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Okay boys & girls, rather than to continue posting in several different places about the same basic subject (triking my new CTX), I've started this new narrative under what I hope is the correct forum (moderators, feel free to move it if I'm not in the right place).

The next nine postings are those discussions posted elsewhere that I believe will help begin the narrative for this thread .....
 

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History and background discussion "catch up"

At age 71, I think that I have finally passed the point where my oft cited claim that "most people my age are dead already" is no longer a joke! But in any case, I'm glad to be signing on here!

I started riding career one bright sunny morning in August of 1958 (it was my 14th birthday). I hit the road right after I passed my exam for my "restricted" license. At that time in Florida, you could get a daytime-only-license which allowed me to ride a small motorcycle or scooter. And I hopped on my new-to-me, recently purchased 200cc Triumph and didn't look back for the better part of the next decade.

Over the next 9 years I packed on something like 200,000+ miles on one of my four trusty steeds I had along the way. I quit riding back in late 1967 in favor of tooling around in a 64 MGB roadster. I gave $700 in cash and traded in my last bike of that era, a 1966 CB72 Honda. As it turned out, it was a good thing I didn't still have that Honda Hawk when I met my future wife Karen.

Although we had our first date on a Friday night and were engaged the next Sunday night (yes, just 2 days later!!) I later found out that she might never have agreed to even go out with me in the first place if my only form of transportation was that Honda! It wouldn't have mattered that Mr. Honda spent millions on convincing the USA that "You meet the nicest people on a Honda!" She was petrified of all motorcycles and according to her would have passed on my pursuits. (however, I don't think so. I was that determined she was “the one” – and after some 48 years, I'm proven right!).

Anyhow, we were married just 6 weeks after that whirlwind weekend (culminating with our engagement on 1968's New Year's Eve). Fast forward thru a year of air combat missions in SE Asia, 3 boys born to us in a half dozen years and five years later one girl adopted as our youngest, 8 out-of-state moves, and an equal number of career changes (including a stint of 6 years in full time Christian education ministry).

Blink twice, click your heels and turn around. All of a sudden, 38 years have whizzed by during which I never even sat on a motorcycle. However most of you will understand it when I say that I perked up every single time I heard the "music" roaring out of a set of pipes on a motorcycle going by.

All that changed in 2006. With all our kids gone and married I felt it was time to come back to “a first love” of mine – motorcycling! By now I'm well into in my 60's so I promised my long-suffering wife that I would do at least 3 wheels. And I embarked on an extensive research program. I checked them all, trikes, sidecars and the "training wheel" systems which are actually 4 wheelers. Therefore, I call them "fourples" not trikes). I got so involved in it that since I couldn't afford to buy the trike I really wanted, I wound up starting a trike conversion company of my own in 2007 (The Trinity Trike Mfg. Inc.).

My partner in this was Richard Yelvington and we designed and built almost 100 units. However, we didn't have very deep pockets (just barely shoe strings!) and we ceased Trinity's operations in Dec 2011. I went back to full time software development and luckily for the sport, Richard later partnered up with some other local investors, and carried on. You can see his stuff on http://www.ytrikes.com . Note on the “Trikes” pull down that one of their standard models is our own CTX700!

The very last Trinity Trike conversion was to be my own personal ride that was put together with some Frankenstein like "left over" parts and a lot of my "spare" time. Actually it was to be out Trinity prototype for the millions of Honda Shadows build over the last couple of decades. It has been a work in progress for some 3.5 years (with some long pauses along the way). The donor bike is a rather pristine 1982 Honda GL500i SilverWing Interstate and has only now finally been finished.

In October 2015, I talked the wife into going to the huge AIMExpo motorcycle trade show in Orlando. My daughter and a next door neighbor (who wanted to see about getting a trike) were already signed up to go with me. Even though I think my wife volunteered just to avoid being home alone on a Saturday, much to my surprise, she really enjoyed it!

