About Drift Trikes - What you need to know about the EXTREME ride!
I came across drift trikes when researching products for my store and after doing a lot of research I decided to add them to my current product line at Urban Scoot
What I didn't know is that they have a huge following in New Zealand; in fact, the art of drift triking originated in New Zealand. It sort of branched off of the interest and popularity of car drifting among the youth population. From there, the sport has spread throughout the world and is now a recognized sport. The US is home to the non-profit organization called the American Drift Trike Association.
Brands on the Market
The most popular brand in the world for Drift Trikes is Triad. They have 4 models (Syndicate, Underworld, Notorious) available to fit every budget. Huffy makes a pretty cool drift trike called the Slider Pro. There are a few motorized models that are popping up, one from Tortuga and another from Local Motors.
How Are They Powered?
Traditional drift trikes have no motors and are powered by smooth rolling hills. Most, like the Triad, have freewheeling pedals on the front wheel. The freewheel allows for initial pedaling then the pedals can stay still when the rider is drifting. Can you imagine how fast that pedal would spin if there wasn't a freewheel? Enough to rip your foot off. Another way to get up to speed is to stand behind the trike and run with it; sort of like a bobsledder. The method of initial power depends upon having a nice course. The best drift trike courses are composed of a smooth paved surface, enough grade to allow for speeds over 25 mph. The preferred courses will have wide radius curves or what drifters call switchbacks. Too flat of a course or too bumpy of a surface will reduce the quality of drifting, speed and will be unpleasant for the rider.
Drift Trikes with electric or gas motors are gaining popularity and allow for drift trikes usage in areas that don't have the desired gradient to let gravity do the work. Designs vary, but the motors can be mounted on the front or rear wheels.
This is an extreme sport and after you watch some videos, it is evident that you need to protect yourself. I highly suggest the use of helmets, gloves and wearing proper clothing to protect exposed skin areas. One freak accident can result in some serious road rash.