Motorcycle Monday: RX-7 Powered Drift Trike

·3 min read

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This looks like fun!

Sadly, it seems like these days there aren’t as many cool, creative, or downright insane custom motorcycle builds out there as car builds. Sure, there’s no shortage of yet another chopper with skulls, flames, and callouts to Las Vegas-style gambling. After a while it’s easy to grow tired of the same old, same old so when I saw this drift trike with a Mazda RX-7’s rotary engine, I was amazed.

Remember what made the Honda Valkyrie Rune great here.

Part of me is surprised rotary-powered trikes aren’t more of a thing. With a more compact design than most other car engines, they’re perfect for two- or three-wheeled custom builds. Sure, there are some rotary-powered trikes and motorcycles out there, but honestly there aren’t enough. It’s one of the best good-bad decisions someone could make when building their own ride.

image credit: YouTube
image credit: YouTube

Anyway, this custom drift trike with an RX-7 engine is the product of Grind Hard Plumbing Co, which has a YouTube channel you might already know. After all, they have about 1.2 million subscribers, but you might be more familiar with their insane Barbie Jeep Power Wheels which is supercharged and also completely nuts. They’re modified quite a few other Power Wheels, including a pink Mustang with a Honda dirt bike engine, used a snowmobile engine in a dirt bike frame to create an off-road scooter, and rescued an abandoned Toyota Tacoma to transform it into a rock crawler.

image credit: YouTube
image credit: YouTube

As you might imagine, creating something like this from scratch takes a lot of planning, a lot of fabrication, and involves quite a bit of trial and error. They’ve been working on this project, along with a few others, for a while now and the thing finally not only fires up and runs but it also drives. They uploaded a video of the first test drive and let me say, these guys have to be a little insane.

image credit: YouTube
image credit: YouTube

Thankfully, these guys aren’t crazy enough to play with something this powerful and lightweight without the right equipment. This rotary-powered trike has some nice Wilwood brakes to balance out the ferocious drivetrain. That’s great so long as everything is set up correctly.

image credit: YouTube
image credit: YouTube

What’s kind of sketchy about this build is the gear selector placed right in front of the seat. That seems like it could easily become a painful disaster in a crash. Also, they zip-tied a number of parts together before the first test drive, like what you do for a trail repair when you just need to hobble your rig back to civilization. Let’s just say I probably would not volunteer to test out their builds, especially on a public road, so I’m glad they’re confident enough in their own work.

image credit: YouTube
image credit: YouTube

You can watch in the video how this thing just takes off once they get it outside the workshop and the guy really twists the throttle, proving why those Wilwood brakes are so very necessary. The thing also likes to get sideways on the dirt pathways where they tested it out, which is perfect for all the drifting fun you’ve dreamed of having on three wheels.

This build is far from refined and we expect they’ll be smoothing it out, making some pretty big changes over the coming months. But we’re excited to see them really cut it loose, because it looks to be quite the wild ride.

If you want to skip to the test drive in the video, go to 13:30.

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