Walking Tractor, two wheel Tractor from a motorbike

By Andy the stuff doer

This is post 2 of this build post 1 of the Two Wheel tractor project is here

Another couple of nights later and I had cut the swinging arm in half and extended it with some tube. Now I could see how it would all go together:

walking tractor build mock-up

First view how the two wheel tractor will come together

Looks all right to me so I raided my pile of rusty steel bar, tube and angle  to connect the bike frame to the wheels.  The critical addition connects the headstock and front down tube to the wheels.

Motorbike conversion to Walk Behind Tractor

The finished tractor frame, with the bits that make it go

OK the picture skips forward a bit. I took this after its maiden trip up and down the back lane.  Thankfully the after about 13 years the engine started, once I got the fuel running and unblocked the air filter.  So skipping back, there where lots of fiddly bits to sort out:


Chain reduction drive for walking tractor

An Extra 3:1 reduction cobbled together

From the Engine to the original rear wheel sprocket. Welded to some bar, through a good fitting tube, connected to the CB550 engine sprocket. And I got all technical by adding a grease nipple to the tube.  The tube is on a hinged plate fitted with an adjuster to tension the chain to the engine. the final drive chain is tensioned using the original adjusters on the swinging arm. 


I splashed out some time here on a ” safety feature” . Reversing the operation of the clutch so that pulling the handlebar lever engages the clutch.  Letting the lever go acts as a “Dead Man” . this also means I can change gear  by hand.

Motorbike reversed clutch arrangement

reversed clutch set up, fully adjustable

The spring, I think, was from the original back brake lever. This pulls the the clutch arm like the normal cable would so the clutch is disengaged. The clutch cable now pulls the arm in the opposite direction when the handlebar lever is pulled, hence engaging the clutch.


I thought brakes might come in handy especial going down hill with loaded trailer. 

Adapted brake for walk behind tractor

Simple adaptation to operate via original front brake lever

The original drum brake, control arm and pull rod fitted straight on. The trick was to connect the pull rod to the front brake cable.  Small thought, Little action and it works.


gear change linkage

Hand controlled gear change lever

A tube held on the foot lever with jubilee clip, connects to a short hand lever. The lever is sprung loaded to centre itself.  It’s surprisingly easy to select gears and find neutral afterwards.


Down to almost the bare minimum.  Almost minimum? Well an on / off switch is a luxury I can cope with.  

Starting at the beginning:  Alternator – two wires to rectifier – Negative out to frame – positive up to the headlamp switch – switch to coil – coil to condenser and points – HT to spark plug.  Keep it simple!


Modified kick start

Kick start where I can get to it

The bottom joint welded up and “T” piece on the top. Fits nicely between the frame and gives almost the full swing.


Bike exhaust twisted up

For that proper tractor feel, the exhaust sticks straight up

 Only one curve adjustment on the down pipe, or should that now be up-pipe.  And A bit of angle welded to the frame give some extra support to the silencer.


It looks the part, especially when you now what “the part” is.  More importantly in runs, bags of torque and I’m sure I’ll get used to the handling.   It needs a few bits ‘n’ bobs tidying, tightening , cleaning and greasing. Then some thought going in to the trailer hitch.

  Keep an eye out for some video… IT’S  HERE

One Response to “Walking Tractor, two wheel Tractor from a motorbike”

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