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 6 Comments

  1. daus

    the chain not stuck at the front tyre when your turn handle of the bike? please reply my comment. i need your feedback. thanks.

    1. daniele g

      Hi, when I turn the front wheel on the right the chain ‘gently’ rubs on the tyre especially when a bigger cog is selected. When I turn on the left there is no contact between tyre and chain.
      In any case it is something you can manage very easily when you become used to this Front Wheel Drive solution!

  2. Solar Blu

    Great innovative invention. Only thing I am worried about is the safety. It will be fun for adults but risky for kids.

    1. daniele g

      Hi, I agree that safety is a main concern. In fact this solution is based on several “key drivers” and security is one of them.
      People with low skills on riding recumbent bikes will take great advantages on this solution.
      When you ride on a bike you have to enjoy and feel at ease with the bike: if keeping balance becomes too stressful then this could soon become a safety issue.
      And yes, this is definitely NOT for kids!

  3. daniele g

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

  4. Stéphane

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

Leave a Reply