Toe-in adjustment.
shoelu
Posted 1/14/2008 11:18 AM (#32547)
Subject: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 51
Location: Saint Paul, MN
I have been riding a 1999 Ural Bavarian Classic for about 5 years and recently purchased a 1999 Kawasaki Drifter with a Motorvation Spyder sidecar. I purchased the Drifter in Tulsa, then rode it about 300 miles to Kansas City where my extended family lives. I towed the bike to chilly Saint Paul over Christmas, and have not been able to ride it since because of the weather here in Minnesota. On the cruise from Tulsa to K.C. I noticed a substantial pull to the right at speeds in the 70-80 mph range. The bike tracks pretty true at city speeds, but the high speed pull to the right bothers me since I plan to do some extensive touring at highway speeds on this bike. The pull was somewhat negated if I rode in the left lane on the highway where the slope of the road helped neutralize the pull. My Ural does not have this much pull on the highway (granted it will not do 80 unless it is downhill with a 70 mph tailwind). I have never set up the toe-in on a rig and am wondering if I adjust out the pull on the highway will I ruin my in town handling? Does it sound reasonable that I am already at the happy medium and will just have to accept the pull on the highway to preserve the ride at city speeds or is it possible it is simply out of adjustment. Are adjustments to the toe-in difficult on the the Spyder? The sidecar is attached with Motorvation hardware. Thanks for the help.

Edited by shoelu 1/14/2008 11:23 AM




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Bob in Wis
Posted 1/14/2008 11:53 AM (#32548 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 690
Location: milwaukee, wi. area
Shoelu, that is a sweet looking rig.
the toe- in has little to do with the pull to the left or right.
adjusting the bike 'lean in/out' will make a big difference.
If your rig is pulling right,loosen the upper strut adjusters and lean the bike out a little more, tighten them, then try it at the speed you will be using most of all.65-70 on a level stretch with no gas applied.
This will be a hit/miss situation, as no definite amount of lean out is correct for all rigs. a ballpark figure is about 1/4 to 3/8" difference [lean out] from bottom sidewall of rear tire to the top sidewall.
the toe -in will make a little difference, but is mainly to keep the rig tracking straight without wandering. check it to make sure, using 2 straight edges alont the bike rear tire and the sidecar tire, extended past the fron and rear bike wheels.measure distance between the 2 straight edges just in front of the front tire and behind the rear bike tire..1/4" less in front is a good figure.too much or too little toe-in can result in very bad rear bike tire wear.
adding more lean out will affect the low speed pull a little more but you will always have some, unless you pop for an electric lean adjuster.
you will get used to the pull left or right with more experience.
but set the lean to agree with your most used speed...highway cruising for your long trip. much more comfort at speed then.

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shoelu
Posted 1/14/2008 12:34 PM (#32550 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 51
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Thanks for the info Bob, it is exactly what I was looking for. As I said I have lots of sidecar riding experience, but none in the set up of the rig. I will try and get some measurements on the lean out, but it may be extremely difficult to get accurate measurements with the large fenders that cover virtualy the entire tire. I'll take a look and let you know how it measures up. When you say "lean out" I assume you mean lean the bike out at an angle away from the hack. Is that correct? The rig tracks true at all speeds with no drifting left or right (other than the pull), so I will assume that the toe-in is close to correct and the lean out is what needs adjustment. Thanks for the compliments on the rig.

Edited by shoelu 1/14/2008 12:43 PM
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timo482
Posted 1/14/2008 1:52 PM (#32552 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.


Posts: 628
Location: Belle Plaine MN
adding a raked tree AFTER you have the toe and lean right will make it much much easier to steer at all times.

but it still has to be right to start with

to
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Hack'n
Posted 1/14/2008 2:21 PM (#32555 - in reply to #32550)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
For Leanout measurement:
Get an inexpensive magnetic angle guage (protractor) and place it on your front disc rotor with the wheel straight ahead. Adjust lean-out to between 1 and 2 degrees with the bike and sidecar loaded to normal usage weight. That will take care of fender clearance problems and tire/wheel size differences encountered when using the level or carpenters framing square method.
Even with neutral steering you will get some right pull from highly crowned roads and high speed wind resistance against the sidecar.
Find the best compromise that works for you.

