petegossett SuperDork
5/29/10 10:29 p.m.

Harley 1967 3-wheel golf cart.

There's no engine, what's left of the fiberglass body is broken & has bits of blue/white/green paint on it that looks like it was dumped on, the tires don't match(or hold air), and it's missing the steering & fork - but that's OK because I have plans for this....

Here's the story, and where I need input & advice:

Let me preface by stating I'm not a motorcycle guy, so I'm pretty ignorant about them, but it's OK, I'm doing this for my father-in-law anyway. He's a life-long biker, but at 68, overweight, and with bad knees, I've noticed he's been riding less & less each year. In fact, last year he picked up one of those "hoveround"-type scooters to take to the swap meets. Add to this the fact our town started allowing golf carts to be used on all streets, and I had an idea: What if I could build Allen a V-twin powered golf cart!

I talked it over a bit with my brother-in-law, who rides, and he suggested a Japanese V-twin would be a lot cheaper option than a real Harley, but honestly my plans are starting to change anyway. After looking at the golf cart I just got & realizing I'm going to be building a new body for it, I thought maybe I could do something more like a cross between a T-bucket & a trike, with one center seat, normal motorcycle bars & controls, and seating behind it for two.

My neighbor has a 1st-year Goldwing that he wrecked 20-years ago & has been parked in his shed. I can get it for cheap, but I have no idea if the engine can be saved, or if the front-end is useable.

Another option is a friend is selling a 650 Ninja for a reasonable price, it needs the carbs rebuilt, but will run.

Of course, drivetrain choices are really only limited by imagination, money and space. I want this to be cool for him, but it has to be cheap, and the simpler I can make it, the better chance I can get it to him in a reasonable time.


EvanB Dork
5/30/10 1:24 a.m.

You could get a cheap japanese v-twin bike (virago, etc) or maybe a wrecked SV for a decent price and go from there. Anything would be better than a harley engine (in my opinion) for both price and reliability.

problemaddict Reader
5/30/10 3:20 a.m.

pix of the starting point?

Your father in law into hot rods or T-buckets at all? A Big Daddy Roth fan? How about a trike/golf cart/t-bucket thingamajig?

Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's Globe Hopper trike.

Woody SuperDork
5/30/10 6:19 a.m.

I was considering a Harley engine for my Formula car project and I found a couple of Sportster 1200 engines in the $800 range.

minimac SuperDork
5/30/10 8:14 a.m.

Use it to build a v-twin scooter like Craig Vetter did. Check it out on his website.

Grtechguy SuperDork
5/30/10 9:12 a.m.
minimac wrote: Use it to build a v-twin scooter like Craig Vetter did. Check it out on his website.

this is just a great pic

Coming from an Arlo Guthrie fan

petegossett SuperDork
5/30/10 9:18 a.m.

Yeah, I'll have to get some pics of the attrocity. Right now it's hiding under a tarp where my wife won't see it. She fronted the $$ for it, but if she saw how bad it was she'd demand a refund!

I need to measure the bolt pattern for the rear wheels, they're 5-lug & look like about 4" or 4.5". There's a guy selling Cragars for $50 a pair that I'd like to be able to use.

I'm hoping to stay under $500 for the whole thing. We'll see...

914Driver SuperDork
5/30/10 3:12 p.m.

Pictures will help the naysayers. With no engine what tells you it's a Harley?

Is it an old Service Model?


stuart in mn
stuart in mn SuperDork
5/30/10 3:30 p.m.
914Driver wrote: Pictures will help the naysayers. With no engine what tells you it's a Harley? Is it an old Service Model? Dan

Harley did sell golf carts, although they didn't use a Harley V-twin engine.

Edit: This page appears to have some tech support, including wiring diagrams, engine specs and dating the cart by its serial number.

minimac SuperDork
5/30/10 6:57 p.m.
racinginc215 wrote: Vetter scooter is NOT V twin it's a Honda Helix scooter with custom cut gears. Unless Craig did something crazy since I saw it last year and talked to him 3 weeks ago. the scooter is pretty cool I can't wait till he produces the body kit.

I said "the V-Twin" scooter.I know the diffrerence between a v-twin and a Helix. Keep looking on his site and you'll see the red and white(creme) retro looking scooter that is dynamite. I think it was called the Torpedo. Use the search feature on the site to find it, he built it in '04. If I wasn't such a computer nincompoop, I could hotlink it! Now excuse me while I unbunch my panties.

4g63t Reader
5/30/10 7:14 p.m.

The last time I needed parts, NF Sheldon H-D in Worcester, MA had all of it.

