How many projects owe their existence to the “life changing experience?” They must number in the millions though most never go very far. Like anything else, after the event recedes into memories, the project demands focus, perseverence and drive if it’s ever to see the light of day. So, whenever you see one on its wheels and moving, tip your hat to its creator, he stayed the course.
The Spykster owes its existence to a young Australian, Dan Quelch, a motorcycle at speed and a collision with a Caravan. While healing from the experience, Dan thought more stability and far greater braking were what he needed in a vehicle. He still loved the speed and handling and the experience of riding a motorcycle but, Dan thought, maybe, he could design around the downsides and starting with a clean sheet, this is what he came up with.
His design goals were light weight, as exciting as a big bike but it must stop as safely as a car. They aimed for 280kg (620 pounds) and the final 262kg (577 pounds) meets that nicely. Power comes from a Yamaha R1 engine. The frame is built from about 30 meters of 19mm RHS (rectangular hollow section) tubing and Dan says he used 16 cylinders of Argon gas TIG welding the whole thing together.
One of the biggest challenges was designing the steering. Handlebars or levers? On a three wheeler, handlebars would be turned a lot in a tight turn at the same time you’re leaning into them to counteract the g forces but he figured a carefully designed lever system would work great and it does.
One of the best parts of this entire project in my eyes is the fact that Dan had to learn the skills necessary to build it. TIG welding? Get a welder and figure it out. Pattern making for the fiberglass body? Start making them. How many times have you heard someone say he would do something if he knew how? If you don’t know how, learn! You’re not born with it.
The Spykster accelerates, in Dan’s words, like an R1 two up. Braking is excellent and the steering, a system for which he has applied for patents, is almost completely natural. One nice additional feature is the twist grip throttle of a motorcycle has been retained instead of the lever throttle common to quads.
Dan is hoping to find a manufacturer in Australia who will get on board. If he doesn’t. I hope he’ll continue his pursuit anyway. I like the looks of this little road burner.
More info: Spykster