Posted 12/5/2003 8:18 PM (#1695) Subject: High Speed Hackin'
Okay, so I don't think very far ahead sometimes....but fact is, I've got my sidecar installed, a modicum of testing accomplished, and am now preparing the body for painting come the warmer weather of spring.
But the thing I didn't think about, is high speed stability. I enjoy both the twisty country roads and the interstate. On the interstate, I like to go kind of fast.
So, can a sidecar rig maintain the higher speeds? Does the rig's unique steering geometry make high speeds a danger?
Or is it (like a number of other matters I've raised) a non-issue?
Posted 12/5/2003 11:50 PM (#1701 - in reply to #1695) Subject: RE: High Speed Hackin'
Location: Middleburg, Pa
I guess you are referring to sustained higher speeds on the interstate?
If so it should not be an issue especially with your rig.
Downside? Gas milage may drop drastically..check it out.
Our old 1979 XS1100 Yamaha with Motorvation Formuls II will run for hours at 75-80 but the gas milage really stinks at that speed! It is a whole lot better at 65 or 70. Somewhere there is a trade off dependant upon gallons carried if you know what I mean.
I really do not care for the superslab but it is a means to get from point 'a' to point 'b' in a hurry if needed.
Posted 12/7/2003 2:59 AM (#1707 - in reply to #1695) Subject: RE: High Speed Hackin'
Location: Boise, Idaho
Higher speed stability can be enhanced by "tightening up" the rig in general. Have you installed stiffer shocks? If your front end hasn't been heavily modified, have you installed higher viscosity oil in the forks? Stepped up the spring rate in the front end to reduce front end dive? Just spring spacers can help some. How about a stiffer sidecar shock, if so equipped? Well balanced tires (3) and well adjusted bearings will also help. Have you considered a sway bar? They're good for the twisties too.
Superslab mileage will drop considerably with higher speeds but there is always room for a fuel cell or reserve tank in the hack if you are looking for range between gas stops.
Posted 12/7/2003 12:25 PM (#1710 - in reply to #1695) Subject: High Speed Hackin'
Well, I suspected mileage would suffer substantially, but I'm willing to live with that without complaint. My bike has a 7.5 gallon tank, and while I can go 300 miles now between fill-ups (but don't, preferring to stick with anything between 250 and 280 miles); even a drop of 25 percent will still leave me with 175 miles or so between stops....and that's pretty much on a par with my seat's comfort quotient.
But putting a sidecar on a bike does evidently alter lots of things. I know countersteering will be out, and I'll be placed in the position of having to steer much like we used to steer those old three-wheeler ATV's.
And then, there is a new and different distribution of weight, and I realize that must generate some handling issues as well. I realize too, how much the geometry of the set-up (camber, toe-in) must effect the overall handling.
I am glad to hear however, that it is possible to maintain high speeds on the super-slab with some measure of safety....in fact, I've seen times when being able to maintain higher speeds is an necessary adjunct to safety.
As I said before, I love the twisties and the scenic vistas they can give us. But too, I do enjoy an occasional stint on the super-slab, and more especially if I need to get somewhere in a limited amount of time.
My absolutely preferred method of riding with a partner (the wife) is to follow our "When you say so, or I say so" rule. That is, either of us has complete freedom to say, "Let's stop here" at any time, any place, for any reason, whether it be a bathroom break, a tourist attraction, or just a place to lie down under a tree for a while.
It looks to me as if the sidecar rig is especially suited to that kind of riding, since you don't have to worry overmuch about the incline of the roadway (ever set your bike on its sidestand, on a hill slanted the wrong way, and see your bike topple over?), or whether the surface is paved, dirt or grassy (ever set your bike on its sidestand in dirt, or in grass, and see it topple over?), and so on.
Now, once again, I'm up against the season. I hate winter....and look forward to spring with a vengeance.
Posted 12/7/2003 1:58 PM (#1711 - in reply to #1710) Subject: RE: High Speed Hackin'
Location: Middleburg, Pa
>>My absolutely preferred method of riding with a partner (the wife) is to follow our "When you say so, or I say so" rule. That is, either of us has complete freedom to say, "Let's stop here" at any time, any place, for any reason, whether it be a bathroom break, a tourist attraction, or just a place to lie down under a tree for a while.>>
With a sidecar you may find you are stopping at mor eplaces than before..for instance:
1)The possibilties of garage sales and flea market 'finds' will be greater with the extra hauling capacity.(good or bad? who knows).
2)Fishing..If you like to fish you can haul more gear than was ever possible on a solo machine.
3)Family outings can now include larger coolers and cooking equiptment.
4)The necessity to go to the grocery store can now be turned into a nice day ride.
5), 6),7)....you fill in the blanks.
Welcome to the wacky world of sidecars...and remember it can become very adictive.
Posted 12/7/2003 4:07 PM (#1713 - in reply to #1710) Subject: RE: High Speed Hackin'
Location: Boise, Idaho
"It looks to me as if the sidecar rig is especially suited to that kind of riding, since you don't have to worry overmuch about the incline of the roadway."
Don't forget to leave it in gear or that incline might bite you. I know of at least one rig that went swimming after being left on a boat ramp out of gear while the driver rushed to the Porta-potty. Heh, Heh.
Posted 12/7/2003 6:20 PM (#1716 - in reply to #1711) Subject: High Speed Hackin'
Yeah, some of those wonderful possibilities regarding adding fun to the motorcyclying experience haven't escaped my attention....I'm really looking forward to it!
I'm an inveterate (and sometimes illegible) writer and photographer. I don't even want to think of the many opportunities I've missed, simply because it was hard or impossible to pull my solo bike off the road safely. Given that my bike is tallish for my inseam, and the difficulties are multiplied.
If I manage to drop my bike with sidecar on, I will immediately know something is wrong, big time....
Thanks and later!
Posted 12/7/2003 6:27 PM (#1717 - in reply to #1713) Subject: High Speed Hackin'
Far be it from me to utter any word that might imply another has personal experience in a thing....especially regarding unguarded inclines leading to water and other such like; but I've often heard it said experience is the best teacher. Shucks, just testing my bike with the sidecar frame on the other day put me very nearly in my pond....and me with no reverse gear!
Doing stupid things is right up my alley, so I expect my new sidecar experiences will reflect that personal trait just fine.
But even given all that, I'm really looking forward to good weather so I can get my sidecar painted and out-fitted properly. Then, I've got a list of rides and events to attend as long as my arm....and I don't want to miss a single one.