Covereddrift trike track a first for New Zealand
A new business appealing to anyone who likes speed and noise has sprung up in a Porirua warehouse.
Justin Leely and Rawinia Rimene launched Drift Trikes New Zealand last weekend in Mohuia Cres, Elsdon. They said it was a first for New Zealand.
‘‘There’s no other covered drift track in the country,’’ said Leely. ‘‘It’s awesome for Porirua to be the first.’’
The trikes can reach up to 80kmh, but have been slowed down for safety’s sake.
‘‘They still go fast enough for a thrill,’’ Leely said.
Drift trikes are illegal to drive on public roads so enthusiasts have long looked for alternative race tracks.
The sport originated in New Zealand, where its popularity was fuelled by boy racers and car enthusiasts.
It quickly spread overseas, proving especially popular in the United States.
The trikes can be motorised or pedal-powered and slick rear wheels allow the rider to lose traction and counter steer or ‘‘drift’’ to get around the corners.
Leely, an electrician, makes the bikes and originally planned to build them for sale.
‘‘I thought opening the centre sounded much more fun,’’ he said.
Rimene said complying with health and safety regulations was easier than she expected.
When the pair were told the trikes needed to have safety rims, Justin made them himself and then patented the design.
Leely said drift trikes differed from traditional go-karts, where the aim is to go as fast as possible.
‘‘This is all about controlled drifts. It’s a technique, a skill.’’
Rimene studied business management at Te Wananga o Aotearoa and said she was look- ing forward to applying her skills to the real thing.
‘‘It’s been a long journey to get here,’’ she said.
‘‘Being young and brown has meant that people haven’t wanted to help us.’’
Support had come from family and Leely’s mother put up her home as collateral for the business loan.
The pair have spent the last month working day and night on their new premises, but say it was worth it to see the smiling faces on their opening day.
Justin Leely and Rawinia Rimene are the owners of a new undercover drift trike track in Porirua.