Lonnie
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claude #3563
Posted 1/14/2008 2:39 PM (#32556 - in reply to #32555)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 2471
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Fo rlean out rememebr this: Lean left to go left and lean right to go right...pretty simple. If you need a measurement for a reference point on your specific bike you can just measure from the end of each handle bar to the ground.Left bar will be lower than right bar when it is leaned out. Onece you establizh a reference point go from there. Rememebr that when you lean it out it will seem more tipsy in right handers. After some seat tiem you may find you can deal with more lean out and stil be safe. What you are expoeriencing is what tilt adusters are good for. With themnm you can adjust the tilt of th erig which acts about the same as lean out does. If you rbikes suspoension is sof it will mean the rig will be more sensitive to road camber conditions.
Great advice by Bob and Lonnie. If you do buy one of those cheap protractors have someplace on the wall or somewhere where you can check it from time to time to see if it stays the same ...they do tend to get wacked out especially if you drop them.
Have fun..
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shoelu
Posted 1/14/2008 4:16 PM (#32559 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 51
Location: Saint Paul, MN
A quick preliminary investigation confirms I currently have a small amount of "lean in". You can tell it leans in slightly by just looking, but I confirmed it with a magnetic level attached to the front disc. I will begin experimenting with the "lean out" as soon as the temperature here warms up a bit and I am able to test the changes on the highway. Thanks for the suggestions from all, I appreciate it.
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tkpinsc
Posted 1/14/2008 8:06 PM (#32560 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.


Posts: 425
Location: Columbia, SC
Leanout isn't something that needs to be measured, until it is set correct. When correct you only need to measure it so you can duplicate it later. Also remember the leanout/lean in will change when the rider climbs on the bike and with passengers if any.

The best way to fine tune leanout is to move the setting a little and record how you moved it, then test ride on a stretch of road that has conditions most common to your riding patterns. Now move it a little more, if better move a little more, if worse back up half. Repeat as needed until you hit the sweet spot. Now record the measurement. I like Claudes suggestion of measuring the difference between the handlebar ends and the ground.

Remember at slower speeds road crown will have the most effect on pull to the right or left. At higher speeds wind resistance will exert the most pull as wind resistance increases as a square of speed and road crown remains constant. So you need to do your testing on a road with the same crown at the same speed for it to be meaningful.

This relationship between wind resistance, crown and pull works out for a bigger sweet spot then you might expect as you usually travel slower on high crown secondary roads and faster on low crown divided highways.

Edited by tkpinsc 1/14/2008 8:09 PM
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MikeS
Posted 1/14/2008 8:17 PM (#32562 - in reply to #32559)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 60
Location: Grand Marais, MN
As an addition, using the brake rotor for adjustment of the outward lean: I put my electronic level on the rear rotor instead of the front. Any bit of turn of the front wheel from straight and your angle will be off a little. My level fits against the rear rotor, so that's what I use.
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claude #3563
Posted 1/14/2008 11:00 PM (#32571 - in reply to #32562)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 2471
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Good info in this thread. One thing to check after lean out is set and reset is tire wear. Lean out itself is not usually a huge factor in tire wear increases but on many rigs when the bike is leaned in or out the toe in can change some. More toe in equals more tire wear so check it out.
This all comes from the placement of the lower mounts niot lining up front to rear.
What i like to do is check out the effects of leaning the bike before hand. Unhook the top mounts and loosen the lower mounts slightly if needed. If your lower mounts are heim ends you can leave them alone. Then lean the bike in and out while seeing if the sidecar wheel 'steers' even slightly. Get a friend to help you or maybe strap a straight edge to the sidecar wheel to check for movement. It does not take much movement at the sidecar wheel to change toe in quite a bit.
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shoelu
Posted 4/4/2008 10:08 PM (#34585 - in reply to #32571)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 51
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Well it finally warmed up enough here in Minnesota to get the bike out and experiment with the lean. I leaned it out slightly and the results were good. It handles better with less pull at all speeds. I will continue to experiment and let you know how it turns out.
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Ckretintimidator
Posted 4/29/2008 1:57 PM (#35248 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.


Posts: 49
Location: Leavenworth, KS
My rear tire wear is starting to make some more sense. I haven't checked toe while adjusting lean. My lower mounts aren't on the same plane and I bet that's messing with my toe. This thread has some helpful information on it, thanks Claude.

How's your bike turning out, Shoelu? It looks like you've got some pretty nice rides.
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shoelu
Posted 4/30/2008 11:41 PM (#35322 - in reply to #32547)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 51
Location: Saint Paul, MN
The bike is riding pretty well so far. I only adjusted the lean out so far, and got good results. Still pulls right or left on acceleration or deccelation, but I don't think any one has solved that yet. Thanks for the kind words about the bike.
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Hack'n
Posted 5/1/2008 10:28 AM (#35329 - in reply to #35322)
Subject: RE: Toe-in adjustment.



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
Two wheel drive is the only way around the push/pull on acceleration and deceleration. Asymetrical vehicle with aa slave wheel. Dead weight on that side without a drive wheel. Go figure.

Happy trails,

Lonnie
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