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Steering

Greenspeed GT3

under seat steering

Perhaps the greatest difference between the trike and a two wheeled bike, is the steering. Steering is done using the leavers on each side. They are connected in a negative scrub system that is very effective. The steering is smooth, though the turning circle is not good at 3.7 meters. So it is not like a bike where you can turn (slowly) on a dime. On the footpath when I took it for a trail spin, I had to get off to turn the bike around. Luckily picking it up be the rear wheel is a sinch and makes it much easier to move around by hand.

In the manual they say that learning riders often have trouble with getting use to the steering as it is so different to a two wheeled bike. The manual says I need to relax and let the trike self steer a bit more. Hopefully this will not take too long.

At speed the steering is very fussy. Pot holes will make sure you have to keep a firm grip on the handle bars and small movements make big changes in direction. Perhaps this will improve with time. But I was finding it a handful to change gears and steer at speed on a bumpy down hill road. So much so that it is hard to keep an eye on the road as well.

speed hump

speed hump

I have bent the steering and had to bend it back into a shape. The type of speed hump shown is a death sentence to the steering. I went over this speed hump in the parking lot behind my units and slammed down onto the bolts holding the steering rods into place. The metal plate holding one of these rods was bent. This caused the rods to rub against each other, making the steering a bit jerky. Once I ascertained the cause of the problem, I removed the seat and used a small hammer to straighten out the plate. I think the plate is really designed to stand the horizontal forces of the steering rather than the vertical force applied by the speed hump. All other types of speed hump I have encountered have presented no problems.

On the practical side, I needed 13 mm spanners for the steering’s bolts. There is another bolt size, but I am not sure what it is.

2009-05-25 – I am starting to get the hang of the steering. Reducing the tyre pressure to what greenspeed recommended has improved things quite a bit. I have started to learn the edge and slip sideways in one spot on the smooth concrete roads that they love around here.

Greenspeed GT3

steering mechanism

2009-06-10 – I have learned that you need to push the steering rather than pull it. It is much more controllable. Also, I have a habit, a bad habit, of using the inside brake. On wet days I have been locking the inside wheel. If I push, I am pushing on the outside wheel and if I use that hand for the brake, I am using the outside brake. All around this is better, though it feels a bit unnatural and uncomfortable. Maybe I will get used to it.

2009:10:20 I have made some major adjustments to the steering geometry. When I was riding in QLD one of the other riders who also looked after racing car steering said that I had the symptoms of toe-out, instead of toe-in. So I have been adjusting the steering. Though for various reasons I have not been able to measure it. The steering is greatly improved and is now quite reliable. I can also better ride along in a straight line while not holding the steering. I have also reduced the under steer problem. Though I have not done any tests to see if it has gone away.

seat bolt

2010:01:16 I have finally got rid of all the steering issues and now it is solid and true in it’s steering. The under-steer was resolved as previously expected. The last issue was to do with the seat bolt. If the bolt is not done up tight enough the seat can wobble a little from side to side. This was changing the centre of balance and in a straight line at speed this was causing the trike to snake down the road. With the bolt tightened correctly the seat is stable and so is the steering.