My life with Python trikes Mk1 , Mk1.5 , Mk2 ?

Seems that's me :D

I need to weigh it as well , then if I cut up a piece of card to match the shape of some cr*p plywood I have I can estimate the weight difference should I want to build it out off something more [ maybe ] durable ?

Per Square-inch of finished (painted/varnished/PMF'd bodyshell) +/- 20% ought to be reasonable enough. :D
Hi all

So progress she is slow however steady ....

so this is the back the cereal box covers the corners as they were hard to figure out their shape , then a piece of the double box corrugated was glued inside them for strength.
the edges were filled with exterior ready mixed filler and some have been covered with the paper plaster board tape using eco friendly varnish so no nasty smells and can be done indoors where it is warm and so dries thoroughly and quickly.

The front where you can see a couple of vertical edges that need the paper treatment and patch the gaps .


Messy inside the plan is to glue some foam down to the 4 corner triangle pieces so when I am fastening it down they stop it rattling [ I hope ].
next up 2 coats of primer ready for the gloss paint.

Then on to the bigger lower part , 2 mudguards and it can be mounted on the trike.
As a stop gap the old mudguards are reinstated as it has become very wet and dirty and I had getting my clothing muddy !

Top and base have 2 coats of primer and after a brainstorm on a fresh thread we have a fastening method for the top.
No screws or heavy catches , no rattling and no weight win win !

So I think DannyC had the brainwave to use Velcro and I just perverted it to the cause by using double sided Velcro.


Test pieces the upper one [ lid/top ] has a strip of heavy duty cardboard front and rear and a slot cut for the Velcro
Lower one [ base/fairing ] has a piece of heavy duty cardboard glued both sides and 2 slots cut for Velcro
The cardboard resists the Velcro pulling through the corrugated sides.


Velcro is threaded through slot in top one a round back where it is stuck to itself and a tail is left hanging down
Velcro is threaded through both slots in base piece and stuck to itself around the back.


Viola as the French say ...
One neat fastening no weight or rattle and only Velcro pulling against Velcro.

Downside ? there are 2 small slot's in the base that need sealing against water ingress , compared to it's bulk I don't think they will be a problem.

Implement on the real thing then I can lash some paint on.

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Hi all

So Tilt#6 has been ridden through another winter and we have both survived roughly intact.

DannyC and I had a discussion this morning as to when a bodge becomes elevated to the status of ' the way to do it ' ?

In Aug 2021 I made these handle bars :-


However they were only meant as a stop gap , not bolted on properly and bolt on bits rather than welded [ which should be lighter ? ] and they have been ridden 1 year and 7 months ? bodge ? or not ?

They work by going under the seat as the front end pivots giving a great turning circle however it is possible to trap them under the seat if the seat is tilted , a bit unnerving and other changes are in the pipeline so a proper set of bars are needed.


Right hand side jigged up , red lines almost meet get some metal on....


Bit rusty welding maybe second this year after the repair , very low on gas but looks solid [ apart from tiny amount of porosity visible ]

So next up repurpose jig for left side and repeat , if I get that done Sunday I will have probably run out of gas by the end hey ho.

Then 2 more parts need cutting and fettling to fit.

I doubt it will fall off. Nice neat welds. No popcorn in sight. :)
first welds this year , I looked back the weld of the frame failure was last September , where's that time gone !!!
Done other side now I need to make the next bits , 2 more each side.
I feel a jig coming on ...
Almost out of gas , no leak but it seemed to be disappearing at an alarming rate ? seems I must have knocked the set valve and so welding @ 20 l/min and not my usual 9 l/min , corrected now and then I remove the knob from the valve to stop it being accidentially moved. I will replace it with a flat lever so @ a glance i can see it is where it should be [ there being no easy visible reference marks on the knob ]
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Quite happy to remove it , it was much to easy to turn and stops me accidently moving it.

I doubt it is the best on the market anyway ...



Quite happy to remove it , it was much to easy to turn and stops me accidently moving it.

I doubt it is the best on the market anyway ...


I have the same one and its playing up. Makes a "clacking" noise when welding.
I used to have a proper 2-stage reducing set but my brother took that.
You reminded me , mine was very noisy for a while when this tank was just fitted and has now stopped maybe it is related to pressure and will become noisy again when I get a full tank ?

Maybe you need to check yours ? as when I took the top cap off the knob I found it's retaining nut finger tight however worse was when the knob was removed the screw on nut that holds the valve in was also very very loose !

I suspect that could be a loss of gas whist welding situation ? very bad.
if it is then simply leaving the tank valve accidentally open could empty the tank without you realising the cause ?

So make a jig sort of sorts ?

The orange pipe has been bolted to some wood and mimics the current handle bar angle the tape with line represents the shortest bar that I can get the levers/controls onto

measure distance between tops of existing bars and left bar from seat then removed them.


then attached newly made frame part to front end and propped orange tube in same place as original handle bars had been.
I was intending avoiding using bolt on parts however they may be the only way to get this to work ?
So red bolt on part has a paper roll sticking out and I have crudely cut that off at an angle so it roughly meets the orange tube.

To do this side i now need a piece of real handle bar cutting to the pattern size of the orange tube,
another piece wants cutting to replace the paper roll and welding to the red part and the actual handle bar
the surplus end [ wrapped in a spiral of masking tape ] needs trimming and capping.
then on to the other side.

