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The PURSUIT, Magic Pie V5 52v powered trike!

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    The PURSUIT, Magic Pie V5 52v powered trike!

    This was a pet project years in the dreaming, 6 months in the making and ongoing. Full disclosure: before I set out to do this I had absolutely no experience about electric bikes or bikes in general. Not only did I had to learn what parts I needed how to replace and adjust them I also had to consider all the different types of motors and batteries. Talk about starting from the ground up.

    The original trike was a Performer Trike X I had bought already assembled years ago for $1100 at the time, not to bad considering. Unfortunately I had a big move and life pushed the poor trike's priority waaaay out. It was stored under some covers outdoors but despite that some weathering did make it to the parts. Amazingly, the frame was still in nearly the same condition I left it.

    Anyway, what followed was months of research, trial and error, frustration and walking away, and coming back for more. Almost every part was replaced: tires, chains, deraileurs, shifters, brakes... etc. I was practically building a new trike from the ground up.

    The installation of the motor was actually the easiest part. The most I needed to do was unbolt the old wheel and swap in the motor, tidy up the wires, and off I go. Most of the challenge was teaching myself about everything else about bike parts.

    Well, after all is said and done, here it is! Click image for larger version

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    I added the flag, mirrors and front light mount just a few days ago, so now I can say it's fully functional. Click image for larger version

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    It took me while to learn how to properly adjust that derailleur but now I've got it down. The rear dropouts are pretty decent at 3/16 thick but I went safe and added torque arms on each side. I ordered a 7-spd freewheel from Luna Cycle to go with it. Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    I tried to zip tie the wires as neatly as I could along the left fork. Too many zip ties? Naaahh... The power cable runs up behind the seat... Click image for larger version

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    ...and meets Luna Cycle's Panasonic PF 52v 11.9ah battery. I tuck the XT-90 to side when I tie it down during rides. Click image for larger version

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    Here's the flag, along with left/right lights for wide area illumination. Thankfully, they don't blind me in the mirrors. haha Click image for larger version

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    The battery pack sits on the rack and tied down between some cut pieces of insulating foam. That U-shaped bar was a recycled armrest from an ab workout machine. xD It fitted perfectly around the battery and onto the rack. I used bar extenders from walmart and attached some lights on either side with the batteries strapped underneath. They're advertised as 5000 lumens but I think it's closer to half that, still plenty bright though. Normally they're pointed forward but I realized that on dark roads with no streetlights I can point them down and... Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    ...get some more visibility going, hehe. In the forward the position I can see a huge swathe of road in front of me or, conversely, turn them 180 and blind back anyone who dares to tailgate me (I kid, I kid). Click image for larger version

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    This picture does the lights no justice since it's daytime and I have lights on in my garage. At night they're more than up to the task. Click image for larger version

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    The main light is mounted on the front post with the battery pack strapped in. Click image for larger version

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    Lastly, a here's a view of the cockpit. The dashboard's mounted on the left steering bar along with the front crank shifter, taillight control, cruise control and horn (not wired), and
    dashboard buttons. The right bar as the thumb throttle and half shifter for the rear deraileur.

    In the end, I'm pretty proud of what I've built since it is my first build. I might've caught the bug. I call it aptly the "Pursuit" since it can easily keep up with traffic and perfectly suits my needs. I have enough range that I can to go to work, run to shop for small things or cruise around and enjoy the outdoors. 99% of my travels are within my trike's driving range and it sure as heck beats the price of owning a car with all that gas, maintenance, insurance, etc...

    My overall thoughts so far:

    ​There are plenty of bumpy roads in my neighborhood and the rear suspension does not do a complete job of absorbing the bumps. I installed some Schwalbe Big Apple tires up front and it smoothed out the ride by about 50%, a particular godsend. Despite that, the front left tire had massively quick wear down to the belt only for me to find out I had a half inch toe out at the front wheels. I aligned the front wheels to correct this problem and will install my previous road tires until a replacement arrives.

    There are somethings I still want to fix, though. All the lights are independently powered and have their own switches. I can reach and turn on or off all of them from the seat except the taillights but I want to tie them all together into a central control panel somewhere down the line. The taillight also has its own built in turn signal but I'm not very satisfied about how visible it is so I'm planning on building my own blinkers for that purpose, perhaps mounted underneath the wide area lights on the rack.

    The Magic Pie V5 is pretty much giving all she's got with the stock controller and 52v battery. It's beefy for sure and could handle more power if not for the stock controller. I wanted a simple, straightforward conversion so I can't complain but it's nice to know there's potential.

    From a dead stop the trike can get to of 30mph in under 10 seconds and climbs just up to 34mph on a fully charged pack. There is this distinct high pitch whine that is audible from the seat but it's almost like background noise and not at all annoying. When cruising at 20mph the sound is barely noticeable at all and practically silent at 10mph or less except when accelerating.

    The cruise control took a little getting used to. I had to push just enough on the thumb throttle, hold the red button, release the thumb throttle then release the red button. It's like doing a little dance or the Konami code while trying to concentrate on the road. I'm also pretty wary about doing tight turns. With the battery pack up high on the rack I feel like I might tip over, so placing it under the seat somehow should improve the stability somewhat.

    I'm happy with the dashboard I ordred with it. The speed is displayed in large bold numbers for easy reading and is backlit for night riding (press and hold the "up" and menu button together for a few seconds). I do dislike that I can't track how many watts I've used like the Cycle Analyst. The battery gauge is VERY inaccurate and won't display a drop in pack capacity until it's past 2/3 empty. The three power level lights on the thumb throttle is also imprecise to read which means my only somewhat accurate readout is the voltage meter built into the battery pack.

    Anyway, that's all I have for now. Please give your thoughts/ciritcisms, I'm always eager to improve my ride however I can. Cheers.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by ash_man; 07-18-2016, 12:22 PM.

    Here's a test run I did about month ago testing the trike. I didn't have flags, mirros, lights at the time so I strapped a spotlight on it for impromptu illumination. As you will see, it's from the perspective of a saftey/chase vehicle but should give an idea of how it looks from driver's perspective.

    The trike got up to 32mph in this run with 80% charge on the battery. Total distance was about 3.5 miles.
    Last edited by ash_man; 07-14-2016, 10:12 PM.


      Three words:





      Looks great dude! :)

      Alpha One 6000W tadpole e-Trike (Cyclone):
      Alpha Two Cyclone 3000W tadpole e-Trike:
      Electric Cyclone 3000W eBike "power mod":


        I want to build a trike in the future and yours with that rear suspension is at the top of the list. That is a very nice ride indeed.


          Originally posted by calfee20 View Post
          I want to build a trike in the future and yours with that rear suspension is at the top of the list. That is a very nice ride indeed.

          Thanks. I hope you'll get a great and fun electric trike no matter which one you choose from your list! :)

          I went with a hub motor since it was the simplest way to electrify my trike and still gave me the commuting speeds I need. The rear suspension does help since I have bumpy roads but I also added Big Apple tires on all three where to give me a smoothest ride possible.