The original iQuad

Posted 9 years, 11 months ago    22 comments

This was the first version of the iQuad. The original concept was for an electric scooter with two wheels but somewhere along the way I switched to a four wheels plan. I really like the look of this one, the low front looks purposeful and the fat tyres are cool. The frame is welded 6061 aluminium, the first motor was 600 watts with a 100 amp, 24 volt controller. The rear axle was solid, which meant it didn't turn very well, with most of the weight of the rider on the back wheels it tended to want to just go straight ahead, predicably enough. I thought it would do that, but didn't expect it to be as pronounced as it was. The batteries were Panasonic 12v, 21 amp hour sealed lead acid ones. They were pretty heavy, and didn't seem able to deliver much current. The front suspension geometry allowed plenty of travel, but set up as it was the springs were too soft.

Time for an upgrade, I thought...

I changed to twin motors with way more power, Ampflow A28-400's. Rated at 4.5 Hp each, they were a big improvement. The controller was switched to a Robotec dual channel, 160 amp per channel model. We had a machinist make up some belt drive pulleys, and mounted them on race kart sprocket carriers. I split the rear axle so that each rear wheel could rotate independantly, with one motor driving each wheel. New front shocks with much stiffer spring sorted out the soft front suspension, though it's now probably gone too much the other way - the extra height puts more weight on the back, and the springs are now too stiff.

The old Panasonic SLA batteries were ditched and three 24v packs of good quality Sub-C cells went in instead. These still weren't up to the job, and several cells quickly overheated and died. That was an expensive lesson, and they were replaced with much lighter LiPo cells, 3 packs @ 22.2 volts and 10 amp hours. These barely get warm. The range with the LiPo's is 14-15 km over fairly hilly, rough ground, and top speed is 35 - 40 Kmph.

With the new motors the tendency to tip over backwards became much more apparent. The ergonomics are a bit suspect, footrests need an overhaul and some kind of protection from tipping over backwards would be good. I rebuilt the seat several times before giving in and bolting on a much comfier one made for a mini chopper.

What Next?

The plan now is to start over from scratch, and use the lessons learned to make a new iQuad 2.0. The design objectives this time:

Lighter Weight. The current version weights about 45 Kg - not terribly heavy, but enough to be awkward lifting it into or out of a vehicle.

More Compact. Preferably able to fold up. As it is, once it's in the boot, it takes up most of the space, we can't fit the kids bikes in as well, or any luggage if we're going away.

Quieter. It's not noisy by any standards now - it surprises a lot of people who don't hear you coming. But the belt drives do whine a bit at speed, and there's the odd rattle here and there.

More Efficient. I want to use a smaller battery pack and get the same or better range. Batteries are expensive and have a limited life, so I'll be focusing quite intently on this. I don't need a longer range, but if it ever fell into the hands of someone who did, extra battery packs need be easy to add.

Convenient. Having had a Segway for a couple of years, I've become very used to the convenience of basically zero maintenance and easy charging.

Look Great. For my own satisfaction I want it to look really good. I'm aiming for a minimalist aesthetic, a bike with four wheels if you will. The simpler and cleaner the better.


9 years, 10 months ago
Hi, mate that machine it is awsome, my english it is horribel. well the thing is that I love and I sell stuff like yours at the momento I´m selling the A-Bike folding you can see it.
I just would like one of your super bike, really I would like to buy one, just to test it and then if it is really confostable, I will call you and make maybe some request. at this moment I´m thinking of Venezuelan maket reagarding your product and I´m sure it is going to be a very nice news introducin the ¡quad.
Please let me know HOw much it is the cost of it.

Best regards,

Massimo Marmai
9 years, 9 months ago
Nice job! I saw it on YouTube. Looks like fun. Great work on the build. Cheers!
9 years, 9 months ago
Hello. Can you share with me more detailed photos or drawings? Maybe I'll do. What motors and controller? Where Batteries? Thank you.
9 years, 8 months ago
ciao hai pensato di costruirli in serie?io voglio essere il tuo iomportatore per l'italia
fammi sapere

9 years, 8 months ago
great...i love it
9 years, 7 months ago
hope you start to sell them.

awesome build!
Ian Parish
9 years, 7 months ago
Great start to this point. Are you manufacturing yet ? Email me let's chat .
9 years, 7 months ago
do you have some more pics how you did bild this mega great bike i whant 1
mail me

greetz rik
9 years, 7 months ago
i will like to open some shops out her in l.a iquad shop love WHAT I SEE !!$$
9 years, 7 months ago
e mile me at
9 years, 6 months ago
more info please... interested to explore
9 years, 6 months ago
Very nice concept (love the Mario Cart referance). I have 3 kids and they all want one, lol. I guess my question is would you mind sending out some measurements and maybe materials list? I don't want to take your invention and market it, but I would love to try and make someting similar for my children.

email me even if its a "No way man"

I look forward to either hearing from you or seeing more on youtube

Thanks and props
9 years, 6 months ago
Hi all,

Thank you very much for all the kind words! The feedback is great motivation for pushing ahead the new design :) The prototype has been sold to help fund the new version and I'm hoping to have a concept design nailed down soon.

To answer some questions:

The iQuad is not in production, it needs more development before it could be sold as a product. As it was, it's not safe and dynamically and ergonomically it needs some work.

The best batteries we tried were Maxamps 10,000 MaH LiPo packs, they seemed to have no problem at all delivering tons of current along with good range in a compact size. We had 6 @ 11.1v packs connected as three strings in parallel for 22.2v nominal and 30 aH capacity.

The motor controller was a Roboteq AX2550HE. I'm not sure that high current version is still available, and we did have to replace it after it got water in it, so be sure to protect it well. Roboteq score AAA+ for customer service, btw.

Motors were Ampflow A28-400's. Ampflow were also good to deal with, and the motors were rock solid.

The belt drives were custom made, contact me if you need some and we will see if we can put together a good deal. They are quite expensive as angle and pair sets, higher volume would get them cheaper.

It was approx. 900 mm wide x 950 mm long. Wheels and tires are race kart rears all round.

Kind regards,

9 years, 5 months ago
es la bomba de chulo sin palabras me encanta y quiero uno de esos jo que pasada
9 years, 5 months ago
can u make me one for my birth day piease i am 9 i would be so happy
Glenn Wheeler
9 years, 4 months ago
Want to sell it?
9 years, 1 month ago
Russia is waiting for iQuad2 :)
9 years, 1 month ago
hola yo estoy interesado en comprar uno de estos donde puedo comprarlo
Mike B
8 years, 9 months ago
Hey, just a thought - why not make a longer (or extend the current) swingarm? This would get the rear wheel out a bit further behind the rider, add some weight to the front wheels and help prevent wheelies.

Just a thought, great job and a super-clean machine. Totally want one!

Cheers - Mike B
mikeyblair at that "hot mail" site. :)
8 years, 9 months ago
Very Impressive. I'll head over to youtube to see if i can find it.
8 years, 9 months ago
Mike B - yes, extending the swingarm would have reduced the wheelie tendency, but I'd like to keep it short so it's at least kind of transportable. Moving weight forward would help too, but the ergonomics really need work either way.

Ryan - here's a youtube link in case you didn't find one :)


8 years, 7 months ago
Thanks for sharing this with us.i found it informative and interesting. Looking forward for more updates.

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