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ICV Guidelines for LE1 Motor Tricycles

Vehicle Standards Bulletin 14 National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (VSB 14)



Important Information for Users This document needs to be used in conjunction with the appropriate administrative requirements of the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is to be registered. Administrative requirements include, amongst other things, processes for vehicle registration, obtaining exemptions, obtaining modification approvals, vehicle inspections, preparation and submission of reports and the payment of appropriate fees and charges.

If unsure of any of these requirements, or if more information is needed for any other issue or processes, users should contact the relevant Registration Authority prior to commencing any work.

While these Guidelines present a great deal of information with respect to the construction of trikes, it is nonetheless important that builders make themselves familiar with the content of VSB 14.

Users of the Guidelines and VSB 14 also need to ensure that they refer to the most recent version of the relevant Section/s when working on a project. The version is identified by the version number and date on the face page of each Section. The version and date is also located in the footer of each page in each Section. On the website the version number is specified in the Section file name for easy identification.

If a project is taking a long time to complete, check the currency of the version you are using.

Users must be familiar with the provisions stated in the Preface and Introduction. These two Sections provide the necessary background information to assist users in understanding how VSB 14 is administered by Registration Authorities across Australia, on how it is structured, and the meaning of the types of modification codes specified in VSB 14. If not already done so, users should download them for study and reference.

Understanding these requirements is important to ensure that the correct processes are followed thereby reducing the likelihood of having work rejected by Registration Authorities.

Many of the Sections refer to other Sections within VSB 14 for further information or additional requirements. Users must read and apply all relevant Sections.

If in doubt about any issue concerning or contained in these Guidelines or VSB 14, users should seek clarification from the appropriate State or Territory Registration Authority.

Please do not contact Vehicle Safety Standards (VSS) of the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Transport in Canberra about VSB 14. VSS provides the website as a service only.

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PREFACE BACKGROUND This document was originally prepared in consultation with the WA Trike Construction Working Group.

These Guidelines have subsequently been endorsed by all Australian State and Territory Jurisdictions Registration Authorities.

These Guidelines apply to the construction of Motor Tricycles, hereafter referred to as trikes.


Within these Guidelines the following terms have the following meanings.

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Unless otherwise specified, certification in this document means certification to the requirements specified within VSB 14 and these Guidelines.

Signatory is a person who is accredited to, or registered with a Registration Authority for assessing and certifying modified vehicles for the purposes of registration.

(For the purposes of VSB 14 and its Guidelines, the term Signatory applies to engineers and tradespersons involved in the approval process. Wherever the term Signatory is used, it implies that the Signatory referred to is one who has the necessary qualifications and experience to assess and sign-off the matter under consideration).

All notes, diagrams, tables, headings and examples included in VSB 14 and in these Guidelines form part of VSB 14 and these Guidelines respectively.

SCOPE These Guidelines are applicable to LEM1 and motor cycle type LEP1 trikes. LEM1 and LEP1 categories are defined in the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

These Guidelines do not cover the construction of LEG vehicles (goods vehicles), passenger car type LEP1 vehicles or LEM2 and LEP2 vehicles (Morgan type trikes). These vehicles will continue to be dealt with on an individual basis by the jurisdiction in which the trike is built.

These Guidelines form an integral part of the Vehicle Standards Bulletin National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Construction and Modification (VSB 14). Section LO Vehicle Standards Compliance of VSB 14 outlines the minimum requirements for the assessment and certification of compliance with the ADRs for individually constructed vehicles. VSB 14 provides codes under which modifications or vehicle construction can be shown to be in conformity with the ADRs. Code LO4 applies to LEM1 trikes while Code LO5 applies to LEP1 trikes.

The checklists for LO4 and LO5 are contained in these Guidelines.

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While these Guidelines present a great deal of information with respect to the construction of trikes, builders must make themselves familiar with the content of VSB 14 and apply any relevant requirements.

These Guidelines do not cover vehicle registration policies or procedures, nor do they cover the technical requirements for trikes that must be certified under the provisions of the Federal Motor Vehicle Standards Act.


These Guidelines are intended to provide a nationally uniform set of technical specifications that ensure trikes built in accordance with these Guidelines comply with the applicable requirements of the Third Edition Australian Design Rules and the Australian Vehicle Standards Rules 1999 (AVSR).

These Guidelines are for the assistance of those who intend to manufacture an Individually Constructed Vehicle (ICV) in the form of a trike. Their ultimate aim is to ensure that the each completed vehicle is safe for use on the road.


Subject to Federal laws and the laws of the States and Territories of Australia, this document defines standards of practice for the design, manufacture and modification of trikes. Other procedures are acceptable subject to adequate technical justification.

Nothing in these Guidelines is to be regarded as in any way limiting the powers and duties of the Minister, Chief Executive Officer of the Registration Authority in question, or any agent or employee of that Officer, under the appropriate Act/s of that jurisdiction, or subsidiary legislation made thereunder.

