What could be a worse idea than flying around corners at high speeds on an unstable tricycle with intentionally low traction wheels? How about adding a high torque motor and doing the whole thing with a small child tied down next to you?
This electric drift trike with a sidecar makes it possible to share the joy (or abject terror) of a drift run with the closest pint-sized passenger. And fortunately for all of us, this thing is just weird enough to make it into this week’s edition of the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week series!
Drift trikes are something of a niche within a niche. They offer the fun of drift racing without the upfront expense of having to actually buy a car (or burn through a stack of tires). They generally had to be ridden downhill to pickup speed, though the innovation of powered drift trikes opened up flat land riding.
Now a new and bizarre innovation is opening up the sport even more, this time to add room for a passenger.
The inclusion of a child-sized sidecar on this $900 electric drift trike is sure to turn you into either the coolest parent in the neighborhood or a walking visit from child services as you sidecar drift your way around the subdivision.
And if you thought this was just a toy, think again.
This electric sidecar drift trike has options for between 1 kW to 2 kW of power. That’s nearly three horsepower of front wheel drive in this little runabout.
A top speed of 50 km/h (31 mph) is zippy, but it probably feels even faster when your rear end is almost kissing the pavement.
Fortunately, a Shimano hydraulic disc brake is included to bring you to stop, though the design makes it look like accidental heel-braking shouldn’t be ruled out, either. I’m not sure if those are foot pegs or a cattle catcher.
A wide 20 x 3 tire up front should give you plenty of traction, while the 10 x 4.5-5 kart tires inflated inside plastic sleeves you give you basically zero traction in back. That will be perfect for kicking out the rear to either the joyful giggles or screams of terror from your child.
The fork is made from “high quality carbon steel,” which is encouraging. But the frame is apparently made from “high quality carton steel,” which sounds like some kind of newfangled iron/cardboard alloy. I guess that gives a new meaning to the term crumple zone.
The driver gets a “comfortable leather seat,” but the
victim passenger has to settle for what appears to be a child’s swing chair bolted into a trellis-frame coffin. Though the diamond plate floorboard is a nice touch, I have to give them that.
In case you were worried that this state-of-the-art electric sidecar drift trike might be packing anything other than stellar battery technology, then you can rest your worried soul, dear reader. Behind the driver’s seat you’ll find a lithium-ion 48V 20Ah electric bicycle battery.
The kid’s seat gets a four point harness, though the roll hoop seems so low that I think the kid’s helmet becomes the new hoop. The driver’s seat gets…. well, you can just hold onto the handlebars, OK? Without a roll hoop for the driver, being thrown clear of this thing in a crash is probably your best bet anyway.
But you should be fine, tricycles are notoriously stable. Especially in turns. At high speed. Right? Right?
I’ve given this thing a pretty decent ribbing, but to be fair, the kid in the video below seems to be loving every minute of it.
Should I buy this thing?
My Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week series is mostly a window-shopping escapade, but each week I’m dangerously tempted to actually pick up these odd electric vehicles.
I’ve made plenty of purchases on Alibaba and AliExpress, but I always advise caution to readers should they want to follow in my path.
You can find awesome deals on the coolest and weirdest things on Alibaba, but you need to communicate carefully with vendors to ensure you’ll get what you’re expecting. And be prepared for a long wait combined with surprise fees along the way.
At least you can take a small amount of comfort in knowing that your money is held by Alibaba with escrow purchase protection, only released to the vendor once you confirm you received your goods in proper order.
Even so, shopping on Alibaba is for the brave only, and probably for the brave that don’t mind gambling with some disposable income. For a more sure bet, you can actually find electric drift trikes on Amazon, though without the side car. I guess you’ll have to strap that kid onto your lap (please don’t really do that).
If anyone actually does step up and risk their marriage by buying this sidecar electric drift trike, please update me and let me know how it goes! You can find my contact info in my author blurb below. And if anyone discovers their own awesomely weird electric vehicle on Alibaba, feel free to shoot over a link – I may just feature it in one of my weekly columns!
Before you go, if you enjoyed this week’s entry, then you might want to check out some of the other fun and odd EVs I’ve covered in previous weeks:
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