I have read there is some controversy about sidecar brakes being necessary or not. I want to attach a Champion Escort to an 04 Honda Shadow VT750. It has a single hydraulic front disk and a rear drum. Two up the brakes are marginal in my experience. I would like to connect the disk brake on the car. The obvious solution to me would be to plumb it to the front brake master cylinder. But I think it possible it's not big enough for two calipers. I also don't know if it's wise to plump a car to front brakes. Before I delve into other possibilities does anyone know if this particular MC will handle both the front and sidecar brakes? Thanks
Posted 12/8/2016 10:12 AM (#91663 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
Brakes just slow you down, But really, have you ever heard any one complain that they just have to power full brakes? My opinion having done this for years is that people and companies that say you do not need brakes are doing so as they either do not know how to build or hook up a brake or chose not to afford a brake. I feel that if a brake keeps you out of the emergency room even once, it was worth every penny of the cost. We have done many sidecars on the VT750 as we built an entire fleet of these sidecars for ice cream vending and as such we do offer proper bike specific mounts for your bike as we went ahead and designed conventional 4 point mounts while we had a bike here. On the ice cream bikes as we were building them all the same and it was a very unique design with no upper struts as they would have been in the way of working the sidecar as a business tool we opted not to have any upper struts as such the sidecar frame went all the way under the bike and as such we were able to add a second master along with a parking brake tied to the brake pedal on the bike. So we have never tried tying onto the bikes front master. I would think that the best way to do this would be to change to a master designed for dual front disk brakes. Your current master however might work, hooking the brake up to the front has some advantages.
Posted 12/8/2016 12:24 PM (#91666 - in reply to #91664) Subject: Re: Brakes
Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Reardan Tom - 12/8/2016 10:28 AM
"Brakes just slow you down." - Love that quote Jay. They might even bring you to a full stop just in time too.
Snorted when i read that. Since I ask that question I've done a bit more research. What sounds ideal (it may not be, it just sounds good to my sidecar ignorant mind) is a new master cylinder and new pedal mounted on the sidecar linkage with the new pedal beside the original. IDK the details of fabricating something like that. As far as a larger master cylinder on the front if needed, would I just find a MC for a bike that has dual front brakes? In the meantime it appears I will need to rebuild my existing master cylinder. Don't think the fluid was ever changed before I got it and the accumulated crud has done the MC in. Just one thing after another
Posted 12/8/2016 12:30 PM (#91668 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
We use to do a separate brake pedal on many bikes and it worked well however over time I have come to a different opinion on this, people tend to do what they practice in an emergency. I found that many people were only using the sidecar brake when they needed it or to help with turns. If this is the case as most people can not over come what they practice in an emergency they end up not using the sidecar brake. So we now for the most part do not do an independent brake pedal. For people who want to be able to use the sidecar brake for turns as modern bikes have lots more power then they use to, apply throttle at the same time that you apply brake.
Posted 12/8/2016 1:06 PM (#91669 - in reply to #91666) Subject: Re: Brakes
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
I've had rigs both with and without sidecar brakes. My last two have had sidecar brakes and both were a pain. I like the idea of having brakes on the sidecar and mostly agree with Jay but here's the rub. Sidecar brakes behave differently based on the load in the chair and even with a proportioning valve and readjusting when according to the load it is almost impossible to get consistent braking action.
When the car is empty or lightly loaded the sidecar brake locks up early. When that happens one of two things occurs. Either the wheel locks and just slides, suddenly ceasing to contribute to braking and the rig heads away from the chair or , if conditions are dry and there's an abrasive road surface, the brake starts to lock up and the rig heads toward the chair, UNTIL, it locks up completely, looses traction and the rig switches direction and heads away from the chair.
The issue is the erratic behavior. I've fiddled with the proportioning valve but can't find a happy medium. Maybe it's just me but I eventually disconnected the sidecar brake on my last rig. I'm giving the brake on the new rig a chance, we'll see.
Posted 12/8/2016 1:58 PM (#91671 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
What we do is make our own brake rotors and use Brembo calipers. The same calipers that are used on your Escort, our brake rotors are the same diameter as we use to use the same supplier, The supplier no longer makes this part number (it was for a Citroen GS car) and we no longer use the same part however as (unlike champion) we feel it not fair to our customers not to supply replacement parts we do still make and stock the earlier rotors that work both on our sidecars and on Champions sidecars. With the diameter of brake rotor and type of caliper we find that while it is almost never ideal it is a good compromise. Loaded you wish you had more brake, empty it really only skids on very slippery surfaces. Not ideal but much better then no brake.
Posted 12/12/2016 8:22 PM (#91714 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
Location: Spanaway, Wa.
Just to add my two cents worth. I have a GL1800 with Champion Escort with the sidecar having it's own hydraulic brake. On my rig the sidecar brake is tied into the bike's front brake, it was like this when I purchased it. I have a quick disconnect for the brake line. I was curious as how much stopping power the sidecar brake made, so I did a straight line emergency stopping test at 50 MPH. I did several runs with the brakes all connected and then with the sidecar line disconnected, giving time between each run for the brakes to cool down. With all three brakes connected it made a difference of about 10 to 15 feet. This is with 80 lbs of ballast in the sidecar (two five gallon plastic jugs of water). While the braking difference wasn't that much, it could be the difference between having a good day or not. I reconnect the brake line and use all three brakes.
My bike's braking ability will probably be different than yours, so this might not apply to your situation.
Posted 12/29/2016 4:12 AM (#91866 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
Location: Northern Germany
My own rig has a combined brake system: The rear brake master operates the rear wheel, one caliper on the front wheel and one caliper on the sidecar´s wheel. The front bake master operates the second caliper on the front wheel and the second caliper on the sidecar wheel. If you hit the rear brake, the rig stays straight any time. So you can really do an emergency stop without having to concentrate on staying on the road. The front brake supports it so I can decelerate safely from 100 mls/h to full stop. It´s a lot of custom work but for me it´s a gift to have it.
The BMW R100R Mystic rig of my better half has a mechanical operated drum brake in the back, a dual rotor brake in the front and a small rotor from a scooter with a brembo caliper on the sidecar. The sidecar brake is plumbed to the front brake master. This is a compromise but works very well.
Both of our rigs are acting like Jay wrote: Unloaded the sidecar wheel skids on slippery surface if the brake is applied too hard, loaded it´s like ok.
I would recommend a sidecar brake for every rig, maybe except of a light offroad rig or a vintage rig you want to keep original...
Posted 12/29/2016 7:47 AM (#91867 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
Location: Savannah Ga
there are always options
I took a different approach to setting up the brakes on my car. It came with the self contained brake system with it's own pedal. I just couldn't wrap my head around having 2 pedals and didn't want to change my master to be able to use the bikes system. so I cut the brake arm at just the right length and welded it back together at a 45 so the arm now went under my foot pedal of the bike, I then adjusted the master for just the right tension and application of brakes on the car to match the rear application on the bike. what I wound up with is great brakes all around and I have NEVER locked the brakes on the car as of yet
even on wet ground.
Posted 12/29/2016 9:22 AM (#91872 - in reply to #91661) Subject: Re: Brakes
Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
What about an electric brake, activated by the brake light signal (or maybe a second brake petal switch that trips only under hard breaking), with an adjustable brake controller that uses inertial sensors to "proportionally match" the breaking effort experience by the tug? Just enough to "assist" breaking with a little drag on the hack wheel. Could be extendable to the electric brakes of a trailer too.
Edit: This controller looks interesting. Has the advantage of modular installation with the main box hidden and protected, the display in your sight line and the switch box on the handlebar. But can it be made water-tight?