To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .
skaeser
Posted 2/9/2008 5:36 PM (#33022)
Subject: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


I have a new '08 Ultra with sidecar, which I'd placed on order last Fall, and today I got a chance to drive it around for the first time. I purposely use the word "drive", since I now know how the handling differs from "riding" a two wheel motorcycle.

When I mentioned the idea of raking the front end to the Dealer, to help with steering, I was met with a blank stare. My Dealer deals with Police hacks only on occasion for the most part, and there not a lot of depth of knowledge.

But now that I've had a chance to drive my rig, I see how one has to steer through turns and hold the handle bars in place as they fight you to go straight, which the dynamics dictate. I believe that it's this effort that the additional rake angle is supposed to help alleviate.

Does anyone have experience with using their hack both before and after the rake was increased? Is it enough of a difference to be worth the cost, or would that really depend on the amount of hard turning one expects to see each day?

I still very new to the world of sidecars, and was pleased to learn that a steering damper is including in the Harley Davidson sidecar kit. At this point both the bike and I are in our break-in period. Thanks in advance for anyone's thoughts.

Edited by skaeser 2/9/2008 5:55 PM
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Modelflyered
Posted 2/9/2008 8:00 PM (#33026 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 87
Location: St Chuck IL
Steve...I Hear Ya Man.. I To have wondered the the same thing- and being your Rig is new I can only tell you from my what i learned in the last year of riding. I took about 400 to 500 miles before my rig seem to get better. I don't know if this is because i got more muscles or cause the tires wore down some or because i added a little more air into the suspension. maybe becase i just got more familiar and could relax more. All I really know is it did get alot better. I'm also on the fence for raking the front because of all the extra junk in the front of the dressers that make it hard to get to. Thinking if i would do it i would probably do it the same time as having the lowers(forks) changed to chrom. Well thats my $.02 Ed.
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Hack'n
Posted 2/9/2008 8:32 PM (#33027 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
Raked triple trees have been covered heavily on these forums.

Bottom line is:
Fingertip steering just like power steering is achieved and the steering damper is no longer needed to control front end wobble and the shoulders no longer get tired from controlling the rig.
Well worth the expense.

Lonnie
Northwest Sidecars
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archon
Posted 2/9/2008 10:28 PM (#33032 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 49
Location: Seattle, Land of Oz
Lonnie is right.

All I can ad is my own experience with raked trees on my outfit. It makes the steering so controlled that I can ride no-handed on smooth roads without going into a wobble for short distances. Cornering is amazing and safety and control most reassuring. What is the value of such a thing? Well I looked at it from the point of view that since I purchased a Harley Davidson and paid what I believe to be a very high price for a motorcycle that the addition of a few hundred more in labor and materials was a small matter. The silky smooth steering and ease of control were worth the $500 or so that I spent on this. When you do a 400 mile or greater day it sure is nice to not worry about exhausted arm muscles at the end of that day.

I can't speak from prior experience with unraked rigs but I believe that as far as pulling the front end of a Big Twin apart that if you install the factory steering damper (which I believe is required) you'll have to do that anyhow (or your dealer will at a substantial labor rate) so if you're going to pull the front end apart to install a steering damper why not just change out your trees?

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skaeser
Posted 2/10/2008 1:41 AM (#33033 - in reply to #33032)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Thanks for the feedback and it would seem that raking the front end is a good investment if you have the resources. It's interesting that Harley didn't mention a "damper" in the conversation regarding the sidecar and I actually spoke with the Customization Sales Rep and he didn't seem to know much about dampers for use with a sidecar. But in the end the sidecar is installed and a damper was included in the package from the factory. It appears to connect below the faring, so I'm not sure that it was removed during the install. If I'd known that they were going to take the faring off for an installation, I would have given thought to the raked "triple tree" early on. But in my pictures of the bike in the shop the faring is still attached, with the seat and both saddlebags removed (along with the lower right faring, which is replaced).

I had a couple of spills on my Sportster, which is my reason for getting onto three wheels and I'm dealing with a rather long screw in my left shoulder and some residual aches and pains. I didn't find that the effort during a few short rides in town caused any pain, but I'm also dealing with the final stages of rehabilitation. Like the first person to respond, I have a feeling I'd get used to the effort in turns over time. But, if I'm doing a lot of driving in town, I'll have to move in that direction.



