Posted 7/17/2015 2:52 PM (#85429) Subject: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
Ay-Up Experienced sidecar riders
I finished my rig last week and I still have an unacceptable amount of head shake from 25 mph up to about 40. I have tried the directed lean out, toe in and castor, messed with all kinds of air pressure settings and have greatly reduced the issue, it's steady from 40 up to over 90 mph, but still not dialed in.
I have no dampener or altered triple tree and I am told that if set up correctly its not needed but still embraced by some.
The question is: Does anyone know of a person or shop near the Mississippi gulf coast that I can go to for help, the closest I have heard of so far is in Texas?
All The Best n Thanks,
Posted 7/17/2015 3:31 PM (#85431 - in reply to #85429) Subject: Re: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
Location: Boise, Idaho
On some motorcycles, the extended length of trail (to promote self centering and return, after cornering) is such that they will require a steering damper to prevent head shake after a sidecar has been installed. Yours may be one of these.
A damper, or modified trees can eliminate it if you've exhausted all of the other causes.
Posted 7/17/2015 7:33 PM (#85436 - in reply to #85431) Subject: Re: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
Thanks for the input, its appreciated. I coming to the same conclusion however I was just in hopes that I could take it to an experienced individual such as yourself that knows how to set em up and has the proper kit so that I will know I am not overlooking something, I mean I am a wrencher but I don't even know what I don't know about sidecars I confess, but I am a quick study. I've researched and studied up alot , but I do know that there is no substitute for experience, can't buy it, can't rub it on or swallow it, maybe someone will direct me to someone with such experience within a couple hundred miles before I submit and change the tree and add a dampener.
Posted 7/17/2015 7:51 PM (#85437 - in reply to #85429) Subject: RE: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
A couple questions for the field:
Is there a consensus from experienced riders regarding preferred air pressures for the tires for reducing a 25 -45 mph shake ? I have found 36 rear, 32 front and 38 on the rig works best but still not sure
Any experience if a car tire on any of the wheels helps? I will not put this rig back into two wheel service, however I just have to run the spokes and don't where to get tubed darkside tires if directed that way.
And just in case I have to fit one, what is a quality dampener that would work best with a 1300 and a mid weight car ?
Posted 7/17/2015 10:06 PM (#85439 - in reply to #85437) Subject: RE: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
Location: Summer Grove, LA USA
Hi Throttledoc, welcome to the offset sidecar universe.
Our first sidecar was an 883R Sportster with a Texas Ranger. We eliminated most of the headshake by tweaking the alignment, slightly "over tightening" the steering stem bearings plus increasing the air pressure in front tire** (we found 39psi was optimum, which was "3 over". The headshake was there but not excessive -- that is, easily kept at bay with one hand to the point I didn't notice it. We finally changed out the triple trees to ones more appropriate for sidecar duty, which essentially eliminated the headshake - as well as make the rig easier and less tiring to pilot, and also did away with most of the "bump steer" effect from the sidecar tire hitting bumps/potholes.
We have a local rider here in NW Louisiana with a V-Star 1100 with a Texas Ranger mounted by Texas Sidecars with headshake is controlled by a "VW" steering damper. Yes, it's a little hard to steer, but travels nicely down the road.
** Credit to Lonnie re: stem bearings & front air pressure.
Posted 7/18/2015 8:39 AM (#85442 - in reply to #85439) Subject: RE: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
Thanks for the input, I had a large degree of improvement with a slight (very slight) tightening of the steering head bearing also, and one hand on the bars at speed and its smooth, its just the dand 20-40 thing. I'll continue to tweak.
Perhaps I am being a bit critical?
Posted 7/18/2015 9:02 AM (#85443 - in reply to #85439) Subject: Re: HELP WITH ALIGNMENT SETUP
Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
Welcome to the slightly off-centered world of Sidecars ThrottleDoc!
My '82 Goldwing had a wicked bad shake around 20-30. I ended up swapping the trees for reduced rake. The shake is much improved, but has moved to a slower speed and is almost controllable with a single hand.
The early Goldwings were notorious for head shake. A trick Honda did to reduce the problem was to bolt on about 5 pounds of counterweight to the top of the fork legs. The weight acted to dampen the shake. I don't know if that's anything you can or want to try.