I have avoided this job for a long time as it is a nightmare of tubing meeting at different angles no reference points and everything ' hanging in the air '
DannyC lost most of his hair trying to do this an even harder way using a tube bender , still has a twitch in one eye as a result !

So Tilt#6 needs a rest from being ridden so I can make those handlebars ....
Drum roll :-


Tilt#5 has been resurrected for service in the mean time , question is do I try and attach this VERY VERY flimsy tail-box in place of a couple of shabby panniers ?
Dalerider thinks it is a single layer of glass cloth , it is certainly very flexible.


Temporally fastened to rear of seat with some re-usable cable ties it will need some work to mount on the frame to allow the seat to tilt.

Lid also needs some work.


Biggest problem is it is made for a 2 wheeler so little room for luggage without removing some of the wheel arch , and I think most of the strength is there !
Also a hole for the rear derailleur can be seen at the bottom.

Hey ho Paul
Hi all

So Tilt#5 has been pressed into service , only 1 trip so far however as ..........
The MK3 Python that does NOT tilt !!!


Ok a real bodge job to remove as much as the tilting as possible ....


Why you may ask ...

Well tilting is 2 things for a trike that is free to tilt.
1) The romance getting into a corner heeling the thing over feeling like a fighter pilot and with a wide grin zooming through the corner.
2) the reality of tilting , it tilts ALL the time whether you want it to or not ! it tilts crossing camber [ frequent on pavements/roads ] when this happens the only tilt control are your arms on the handle bars and you have to get yourself vertical no matter what the trike is doing underneath you. Now I found this was relatively easy when the bars were on the non tilting part and the arms hung straight down [ think shock absorbers ] not so easy when the bars are on the steering parts and your forearms are horizontal and not vertical.

So 1) is dangerous it gives you a false sense of security so you corner to fast if the trike is going to let go [ it never did in 2 years ] it will be sudden and unrecoverable , in Holland with DannyC I almost came a cropper entering a tunnel where only the tilting save me from a coming together with the wall, usually these sorts of bends you can't see the exit so have no idea what is around the corner [ more danger ] and lets be honest how often does 1) occur in a ride ? < 0.01% of any journey I would guess ?

2) is very tiring both mentally and physically especially as I moved from a rock steady trike I could ride and steer hands free to one that needed at least one hand on the bars at all times and became unruly over bumps and uneven surfaces.

The trike is now 38" wheel base [ about 4" shorter than Tilt#6 ]
rear track is 24"
seat height 12"

So only 1 trip taken so far very gingerly as there is some de-bugging to be done , however it seems plenty stable and gave no hint of lifting a wheel , so the riding continues.
It is noticeable I am now leaning out of the seat maybe more than is needed , however it is comforting when riding in a straight line the thing again feels solid and planted.
I suspect I have lost some of the elastomer suspension however I have a plan that IF implemented may restore some of that.

However currently interesting thinks are afoot that are taking up my time , more on that later as it is very bike related and pertinent to another of my threads...

So de-bugging the Mk3 , this morning I commented to DannyC that the brakes were lifeless and the levers very hard to pull made worse by them being to far away to reach and 2 finger making them hard to pull with thick gloves on [ yes I still need those some mornings as it has been only 2c ] the SA levers are much better [ bottom in picture ].


As I had a pair I swapped them over , strewth the brakes are transformed !!! i can now feather them and apply as much or as little as I want and they stop great - who'd thunk the drum brakes need special levers i.e SA's own to work properly ?


Seems the anti tilt has taken a bit of a hammering , turned out the bolts were tight because they had run out of thread and not because they were putting the wood under pressure , of course I had intended 2 bolts per clamp then cut the wood to short DOH.

I shortened the trike by about 2" by swapping the female rod ends for males , I have lost some turning circle however it should bring the pedals closer which will be easier on my knees.

Add a few more washers and re-tightened as these are only a stop gap , I want some M10 - 140mm[ish] bolts to pass through both tubes and replace the elastomers with spacers - the next job ;)

Ok so mixed bag , brakes much improved and pedalling much better.
Turning circle less and noticeable.
I lifted a wheel , bit of a surprise expected to have ridden it more than twice before that happened !

I have to go up here to get off mothers estate , looks simple ?
Have to approach from this angle AND turn right then sharp left then sharp right again whilst traversing the slope of their drive + the slope to get back to pavement level.
So this is very slow speed however I felt the outside wheel lift maybe 1-2" then drop back onto the footpath.
Not a shock just caught off guard , so need to exercise more care me thinks.

Ok fed up with no tilt fix sort of not stopping the tilting completely and creaking like an old galleon...


You can see here where one of the original plates rubbed all the paint off.
So elastomers replaced with a stack of plywood plates , this also lowered the seat by an inch.
Much nicer to ride and quieter to boot.
Ride today marred by coming out of Millets to find a rear tyre flat , annoyingly it had caused the tyre and inner tube to migrate around the rim till the valve was @ 45' and hard up against a spoke. This bit of the town is not a great place to get the thing apart and have tools all over the floor , so I took a risk and pumped it up as hard as possible , it got me to the cafe [ 1/2 mile away ] I had a cuppa and some toast and it was still not totally flat so again i pumped it up and it just got me home. Thursday's job to investigate ...

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