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I have to ask......Lean out
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/23/2014 10:48 PM (#80811)
Subject: I have to ask......Lean out


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Posts: 23
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I'm new to sidecars but I'm learning fast and really enjoying my outfit. I have a 1967 BSA B44VR with a 1970ish 562 Velorex chair attached. So far I've put a few thousand miles on the outfit. My longest trip was just a few weeks ago and it was a little over 1260 miles round trip.

I've read all I can find about set up and have talked in person and on line to a lot of people and one thing still has me confussed......the "correct" way to adjust lean out. (if there is such a thing?)

When I set up my older 562 I went by the Velorex set up instructions. When dealing with lean out they say nothing about adding the rider to the bike and do say to adjust lean out with the chair unloaded. Several people tell me this is wrong. (?) They say I need to adjust lean out with the rider on the bike and the expected load in the chair. When I research this online I find it both ways with some companies doing it one way and some doing the other.

I just got through setting it up this time with a load......me on the bike and my cargo (tools and spares....I don't carry a passenger). I was told by several people I know and trust that this is the correct way.......but to tell you the truth I couldn't really tell any differance from the way I had it set up with out it loaded.

I figure I couldn't tell a differance because I'm still so new to all of this (been riding solo since 1968) so my seat of the pants feel isn't good enough. But in all these miles I still have even tire wear and I don't have a problem keeping it in a straight line.....with the way I set it up by Velorex's instructions.

I'm wondering what you guys and gals think about it and how do you set yours up. IF.......you do it loaded (okay don't go there...hahahaha) then WHY do several sidecar companies instruct me to do it differently?

Thank you in advance

Gordon in NC
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Hack'n
Posted 10/24/2014 8:29 PM (#80818 - in reply to #80811)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
There is no one size fits all when it comes to lean-out. There are too many deciding factors. The pilots weight, the load expected in the sidecar, road crown on the roads most driven, low speed or freeway driving. It's at best a compromise.
One usually starts with the manufacturers suggested method then road tests the rig looking for neutral steering at a normal speed.
Almost all rigs will require some fine tuning with the lean-out to achieve the best neutral steering, in most conditions.

Tire wear is most affected by toe-in.

I've found most all rigs track best with between 1 degree and 3 degrees of lean-out measured with a magnetic protractor placed on a brake rotor with the pilot mounted.

Lonnie
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/24/2014 9:23 PM (#80819 - in reply to #80818)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Lonnie, I've read what you've written about it in a couple of your other posts (Yes, I used the site's search function). I trust your opinion.

What bothers me is that my Velorex set up instructions doesn't mention anything about adjusting lean out with the rider on the bike. They do say to NOT load the chair.

There is at least a couple of other manufactures that say the same thing in their online set up instructions.

I understand that set ups will be different for different outfits.....but you would think there would only be one "correct" way to adjust lean out.....understanding that the amount of lean out could/would differ from outfit to outfit.

I just got through watching a Ural set up video and they adjusted the lean out without loading it???????????

I'm going with.....the bike needs to be plumb with the rider on it....or at least NOT leaning into the chair and the way to make sure that doesn't happen is to give it a little lean out with the rider on it.

That works for now.....well, as long as I don't pay attention to those posts on ADV Rider about lean in is better than lean out????????????????????

I'm happy with the way my outfit rides and that has to count for something...ignorance can be bliss.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.......Gordon in NC

Edited by Gordon in NC 10/24/2014 9:29 PM
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/25/2014 10:01 AM (#80824 - in reply to #80819)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Just to add to the confussion.

One site says ( actually, several do) lean out is to compensate for the crown of the road. Another site states it's set so the rider and bike are plumb when on the road. My favorite is...it's to achieve "Vertical Ideal".

I gather from what Lonnie's saying it's to adjust (or at least partly) the bike's pulling either left or right.

I'm going to let it go.......and just follow the instructions for my chair. Very few roads around here have the same crown/level....so as long as I'm not having to fight the handlebars....I'll live with my set up.

It just doesn't sit right with me when somebody I know and respect makes the statement to somebody new "It MUST be set with both the chair and the bike loaded" but then won't/can't explain to me why my chair's instructions say the opposite. (BTW It wasn't Lonnie that made that statement)

Take care, Gordon in NC

UPDATE: I could have confussed things here when I wrote "just follow the instructions for my chair"...my mistake...this last time I set up the rig with both the bike and the chair loaded....and will keep it that way. But to be honest, I couldn't tell any difference from the way I set it up unloaded. I live and ride in the mountains and we have very few straight, level, flat roads......you're always in a turn....one way or the other.



Edited by Gordon in NC 10/26/2014 8:26 PM
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Hack'n
Posted 10/25/2014 11:48 AM (#80825 - in reply to #80811)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
The US version of the Velorex manual has a few flaws. For instance:
The placement of the lower strut at 90 degrees allows the sliding clamp to rotate on the sidecar frame easily.
The 1/8" lean-out shown might work with the bike used as an example, but most front wheels vary from 15" to 21" or more.
As I said, the suggested lean-out is an approximate starting point.
Frame to frame distances can vary a lot and many bikes have no lower frame.
Wheel offset (lead) shown is not always possible with the supplied mounts.

However, the toe in is within bounds. I use 3/8" to 3/4" for best tire wear.

