Categories: featured
Written By: roo

all the measures

This page will evolve as I build ROOPOD, but I will put down what I specs there are at this point.


6061 t651 aluminum throughout main tubes 1.5″ X .125″ wall bulkhead square tubes 1″ X .125″ body “skin” .060″ sheet.  Frame completely joined by TIG welding using 4046 wire and 100% argon.  Whole body to be heat treated at after all welding is completed (to restore anealed areas caused by welding) complete body to be in the 200lb range.


Tires:145/80R 10’s  19.1″ diameter (used on the clasic Mini Cooper) (Khumho brand)

Wheels: Douglas aluminum ATV Wheels 10″X5″ 1X4 offset 4X156 bolt pattern.

hubs: Polaris “Predator 500” hubs

Brakes:Polaris “predator 500″ 7″ hydralic disk brakes.

spindles/uprights: ROOPOD made: polaris spindles/6061 machined uprights-polaris ball joints.

Dual A-arms: ROOPOD made: 6061 machined billit. .5” heim joint inner pivots

Front shocks: Air-Coil spring adjustable shocks from Progressive  Suspension

Rear Swing arm/engine cradle 6061 welded/heat treated aluminum

Rear shocks: Air-Coil spring adjustable shocks from the rear of a Harley “bagger”

Steering:  woodward rack and pinion manual


Kubota Z482 with Comet 94C CVT and Comet FNR Gearbox

Kubota Z482 with Comet 94C CVT and Comet FNR Gearbox

Kubota z482 water cooled two cylinder Diesel engine 482 cc 12hp @ 3600rpm

(I may see about adding a turbocharger to this if it is too wimpy)

Comet variable belt Transmission “94C-Duster”

NOVA RACING Reverse gearbox custom to match comet CVT

Chain final drive +/- 4:1 (520 chain-roopod built rear sprocket)

polaris “preadator 500” radiator, front mounted

Heated fuel tank:  ROOPOD made (to enable SVO use and b100 winter use) 3 gal

Starting fuel tank:  ROOPOD made(to hold petro diesel for starting) 3 gal

Body Features:

Windshield:  middle portion of a VW New Beetle windshield cut-down

Side-rear windows:  .125″ Marguard lexan

Headlights: Hella 2.375″ modular projecters two high/two low beam

Directional/tail/brake lights: LED ROOPOD built

Door:  ROOPOD made hinged along dashboard, gas strut supported.

Heater: heater core/ variable fan dash mounted/ servo control valve


ROOPOD: will be registered in Massachusetts as a motorcycle, it will bear the vin from a donor bike, and in the eyes of the state, will be that motorcycle that I have “modified”  I have talked to someone who has done this, and it worked for them…keeping my fingers crossed!  I am hoping that I can get away without having to require helmet use…insurance will cover it as a modified motorcycle.

20 Responses to “technical”

  1. Roo Says:


    Love the concept! It’ll be fun following your project going forward.

    Glenn Warren

  2. gary foster Says:

    hello Roo i really like your plan and some day want to do something simalar .
    a few thoughts ,you may want to check on useing parts that are not D.O.T. approved
    like your atv wheels will never get past an inspection as they did not get tested for on road use just off road.They may be fine but good to check .Also check how much of your donner bike you have to use to be abile to use the id plate,most states want you to use the frame un altered. love to hear more .gary foster

  3. William Dysinger Says:

    You’ve got the right idea bud! Lots and lots of people are building their own vehicles(mostly 3-wheelers because of lax laws pertaining to motorcycles.) I think people have to build their own small vehicles like this because of US laws being so strict on the import of “micro-cars”! One of the members of our Yahoo group called “cabinscooters” posted a link to your website so thought I’d come take a look! I’ve got a couple suggestions for you. I asked a local hotrodder and glassman how to cut untempered safety glass and he said use a standard glass cutter on both sides of glass then sprinkle some lighter fluid or alcohol on the lines, light it, and start working the cut line..The fuel heats the glass evenly all along the cut line and will soften the plastic center enough to pull it apart slightly then cut plastic with knife. Be sure to use gloves because burning alcohol can’t be seen! The second thing I would like to suggest: before you get too far down the road with your progress is this: If you install that 117# engine (plus at least another 40 or 50# for the drive train) into the back of your rig, you might want to think about your center of gravity. With that much weight clear in the back and if you keep it up inside roo, you may have handling problems. I know it’s probably not something you want to hear but to not take CG into consideration may come back to bite you. Mounting the engine and drive train as low as you possibly can might help some. Just curious, seeing that snow in one of your pics tells me you get that kind of weather, at least part of the year? Why didn’t you design your Roo with complete drive train in the front as FWD? Then, with heat in the cab, this could be a year round rig! As it’s designed now, that rear drive tire will be riding up on a uncleared snow path in the middle of the lane during winter!
    OK, enough of that. I too am building a 3-wheeler but am just in the planning and supply gathering stage right now. I’m toying with building my first one much smaller than your design and may build a good percent of the body out of epoxy/glass & wood! My front window will also be real glass with the rest in lexan. I will be using a Honda 350 engine installed up front, will be turning the engine sideways (like they do in dwarf cars,) and will run a short coupling to a differential out of a 4X4 quad. I will also be using quad extended CV axles, extended A-arms, rims, and brakes (for wider stance of at least 54″) along with 10″ street tires. Also like you, I will be using a borrowed motorcycle vin and title to register this. I will not need inspection in Oregon but if they ask I am NOT telling them I’m using any off-road parts. That will kill the registration in a hurry!
    My second cabinscooter will be diesel like yours but probably using a Kubota 602 engine I already have but I’ll probably start that one in a couple years. Take care and good luck! William Dysinger