Edited by skaeser 2/10/2008 1:45 AM
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timo482
Posted 2/10/2008 4:39 PM (#33057 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 628
Location: Belle Plaine MN
IF you are never going to remove the sidecar [you cant ever ride the bike without a sidecar once you put in a raked tree]

if its true that you wont remove the side car - then run, do not walk, to your computer and get the raked tree - i ran 4000 miles without and then when i got my new 2007 ultra i bit the bullet and got a liberty tree - installed the tree myself [a BIG JOB] but i DID NOT remove the whole fairing - just the outer shell & the radio - then supported the bars from the ceiling on bungies and changed out the tree.

after one mile i felt a fool for not changing the tree on the other bike - for me it was that much improvement

1 - i wont EVER ride one without a raked tree again - its one of those changes that most dealers just have no idea about - however really old mechanics and really old parts guys will say its obvious - >>>>>harley shipped all sidecar bikes prior to 84 with a adjustable raked tree<<<< the difference is that now you cant adjust it - its permanent.

2 - they say to not use the damper - i tried it both ways and left mine on - its more stable at speed on the freeway especially in heavy stop and go traffic. ymmv

3 - liberty trees come with a pair of fork spacers - if you leave them out it lowers the front 1" - but there IS a risk of putting a dent in the front fender [personal experience] installing them requires more work on the front tubes.

4 - i did the whole job myself in one long day - a experienced mech should be able to do it faster.

to


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gnm109
Posted 2/10/2008 5:17 PM (#33059 - in reply to #33057)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
The current price on a set of raked trees is around $800 I understand. To that, add around 8 hours of shop labor if you don't do your own work. Where I am that's another $720. If you are never, ever going to take the sidecar off it might be a worthwhile investment.

Harley has a warning in the sidecar manual against using raked trees for solo riding and others will tell you this as well. The MoCo used to make adjustable triple trees in the Panhead era but gave up later on due to lack of demand.

I use the stock steering damper and a good setup to make do. It seems to be fine although I'm told that the raked trees are good. Since I can't swear that I will never need to remove the sidecar for any reason, I'll leave the stock trees on. BTW, I'm really surprised that your dealer failed to install the steering damper. It's part of the installation job.

If you have the money and want to do it, I say go ahead.






Edited by gnm109 2/10/2008 5:19 PM
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Peter Pan
Posted 2/10/2008 11:29 PM (#33078 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1886
Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
As a person with a bad shoulder injury you better go with leading link fork, for not to pass through the same akes and new damages as I have to pass through with my bad spline. (Last year I had my right hand 6 weeks paramized after 6 years of peace, just because of a wild 47 hour trip.)
Here where I live is no change to get one, but I had the change to try it. and it was great.
Sven Peter Pan
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gnm109
Posted 2/11/2008 1:45 AM (#33081 - in reply to #33078)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
Originally written by Peter Pan on 2/10/2008 8:29 PM

As a person with a bad shoulder injury you better go with leading link fork, for not to pass through the same akes and new damages as I have to pass through with my bad spline. (Last year I had my right hand 6 weeks paramized after 6 years of peace, just because of a wild 47 hour trip.)
Here where I live is no change to get one, but I had the change to try it. and it was great.
Sven Peter Pan



Yeah, I understand that the Earles-type forks are excellent on sidecars. Unfortunately they aren't available for the Harleys - at least I've not seen any. The only ones I've seen were on BMW's.


Edited by gnm109 2/11/2008 1:47 AM
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claude #3563
Posted 2/11/2008 5:19 AM (#33084 - in reply to #33081)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 2471
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Originally written by gnm109 on 2/11/2008 1:45 AM
Yeah, I understand that the Earles-type forks are excellent on sidecars. Unfortunately they aren't available for the Harleys - at least I've not seen any. The only ones I've seen were on BMW's.