Lonnie
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/25/2014 2:59 PM (#80829 - in reply to #80825)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Hack'n - 10/25/2014 11:48 AM The US version of the Velorex manual has a few flaws. Lonnie


I hear ya Lonnie and can understand that manual loosing some details translating it into English.

But.....here are a few more places you'll not find anything about loading the outfit to adjust lean out.

Cyclesidecar.com

The Warkshop.com

HaulnRide.com

2014 Ural Owners Manual

That's just a few of them......Gordon

Edited by Gordon in NC 10/25/2014 3:01 PM
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moonlite
Posted 10/26/2014 11:33 AM (#80833 - in reply to #80811)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out



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Posts: 81
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Location: south of the moon
let's see, a manual that's known to have flaws in it's instructions or advice from someone that has actually performed the installation hundreds of times and has been doing so for decades helping untold numbers of sidecarist's, hmmm,decisions,decisions, what's a fellow to do,

on a personal note, in over 30 yrs of hackin, I've never set up a chair without loading the tug, just sayin and why aren't anyone else chiming in here?
good luck
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/26/2014 2:27 PM (#80834 - in reply to #80833)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Posts: 23
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moonlite - 10/26/2014 11:33 AM

let's see, a manual that's known to have flaws in it's instructions or advice from someone that has actually performed the installation hundreds of times and has been doing so for decades helping untold numbers of sidecarist's, hmmm,decisions,decisions, what's a fellow to do,

on a personal note, in over 30 yrs of hackin, I've never set up a chair without loading the tug, just sayin and why aren't anyone else chiming in here?
good luck


Interesting.....if you read back through what I wrote I said the last time I set it up I did it with the chair and bike loaded...and I also said I was going to leave it that way.

I've been dealing with Lonnie for awhile now....he knows me and knows I listen to what he has to say.

Still doesn't answer why the "other" folks that don't load the outfit do what they do...guess they're still looking for answers.

Lots of views and few comments can be looked at two ways.

Gordon in NC
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/26/2014 3:02 PM (#80835 - in reply to #80834)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Posts: 23
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Tell ya what moonlite, instead of giving me a hard time why not try to help some of us that haven't been doing this for 30 years.

Tell me what you are trying to achieve when you set your lean out.

Is it to adjust for the crown of the road? or

Is it to adjust for the rig pulling one way or the other?

or..... is it both or something different?

I'm trying to learn....I am hard headed and not a fan of blind faith but do listen to those that know. I listed a few places you'll find a different way of doing it and THAT'S the puzzle....do I just write them ALL off as "flawed"?

Gordon in NC

Edited by Gordon in NC 10/26/2014 3:03 PM
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michaelh
Posted 10/26/2014 3:03 PM (#80836 - in reply to #80833)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Posts: 119
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Location: Pago Pago, American Samoa
I'm new to hacks, but thinking about things (lever arms and vectors), I'd venture that all of the measurements are starting points, not definitions, and the ideal settings continuously vary dependent upon load and the configuration of the road (high crown, no crown, and, at least in American Samoa, instances of negative crown! ), so there isn't such a thing as a 'perfect' adjustment, only one that's right most of the time in a given set of circumstances. There are adjusters, both electric and manual, that will allow some adjustment on the fly to accomodate for this somewhat.

Thinking out loud....

It would make sense to me that someone who installs sidecars 40 hours/week would have much better gauge at what the finished product would behave like than someone who doesn't, so they would use different techniques than someone who doesn't. Even then, they'll need to 'tweak', but it likely takes them a whole lot less time to dial things in. In that case, knowing what the weights are, they might use 0.5* as a starting point for someone who is, ahem, robust, or 3* for someone who is posteriour challenged!

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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/26/2014 6:50 PM (#80838 - in reply to #80836)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Posts: 23
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Thank you for taking the time to reply Michaelh. Negative crown....we have that here too.

Here's a few more places that either do not mention "loading" (which you would think would be an important step) or specifically state to NOT load.

California Side Car Inc. (sidecar general instruction manual)

www.cozysidecar.ca/pdf/install.doc

Sidecar Land .com (Tri-Anglia Wheels Sidecar Club)

We'll add these to flawed list.

Okay, help me out here.......worst case is if you do it without a load.....you will end up with too much lean out ( I'm asking here) and will have to readjust. I'm wondering if one of the reasons I couldn't tell much difference is that I was still in the 1-3% range?

Gordon in NC



Edited by Gordon in NC 10/26/2014 8:21 PM
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Hack'n
Posted 10/27/2014 1:58 PM (#80863 - in reply to #80811)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Things seem to be getting overly complicated here.
Bottom line is:
Adequate lean-out for the rig to have neutral steering at an even speed on a straight road of the type usually driven, when bike and sidecar are loaded normally.

Suggested static initial lean-out doesn't address differences in pilots' weight or various sidecar loading.

As a for instance: Harley specs "assume" that the pilots weight is their ideal average, which is 180# and by setting the lean-in at 1 degree (empty sidecar) the rig will settle at 1 degree positive lean-out when the driver is aboard.
What does that do for the 100# pilot or the 300# pilot with a 250# monkey?

The suggested numbers are starting points only and rarely work without tweaking.

Lonnie
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Gordon in NC
Posted 10/27/2014 11:37 PM (#80869 - in reply to #80863)
Subject: Re: I have to ask......Lean out


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Thank you Lonnie.

I'll put it to rest.....Gordon in NC
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