  4. Roo Says:

    hey there, William…
    to answer your questions:

    I already tried the heat and score method…seems to work only on flat glass:
    I am gonna try using the tile saw, and making several depth cuts next…

    as far as CG, I considered it carefully:, the engine is not really a “rear” engine but more “mid” and my calculations put my cg just about where my but is (better) with two people in the car) and the front wheels are just about where my knees are…and I did want to keep some weight on that rear wheel…it is the driving wheel, after all….and all my weight is inside the “magic” triangle of the three contact patches…front engine-frontwheel drive made a lot bigger, heavier car than I wanted, and more complicated, as far as winter driving…we will just have to see…there are not too many days here that the roads are snow covered…good luck on your project!

    thanks for commenting!

  5. Al Rodi Says:

    How does that Comet FNR gearbox work..
    I am thinking of using one on a a railcar project.

  6. Mark Says:

    Nice project! How did you mate the Comet 94C CVT to the kubota flywheel?

  7. roo Says:

    Hi there, Mark…I used a stub shaft made by Kubota…it is 1.125″ Dia…

  8. Plastics Springs Says:

    Great concept. Keep up the good work.


  9. William Dysinger Says:

    Well, it’s been over a year now and I’m just checking in to see progress. All the detail stuff really drags on doesn’t it? I’m in the middle of a foreclosure so my build is on hold. Probably just as well as my plans have changed several times. I purchased a quad frame with complete front suspension to use on my trike. As it stands now I will be using a 20hp B&S belt-driving a peerless 600 lawnmower tranny (6 speeds plus reverse) then chain-drive to single back wheel. After reading your plans on using a tile saw to cut down your glass, I’m thinking lots and lots of lubricant for cooling and slow cut, right? Just wondering how it came out? As I study more detail of your plans, I think your super-light aluminum frame idea is outstanding! Do you have a final weight estimate yet? Cheers and keep up the good work!

  10. Alastair Says:

    Just curious….

    Why not just buy an Aixam…?

    Its all there, same engine, CVT, Comex gearbox, the lot….

    Save an awful amount of work!

    BTW, Comex gearbox aint a strong beast, Keep it well full of oil!



  11. Tim Dziok Says:

    Saw the roopod in action today, its quite a feat of engineering and rule bending….ha ha ha. As you pulled out of our parking lot it was clear that a swaybar on the front would help immensly and the COG needs to be moved rearward. Stiffening up on the front shocks would help a bit too, there isn’t much room between the lower frame and the pavement at ride height. Otherwise I’m jealous..

  12. David Says:

    How did you get out of putting a pillow block bearing support on the outside of pulley on the input shaft going into the comet gearbox? I thought the instructions said you had to have one for support? I am building a go kart with that gearbox and would like to not install the bearing support if it is not necessary. Thanks for your help.

  13. Roo Says:

    Hi there David, the Comet is long gone..could not take the torque of my diesel…that being said, I did mount a bearing on the end of the shaft, the mount connect back to the motor block…the new gearbox, if yo look around on the sight is a Nova racing unit from the UK…It also has an outboard bearing on the end of it’s shaft…I hope your application does not eat your gearbox…what is your engine?

    best of luck,

  14. David Says:

    It is a 16hp Honda clone engine. My son really wanted reverse on this UTV. The UTV ways about 1000lbs so I will have some stress on this comet gearbox. If he is not too hard on it, I hope it will hold up. It also saved me alot of the jackshaft set-up issues I was having. I am running the gear box with a comet 40 series torque converter. Thanks for your help.

  15. turbo bmw Says:

    Cool idea, were you able to get it registered in Mass? I used to live there and they are a tough state to deal with vehicles.

  16. roo Says:

    Was not a problem…it’s registered as a motorcycle in ma, and I just took a old motorcycle with a good title and “modified” it….

  17. SergiooM Says:

    Webmaster you should build link pyramid in order to rank in google. This method is very effective after piguin and panda updates. It is hard task i know, sometimes it’s better to outsource it, i know the right solution for you, just search in google – Burol’s Tips Outsource The Work

  18. Ace Says:

    Nice idea. I like. …
    But… This engine is meant for generators and in a vehicle is slow nosey and very unrefined. I should know I ran an AIXAM 500 for a while, these are a French micro car and use a z482 as its power source with a variator set up (almost everything you need in one car) the car is a 4 seater. Yes that’s right 4 seater not that you would ever use them all. 2 gears. Forward and reverse. the nosey engine is enough to drive anyone mad and at 55mph you loose the will to live (top speed) I would consider something like a smart car engine or something more refined than the 482 unless you take ear defenders everywhere and are in no rush…. 😉

    Google search aixam 500 if you want to use the 482 as a power source as why reinvent the wheel, a lot of people were paid a lot to design that. And the power train is available complete on a small chassis sometimes even with wheels for £300 ish. A complete car can even be the same cost.

    Good luck and more to the point… Have fun 😉

  19. Jeremy Says:

    If I have a 35hp engine or a 1000cc and I want to put a reverse gearbox on it. Does it have to be a 35hp

  20. everlastgenerators Says:

    Your blog post has been extremely valuable for me. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Featured Posts