View Full Version : Three wheel to four wheel convertions......

01-19-2003, 11:02 AM
There seems to be a lot of people wanting to convert their trikes to quads lately. More than usual anyway. A member of the 3WW suggested a to do a permanent post about this topic. It was a good idea so lets try it out.

Why would you or would you not do a trike to quad conversion? Pros and cons? Post not related to this subject will be deleted and lets use this thread to give people facts, not to insult them.

OldSchoolin86 ;)

01-20-2003, 09:01 PM
Trike to Quad conversions.
Some where I seen the kits are being made again. For the record I don't like it, but they are ( or were ) being made again. The kits listed for about $1400 to $1600 .

Before spending the money for a quad kit look at it from a economics point of view:

Based on the middle value of your 3 Wheeler ( some machines will be worth more than others ):
If you figured the value of your 3 Wheeler ( Depending on the condition/Year/ model ) it would be $400 to $2000 ( estimate ) as it is.
For this example Let's use a figure of $1100.00
Add the cost of a quad Kit $1500.00 ( middle again )
You would have the equivalent of $2600 in your Retrofit Quad. Down the road if or when you decide to sell the machine you won't be able to even come close to recouping your money. I have seen trike conversions like this sell on Ebay ( which normally brings in the most money of any place ) and I estimate on a Good day it may bring $1600.00 ( using a $1100 valued 3 wheeler ). I have also seen them sell for under $900. You would be out $1000 to $1500 or so of value/investment. Sound fair? Not only will you be out in the long run But you also have donated all your hard work to convert the 3 Wheeler to a 4 Wheeler. Would you go to your job and work hard then tell the boss/owner "I worked this week/month for nothing/zip/nada". I wouldn't go to my job and do this ( I am there for the paycheck ).

Now if you sold the 3 Wheeler for $1100 ( same as above )
Then Took the $1500 you were going to spend on the Quad Kit you would have $2600 to buy a quad with.

$2600 will buy a Nice quad on Ebay or else where for that matter. Say you find one ( 4 wheeler/quad ) for $2000 and buy it. The $2600.00 minus the $2000 Purchase price come to having $600 left over for buying other things ( for the quad, you, or the wife/girl friend ). But that isn't all!! Your not only saving $600 but also your buying a machine that was built to be a 4 wheeler, thus you will have better resale value. If you decide in a Year or to sell it you are more likely to get your money back and possibly more than if you tried selling a converted trike. Not only that but you probably would also make a Trike enthusiast Very Happy because you Saved a Trike from being Bastardized ( sorry it's the only word I could think of ) into a quad.

Now I can't and won't tell you what to do ( or not to do ). It's your money spend it how you see fit.

To me it makes more sense in selling the 3 Wheeler and buying a Factory 4 Wheeler ( if you want a 4 wheeler ). You will be money ahead no matter how you look at it.

That is my 2 Cents for what it is worth.

"Triker For Life"

01-21-2003, 12:40 PM
Thought Id repost this here:

Shortly after MFG's stopped producing trikes, quads had just become a real contender on the market. For numerous reasons, the price of used trikes tanked big time. At this time, there was no such thing as and old, used, cheap quad, because the performance quads had just entered the marketplace. (I bought my first TriMoto about 1990 for $300 because I couldnt afford a quad.) This was when "the deadly 3wheelers" were capturing all the headlines. A handful of companies offered "conversion kits" for $1200-$1500, to convert your trike into a quad. Installation involved lots of cutting and welding, basically putting a quad front end on your existing trike. When you got done you had a quad for less than the cost of used quad at that time, though quality can be debated. It made some sense then. In 87-89 trikes were not exactly thought of as "relics of restoration" which should not be defiled. Then a couple years later, Honda and Suzuki got the brilliant idea of discontinuing their 2 stroke performance quads in anticipation of extremely restrictive enviromental law changes (which never happened). The "new" 300EX was a pretty lame replacement for the TRX250R and we wont even talk Suzuki, and guys wanted a good 4 stroke racer, so they naturally looked at the 350X. This "conversion" usually invloved putting a 350X motor on a 250R frame, and it worked very well.