Amazingly she said something that day and again a couple days later that brings me to the reason I have just signed up on this forum. After seeing the several newer bikes done as gorgeous Yelvington Trikes, she opined that perhaps I should sell my 82 Honda and get "one of Richard's trikes instead." Her thinking was that it would be much newer and therefore more reliable. I didn't realize she actually meant it until she brought it up again a couple of days later. Once she told me twice I sprang into action straight away. This being her idea might give me more leverage in convincing her to actually go riding with me (at least once in a while).

So here I am. I'm clearing up the last few items on the Honda and will put it up for sale shortly (there’s a URL link in my Signature below for the curious). I am shopping now for a new or late model cruiser to replace it. My list has narrowed down to a Hyosung GV650 (which I’ve owned before in 2006) and our own CTX700N. Whichever it is, I will have the professionals at Yelvington Trikes do the actual conversion for me this time. My goal here is to get on the road as quickly and for as many miles as I can muster while I’m healthy enough to do so. And with the number of Seniors still riding their trikes around here (who are well into their 80’s), I’m hoping for a lot of miles yet!!

I'm planning on getting one of his new sprocket mounted mechanical reverses put on (once in production and available in 2016). Most importantly, I'm having them do a Yelvington Hybrid Independent Rear Suspension which will be available to the public quite soon (and what a "wow" product that is!!).

I'm looking forward to being back “in the wind” and I'm also looking forward to gleaning much good information from you folks here as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
3

Originally Posted by Gordon

Well I'm sure that I will eventually be triking, but I have to admit I don't want to lose the leaning affect I get with a two wheeler. I have a design in my head that may work toward that end but may never get a chance to tinker with it due to budget. But I can dream.

The CTX trike looks awesome, Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for the kind words of welcome. And I'm sure if we dig around long enough we'll be able to find the warnings from Honda about not triking or putting side cars on their Goldwings.

Trinity Trike was always in it's own niche. I had more than a few tell me we couldn't do stuff, and even though The Trinity Trike eventually closed down, we did stuff after all (in fact about 100 times). Many of those trikes were inexpensive 250cc Chinese clones, including automatic CVT's from CF Moto. We put a fair number of people on trikes that never would have afforded any other way -- I liked that!

For the 250cc class, I can expect doubt, but I was even given a raft of s**t over doing the Hyosung GV650. And in 2007, that donor vehicle had an impressive 72Hp in the carb version and the one I would do now (if it "passes the test") sports some 80Hp with the fuel injection. Hyosung's 650s are neck snapping "stealth" sport cruisers. But as I remember, have a bit of vibration I'd have to deal with.

And now, after 3 years of an increasing case of neuropathy in my feet, I really can't put up with a notable level of vibration in the foot pegs for any length of time. That's the main reason I had to pass on doing a Sportster (even with their so called "rubber mounting" after 2004).

Ergo, "Harley-Davidson's Sportster: 58 year old technology unspoiled by progress!!":D

On the other hand, my GL500i is as smooth as glass at the foot pegs, and I'm kinda hoping that the CTX700 will be equally as smooth. If so, even though it will cost me more, there are a number of factors in it's favor over the Hyosung. Name brand is foremost. Also, I like the idea of 6 speeds (no paddles for me, thank you very much!!). I also like the idea of top quality after market seats being available as well. I already have the top box I would use on either donor and I know which hard bags will be mounted on either as well.

I really hope I can find a CTX with the Honda fairing. I can always do a batwing, but methinks it would kind of ruin the look for this particular ride. Anyhow it's fun to work the project in my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
four

Well I'm sure that I will eventually be triking, but I have to admit I don't want to lose the leaning affect I get with a two wheeler. I have a design in my head that may work toward that end but may never get a chance to tinker with it due to budget. But I can dream.
The CTX trike looks awesome, Thanks for sharing.
I can assure you that not worrying about wet leaves when cornering or having to flat foot a motorcycle that your legs are too short for will more than make up for the lack of leaning. In fact at first, I thought that leaning would be missed as well. But I can assure you that there is no way I'd go back to two wheeling again. And I've ridden my share of three wheelers that lean. I now much prefer the stability that three wheels "straight up" gives me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm preaching to the Choir here, I know it. But preach I must. As I mentioned elsewhere on this Forum, on my way home from a client site yesterday I spotted a white CTX700 out in front of a mom & pop car lot. The home made For Sale sign said $3990 as the price and 2014 as the year. I went back there today and took a 5 mile test drive on a just barely broken in (47xx miles) six speed. It was my very first time on a CTX, and boy was I impressed. I had done a lot of study on this model in the last month or so and had high hopes for it.