>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Leading Links are avaiable for Harleys. Kevin, the USCA W.Va. rep has them on his. Have seen others as well. Actually I think Kevin's are from Unit,,,check it out..
Contact Kevin:
West Virginia
Kevin Klaggs
151 Grandview Dr.
Wellsburg, WV. 26070
304-737-1531

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skaeser
Posted 2/11/2008 8:26 AM (#33087 - in reply to #33084)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


I'd not seen that design, and it's interesting. But I'm not sure I'd want to convert an '08 Ultra at this point, so a new front fork is probably not in the cards.

To be honest, I need to drive my rig for a while to see if the handling is so difficult that I need the help of an additional 5 degree rake. But, as noted by one poster, the bike is then dedicated to being a sidecar rig (unless you're going to convert it into a trike). Of course, we all keep the old parts and one could convert it back, but that really expands the meaning of a removable sidecar rig. Now I don't plan on trying to remove my sidecar, after waiting two months to get this rig put together, but it's one of my mental arguments for choosing a sidecar over a trike for stability. Not to mention the fact that it looks far more traditional.

As far as the strain on my shoulder is concerned, my injury was primarily an issue of physical therapy to regain motion, rather than a loss of range. It took two weeks for them to get me into surgery and that let a lot of muscles atrophy, so it took months to regain their use. As it is, they'd like to go in and clean it up some more, but I'm running out of insurance to cover PT and that may have to wait until next year. Such are the glories of our insurance/medical limitations.

Edited by skaeser 2/11/2008 8:32 AM
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Uncle Ernie
Posted 2/11/2008 10:24 AM (#33090 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 408
Location: Asheville NC
I've been hearing about these triple trees for a long time, but never asked;
Does this make the wheel base longer or shorter?
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Modelflyered
Posted 2/11/2008 10:38 AM (#33091 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 87
Location: St Chuck IL
heres a page from Liberty sidecars, I guess to answer uncle ernies it would appear it would ever so slightly. Good info on Libertys site. http://www.libertysidecars.com/product2.htm I think im going order it up, i only wonder how it may efect HD's warrenty?? knowing HD it would probably void everything. Ed.
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gnm109
Posted 2/11/2008 10:53 AM (#33092 - in reply to #33091)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
Originally written by Modelflyered on 2/11/2008 7:38 AM

heres a page from Liberty sidecars, I guess to answer uncle ernies it would appear it would ever so slightly. Good info on Libertys site. http://www.libertysidecars.com/product2.htm I think im going order it up, i only wonder how it may efect HD's warrenty?? knowing HD it would probably void everything. Ed.


I'm fairly certain that changibg forks would void the warrantty on the entire frame. And, if you think about it, why not? Companies spend milions of dollars on testing with a set configuration. If a change is made no one can predict what will happen under stressful conditions. At that point, you're basically on your own.

I'm interested to discover that someone has made an Earles fork for a late-model Harley. If it could be done without removing the triple trees, it would be one way to go. Forget solo riding after that.


Edited by gnm109 2/11/2008 10:55 AM
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gregbenner
Posted 2/11/2008 11:14 AM (#33093 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 370
Location: Glendale, Wrightwood in Socal; Jackonville, Fla
Steve, I certainly understand your concern about being able to take the sidecar off for solo use in the future. No really good answer. I have reduced trails on both my rigs, an currently thinking about getting adjustable trail on the Goldwing so I could ride it solo. Harley's with sidecars are reasonbly common (as common as any rig, I would think). Perhaps you could find someone who has reduced trail and swap rigs for a short ride so you could see first hand? Maybe at a rally or something?
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timo482
Posted 2/11/2008 1:03 PM (#33097 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 628
Location: Belle Plaine MN
i was told that changing the trees only voided the warranty on the trees and bearings

its not as problematical as changing pipes or air cleaners or cams etc.

for most harley warranty issues - aftermarket parts effect the epa compliance and they are not supposed to send a bike out of the shop on the street with plates on it that is not epa compliant.

however it WOULD be a good idea to try and find a bike w sidecar with raked trees and ride that - or find a trike and ride that - the raked trees are the same for trike and sidecar use.

later

to
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skaeser
Posted 2/11/2008 1:39 PM (#33101 - in reply to #33097)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


When I started this thread I was interested in the experiences of others, but I'd already done a lot of reading on various web sites, including the Liberty Sidecar site in the Northwest. Champion Sidecars in California also has a triple-tree that provides a 5-degree rake, and I believe the "sweet spot" is between 4 and 5 degress.