Why it doesnt make sense today, when you get past the emotionalism, is that for less than the cost of buying a trike and converting it into a quad, you can own one of each. Trike prices have risen greatly and old cheap quads are everywhere. The 400EX has filled the void that brought about the custom made TRX350x's. Simple economics.

02-10-2003, 03:58 AM
Ok, i best say a few words....

As you can tell i am new to the forum.

Some of you may already be aware that i have two of these trike conversions that you are on about... In the middle of last year i suddenly came up with the idea of purchasing an old quad to do up for myself, after looking around my first TRI-Z Quad came up on Ebay for sale as a "250cc Race Quad" and no other information, well after looking everywhere on the internet i could not find any information on it. therefore i was reluctant about bidding on it, however i did and won the bid.

It wasn't until i got it home that it was a weld on job :( after speaking with lots of people noone still knew what it was until i spoke with someone on another forum who told me it was a converted Trike, It all started to fall in to place!!

Since then i have found out the the import of the 3 wheelers was bad in to the UK and something had to be done about the existing ones, i have recently spoken with John Elliott (ex-British & European Quad Champion) who gave me the whole history of the bike and where to get all the spares.

He was telling me that the bike in good condition is only a little slower than a Banshee in the right hands - therefore it is still a force to beware of :twisted:

You can see that i have fully rebuilt the quad http://www.dgrallying.com/quad which took a lot of engineering skills, as all the front steering had to be machined as new are no longer available.

After purchasing the quad for 800 (approx $1300) i have spent approx another 1100 ($1800 ish) on it, therfore for 2100 i have a Brand new Quad you could say, which is a lot cheaper than any other Quad on the market, therefore i would say they are a very good idea.......

02-11-2003, 12:08 AM
They need to make quad to trike conversion kit's!

02-15-2003, 04:15 PM
Very good thread. Howdy pretty much sumed it up. I don't think he mentioned that if you can't weld and fabricate you'll have to pay somone to do it for you. That might cost around $500 to get done. After you have the 3 to 4 made, parts are going to be more expensive also, you have two front tires to buy instead of one, more front bearings and seals to buy, more brake pads, tie rods to wear out, A arm bushings to maintain and replace, I'm guessing if you bust up the front plastic it might cost around $90-$120 for 4 wheeler front plastic from Maier, where a atc front fender might be around $40 or so. Bottom line: It would be way better to either leave the 3 wheeler like it is or sell the 3 wheeler and use the money for a quad.

02-17-2003, 05:14 PM
Howdy's right, I think they should leave designing front ends to the factorys--my buddies banshee that he just put +2+1 a-arms on it whent out for a ride and his tie-rod stripped out almost costing him his arse. If you do a dramatic change from the factory design you are almost always asking for trouble. I do agree that somebody should make a 4 to 3 wheel conversion, then and only then would I buy a 400ex--that would be the trike among all trikes!!

04-15-2003, 05:57 PM
I personaly hate conversion. I agree with howdy that it is much more economical to just buy how ever many wheels you want in the first place. I also hate it when people put a 250r rearend on a cr500 bike and just call it a 250r. I firmly believe that you should call it what the frame/most of the bike is, and for me I would not ever switch parts around like that. If you want a 500 engine in a 250 frame, then do the fab and make it work instead of just putting odds and ends on.

Again, just my beliefs. I also am not overly concerned about it though. How ever strong I am against doing such things myself, if you bought, if you want to pay for it, then its is yours. You wont get my respect, and honors for doing that, but of course it doesnt really matter how others look (well.. that is why we spend some much aint it.. oh well), its how you like it and how you want it to look like.

I believe as long as there are people wanting, and riding atc's, they will be around. One thing I would like to do at some point is design and build trikes from the ground up. It wont be long till we have hover crafts, and will be laughing at the people on quads.. so just wait the next big thing is somewhere.

05-16-2003, 01:34 PM
This might be helpful.

I did the research. There is a company that makes a kit for the tri-z 200x 250r 350x and i believe the tecate. It comes with the additional frame extension that is notched to match your bike and needs to be welded on. also the A-arms which looked to be of a Blaster nature, it also comes with ITP alluminum front rims and tires, a pair of low-end WORKS shocks, steering column, and Maier grill plastics for a lt250r.

The finished product will be a very low-to-the-ground front end quad, that is about the size of a Blaster, and kind of ugly.

