C5 Alive attending the following event
Easter Sunday 20th April 2014 - Sandwich Gears of Change Motor Show - Kent

Author Topic: New Owners Guide  (Read 3148 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline patbrooks

  • Administrator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 94
  • Battery level: 0
  • 4 legs may be better than 2 but 3 wheels better then anything!
New Owners Guide
« on: 05, April, 2014 - 12:18:34 »
Advice for what to do to you’re newly purchased C5

a.   Service the motor, grease the gearbox, wheel and drive bearings

b.   Check / replace the drive belt if necessary

c.   Check / replace all 3 tyres, inner tubes, if original they are likely to be too perished for safe use

d.   Check / replace brake cables and front brake blocks

e.   Check the wiring, if original use with appropriate battery with leisure battery conversion kit or fit power wiring kit
NB. These suggestions are for guidance only and will depend on the condition of the C5 purchased, remember a Sinclair C5 is a Classic Vehicle and should be looked after and enjoyed.

Pre-Use Checks

Battery Electrics

Ensure battery is fully charged

Fit battery connections the correct way round +/red= brown cable , - / black = blue cable

Check both front and rear lights work. The small switch on left side of seat rim operates both lights

Check pod is working and that all the pod lights are lit/working. Lights on the left side of the pod show motor load, lights on the right side of pod show battery condition and charge


Check both front and rear brakes work correctly, operate both handlebar levers

Check the parking brake works. Lock on by pressing down, release by squeezing the rear brake lever

Tyres/ wheels

Check all tyres are correctly inflated. 30psi for front tyre, 35psi for both rear tyres (original manufacturers recommended figures)

Check tyres are not split or cracked, common on original C5 tyres dating from 1985


Check chain moves freely over both front and rear sprockets, oil lightly if needed

Check chain tensioner (located underneath the c5) runs freely on the chain when the pedals are turned.

General Driving Tips and Hints


Always pedal to begin with, and then engage the motor by pressing the micro switch located on the left handlebar grip

Ideally the motor load lights on the pod should be showing green/amber. If they show red you must pedal until they turn back to green/amber. Red indicates the motor is under excessive load, this will lead to the motor overheating and cutting out and may cause gearbox wear.

NB: - There are two sensors attached to the motor that deal with overheating.
If you overheat the engine it will reset. If you trip one sensor it shuts down for around 15 minutes, trip the second and it shuts down for an hour.  Check which sensors are which in the unofficial user handbook (in the download section

Drive Belt / Motor

Always pedal away from a standing start. Not pedalling will lead to belt slip and premature wear to the gearbox components. Belt slip sounds like a loud clicking/buzzing noise.

Assist the c5 up hills by pedalling whilst using the motor as well.

Always try to keep the motor lights on the pod in the green/amber segments

Never push the c5 backwards any faster than a slow walking pace otherwise control box components will suffer electrical damage
When using quick release battery clamps IT IS VITAL THAT THE +ve and -ve ARE NOT WRONGLY CONNECTED - doing so WILL cause major damage to the c5's electrics

Use the motor intermittently and coast as much as possible. Never drive for long periods using just the motor as this causes the motor to overheat and cut out.

Avoid driving up/down curbs as this may bend the chassis. The c5 is also very low and will catch/scrape
C5 brakes are not too sharp ! Always allow a good stopping distance

Avoid cornering at speed, as with most trikes, the c5 can flip over
When carrying a c5, lift by the front nose and rear wheel arches. 

The original guides above were supplied by Chas, Lee and C5 Martin. Thank you for your advice, we have tried to add to the guides were we can to help give you as much useful information as a new owner.