Hi - would like to replace existing torsion bar suspension on mid 80's California Companion with flexiride rubber torsion half axles. It's on a 2009 Royal Enfield.
Would appreciate any tips from anyone who has done this.
So far what I've found (Thanks Mark!) is that one of the Flexiride 1400 lb half axles is the appropriate unit.
Also that a 16" Buell Blast front wheel is a good replacement, though after checking bearing sizes on Blast and Flexiride there might be some complications there.
Thanks for any tips, suggestions. Al
Posted 8/28/2017 2:34 PM (#94869 - in reply to #94849) Subject: Re: rubber torsion suspension installation info
UCF America offers these in lighter spring capacities as well as with a spline drive for the swing arm. With the spline drive one pair allows you to use for two sidecars. It also allows you to take the swing arm off should you wish to weld brake fittings onto it or lengthen it with out worrying about heat from welding with the rubber torsion using. We use these on non passenger applications such as Ice Cream vending.
Posted 9/2/2017 11:50 PM (#94939 - in reply to #94849) Subject: Re: rubber torsion suspension installation info
Thanks for the info Jay!
So far in my planning (obsession?) with this project i'm stymied by what wheel to use with the UFC flexiride rubber torsion units.
I had hoped to find a motorcycle wheel that would work on the rubber torsion units axle, but the axles are 1-1/16" diameter and have not found any 16" motorcycle wheels that would work. Buell Blast are 16" wheels but have a much smaller axle diameter.
So that leads me to 12" trailer wheels and tires on the axle hub that comes with rubber torsion unit, which have close to the same diameter as the California Companion stock 16" wheel/tires. But have not been able to find a "skinny" tire. Have found 12-4 trailer rims with 4.80x12 tires but being close to 5" width would probably not fit in the fender of the sidecar.
Looked at 4.00x12 scooter tires which are slightly narrower but understand they should be mounted on a 3" wide rim and may not work on a standard 12-4 trailer wheel.....
Any ideas on wheels/tire that will work on the california companion appreciated! Al
Posted 9/3/2017 6:06 PM (#94940 - in reply to #94849) Subject: Re: rubber torsion suspension installation info
The units we normally use come with a one inch axle, as we use spline drive you can take the swing arm off and change its length or cut off its axle and weld on a different one. This is what we do on the ice cream vending sidecars we build. When we do this we usually use aftermarket Harley wheels that we also make our own cast iron brake rotors for which means while we are welding on the swing arm, we can also weld on brake mounts and add a disk brake. On some sidecars depending on how the fender / body is built we have to mount the caliper up side down such that you have to remove it in order to bleed the brakes. Even if you find a motorcycle wheel that has the same one inch axle (not 25mm) you would find that the axle is not long enough.
We use to make a single wheel trailer that we ran scooter tires on a 12 inch trailer wheel. It worked fine.
As your sidecar is more then likely an early Companion not the GT the fender is very narrow, it is also located to far forward to set wheel lead where it should be and still have the sidecar look right next to the bike. It takes some fiberglass work but cutting the fender off, fixing the damage to the body and then running a wider fender not only allows for a wider tire it also allows you to set wheel lead properly with out having the sidecar stick out way behind the back of the bike.
Posted 9/3/2017 7:23 PM (#94941 - in reply to #94849) Subject: Re: rubber torsion suspension installation info
Thanks Jay. You're right it is an early Companion, not GT. Axle lead from rear bike axle is 9", rear of sidecar sticks out past rear of bike 10", front of sidecar even with bike front axle. Definitely not perfect setup but it has worked ok for my local riding for last 4 years. As i replace existing suspension with rubber torsion i will improve the setup. No brakes on sidecar and haven't felt a need for them with this rig. Thanks again, Al
Posted 9/3/2017 7:33 PM (#94942 - in reply to #94941) Subject: Re: rubber torsion suspension installation info
Keep an eye on your cast wheel, these are known to fail at either end of the spoke base. CSC also offered a wire wheel, my wife had one on a similar companion. The issue with the wire wheel is that it is slightly larger diameter then motorcycle wheels should be making it really hard to get a wheel on it. Your current wheel will go right onto the torsion unit. Your axle is either 1 inch or 1 1/8 inch. Does not really matter they use the same race part of the bearing with just a different cone so if your current wheel is on a 1 1/8 inch axle all you need in order to be able to run it on a one inch axle are different cones. These are just standard trailer bearings you can pick up at any auto parts store.
Posted 9/18/2017 3:43 AM (#95113 - in reply to #94849) Subject: RE: rubber torsion suspension installation info
Well, went over to friends shop to install the rubber torsion suspension on the old california companion.
Turns out because of the size of the rubber torsion unit in order to install it on the underside of the frame i was going to have to raise the height of the sidecar quite a bit - more than we decided was reasonable. The stock wheel and bearings fit on the units axle but a different seal was needed - axle is 1" but required seal with 1.5" ID. One thing led to another and since the brass bushing and torsion bars were in good shape we decided to not open the can of worms we were encountering, and reinstalled the stock suspension setup.