Three wheels to four!
One day I was over at a friends house and noticed a Honda ATC 90cc three wheeler that was sitting behind his garage. The balloon type tires were flat and it was covered with dirt and leaves. I asked him about it and he told me that he and his son use to ride it around the field, but that was many years ago. He knew that I had sons and asked me if I wanted it as a project. I was always looking for a fun project as an excuse to spend time with the boys, so I hauled it home.
With very little encouragement my youngest son, Marcus and I got it running. We decided that it would be worth our time to fix it up. Marcus had become our carburetor guy, so he took it off and started tearing it apart, cleaning it. I got to work on changing the oil, changing the gas and making other needed adjustments and small repairs.
Within a couple of hours we had it running like a top. Marcus jump on and started tearing around the yard. The problem with it and most three wheel ATCs is that they tip over easily when turning a corner. The balloon tires made this ATC even more unstable and not that much fun to ride.
Several years earlier I had bought a riding lawn mower that was missing the mowing deck. It was the style where the motor is mounted in the back. I paid $50 for it and the boys rode the heck out of it, until the motor blew up. I suggested to Marcus that we use the front off the mower to make the ATC a ATV. He, of course was always up for the “Project”.
To our surprise and delight we discovered that the front of the three wheeler was held on with one big bolt. And, better yet, the front of the mower would bolt right on to the ATC by using a slightly longer bolt. Almost instantly, the ATC was transformed into a ATV.
To help stabilize the front addition we welded on a couple of bars from the front deck back to the bottom of the neck.
We also added a arm, with elbow, made from pipe we welded together. We bolted it to the front column and ran it back to the motor mounting bracket. It bolted right on to the motor mount when we welded brackets or ears on each side of the pipe and drilled holes in the two brackets in the appropriate places. Too easy!
The front wheels on the mower were too small and too wimpy. We took the back larger tires off the mower, but the center holes were too large to fit the front axle. I remembered that I had salvaged some high speed bearings from the mower deck of a riding lawn mower. The bearing were the ones used for the two mower blades, so they were very heavy duty. The holes through the bearing fit perfect on the front axles. The bearings mounted to the mowing deck with four bolts. We mounted the bearing to the front wheels with four bolts.
We made some front fenders from a plastic barrel and metal brackets to hold them over the front tires. At that point it was time to take it for a test ride. Marcus first of course.
Interesting fact. Honda first made the ATC 90cc for hunters to get around in the woods and to help them get their kill back to camp. They were very popular and could haul around a lot of weight. Including my fat butt around the field.
We made a few more adjustments and additions, including paint and a new seat cover. We rode that thing for several years, until we moved into the dirt bike faze of our lives and I bought a Polaris Trail master ATV for use around the farm.