India stands as the second largest two-wheeler market in the world with about 13.5 million two-wheelers sold in 2021-22. The extent of the Indian two-wheeler market gave YSR Prasad, a Hyderabad-based injection mould supplier, an idea to experiment with making systems that will transform a regular two-wheeler into a trike.
A trike is a three-wheeled motorcycle or scooter. Over 7.5 years of R&D and engineering, an investment of Rs. 5 crores, the 59-year-old mechanical engineer-entrepreneur is now ready with the eighth iteration, also the production version, of a bolt-on kit to transform a two-wheeler into a trike. Added stability and comfort are the key factors that consumers prefer a trike for. It takes a little time to get used to riding a trike, but the difference can be felt after riding a couple of kilometres. The bolt-on kit uses a double wishbone system connected to the chassis through suspension bushes. The whole frame is connected to the vehicle chassis using a clamp.
A sway bar helps both front tyres to have an equal grip level on the road, while a tilt lock feature allows the rider to lock the tilting mechanism for better stability at slow speeds. “The system doesn’t require any modification to the vehicle as on the bottom the kit gets clamped to the chassis, and on the top, it uses the holes in the handle assembly,” Prasad said. The kit adds 15 kg to a scooter and 18-21 kg to a motorcycle.
With additional weight, usually, the fuel efficiency of a vehicle gets compromised. Prasad claims that a trike system could have a constructive impact on the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. “The ground friction is reduced by about 20% compared to a regular two-wheeler, in the vehicle’s movement because of two wheels in the front. This could help increase fuel efficiency by up to 10%,” he said.
The kit cost ranges from Rs. 45,000 for a Honda Activa, to Rs. 1,08,000 for a Royal Enfield Classic. In a market like India, where the trike concept is non-existent, it will take some strong efforts by Hyderabad Innovations to sell in large numbers. Prasad claims that the system once fitted will hardly have any maintenance cost. “All items are maintenance-free as all bearings are closed with oil seals and all ball joints have protective caps,” he added.
Considering that most two-wheelers in India are used for commuting, the braking system of the target models is also being modified to make it more user-friendly. “We developed a hydro-mechanical combination system for both the wheels, which can be operated by the left side brake lever,” Prasad said. Prasad applied for 24 patents for the locally designed and developed trike system, and 13 got approved.