better? A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, an old mate of mine destroyed all my preconceptions about trikes when he rocked up on a VW-powered trike that had previously been a Phoenix-style monster.
American-V.co.uk aprilâ€˘may 2013
Febe Ström’s “3 Wheels Bastard”
He’d been labouring over it for months but, apart from the arrival of a monumental pair of Tolle forks at The Towers one day, gave very little away in terms of just how radically different it was going to be – and indeed, only following him across the hills of North Wales later that summer, me on a solo, gave any indication of just how well something that radical can shift and handle, but then he’d
done a lot of work on the engine too! If it hadn’t been for that trike, I’m not sure I would have taken any trike seriously – having been as opinionated as the next bloke in my days as a motorcycle fundamentalist – because it gave me a greater appreciation of symmetrical three-wheelers. So when I saw Febe Ström’s “3 Wheels Bastard”, it took me right back to an office on the outskirts of
april•may 2013 American-V.co.uk
CUSTOM Altrincham, and particularly the mix of consternation and awe that greeted him and his Swedish-style trike that first time. Living in Stockholm, Febe has good reason for favouring the Swedish style, and more reason than many for choosing a trike because she has a muscle disease that prevents her from riding a solo, but she wasn’t going to let that get in the way of joining her husband, Peter, and friends on the road. The plan from the outset was to show that it was possible to build a great looking chopper trike – long, clean and low – and one that would be suitable for Febe to ride, so Peter and Kenta Falkered of Ace Performance, whose own chop was featured last issue, set about creating Febe’s idea of her perfect bike in steel.
Swedish frame builder, Calles Chopperdelar Sweden (CCS) supplied a chassis to Peter’s specification incorporating a four-inch stretch in the single downtube and a 42-degree rake – fortune favours the brave. One that would take an Evo engine and a DNA back axle, complete with brakes that are now hidden within the
American-V.co.uk march•april 2013
Febe Ström’s “3 Wheels Bastard”
The plan from the outset was to show that it was possible to build a great looking chopper trike – long, clean and low deep dishes of a pair of plain 15-inch wheels, wrapped in 295/50 section tyres. Peter stuck with DNA for a set of 18-inch over “Bullet” forks, which are held in a set of yokes with an extra 6-degrees of rake to keep the trail in check, and the 4-pot caliper and rotor for the skinny 21-inch, 40-spoke front wheel. They are topped by a 4-inch Bates headlamp and a pair of one-off bars from CCS – incorporating short, built-in risers – which provide plenty of reach and leverage, as well as a home for the brass K-Tech front brake lever and minimal switchgear. The brass is picked up all over the bike as you start to look: in the spoke nipples of the front wheel, most of the fasteners across the engine and cycle parts, the fittings on the modified CCS oil tank – even in the fixings for the endplate of the FSD Inferno pipe – finishing at the knuckleduster embellishment at the rear axle – aka brass knuckles – and in this case the genuine article, picked up at an Arms Exhibition. Their shape has, in turn, been picked up in the footrests on the DNA
forward controls, but not in brass. The multiple hues of gold leaf has been used to good effect as the accent colour on the paintwork, which is in fact a Clearcoat over the base metal, laid down by Airbrush Studio in Stockholm – based on an idea of Peter’s – with the only opaque colour being a series of phrases liberally scattered across the bodywork; which Febe reports as providing much entertainment, being especially annoying to bagger riders, who seem to be more sensitive than most. Peter also made a special seat, which both fills the space neatly and gives Febe a perch close to the back of the 22-inch Chopper tank, which makes it a perfect fit; and not only for nipping in and out of the city, to see friends, attend shows and commuting for work, but also for touring Sweden’s East Coast and Gotland, which is a favourite holiday destination. The 1340 Evo motor, from an FXR, has been left alone except for some breathing exercises to make sure that its CV carb isn’t strangling it, and the fitting of an EFM Auto Clutch that
april•may 2013 American-V.co.uk
Ström’s “3 Wheels Bastard”
Specifications 3 Wheels Bastard Owner: Febe Ström Built: 2009, rebuild 2012 Fabrication Ace performance/Peter Ström Assembly P eter Ström / Kenta Falkered on Ace performance Build Time 12 Month Engine HD FXR 1340 Pipes FSD Design “ Inferno” Transmission HD Primary HD Clutch EFM auto clutch Frame: Calles Chopperdelar Sweden to spec Rake: 42 degrees Stretch 4" stretch, single down tube Forks: +18-inches DNA “Bullet” Trail adjustment: 6-degrees Front wheel: 21x2.15 40 spokes with brass nipples Rear wheel: Alu wheels 10 inches Front Tyre: 90/90-21" Rear Tyre: 295/50-15" ”Hankook” Front Brake: DNA Rear Brake: DNA Fuel Tank: 22” Chopper tank 4.1 gallon with knock-off gas cap Oil Tank: Round, special made by CCS Handlebars: special made by CCS Headlight: Bates 4” Taillight: Twin Bullets Hand Controls: Kustom tech Delux polish/ brass Grips: Biltwell “Kung fu” grips Foot Controls: DNA Pegs: brass knuckles Electrical: Peter Ström Painter: Airbrush Studio Stockholm Color: Raw metal and clear coat from Peter’s ideas Graphics: Gold Leaf and text from Peter's ideas Seat: Custom made by Peter Ström Special Thanks to: My husband Peter, who helped me make my dream come true! Special Thanks to: My husband Peter, who helped me make my dream come true!
has allowed them to lose the clutch lever completely! Febe reports that she just shuts off the throttle to disengage the clutch and changes gear, which makes her riding a lot easier. She also tells us that it handles like a go-kart, is smooth to ride, easy to handle, fast and has proven very reliable. And that’s great news because, for all the effort put in by Peter and Kenta to make sure it was precisely engineered to fit her, it was only when the whole thing was finished that they really knew whether that theory would work in practice. And she’s had plenty of chance to put it into practice, because it was originally finished in 2009
– running a black and red paint scheme – and she has averaged 6,000km a year in the relatively short Scandinavian riding season, picking a shelf full of trophies along the way, before Peter tore it down again in 2012 to check it over and tweak it. I’ll leave the last words to Febe: “From the beginning we didn’t know if the Trike would work for me, so I’d like to say that the whole bike makes me happy and that it turned out so much better than we even hoped. And after the rebuild it has become even better and good looking.” Words: Andy Hornsby Pics: Peter Ström
American-V.co.uk april•may 2013