It's fairly clear from the responses that a raked front end would help with handling in turns, and I've seen no one express regrets in any postings. Someone had mentioned that Harley used to include an adjustable T-Tree with their sidecars a couple of decades ago, but the interest was limited and, like the additional sidecar ballast weight, that accessory was discontinued due to lack of interest. Both have their place, and if the popularity of sidecars increases they'll probably make a comeback.

I have to mention that while I was recoverring from my shoulder injury, I did a lot of Internet research on what to replace my Sportster with for greater stability. I was leaning toward a trike until I actually spoke with the Dealer, but there are a number of shops that specialize in accessories for those who are handicapped and want to keep riding. http://hausoftrikes.com/index.htm has a variety of offerings from automatic clutches, to complete automatic transmissions, to re-routed brake lines to both hand grips, there are a variety of modifications one can make to keep someone who has a handicap in the saddle.

I don't want to change the thrust of this thread, but I felt it worh mentioning.
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gnm109
Posted 2/11/2008 1:44 PM (#33102 - in reply to #33097)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
Originally written by timo482 on 2/11/2008 10:03 AM

i was told that changing the trees only voided the warranty on the trees and bearings

its not as problematical as changing pipes or air cleaners or cams etc.

for most harley warranty issues - aftermarket parts effect the epa compliance and they are not supposed to send a bike out of the shop on the street with plates on it that is not epa compliant.

however it WOULD be a good idea to try and find a bike w sidecar with raked trees and ride that - or find a trike and ride that - the raked trees are the same for trike and sidecar use.

later

to


I wouldn't bet on a frame warranty in the event of some form of damage after changing forks to leading link. In any case, I was talking about an entirely new fork, not just the trees. My experience has been that the dealers take the hard line on warranty issues when extensive modifications are made and why not?
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claude #3563
Posted 2/11/2008 8:07 PM (#33112 - in reply to #33090)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 2471
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Originally written by Uncle Ernie on 2/11/2008 10:24 AM

I've been hearing about these triple trees for a long time, but never asked;
Does this make the wheel base longer or shorter?


Longer Ernie. See attached picture on how trail is measured and it will make sense.
These discussions can create some confusion due to the use of the word 'rake'.
There is 'rake ' which applies to the steering head angle and there is 'trail' that more or less equates to what caster is on a car. The two work together.
On a sidecar rig 99.9% of the time we do not change the rake but the trail to get easier steering. To do this we may go to a leading link or to modified triple trees amoung other things. The modified trees are many times referred to as 'raked trees' which has nothing to do with changing the actual true 'rake' of the steering head.
Then of course there is the rake that is used to move leaves around but that is another story.
See atatched picture





(TRAIL.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments TRAIL.jpg (70KB - 79 downloads)
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claude #3563
Posted 2/11/2008 8:18 PM (#33113 - in reply to #33112)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 2471
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Other ways to ease steering:
* Lower profile front tire (reduces trail)
* Sliding fork tubes up farther through trees (reduces trail)
* Raising rear of bike (Reduces trail)
* Wider handlebars (more leverage)
* Move fork assemble forward with bracketry(reduces trail)(SEE ATTACHED)
* Move front axle forward with bracketry(reduces trail)(SEE ATTACHED)
* Workout a little


Edited by claude #3563 2/11/2008 8:27 PM




(front_fork_modif.jpg)



(leading links not.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments front_fork_modif.jpg (58KB - 119 downloads)
Attachments leading links not.jpg (150KB - 107 downloads)
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Peter Pan
Posted 2/11/2008 9:47 PM (#33120 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1886
Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
Claude, that are great ideas and easy to do in my machine shop....
The first version needs more calculation.
the second one might bend the tubes, and is a little ugly.
Both are easier then design and build a new stearing head or leading link fork.
I'll analyze that when my wife is out of reach....
Good night for now.
Sven
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claude #3563
Posted 2/12/2008 7:41 AM (#33130 - in reply to #33120)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 2471
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Originally written by Peter Pan on 2/11/2008 9:47 PM

