What is a rickshaw anyway? Well if you want to get technical, here you go…. The word rickshaw originates from the Japanese word “Jinrikisha” (人力車, 人 jin = human, 力 riki = power or force, 車 sha = vehicle), which literally means “Human-powered vehicle”.
Anyone can drive a car, or at least most people. What could be more challenging?
An auto rickshaw. 2000 KM. In India. That is what we are doing this summer.
Think of it as a covered bicycle with a fuel-efficient lawn mower engine.
Auto rickshaws are common vehicles in India and several other countries. Though variable in size, the rickshaws used for the Rickshaw Challenge will seat up to 3 people (1 driver in the front seat and 2 passengers in the back). The design of the rickshaw cannot guarantee complete safety and security, but the low top speed of the vehicle contributes to major accident prevention. (Just watch out for that truck careening down the one lane highway.)
It is common for these 3-wheeled vehicles to break down, especially older models. They are however, easy to repair and as locals drive them throughout India, there is no shortage of repair shops or auto rickshaw mechanics.
And for those gear heads, what about the stats?
- Gross vehicle weight: 610 kilograms (1340 pounds)
- Overall length: 2625 mm (103.34 in)
- Overall width: 1300 mm (51 in)
- Overall height: 1710 mm (67.3 in)
- Wheel base: 2000 mm (78.74 in)
- Engine: Single Cylinder, Two stroke forced air cooled
- Displacement: 145.45 cc
- Max. Net Power: 7.00 HP @ 5000 rpm
- Starting System: Kick start
- Transmission: 4 forward and 1 reverse
- Brakes: Front and rear hydraulic break system
- Fuel tank capacity: 8 liters (2 gal) including 1.4 liters reserve
- Kerb weight: 272 kg (598 pounds)
- Mileage within a city: 18 to 20 km/liter (45 mpg)
- Mileage on the highway: 25 km/liter (60 mpg)
- Average cruising speed: 50 to 60 kmh (35 mph)
- Maximum speed: 80 kmh (50 mph)
- Gas tank travel distance: 145 km to 190 km (90 mi to 120 mi)
- Oil must be added to every liter at 20 to 50 ml/liter (2.5 oz. – 6.4 oz./ gal)