I was asked by a member on this thread to send some pictures of the upgrade kit that Lonnie Cook used to make. I cannot get the private message portion of this site to accept a picture. I will try to send them here.
Posted 2/19/2018 7:53 AM (#96392 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
Thanks guys! It was me. Sorry for all the problems. I'm actually getting stuff from both of you, how interesting... Seems we all have Velorex in the garage. I also asked Lonnie a few dumb questions, unfortunately I didn't really find out about his conversion until he only had one left, and he sold it before I decided for sure I wanted it. It might even be the one on Mike's car. Anyhow, in the spirit it was meant, I'm for sure willing to share all of my misadventures when I finish them. Reverse engineering Lonnie's invention is only possible because he did it ITFP.
Posted 2/23/2018 1:37 PM (#96447 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
Just to reiterate- it looks like I didn't mention in this particular thread- Lonnie Cook came up with this idea, and I'm trying to use his idea. It's a great idea. Lonnie passed away, or I'd probably buy one of his already made. Shrug. I like tinkering, thanks to him I know it will actually work if I do it right. (Big if.) Rest in peace and thanks for the help you did give me, Lonnie. I will try to share my results as much as he shared his knowledge. I need to take some more photos so it can maybe be another article in the mag... I think he'd like that.
Posted 3/21/2018 11:06 AM (#96708 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
Some random ramblings on the subject of Velorex sidecars and up grades to them.
Lonnie copied Doug Bingham's set up. This has been done for decades. It is nothing more then putting a trailer axle in place of the Velorex axle. It moves the weak point in the system to somewhere else as the rest of the sidecar is pretty light duty. With this set up many people are tempted to put the sidecar on far to large of bike some thing I do not recommend even with the up grade. What I have often wondered is why with this set up no one has ever also gone the next step and added a brake? I suspect it is due to trailer type drum brakes are two strong and the trailer type disk brakes are far to large. And for most people making their own hub and coming up with a proper disk is an issue. We can supply a hub with a brake rotor that fits on the 1 inch axle, we can supply a mount to attach a brembo caliper to the swing arm. We carry the calipers and can make brake hose. We sell this as an up grade usually for California sidecars for $650. In the case of the California sidecar as would also be the case with the Velorex the caliper has to be mounted up side down on the bottom of the swing arm in order to work with the fender in place. As such to bleed the brake you have to remove the caliper and turn it over, bleed it off of the sidecar and then install it. So, I guess my next question is as both Lonnie and Doug are no longer with us offering this up grade. Is there a market? Should we now offer it? If we did we could offer it with a brake installed. We have a Velorex (for sale) here that we could use to develop these parts that we took off of a bike and mounted a sidecar much easier to get in and out of onto a Triumph T-100 which for what it is worth was installed by a Velorex dealer in the NE who did an exact copy of our mounts so as to not have poorly fabricated parts that look exactly like ours we took them off the bike, tossed them in the trash and replaced the mounts. (BTW thanks to the dealer that not only stole our design but also caused us to give away a set of mounts) We first fixed the mounts on the Velorex by up grading them to the system as shown at this link http://www.dmcsidecars.com/the-result-of-improper-sidecar-mounting-... as the hardware on the Velorex had slipped so much that the bike was almost not ride able. (we offer these up grades as a kit as well) They then tried the Velorex (they had purchased the bike sight unseen on line) and found it to be to small and hard to get in and out of. They now have one of our M72D sidecars on their bike. We also took the steering damper off the bike that the Velorex dealer had installed in order to hide the problems with the mounts and we installed a new set of triple tree's to lower the steering effort.
Posted 3/21/2018 8:44 PM (#96722 - in reply to #96350) Subject: RE: Velorex Upgrade
Location: Richton, MS
Thank you for your well reasoned and presented information. If I had known all this when I started, I would have gone a different route.
By the way, of the three rigs I am operating, my wife likes the Velorex the best for riding in.
Posted 3/22/2018 9:27 AM (#96728 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
Location: East Texas
I am planning to rebuild my swingarm on my 563 and replace the axle with a 1" H-D rear axle. For a wheel I have a 16" H-D spoke wheel and disk. However, using this setup makes it difficult to remove the wheel because the caliper and disk must be removed with it. Using a trailer axle, the disk stays on the hub and the wheel is easily removed by itself, leaving the entire brake assembly on the car. Trying to figure out the pros / cons before I start cutting up usable parts.
This might become a project for next winter. I've got two vintage Hondas I'm restoring right now.
Posted 3/22/2018 10:08 AM (#96730 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
You will find that the Harley brake rotor is far to large of diameter for sidecar use. This is why we make our own rotors. You will also want to use a much smaller brake caliper. Check to make sure that your "1' inch Harley axle is really one inch. Harley has a habit of calling metric parts by SAE size's it could also be a 25mm axle.
Posted 3/22/2018 12:59 PM (#96733 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
I didn't try a brake because of the hap-hazard way things are put together. I couldn't really see a decent way to operate it, and sync it with the bike brakes. No hydraulic rear. Plus I rode the car without, and it didn't seem too bad at stopping. Honestly, if I get a good sidecar, I would definitely get a brake. I would most like go with DMC, as well. My parts sourcing came from Tractor Supply, and they do have hubs with brakes available. I am also planning on reinforcing the frame some. I don't think the Shadow is too far off for the size of car, but I agree I wouldn't go much bigger. I guess my thing is finding out if I like hacks before I put too much money into a good one. 'Finding out' for me generally means I tear it apart, until I get the squeaky out of the dog toy, and see what makes it squeak. Sure, someone with a lot of experience could do it better and faster, but I will know all about it when I'm done. Not all about every sidecar, but all about the one I have. Then I will know exactly what to look for when I get a good one. Oddly enough, I've pretty much already made up my mind which company I'm probably going to use if I do, which is usually the last step for me. Then again, there just isn't a lot of them around. Someone like Jay helping out goes a long way with customer relations, even before they become a customer. (Not that he's the only one, though, there's a lot of very helpful people on this site.)
I dunno Jay, there's a lot more people on here that have done that conversion than I had thought. A lot being in the area of 6, though, I guess it depends on what you decide is a good market. I think a Velorex with a 15mm axle is unsafe, and everyone should do something. You can get a 20mm axle from someplace, but I'm still not sure that's robust enough. The 25mm seems like your preference, I went big, I figured I need more weight anyhow. The 20mm IMO I would think about upgrading it, that 15 really didn't do much to hold up anything. I suspect the guy I bought it from curbed it without telling me and it was fatigued already, though. Not that putting a large friend of mine in the tub helped, he exceeded the rated capacity by close to double. (And yes he still fit lol)
Posted 3/24/2018 10:20 AM (#96755 - in reply to #96350) Subject: Re: Velorex Upgrade
BTW Spartan by me is selling new Enfields with Cozy Rockets attached. Not sure what a G5 Deluxe is, but they are an Enfield dealer now, and install & sell sidecars. I guess that makes them a sidecar dealer, too?