Claude, that are great ideas and easy to do in my machine shop....
The first version needs more calculation.
the second one might bend the tubes, and is a little ugly.
Both are easier then design and build a new stearing head or leading link fork.
I'll analyze that when my wife is out of reach....
Good night for now.
Sven


Sven,
When you speak of 'the first one' and 'the second one' you are speaking of the pictures and not the post itself.
Yes, some calculations are in order. I have see twop folks this year who have built leading links that did no calcs ahead of time. Both had issues because the trail was reduced too much.
If building from scratch off of a stock bike one can get by without actually getting to invloved if they know what the stock trail is. Knowing this it is not that hard to figure how far the wheel will be moved and thus how much the trail will be reduced etc.
The system that moves the front axle out in fron tof th efork tubes has been marketed under various names. Dauntless calls it 'leadeing legs'. See this link for a picture of one of theirs. It is much cleaner than th epicture posted earlier which was a home meade version.
http://tinyurl.com/2x2kv4
Note that to do any steering mods such as these at home, so to speak, can get invloved and can cause problems if not done properly. It is best to go with a manufactured system for most folks. But then again we are sidecarists right? LOL.
SEE ATTACHED FOR MORE PICS.




Edited by claude #3563 2/12/2008 7:49 AM




(moved forks.jpg)



(leading legs on v strom.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments moved forks.jpg (96KB - 66 downloads)
Attachments leading legs on v strom.jpg (127KB - 67 downloads)
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RedMenace
Posted 2/12/2008 10:36 AM (#33131 - in reply to #33112)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 673
Location: GoodLiver, Oregon
Originally written by claude #3563 on 2/11/2008 5:07 PM

(snip)

These discussions can create some confusion due to the use of the word 'rake'.
There is 'rake ' which applies to the steering head angle and there is 'trail' that more or less equates to what caster is on a car. The two work together.
On a sidecar rig 99.9% of the time we do not change the rake but the trail to get easier steering. (snip) The modified trees are many times referred to as 'raked trees' which has nothing to do with changing the actual true 'rake' of the steering head...


I am so glad you pointed this out! I cringe every time I hear folks talk about "raking" the front end to get better steering on their trikes or sidecars.

If you actually extend the rake as was common with the old school
choppers you have the exact opposite effect on the steering effort. You need steeper rake to reduce trail and get lighter, quicker steering. More rake equals more trail with conventional telo forks. Kicking the rake out(back when bikers built their bikes commonly done by cutting or chopping the frame at the goose neck and welding in extended frame down tubes-hence the term "chopper")makes the steering slower and harder.

As you said, "raked triple trees" are a different thing all together. You haven't changed the rake, but you've changed the angle of the fork tubes in relation to the rake.
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Modelflyered
Posted 2/12/2008 4:38 PM (#33142 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 87
Location: St Chuck IL
Well i did it.. i ordered up the liberty trees...figured if i was going with the lower chrome kit might as well do it all at the same time. $875 delivered to my door. can't wait..ed
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timo482
Posted 2/12/2008 8:28 PM (#33154 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 628
Location: Belle Plaine MN
a bit of my experience.....

i left the 1" liberty supplied spacers out of the fork tubes which lowers the front end about a inch - then i moved the brake line bracket to the stabilizer bolt so that it would clear the fender. im also running a 15" rear tire & that lowered the rear about 1.5"

so its lowered - but still has full suspension travel.

however - its almost too low, i cant go over a surmountable curb loaded.

