DRAYTON, N.D. – It looks like a high-powered motorcycle, and it mows the lawn.
"It only goes 10 miles an hour," said the inventor, Duane "Tony" Olson, of Drayton.
Olson converted a 1975 Allis-Chalmers riding lawn mower into the three-wheeled motorcycle, working in his garage. He used an old Allis-Chalmers mower and changed the front end and gas tank to look like a motorcycle.
On Thursday, he was applying the final touches to a John Deere model.
The first one was completed last summer after "50 hours of building time and 300 hours of thinking time," said Olson, 61, who is a custom chemical applicator at his day job.
He figures he spends just as much work time in his shop behind his home.
"My wife (Ardis) says I should bring my bed out here," he said.
He did all the design and the metal work. The front suspension of a dirt bike makes for a smooth ride. It has a hydrostatic drive (forward and reverse) with a one-cylinder, 12-horsepower motor.
The 42-inch mowing deck, powered by a wench, can be removed by unsecuring two pins and one bolt. The gas tank came off a Harley Davidson Sportster.
Earlier, Olson built a three-wheel motorcycle around a Volkswagen's motor and rear end. That model could reach a speed of 70 mph.
His creations evolved after working as a machinist at a farm equipment manufacturer. He said he enjoys working with metal, but is "no good" at carpentry.
"I like to look at things and figure out why they work," Olson said. "I've built lots of things that didn't work ... It's nice that this seems to be working."
It may lead to another job.
"I've put these together to see if other people are interested in them," he said. "If there's a market for them, I'll start making them when I retire next year."