Car alignment for a newbie

Posted 2/29/2004 10:32 AM (#2467)
Subject: Car alignment for a newbie

Hi all,
I just installed a velorex sidecar to a '69 Guzzi Ambasator. I'm very new to the sidecar thing and am looking for some advice. Ridding the combo was not as hard as expected but the rig pulls pretty hard towards the car under exceleration. Is this normal or is there an adjustment I need to do to help counteract this? We have the car all set up to the velorex specs but am wondering if I need more toe in? Is there a rule of thumb for the characteristics of how the rig behaves? All advice is appreciated.
Thanks, Scott
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claude #3563
Posted 2/29/2004 2:09 PM (#2468 - in reply to #2467)
Subject: RE: Car alignment for a newbie


Posts: 2498
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Pulling to the right on acceleration is normal because the sidecar wheel not being powered will tend to lag behind. This is a strange feeling at first but will become second nature with more 'seat time' to the point it is not really noticed any longer.If the outfit does not pull to the right when you are just cruising on the type of roads you normally drive on with the normal weight load you carry you are probably not too far off. The tell tale sign of a bad setup other than a constant pulling will be tire it closely. Tire wear typically can be attributed to too much toe in. Toe should really be a little as possible to make for a happy rig. Lean out is the best adjustment to alleviate a pull in either direction. The rig will want to go in the direction the bike is leaning.
You have a fairly light sidecar on a fairly heavy bike. Leaning the bike out may make it seem spooky to you and you may want to add some ballast to calm it down in right handers.
Note: If you do adjust lean out be sure to recheck your toe in afterwards. If the two bottom mounts are not placed the same distance from the ground and the centerline of the bike the toe will change as the bike is leaned in or out. Not a big deal unless you don't realize it until you see your tires being ground away
If you want to check this remove the top mounts..loosen the bottom ones and then manually lean the bike in and out. As you do this see if the sidecar wheel 'steers'. If your front lower mount is higher than the rear lower mount more lean out will make for more toe in and visa versa.

Oh..practice..practice and do..take it easy and don't become over confident. Sidecars are very addictive and ton of fun but there is a learning curve that cannot be ignored.

Hope this helps a little.

Did I mention practice??

Edited by claude #3563 2/29/2004 2:27 PM
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Posted 3/2/2004 12:34 PM (#2489 - in reply to #2467)
Subject: RE: Car alignment for a newbie

Thanks for the advice. I really did not consider the lean out, but that sounds like thats what I wll play with. Now to just hope for an early spring!
Thanks, Scott
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