ymmv

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shortcut
Posted 2/13/2008 10:25 PM (#33190 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 91
Location: anniston, alabama USA
i had the raked triple trees from liberty installed last may 2007 on my 02 electraglide/98 tle sidecar rig. i can tell you the difference is dramatic. you won't be dissapointed. i paid the $875.00 and i had to pay a shop another $400.00 for the install. i am not a motorcycle mechanic. it was a very expensive "mod" but well worth it. for my 2 wheel jaunts i bought an 06 suzuki hayabusa which i just traded for a new 07 softail standard 2 weeks ago.
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Modelflyered
Posted 2/26/2008 9:45 PM (#33463 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 87
Location: St Chuck IL
Well here we go..it was a beautiful day yesterday here in the land of sky blue waters(even though there still a solid sheet of ice). I rolled the rig out and she fired right up, i guess it did'nt hurt it was 36 degrees out. i got in a 4 mile ride b4 the trailer from my local expensive t- shirt shop showed up. Up into the back she went...on her way for the new triptree from the nice folks at Liberty and figured while thay were at it go ahead and do the lower fork chrome to. I guess it pays to be a nice guy cause they said they would do the tree for the same amout of shop hours as they would charge for just doing the lowers. A deal i couldn't pass up. I will let you all know how it feels when i get her back. Ciao for now. Ed.
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Texan
Posted 2/27/2008 12:29 AM (#33467 - in reply to #33190)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 48
Location: Back home in TEXAS..o~\o
Originally written by shortcut on 2/13/2008 10:25 PM

i had the raked triple trees from liberty installed last may 2007 on my 02 electraglide/98 tle sidecar rig. i can tell you the difference is dramatic. you won't be dissapointed. i paid the $875.00 and i had to pay a shop another $400.00 for the install. i am not a motorcycle mechanic. it was a very expensive "mod" but well worth it. for my 2 wheel jaunts i bought an 06 suzuki hayabusa which i just traded for a new 07 softail standard 2 weeks ago.

Okay, have a question. Have you ridden your bagger without the sidecar attached?? I also have an '02 FLHTCUI that I use to push around the sidecar but pull the hack off to do a couple (6,000-8,000 mile) trips a year. Have been told with the racked tree riding without the sidecar he bike is VERY "squirrely".

o~\o



Edited by Texan 2/27/2008 12:30 AM
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gnm109
Posted 2/27/2008 2:04 AM (#33472 - in reply to #33467)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
Originally written by Texan on 2/27/2008 2:31 AM

Originally written by shortcut on 2/13/2008 10:25 PM

i had the raked triple trees from liberty installed last may 2007 on my 02 electraglide/98 tle sidecar rig. i can tell you the difference is dramatic. you won't be dissapointed. i paid the $875.00 and i had to pay a shop another $400.00 for the install. i am not a motorcycle mechanic. it was a very expensive "mod" but well worth it. for my 2 wheel jaunts i bought an 06 suzuki hayabusa which i just traded for a new 07 softail standard 2 weeks ago.

Okay, have a question. Have you ridden your bagger without the sidecar attached?? I also have an '02 FLHTCUI that I use to push around the sidecar but pull the hack off to do a couple (6,000-8,000 mile) trips a year. Have been told with the racked tree riding without the sidecar he bike is VERY "squirrely".

o~\o



In such a situation, it would be dangerous. If raked trees are used, the trail is wrong for solo riding on your FL. Here is a quote from a site that speaks about rake and trail in such a situation.

"A word to the wise: If you want to extend your stock Harley's front end by using a set of raked triple trees...DONT! Raked triple trees are really used where the bike has a raked neck of 40 degrees or more. In these cases the raked trees bring the trail back to a shorter, more manageable, distance. Using raked trees on a stock steering stem will shorten the trail too much and lead to instability as the speed increases. Picture a high speed shopping cart. Consider, instead, a set of raked cups that keep the pivot and the fork tubes parallel to each other but "kick out" the front end....or rake your chassis by cutting your neck and positioning it for longer tubes, chopper style."

From http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/rakeandtrail.html

So, if you change to different trees, you should decide in advance that you won't be doing solo anymore.

In my case, while I see the value of changing the trees on a dedicated motorcycle, I can't commit that I will never take the sidecar off for a while. So I make do with the HD steering damper. Nothing's perfect.






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skaeser
Posted 2/27/2008 11:41 AM (#33478 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Since I can't state that I'll "never" try to use my Ultra solo in the future, I've not pursued raking my front end. But, I wanted to get an idea of how the concept was received and this thread has been enlightening.

