Yes, that’s right, what we have here is a patent application for a trike integrated with a full drum set. The brainchild of one Michael Pestritto of Pompano Beach, Fla., this patent describes a trike with a 12-piece double-blind kit and a secondary set of controls so someone can operate the trike from the passenger seat while the rider in front can lay down a wicked drum solo.
You may have seen something like this before; one notable example is this video of a drummer and guitarist riding on a motorcycle somewhere in Russia. That set-up actually had the drum kit on a sidecar platform.
Pestritto’s design has the drums positioned so that the drummer is centrally located with the weight of the extra equipment evenly distributed on either side. The patent points out the sidecar set-up may be too side-heavy, affecting its ability to turn. Pestritto’s solution was to arrange the kit so that its components are more or less balanced.
Between the two seats is a second set of handlebars for controlling the trike. The patent describes a hydraulic system for steering the front wheel, though it makes no mention of how the throttle is controlled or the transmission is engaged. The drawings of the secondary controls lack a clutch lever so problem might not have a solution yet.
Needless to say, Pestritto seems like a fairly colorful character with an obvious love of motorcycles and drums. Here’s a clip of him getting three X’s on the third season of America’s Got Talent in 2008:
He fared much better three decades earlier on this appearance on the Gong Show, earning a perfect score:
I guess Ruth Buzzi, Rip Taylor and Dionne Warwick liked him a lot more than Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and the Hof did.
Yes, the whole thing is a bit silly, but there’s a reason for this madness. The trike, which Pestritto calls “Iron Thunder, America’s Only Extreme Motorcycle Trike Drum Machine,” was conceived as the centerpiece of a cross-country tour to raise awareness for heart disease. According to his website, HeartbeatRider.org, Iron Thunder was to be made with the help of Sam Nehme of custom builder BMS Choppers, though it’s unclear whether the trike was ever produced. Trademarks filed by Pestritto for “Iron Thunder” lapsed but the patent, filed after the trademarks were lost, gives some hope that the project lives on.
We hope so, not just to help a good cause, but also so we could see it appear alongside the flame spewing guitar in the next Mad Max movie.