Those hopes were realized today on State Road 50 near Brooksville FL this morning. I know the numbers on this bike quite well but that information didn't prepare me for the "wow" factor that came over me today. The power and torque it has had me excited about the prospects of the Yelvington Trike conversion that is to follow in the coming months. The stock positioning of the controls all felt like they were customized just for me. The fairing was all I had hoped it would be, although I learned very quickly that a full sized windshield will be a most welcomed addition.


Running thru all 6 speeds was a blast and having that 6th gear is all that I hoped it would be. I love the power output of this engine and my feet will love the absolute smoothness of the engine at crusing speeds.


I left there after putting down the requested deposit and will go back there on Monday with the cash in hand to take possession and I'll get started on the project just as soon as my 1982 Honda GL500i trike has been "adopted" by some lucky person. One thing I can assure you of is that this project won't be dragging on for 3.5 years to completion. This bike screams out to be ridden, and riding it is what I intend to do as much as possible.


Presently, the bike is very much in a "garden variety" showroom status, but since we are all visual junkies here is another "before" photo to feast upon:


 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great find! I always loved the white color.
You wonder how the first owner could have ever let go of it!
Although a 2014, he only bought it 6 months ago. Apparently, medical problems for the owner's mother prompt the sale, which is why the low price and the desire for a cash only deal. So, it wasn't easy for him, I'm sure. And for my part, I knew the value of the deal and had determined to offer the asking price even before I heard the reasons for the sale. Just as well since the apparently the owner indicated to the car dealer that he wouldn't take a dime less!

BTW, in the "No-Eraser-On-God's-Pencil" Department, I thought I would have to juggle around getting a credit card check deposited and funds cleared before I could come up with that kind of cash at this time of year, but when I went to the ATM to draw out the cash deposit, lo and behold, there was more already than enough in the account to cover the cost -- apparently a mandated dividend payment showed up that wasn't there yesterday. Cool huh?
 

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It's gonna be awhile yet. But just as soon as I'm ready, that's for sure. I have to have the bike converted to a trike before I'm willing to take it anywhere except around the block. That's kinda the deal I made with the wife long ago -- I'd only ride on 3 wheels and my riding zone is north and east of where I am here in Hudson. And that's no real restriction for me since we have some really great country roads available here in central Florida, don't we? (Brooksville, Inverness, Ocala & Mt. Dora immediately come to mind!)

I do wonder how many CTX riders we have in the nearby counties of, say Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando, Polk, Pasco and the greater Orlando area. Why don't each of you (that might be interested in the occasional, organized CTX riding events) drop me a PM with your contact info (i.e., email & phone).

And while you are at it, if any of you have a top tier aftermarket seat installed, I'd love to know about it. To me a "top tier" seat would be Corbin, Mustang, Sargent and the like; plus the "rebuilders" like Russell and others. I know I want something other than stock, but I'd really like to eyeball something before I make such an investment. And JSYK, I'm also toying with doing a sprung solo seat as well. I would build a hand laid fiberglass "cover" for the open seat well which would be the body work under the new seat. I would expect to use the single most of the time, but I'd want the best possible seat for those occasions I might entice my wife to come along. I would use seat along the lines of the one shown below:

 

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Discussion Starter #8
The Yelvington that you may have seen here before is very much the sport/tourer/cruiser style most close to the native CTX's you all have. My conversion will be mostly cruiser and less sport/tourer as you will see eventually.