At this point the Dealer is waiting on a new, and slightly extended, handlebar for the '08 Model and that should provide a little more leverage in turns. I don't find the stock ride to be too difficult, but it's certainly going to build muscle over time if you drive a lot in a city environment and make a lot of turns.
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Texan
Posted 2/29/2008 11:31 AM (#33514 - in reply to #33472)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 48
Location: Back home in TEXAS..o~\o
Ya know GNM, I've read this in numerous places, READ, but have never talked to anybody that has ridden solo with a raked tree. AND I understand the geometry behind what you're saying. Now, back a few years I had a chopper that had such a rake on it that it took 2 days to make a turn and I would NEVER ride that bike at highway speeds.

I'm seriously considering buying another touring bike instead of pulling the hack off 2-3 times a year. I know that's quite an investment for a little labor...but am considering the "plus'" of handling by installing a tree. Am going to pull the front legs off this next month to change out the seals and such, so no better time to change out the tree.

o~\o
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gnm109
Posted 2/29/2008 2:29 PM (#33515 - in reply to #33514)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
Originally written by Texan on 2/29/2008 8:31 AM

Ya know GNM, I've read this in numerous places, READ, but have never talked to anybody that has ridden solo with a raked tree. AND I understand the geometry behind what you're saying. Now, back a few years I had a chopper that had such a rake on it that it took 2 days to make a turn and I would NEVER ride that bike at highway speeds.

I'm seriously considering buying another touring bike instead of pulling the hack off 2-3 times a year. I know that's quite an investment for a little labor...but am considering the "plus'" of handling by installing a tree. Am going to pull the front legs off this next month to change out the seals and such, so no better time to change out the tree.

o~\o


It's not unusual for folks to have a separate solo bike around. It sounds like a good idea under the circumstances.
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skaeser
Posted 2/29/2008 3:09 PM (#33516 - in reply to #33478)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


I have just learned that the '08 Ultra, which has the new "fly by wire" throttle, does not have an extended handlebar available for it (yet). Without special notches needed for the new throttle, the handlebar won't work.

There is a "Tall Boy" handlebar that would work, but that's the only one made so far by HD. At this point the Dealer also cannot find any after market bars that would work, so I'll have to wait a year or so I guess.

Steve
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Modelflyered
Posted 3/8/2008 9:39 PM (#33709 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 87
Location: St Chuck IL
skaeser,
Well the rig is done. i just need some warm weather and some rain to wash the salt off the roads. I have to say the trees i got from Liberty in Washington were really NICE!! As someone who worked in a custom steel and aluminum Fab shop the quality and finish were excellent. Well worth the price. Now it's just the typical waiting game on mother nature to see how it affected the steering. Can't wait. Ed
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skaeser
Posted 3/9/2008 10:30 AM (#33719 - in reply to #33709)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Originally written by Modelflyered on 3/8/2008 9:39 PM

skaeser,
Well the rig is done. i just need some warm weather and some rain to wash the salt off the roads. I have to say the trees i got from Liberty in Washington were really NICE!! As someone who worked in a custom steel and aluminum Fab shop the quality and finish were excellent. Well worth the price. Now it's just the typical waiting game on mother nature to see how it affected the steering. Can't wait. Ed



Sounds great. I'm doing the warm weather dance, myself, and hope to get my rig back from the Dealer soon. They're having problems with the Alarm, following the installation of the sidecar (causing the siren to fail). They've spent hours on the phone with Harley and they finally decided to send another alarm and replace the one I got as defective.

