on the comment about leaving pieces of plastic wheel [pvc] they can make those wheels to where they can slide over the pavement and not "Break Down'' for 2-300 years!!......PLEASE allow us big kids have some good green clean fun!!
unklmurray
While I agree with me, I now think they should have large ''Pivoting'' Wheeis in back!!.........LOL :-)
LCB6
So pumped! This drift trike was taken out of commission but now one website is selling it exclusively in a crowd-fund/group buy format. Anyone who's interested should join, it's heavily discounted! https://groupgets.com/campaigns/208-verrado-electric-drift-trike