That was 10+years ago.

petegossett SuperDork
5/30/10 11:53 p.m.

Here's a couple pics(finally).

Turkey Run_Harley Cart 025

Turkey Run_Harley Cart 026

Turkey Run_Harley Cart 027

This is what I'm really interested. I think this frame & rear suspension will make a good start to a custom golf cart/trike type thing.

Turkey Run_Harley Cart 028

minimac SuperDork
5/31/10 6:38 a.m.

The frame looks similar to the old 3 wheeler police bikes Harley used to make. A trike would be my choice, utilizing a liquid cooled something.

Woody SuperDork
5/31/10 7:02 a.m.

There's a lot of potential there for just $75.

petegossett SuperDork
5/31/10 11:22 a.m.

I just talked to my neighbor with the Goldwing. We're going to dig it out of his shed one of these days, and as long as the motor isn't seized I'll take it for $100.

I think the flat packaging will make laying everything else out easier, and it has an output shaft pointing the right direction. I'll have to figure out a way to align the offset shaft with the center diff yolk though.

Unfortunately the forks on it are tweaked, so I'll still need to find those.

96DXCivic Dork
5/31/10 11:24 a.m.

I think springer forks would look perfect on that vehicle.

petegossett SuperDork
5/31/10 12:24 p.m.

Yeah, I'm thinking so too - if I can find a way to do them cheap!

96DXCivic Dork
6/1/10 1:42 p.m.

Do you have any machining experience and a lathe available? If you do I don't think it would be to hard or expensive to do the springer forks.

eebasist New Reader
6/4/10 4:28 a.m.

I hate to say this......but you need to start with a better body. You will be sinking a ton of money into this to make it work. A couple of related forums for you.

Originally this would have been a two stroke single cylinder motor and as such it had reverse built into the engine/not the transaxle and utilized a CVT clutch. Coupling the bike output shaft to the rear may not give you the desired effect. Check the gear ratio on the may find that the gear ratio is too high to do much with that coupling.

petegossett SuperDork
6/4/10 7:19 a.m.

No worries, the body is going to the dump. I'll make a pretty bare-bones aluminum/sheetmetal body for it, styled similar to a normal trike.

Yes, I still need to check the final drive ratio, but until I know more about the Goldwing output shaft speed, and decide on a wheel/tire size for the back, I'm not going to worry too much. There are plenty of cheap rear axle options out there. And the factory unit is a Dana, so I'd bet there are ratios available for it if I search around.

As far as reverse goes, since I'm not going to use the stock single disk brake on the pinion, I'm going to utilize the locost trick of a second starter/flywheel in that location for reverse. I'll then fab some disk brake mounts and attach them to the axle housing. Once I have rotors figured out I can see what wheels will fit, then go from there regarding gearing, etc.

eebasist New Reader
6/4/10 6:59 p.m.

In reply to petegossett:

Sounds like you know what you're into then. FYI, the output on the goldwing transmission will be at least a 1:1 and possibly an overdrive. Is it a "real" dana or a miniture version? if its a real version no worries, but if its one meant for a golf cart it won't handle much more speed/torque (I've blown a few up). The flywheel starter trick works well for reverse.

Have fun with your project.

petegossett SuperDork
6/6/10 9:52 p.m.

Couple more updates & link to pics: here

Got the Harley cart stripped & cleaned, eventually moved it onto my locost table today too.

I got the Goldwing from my neighbor today. Turns out it's actually a 1979. He bought it in '81, wrecked it in '83, rode it once after his wreck & discovered the triple-tree was tweaked, then parked it here.

The front wheel had actually gotten buried under dirt back in the corner, but we eventually dug it out.

I hosed it off, it looks much better in pics than real life. I gave him $100 for the bike. No idea if the engine is salvageable or not, but I'm sure I can use a $100 in parts from it regardless.

Noeladams None
6/7/10 12:29 a.m.

You can convert it from a harley electronics to a ez-go very easliy! get rid of the ton of solenoid! My dad use to fix up old golf carts!

digdug18 HalfDork
6/17/10 12:27 a.m.

I remember seeing a harley golf cart that sold for $6K a couple of years ago. It has a ninja motor, and ran a 10 second 1/4 mile time. I think he was running rx7 rims if i remember correctly... All I know is that I dunno if I would want to drive it down the 1/4 mile.


petegossett SuperDork
6/17/10 11:20 a.m.

Hmm...I have a rear axle from an RX-7 that I'm planning on using for the trike project, a friend with a cheap 650, and my wife says the AD&D insurance is all paid up. Sounds like a plan.

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