How the Campagna Motors T-Rex Works

By: Patrick E. George

T-Rex Chassis

In most states, you'll need a motorcycle license to pilot one.
In most states, you'll need a motorcycle license to pilot one.

At first glance, the T-Rex's body resembles a big go-kart that's missing one tire. It's about 11 feet (3.4 meters) long with a 7.5-foot (2.3-meter) wheelbase and sits just a few inches off the ground. The tricky part is getting into it: At its highest point, the T-Rex is only 42 inches (1.1 meters) tall [source: Campagna Motors].

So it's a long, low, angular beast. Its body consists of a tubular steel frame and a reinforced roll cage (for safety) covered in fiberglass body panels. The suspension is adjustable front and rear and includes sway bars for extra stability. It has two narrow tires up front and one huge tire in the rear. Its three wheels allow it to be upright at all times, unlike a motorcycle, which the rider must constantly balance with speed or with his or her legs while stopped.


The total package only weighs 1,040 pounds (471.7 kilograms) -- that's about 1,500 pounds (680.4 kilograms) less than a lightweight sports car like a Mazda Miata [source: Campagna Motors]. This incredible power-to-weight ratio is the main reason the T-Rex is so fast.

Some three-wheel cars are more car than motorcycle. The T-Rex is the opposite. It uses a lot of motorcycle parts, including the drivetrain. But it's more practical than a bike in many ways. It has two seats, offers a little bit of cargo-carrying space and it has a 7-gallon (26.5-liter) gas tank, too.

In most states, you'll need a motorcycle license to pilot one. Others have more unusual laws. In Colorado, for example, you have to take a separate license test to operate a three-wheeler. You may also be required by your state to wear a helmet in a T-Rex, although that's probably a good idea regardless of the law [source: McGrew].

Up next, we'll talk about the heart of the beast -- its engine -- and see how it performs.