Keep us posted on how the new "Trees" feel.
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gregbenner
Posted 3/9/2008 5:48 PM (#33732 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 370
Location: Glendale, Wrightwood in Socal; Jackonville, Fla
Since both of our rigs have had modified rake since new, I didnt have any experince with a non raked rig. However, as noted on another thread, we are currently touring on a rented Yamaha Royal Star rig. Its a very nice unit, but has stock steering. I have so far driven it 2,000+ miles, and realize am not likely to get used to it. Its fine on the open highway, and not too bad in town. However, when to road gets twistie, it gets a bit tiring. For me, the ease of steering is a great improvement in the joy of driving.
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ed carlson
Posted 11/1/2009 9:27 AM (#47176 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 33
Location: grayslake, illinois
Now with the Harley TriGlide they use the increased angeled triple tres and to correct the height they added 1 or 2 inch longer lowers to bring back to a level position, The aftermarket trees are 1050.00 Harley trees are less than 1/2 and from ebay the lowers are being sold as take offs due to people swapping out for chrome, well worth the investment as bones gets weaker sidecars prolong riding for ever
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Jane1450
Posted 2/23/2010 5:16 AM (#49499 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: RE: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 41
Location: JAX, Fl
We installed the Tri-Glide trees and I really Luv them. Spousal unit rode the bike a few hundred miles w/o hack and returned a favorable handeling report. Said the steering was quicker but not unsafe/un stable. This is with a car tire on the rear. I understand the aftermarket trees have more rake built in so they may be an entirely different beast... just my .02
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brockoli
Posted 5/1/2010 3:21 AM (#50892 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 31
Here's some info on steering modifications (modern day, not old school Harley adjustable trees). The Harley car mounts with a 'J' bar. Common knowledge if you're a Harley car owner. There is no suspension on the frame, as such the j-bar handles some of the cars wanting-ness to move around on bumps. This causes the motorcycle to get moved around (side to side, leaning). When you introduce leaning to a modified triple tree with a significant reduction in trail (resulting in less to almost no solo stability) the bike becomes very difficult to ride, almost impossible at high speeds too. The bike will require stock trail, a steering damper is recommended in this case as well. One way to combat some of the bike movement is to install a damper between the the sidecar frame and where the upper strut would be on a conventional rigid sidecar frame. This will take away the the jello feel the rigs tend to have. Just a few tips, I've put quite a few together and it works every time. Remember, this pertains only to the Harley car, where the J-bar is used allowing the bike to move somewhat independantly from the sidecar.
-Brock Smith
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Hack'n
Posted 5/1/2010 12:03 PM (#50899 - in reply to #50892)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
I have found that the stock Harley damper is no longer needed with the Harley cars after 5 degree reduced trail forks are installed.
No use to fight stering resistance one doesn't need.

Lonnie


Edited by Hack'n 5/1/2010 2:19 PM
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brockoli
Posted 5/1/2010 12:24 PM (#50900 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 31
It depends on the amount of trail reduction done, that's why I had mentioned about modern day tree modifications because the older Harley trees didn't have as much reduction as some of today's do. Easier is always better though
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46u
Posted 5/1/2010 4:37 PM (#50912 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 801
Location: Macon, Georgia, USA
Being new to sidecars and do not have mine even mounted yet but I called Steerite and talked to the owner for about 1/2 hour. He told me do to Harley having the fork tubes behind the neck he did not recommend raked trees. I forgot what he said the problem was but he said rake trees on a touring Harley creates other problems. I am not trying to start a flame all I am doing is trying to learn.
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Hack'n
Posted 5/1/2010 6:15 PM (#50918 - in reply to #50912)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
Harley doesn't recommend sidecars for any other of their bikes except the Electra Glides or FXRP's either since they don't make sidecars for them.
It may be a "If I don't make it I won't recommend" it thing.
I've had raked trees on the later Harleys ElectraGlides and had no problems except very easy and controllable rigs and have a set ordered from Pete Larsen for my latest 2010 FLHX rig.

Lonnie
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46u
Posted 5/1/2010 6:25 PM (#50922 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 801
Location: Macon, Georgia, USA
I wish I could remember what the adverse affect was he told me. Who is Pete Larsen? Is he with Liberty? Thanks
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timo482
Posted 5/2/2010 8:49 PM (#50972 - in reply to #50922)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .


Posts: 628
Location: Belle Plaine MN
he is the owner of liberty

and hd DOES now make a raked tree assy - its actually fairly cheap

its for the HD trike - just bolts one no mods needed

to
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46u
Posted 5/2/2010 9:17 PM (#50975 - in reply to #33022)
Subject: Re: To Rake, or not to Rake . . . .



Posts: 801
Location: Macon, Georgia, USA
Yes I see his trees. Thanks.
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