Where any ADR or any Australian Vehicle Standards Rule is referred to in these guidelines, the appropriate Australian Design Rule or Australian Vehicle Standards Rule should be read in full to avoid misinterpretation.

Each jurisdiction may have different clause numbers in its adopted version of the AVSR.

Vehicle owners or builders must seek advice from the appropriate jurisdiction if in doubt about any of the above issues.


These Guidelines provide a set of uniform technical specifications for the construction and modification of trikes that can be used across Australia. Jurisdictions have their own administrative procedures and requirements for the registration of new vehicles and for the approval of modifications. Owners and registered operators must familiarise themselves with the provisions of the jurisdiction in which they reside. Similarly, owners or registered operators of trikes who wish to transfer their vehicle registration to another state or territory need to obtain relevant information from the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is to be garaged and registered.

VSB 14 Codes

Trikes built to these Guidelines qualify under Code LO4 and LO5 of VSB 14. Persons authorised under an authorised modification scheme, operated by a jurisdiction, may stamp these codes on the modification plate. The plate specifications, stamping and fixing must be in accordance with the jurisdiction’s business rules for the scheme in question.

Persons not authorised to attach modification plates to a vehicle must also use these codes when submitting applications to their local Registration Authority. In all cases the checklists

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must be completed. Authorised persons must hold the checklists for auditing purposes, while non-authorised persons must submit the signed-off check lists with their final documentation.

Please refer to your Registration Authority’s business rules for more detailed information about the management of checklists.


This document needs to be recognised as being a live document and hence will need to be revised from time to time to include future developments arising from regulatory changes, improvements in technology and the development of alternative designs.

The document may also be revised to improve its editorial content.


Future revisions are the responsibility of the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board Working Party. Revisions, other than those of a legal or editorial nature, will be processed in consultation with the appropriate user groups.

The Working Party may consider applications from individuals concerning recommended revisions to the Guidelines. However, it is preferable that applications are submitted after consideration by the appropriate user groups. In any event, the Working Party will consult widely before making a final decision on any proposed amendments to the Guidelines.


This document takes effect at the date of issue.


This document is also available in electronic format and is available for download from the

Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) website located at:

www.infrastructure.gov.au Sections of VSB 14 may also be downloaded from the same website. While VSB 14 may be downloaded in sections for the convenience of persons who may have a specific issue to address, any referenced Sections of VSB 14 that are applicable to the work being undertaken under these Guidelines must be read and applied also.

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Note: Compliance with these Guidelines does not guarantee that a trike will be registered by a Jurisdiction. If, for example, a trike does not handle or brake satisfactorily or has any other feature which renders the vehicle unsafe or not roadworthy, it may not be registered. Further, changes to relevant legislation may mean that a trike cannot be registered without appropriate modifications.

While these Guidelines present a great deal of information with respect to the construction of trikes, builders and registered owners must make themselves familiar with the content of VSB 14.

–  –  –


This document has been adopted by the Australian Motor Vehicle Certification Board Working Party (AMVCB WP) as the nationally accepted Guidelines for the construction and modification of trikes in Australia. These Guidelines form an integral part of the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 14 National Code of Practice for Light Vehicle Modification and Construction (VSB 14). The National Code of Practice is a major project currently being undertaken by the AMVCB WP.

 The AMVCB WP wishes to acknowledge the key role played by the WA Trike Construction Working Group, and  Mr M Winter from Wintercreative for the diagrams used in this document.

The project was managed by Mr John Dombrose on behalf of the AMVCB WP as an integral part of the National Code of Practice for Light Vehicles Construction and Modification.

Members of the AMVCB WP at the time of Publication include:

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Previous members who assisted in the development of this project included Mr Jorge Montano (RTA NSW), Mr Rickman Smith (Transport SA) and Mr Angus Draheim (Transport QLD).

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Motor Tricycles, to which these Guidelines apply, are defined in the ADRs as follows:

Motor Tricycle (LE): A motor vehicle with 3 wheels symmetrically arranged in relation to the longitudinal axis, with a Gross Vehicle Mass not exceeding 1.0 tonne, and either an engine cylinder capacity exceeding 50 ml or a Maximum Motor cycle Speed exceeding 50 km/h.

LE vehicles are further categorised as follows:


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A vehicle constructed for both the carriage of persons and the carriage of goods shall be considered to be primarily for the carriage of goods if the number of seating positions times 68 kg is less than 50 per cent of the difference between the Gross Vehicle Mass and the Unladen Mass.

These Guidelines are applicable to motor cycle type trikes within the LEM1 and LEP1 subcategories. These will generally be a motor cycle derivative, with a fabricated rear frame section and an original motor cycle front frame section, or a vehicle powered by a car engine and transmission and utilising a purpose built frame.

ADRs and AVSRs that are applicable to trikes are summarised in Appendix LE1-2 of this document.

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