Mantis Build Plans


My most advanced design, with a custom transmission and a unique suspension system!   More info...




The Mantis is my most advanced vehicle so far, and the build plans are the most comprehensive. It features a 16 horsepower engine, combined with a CVT, and a custom transmission of my own creation. The transmission utilizes a roller chain reversing jackshaft design, with a pivoting v-belt idler mechanism to transmit power to each side of the vehicle. The transmission has forward, neutral, and reverse. With the reverse feature, the Mantis is able to execute a true zero radius turn, and operates exactly like a zero turn mower. It also features 4 independent suspension arms. Each arm has an air spring to set the ride height, accommodate riders of different weight, and provide a smooth ride. A small amount of suspension is also designed into the seat. Each “mini-track” features a pivoting trunnion to allow even greater mobility. To tackle this build, you must possess an expert level of metal-working skill and be ready to invest around $4500. A lathe would be helpful for this build, but not necessary, as I built the prototype you see lathe-free. See the slideshow for photos, and see the demonstration video.


  • Four independent suspension arms utilizing adjustable air spring with pivoting trunnion.
  • Designed for off-road use.
  • Welding required to build.
  • Difficulty: Advanced


  • Ground Clearance: Up to 11 in
  • Height: 77 in
  • Length: 66 in
  • Propulsion: 16-hp gasoline engine with CVT transmission
  • Top Speed: 10 mph
  • Turning Radius: 0 ft
  • Weight: 575 lbs
  • Width: 47 in

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