Trike Grand Prix a roar­ing and scream­ing suc­cess

The Shed - - Building A Motorized Trike -

The idea was sim­ply to get a bunch of mates back to­gether again and, after Kim had made a drift bike for mate Mike’s 40th birth­day, they re­al­ized they had a win­ning for­mula. Mike said that if Kim would build an­other few trikes, he’d or­ga­nize the event, and The Drift Ex­trav­a­ganza was born. Kim wound up build­ing nine trikes, all dif­fer­ent, re­flect­ing the dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties and mo­tor­ing his­to­ries of their in­tended pi­lots. They had dif­fer­ent frames, forks, en­gine lay­outs, and a mix of big four-stroke en­gines and a cou­ple of tiny two-strokes.

Kim was amazed that the event went as smoothly as it did, and with such close rac­ing.

“The two-strokes lacked power on the sharp cor­ners, and there were a lot of cor­ners, but they had great top-end power on the long straight,” he says. Two-stroke-fan Kim says there were only a cou­ple of sec­onds be­tween his trike and even­tual win­ner Mike’s fourstroke, even over two laps cov­er­ing about half a kilo­me­tre.

The track was laid out over an L-shaped con­crete pad join­ing a 100x30m strip to a 50m square pad at one of the racer’s fam­ily’s en­gi­neer­ing yard in Mor­rinsville.

“Skinny told us at great length to take care go­ing around some gear that had just come out of the work­shop, and then he was the one who crashed into it, go­ing back­wards over it,” Kim re­calls. De­spite the crazi­ness of the con­cept the fi­nal toll was some mi­nor paint dam­age to the gear that was sup­posed to be avoided, and the worst rider in­jury was a scrape that didn’t even jus­tify a plas­ter.

Kim says that they took care to keep the risks rea­son­able, with two rac­ers only on track at a time, with a five-sec­ond gap be­tween them, and the win­ner was de­cided by the time gap at the end. He was de­lighted with how the trikes held to­gether un­der the pres­sures of rac­ing. Two dropped their chains, but the skills in the crew meant they were able to re­fit and ad­just them them­selves for the next rounds.

At the end of the knock­out com­pe­ti­tion, event or­ga­nizer Mike claimed the tro­phy and the top step of the podium, as well as the in­cred­i­ble mana at­tached to that feat, and brag­ging rights for the year.

Gubby also scored a hat­trick of awards, be­ing gar­landed with the toi­let seat of shame — the You Stink award — for bad sports­man­ship, and he also car­ried off the pad­dle for big­gest stir­rer

Sec­ond place — or “Not First” as it was la­belled — went to Flea, and third place, or “Not Even Close”, went to Gubby. Gubby also scored a hat-trick of awards, be­ing gar­landed with the toi­let seat of shame — the You Stink award — for bad sports­man­ship, and he also car­ried off the pad­dle for big­gest stir­rer.

“The whole thing went way bet­ter than I ex­pected,” says Kim. It achieved the main pur­pose of bring the crew back to­gether again.

The mates were all school friends in two form years at Mor­rinsville Col­lege. “We had drifted far and wide since then, so it wasn’t easy to get ev­ery­one to­gether,” Kim says. “We all agreed [that] we’re go­ing to do it all again next year. We might do other things in be­tween but at the very least we’ll do this again.”

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