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Nacho-Mobile Tricycle (if You Ever Wanted To Build One!)

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mike cates

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Some years ago I got hooked on the JACK BLACK COMEDY MOVIE "NACHO LIBRE". I was teaching a Small Engines Repair class at our local high school when the movie came out and thought the kids would love this. Unfortunately the class only lasted one year, the bike never got fully built and I sold the parts to someone who wanted to complete it.
Not wanting to let the information I got from the original 3 movie bikes built, I thought I would post here for posterity and for you fabricator guys who want to make one of these true-to-form contraptions.

The great thing about making this tricycle replica is that you don't need "shiny" as long as all the parts are safe. You are making a patina machine!

10 HP BRIGGS AND STRATTON INTEK model with keyed and end tapped horizontal output shaft.
CARGO TRICYCLE: MERCURIO MAGNUM brand originally made in Mexico but here is a retailer and search craigslist, ebay, etc to find them https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjg_fjLybmBAxUqFzQIHfQoADYQFnoECC0QAQ&url=https://www.manufacturastrejo.com/en/&usg=AOvVaw3BoM31T04CTUVCeR68rcSf&opi=89978449 you will see the top tube of the movie bikes are not the large newly tricycle but my guess is that since nearly the whole frame had to be redone or rebuilt so this skinny top tube was part of the mod.
WHEELS: 18" rims 2 front and 1 rear from an early YAMAHA YZ 125 dirt bike (check out your local motorcycle salvage yard for similar wheels that you can also adapt).
TIRES: Any smooth street tread design will work that are close to the photo.
FENDERS: Old salvaged fenders off of 1960's-1970's street bikes found in motorcycle salvage yards.
GAS TANK: KOHLER oval tank used on rototillers, etc but get the kind with the gas filler offset on the top to clear the top tube when tank is centered and the petcock should be all the way to one side to end on the bottom to correctly route the fuel line to the engine. These gas tanks are usually on ebay but hit up your local lawnmower repair shop.
AIR CLEANER: K&N brand that will hose clamp onto a round elbow intake manifold you will have to make with a flange to match the Briggs engine.
SEAT: I used a reproduction TRIUMPH seat sold on ebay but something similar will work since you can cover it up with a serape like on Jack's trike.
MUFFLER: Long tapered megaphone style from 1960's-1970's street bikes. You will have to fabricate the header pipe to fit to the Briggs engine.
TORQUE CONVERTER: TORQ-A-VERTER brand that will fit your engine shaft and it gets coupled to the engine take off shaft side.
JACKSHAFT: You will have to make your own and figure gear ratios it you wand top end speed OR low speed grunt power if carrying someone in the front cargo cage. You can see in the photo the machine is right chain to rear wheel driven so it transfers from the output sprocket of the Torq-A- Verter on the left side of the engine to a jack shaft carrying the drive train to the right side of the machine. Azusa Engineering in California has these set ups.
SPROCKETS: Depending on chain pitch size coming off the the Torq-A-Verter can be used OR changed in the jack shaft and rear wheel chain so it is up to you but the photo shows a heavier motorcycle chain to the rear wheel anyway. Custom aluminum sprockets can be made by Azusa Enfineering in California.
TWIST GRIP: 1" capable handle bar size is needed. If you look at the photo closely, you see that you will have to cut out a section of the steering bar of the front cargo cage, slide on the twist grip, re weld the removed 1" tube section, smooth down the welds and mount the twist grip. Harley's and other big motorcycles and Customs use 1" diameter handlebars.
FOOT BRAKE: Use a hydraulic go-kart master cylinder or compatible one to actuate a disc brake caliper. Caliper and disc brake discs fcan be had from Azusa Engineering in California. The foot brake lever and rod linkage actuate the master cylinder. If a mechanical linkage drum and shoe brake is found you can use that too. AZUSA ENGINEERING has made go karts for decades and is still in business and can be found online and they still send out a paper catalog of their offerings. There are other companies that offer go kart/mini bike components online as well.
OTHER STUFF: The 3 movie tricycles were antiqued with paint, adorned with jewels, a holy cross, a rattlesnake hanging from the cargo basket(use a rubber one please!), decorative pillows for the front passengers, etc. You just got to go through postings online to see movie "stills" for detail of the movie tricycles.
Trike#1 was used for speed in the scene when NACHO is riding to town to get the tortilla chips for his church in town.
Trike#2 was used in the scene where NACHO isn't watching where he is going and flies off the edge of the road and off the trike landing on his back. On all these trikes, the front cargo basket will want to understeer and buckle when you are actually in motion when steering as these weren't designed for other than slow speed warehouse or delivery service. To help this inherent problem of design, a couple of Kawasaki street bike hydraulic steering dampers were added between basket and main frame to keep the tricycle going straight and not buckle and crash and burn. It wouldn't be a bad idea to add one or two of these to your project for safety.
Trike#3 was used in the scene where ESQULETO was driving and NACHO was the front (standing ) passenger and this bike was geared for slower more powerful capability due to two riders now being propelled and for safety on the set for the actors.

If you search the internet you will see others who have build these and You Tube videos that they have made. I am only listing what I know went on the movie bikes and for the purist who wants to make one.

MODIFICATIONS: Of course with a project like this you can see the hurdles you have to overcome and view as many photos as possible:
The 10 HP Briggs Intek engine has to have it's factory gas tank, air cleaner housing and muffler removed. Some mod's are needed to get the Torq-A-Verter mounted correctly but no big deal to do. The frame will have to be almost completely redone or redesigned to the photo and fit all the parts you've found. The front cargo cage will have stiffener tubing added and the front lower bar cut out for walk in access.

I have also included a photo showing a Honda 4 stroke 50 or 90cc engine mounted. No reason you couldn't use an ebike engine as well!

COMPLETION: If you make one of these PLEASE POST IT for all of us to yell NACHOOOOOOO! when your are grimacing AND tweesting the tweest greep! Should be kick-aXX project and would love to see a video as we all would!

A side note is that to ride one of these on a public street, 10HP far exceeds the legal limit of 2 HP for motorized vehicles like this (in California anyway). To combat this, there is (or was) a guy on ebay who makes reproduction Briggs & Stratton engine labels for people who restore these engines and can alter the 16 HP label he makes to 1.6 HP so if a cop is really a pain checking your machine out, you can show him your (re labeled) engine. How's he going to know?

Mike Cates, CA.

Nacho bike mercurio magnum.jpg





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