Being lazy, the picture threw out there was a quick grab for illustration only. Even so, keep in mind that the seat won't ruin the look nearly as much as having my 250 pounds of "formerly thin person" massed atop it all!!

And yes, that is a HD type "tractor" seat of which I own two already. One is a thickly padded, stock type with an unconventional cloth covering and the second is one that I started working on 8 years ago. It was intended for one of my several trikes that got sold out from under me. That one has about 20% of the sides and outer back material cut away (to reduce the bulk a little bit, but not ruin the inherent support it gives). My intent was to have a 1" layer of foam/gel put on it and then have a brown leather cover made for it.

Actually (and again being lazy) the seat I would likely wind up using would joined up with a Yamaha Bolt mounting kit from Mustang (less than $30!) upon which any number of bobber solo seat variations could most easily be mounted (or my newly finished, half baked seat). Here's what the mounting kit looks like:



The real challenge in all this is for me to fabricate a hand laid fiberglass cover to be a new body part. It will fill in the vast expanse that is the space taken up by the dual seat. Truly, I'm not all that concerned about how the seat itself looks, but the comfort that the "tractor seat" will provide me.

I am quite familiar with that style seat having spent some 100,000 miles on one, back when I was "half the man" that I've become in my dotage. You see, back in the 1960's I had a 1948 Harley FLH former police bike (with tank shifter and all!) that had the tractor styled solo seat. It had the center spring post "floating" support which aptly softened the harsh, hard tail ride. And I thought nothing of jumping on it and riding 250 miles each way to go home for a weekend of good food and free laundry not to mention the endless "no destination needed" excursions. Clearly, nobody loved to ride more than me!

So as I configure what will likely be my last mount, comfort weighs in heavily in all that I'll do. That's why I've budgeted resources for a "top tier" dual seat for when Karen is along, and why, when I'm alone, I want to once again have that tractor seat under me (that my butt so fondly remembers!).

So in conclusion, as Gordon indicated, wait and see what the final product looks like, you might be pleasantly surprised! Because, keep in mind, that my CTX isn't anything like your CTX (if for no other reason than the major sex-change operation that lies ahead!)
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Would taking the stock seat apart and utilizing just the seat pan work as a starting point on the fiber glass project?
This is why I love this place!! An excellent thought. And it may very well be far more than just a starting point.

I'll keep my eye open on eBay for a bunged up OEM seat and/or perhaps someone reading this might have an extra because they replaced theirs with a Corbin or the like. If so, send me a PM about availability!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I remember talking to the hubby about a single seat, and having to remake the rear fender or getting another fender and making it work and I got the eye roll instead. So much for that idea.
Roger that! It's where I started with this idea. But stay tuned, if I go forward, there will be details to follow. If you check out the links in my signature below, you will see what a windbag I am with lots of visual show & tell included.
 

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Picked up my new to me CTX700

Okay, I ran over to Brooksville with my son today and picked up my 2014. I drove it home (some 32 miles) and really got the feel of it. I am so very impressed with the engine performance; the six speeds available (and it is nice to have that 6th speed I looked for on so many previous rides!!)


The front end suspension feels like it will do very nicely when triked and I did learn by the end of the ride that there is NO way I can live with the stock seat. So making a final determination on that will be one of my first additions.


More to follow........:D
 

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Corbin seat

Made two major purchases today. I picked up a full sized Corbin for $325 including shipping via eBay. The full size is fine for me since "flat footing" does not matter on a trike. In fact as a humorous aside, I'm sure I look rather unstable to those who may be behind me when I'm two wheeling. This is due to the fact I have to stay alert to putting my feet down as I come to a stop since I'm so used to NOT doing that unless I'm actually getting off! I really gotta get TMB2 triked as soon as possible lest I dump it over at one of those stop signs.

