New 2019 Solar Tilting Trike

After all the experience gained last year with my Raptobike Tilting Trike, I started to lay down all the things that should be improved:

  • It should be possible for solar panels to be oriented toward the sun in order to gain always maximum efficiency
  • Solar power should be increased from current 200W, which has often resulted insufficient also for bad quality of solar panels, to 300W
  • Raptobike frame used in 2018 is pretty “high” which means that the center of gravity is negatively affected
  • Falco hub motor has been unfortunately quite poor in terms of:
    • ease of use
    • overheating in steep hills
    • regenerative braking sometimes not working
    • average consumption
    • setting for power parameters not very flexible

I also realized that my previous 2017 Solar Bike, based on a M5 recumbent bike, was laying in the back of the garage while may be it could have been re-used for my future projects…

The first obstacle for reusing this recumbent bike is that since it is a “rear wheel driven” bike I cannot install my tilting mechanism.

Therefore I started to design an upgrade to transform it into a “Front Wheel Drive” bike.

Below the first steps of this structural upgrade to FWD bike


  • M5 before upgrade
  • M5- Raptobike fork
  • M5- Raptobike fork 2
  • M5- Raptobike fork, wheel
  • M5- Raptobike fork, 26″ wheel
  • M5- Raptobike fork, 28″ wheel
  • M5- Raptobike fork, 28″ wheel
  • compare seating position height of Raptobike and M5

After few weeks of work, new parts installations (idlers, clamps) and tuning the new M5 FWD is ready to be tested!


  • Assembled M5 Front Wheel Drive
  • Assembled M5 Front Wheel Drive from the front
  • Assembled M5 Front Wheel Drive from the back

This is to show how the chain is located around the fork to implement the FWD architecture.

– First picture on the right: with the chain on the largest sprocket the actual chain line is perfect.                     

– Second picture: with the chain on the smallest sprocket there is practically no space with the fork: this happens only with the 11 teeth (seldom used…), so for the moment this is not going to be a real issue.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Amazing transformation of your M5 bike ! Well done, Daniele !

  2. Thank you Stéphane, still a lot of work to be done (tilting mechanism to be modified, solar panel rotating installation…) to complete this project 👍!

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