I agree with all other posts here, it is not financially viable. The kit I found in an old copy of Dirt wheels (early 90's) for $1100. I contacted them over the phone and they sold me a catalog for 5 bucks. It was printed in the early 90's and the price tag on the kit was crossed out. The new hand-written price tag was $1700, and after shipping it would have cost close to $1900.

Remmember...You can easily buy a whole quad for that kind of money. One that is made to be a quad and doesn't need to be welded together. Converting a Trike is a mistake- you lose the biggest advantage most trikes have over quads. POWER TO WEIGHT RATIO, buy adding on at least 100 pounds.

If you're bored and looking for a hobby, try riding your trike. Soon you'll get better at it and see that there is no reason for an extra wheel.


05-19-2003, 04:58 AM
yeah why do people want quads anyway???? they are boring!!!! and if they want to convert a trike to a quad why not stick with the trike the quad will only go slower.......if you do want a faster machine pu a dirt bike engine in a trike like a cr500 etc with a bit of cutting, welding, patience and time you will have the ultimate speed demon!!!!! what can a quad do a trike cant ??????????


06-10-2003, 05:19 PM
I don't know if this belongs here, but i saw the word "conversions" so i thought it might. I found this in on Autotrader.ca. I know that a 650 quad isn't that big, but i thought it looked cool, so i decided to share it with you.

Russell 350X
06-19-2003, 10:23 PM
I agree with Howdy 100%. It cost's to much money to go and do that, and if you want a golf cart, sell your trike(no idea why you would want to do that :? ), and go buy a golf cart. The only thing that happens are problems and money going into the trailprotrailprotrailprotrailpro pit. Anyway quads are slower and from what I've seen they are not quite as reliable(my trikes are 21 years old, never had the engines redone, but some quads that are 5 yrs old kick the trailprotrailprotrailprotrailpro and need redone).It just makes sense, the conversions cost to damn much, they suck, they are gay, and trikes are plainly better. Just my 2 cents. :bounce

07-06-2003, 11:51 PM
i agree. those conversions suck ass

07-22-2003, 10:29 PM
I was actuallt talking to a buddy of mine about this the other day and we were talking about a friend of his that used to race trike's and was very good at it. Then when they banned them he did'nt want to give up his prize trike so he did the conversion to a quad, and pretty much said it handled like crap. This is'nt an intelligent factual post but it's one person's experience with the conversion. My opinoin is leave the trike a trike.

ATC crazy
07-28-2003, 12:34 PM
Bastardized :D

Howdy, you summed it up very well. I've ridden a trike-to-quad a few years ago and hated it. Going down the road the steering would twitch and you would be constantly fighting it. Other than that and the "Bastardized" looks of it...It was so-so :? To me the kit is just a boat anchor. A trike was meant to have 3 wheels and a quad was meant to have 4 from the factory...

Just my $0.02 + 4.5% tax

07-29-2003, 11:10 PM
Please, someone, make a 660r raptor into a 660 tri-z, you do it first and i will follow, And any more talk about killing a 3 wheeler to have a 4 wheeled P O S, will result in being visited by the blue ribbon clownision to see if you wanna sign up.
34me Mr. Trickz

07-30-2003, 12:46 AM
i have heard that some of those conversions are really flimsy and break easily :? i dont think i would trust one :shock:

08-01-2003, 01:54 PM
Mine is now up for sale..............

So any of you want a Pucka Tri-Quad???

av a look at http://www.dgrallying.com/quads

08-06-2003, 12:04 PM
THe only reason someone would do this is to make it more stable and make the front end heavier.

08-06-2003, 03:05 PM
.......yea, and kill a perfectly good trike (what's wrong with people these days :evil: )

08-06-2003, 03:18 PM
There all nazis i tell ya lol. Ppl who likes trikes are jews and ppl who like quads are Nazis lol.

ATC crazy
08-09-2003, 03:46 PM
....That makes me a Nazi Jew.....

08-09-2003, 03:47 PM
Ya same here lol.

08-09-2003, 05:24 PM
hehhhehehehe ;)

09-25-2003, 10:16 AM
How about a rolling Frame ?? and Adding Your Trike Motor to it ?