Anyhow, after talking with another forum member about how much he likes his, I was rather bummed out with myself that I let the one of eBay go to another. Especially after deciding against a Russell for the cost and the kinda funny look it gives our sleek sleds. Then, just now, lo & behold, I was checking my eBay watch list and noted that the Corbin hadn't sold like I thought or it got relisted real quick. I would have preferred something other than black, but I've dyed a number of seats before and may do so again. But that's for later.
Taken as a "sign" I signed up for it. It'll be here next week. Cool! :D
 

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Saddlebag Coup

I mentioned in the previous post about two major purchases made yesterday, but in my dotage, only told you about the one. Although getting a Corbin for only $325 delivered is good, saving some $500 on the hard bags will more than pay for the Cee Bailey shield I'm a hankering for!

I picked up a set of National Cycle Cruiseliner N1101 hard bags for less than $200 delivered. On the other hand, there's a whole flock of the N1101 smooth bags on eBay at $720 a set! Except for the carve outs for turn signals, these are the same model I have on my Silverwing. The dimensions are: 24-1/2″ L x 14″ H x 7-1/2″ W. They don't have mounting hardware, but I doubt that National Cycle would have that for our bikes any how. Besides, I have that covered from what I did on the Silverwing.

As luck would have it, there's one more set on eBay right now:
Saddlebags Honda Yamaha Harley Sporster Alike National Cycle Cruiseliner N1101 | eBay Somebody should go for it!! :)
 

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1st Real Project

Okay, since I bought the Corbin, today I went down to the storage unit and pulled the stock seat off. I removed the staples (in case there's anyone out there who has ruined theirs and wants a freebie replacement for the cost of packing and shipment (send me a PM to arrange).

The cover came off easy enough and although glued down, the foam peeled off easy enough:

Now with the foam removed I'll be able to make some detailed measurements to determine if my solo seat idea will bear fruit. If so, I'll move forward on the filling in and shaping the seat pan to look like a body panel, not a seat bottom.


So once again, more to come....
 

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Programming note: I just spent 20 minutes screwing around trying to get the pictures to upload. No go, all I get it the "X" boxes you see.

I've been using computers since 1969 and building them and writing software since 1979, so this ain't my first rodeo. Besides, I was able to load photos a few days ago, but the dialog seems to be different. It only gives me a URL option, no a direct load from my PC (which I believe was an option last week)

Anyhow, I'm hoping that one of the moderators can point me to some good instructions for loading images, or this thread will be painfully boring!!
Your links are good. Your site/source Isn't. You need to change permissions to make the photos public viewable somehow.
 

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Okay, since I bought the Corbin, today I went down to the storage unit and pulled the stock seat off. I removed the staples (in case there's anyone out there who has ruined theirs and wants a freebie replacement for the cost of packing and shipment (send me a PM to arrange).

The cover came off easy enough and although glued down, the foam peeled off easy enough:

Now with the foam removed I'll be able to make some detailed measurements to determine if my solo seat idea will bear fruit. If so, I'll move forward on the filling in and shaping the seat pan to look like a body panel, not a seat bottom.


So once again, more to come....
Just a thought; If you do a pretest of your solo seat on the seat pan and find that it is still too tall for riding, you could sink a metal pan in the center of the seat body, much like in the same way that you would cut a hole and install a kitchen sink in a flush countertop.
Yes I'm fidgeting and want to tinker too!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Solo Seat

Just a thought; If you do a pretest of your solo seat on the seat pan and find that it is still too tall for riding, you could sink a metal pan in the center of the seat body, much like in the same way that you would cut a hole and install a kitchen sink in a flush countertop.
Yes I'm fidgeting and want to tinker too!
I intend to make a pattern of the intended seat & mounting hardware and that will tell the tale. As a trike, I don't have to worry about seat height like the rest of you, so what works for me may not translate. Besides, this is just a fun project more than a I want it because I "need" it type thing.
 

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One thing you may want to take into consideration is that seat height and how tall you sit in the saddle could effect your wind shield choices and their effectiveness. The tall Corbin seat suffers from this problem, especially with taller riders. Currently, only Cee Bailey and Madstad make shields that can be ordered in different sizes. Many have found the Cee Bailey's tallest shield at 24" to be too short with the tall Corbin set and have had to add additional height by adding another deflector on top.
 
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