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| Sidecar Damper Mounts|
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|Hello everyone, I'm a new user to this board. I owned a Ural Deco for 13 years, so well acquainted with sidecars. I am currently the proud owner of a used Electra Glide with a California sidecar which I like very much!!! |
My question pertains to mounting the steering damper. I am trying to relocate the hardware so it hangs outside the engine guard instead of inside the guard. I want to mount some wind protection on the guards, similar the wind guards I had on the Ural.
I am looking for a mount that clamps to the engine guard, but holds the shock by the body (instead of the end) and allows for some movement to accommodate the steering movements.
Wonder if anyone has looked into something like this. My current shock has several good dents due to being improperly mounted by the dealer or prior owner, so I won't mind replacing it. it works fine, most people don't notice.
Thanks again for any help or info!
Location: Middleburg, Pa
|Mark kinda surprised you have had no responses thus far. Anyhow .... some food for thought: If you have low speed headshake there are a few things you can pay with . Possibly if you tighten the steering head bearings you may find that you may not need the damper. Tighter then solo specs are fine as long as you have tapered roller bearings. The front forks should take a little bit of nudging to move to the side. However, if you plan to ride the bike solo this will cause a weave which you do not want. Another thing to try is adding air to the sidecar tire. The front tire's air can be played with up or down a little to see what it does. Recheck the toe in to make sure you have some. |
If you do mount the damper make sure it does not bind, top out or bottom out anywhere through lock to lock turns and suspension travel. If it is on the lower fork tubes it is best to have it 90 degrees to the fork angle and as close to the fork as possible. If not mounted properly it can cause a form of bump steer that you do not want.
We do not use dampers on many bikes. The Harleys with fork mounted fairings seem to like one whereas others are okay usually.
|Hi Claude, |
Thanks for the reply. I was wondering how necessary the damper was with the Electra Glide. I may try it without the damper and see how it goes. It does have the fork mounted fairing. I agree that tightening the head bearings would make a difference. Found that out with the Ural.
Location: Boise, Idaho
Drop me an email at: email@example.com.
I have a damper mount setup that we've used for the ElectraGlide rigs with the factory engine guards.
|Long time lurker but I don't think I have posted before. |
I have been riding a Ural for a couple of years. It is very fun and I am loving sidecars, but I wanted more performance. So yesterday I took delivery of my new DMC Expedition sidecar which they have attached to my Super Tenere. I got the leading leg front forks, and Jay suggested that we change the trail more than they would normally recommend, because I have some health issues that make fatigue a big factor for me.
Riding it the first time went very well. It tracks straight and rides smooth. I had a little oscillation at slow speed but easily powered through it, and it didn't distress me - the Ural does that a little too. But today I got tired and suddenly tank slappers became a huge problem - I couldn't get out of first gear because the bars were thrashing so. I ended up wobbling slowly back home and parking it.
The bike doesn't have a steering damper, but maybe it needs one. Anyone here have any advice?
I'll call Jay for advice when they open on Monday but I am already researching.
Edited by elizilla 3/14/2015 11:02 PM
Location: DFW TX
Congrats on your new Tenere/DMC elizilla. I really don't post much (big understatement) and Jay will be the one to sort your problem out handling wise. Oscillation to the degree your experiencing does not sound like a strength or fatigue problem, but a progressive mechanical or set up issue. I recently finished an install of a DMC expedition on a '14 GS with his steering mod. He advised I would not need the BMW steering dampener as his triple tree mod did not incorporate a mount for the factory dampener. Well that sounded just a wee tad off to my ears, so I made a mount, tapped and mounted a bracket to install the factory steering dampener on the DMC triple tree. To Jay's credit he said he would add a bracket if I would send the tree back to him which I elected to do myself. Glad I did too. So far I have not experienced any oscillation or vibration of any kind to date. Everything is smooth as ice on acceleration and deceleration and the rig runs smooth. The tilt control along with the BMW cruise control and ESA makes for a real nice ride either in the twisties or slabing it. Now I also chose not to go with his recommended setup of 1/4" lean out and 3/4" toe in which probably makes a difference in his setups and mine. I went with a 1/2" lean out and 1/2" toe in along with a 12.5% sidecar wheel lead. I might dial the lean out back to 3/8", but I'm not a big fan of large toe in numbers as I think it does contribute to forcing head shake between the contact points, but hey that's just me. I accept that my rig might be a little more inclined to follow the road groves a bit more but I don't like to steer with a death grip either so loosy goosy works for me. I too have progressive health issues and I expect this rig to see me out the back door sometime in the future ...lol ... not the rig ... the health issues!!! C'ya down the road
Just thinking ... dangerous I know ... You might want to do a "nut & bolt" (ol'racer term) on the front steering mods and bike frame along with the SC mounts. Typically something may have worked loose or did not have complete tightening at the install. That's where I would start first.
Edited by xrocket 3/15/2015 8:26 AM
|We did a nut and bolt check and everything was tight. We also checked tire pressure and added some. Then I went out for another ride, yesterday. It went well, no oscillations worth worrying about. |
More and more I am thinking that the actual amount of headshake is minor, but once it starts it can be vastly intensified by pilot input. The wobble comes on at around 20mph and if I don't accelerate briskly through it, I get into the spiral where it wobbles, I try to control it, and of course you can't control it with a grip on the bars; you hafta relax. And if I roll off because of it, it gets worse instead of better. And rider fatigue makes it even harder to cope with.
The trouble is, I live in a pedestrian neighborhood. The natural speed of the vehicle traffic on my street, is in the wobble zone. Once I get the heck outta my neighborhood, no problems. But this wobble adds a whole extra thing I have to be careful of, when I'm close to home.
Location: DFW TX
|Seems adding tire pressure is going in the right direction. |
As Claude states maybe add two more pounds to the SC tire and see if that wont further the progress. Also the toe in creates a crab angle for lack of a better descriptor and you might want to measure the toe in just to see where it's at for a base number. What happens is, the sc tire is pushing one way (toe in) against the proceeding front tire actually creating friction in two different planes. So less toe in equals less crabbing (friction) and a higher sc tire pressures reduces contact friction inter-action between the two in combination. Too much of either going up or down can exasperate a small problem into a bigger reaction ... headshake.
Location: Boise, Idaho
|When you get even wear across the sidecar tire footprint you have optimum toe in regardless of the numbers. |
Lean-out can only be figured in degrees. Since bike/scooter tire diameters vary considerably using fractions of inches from vertical to fit all just doesn't work.
Lean out needed for neutral steering will vary depending upon loading of the rig and crown of the road. That's why tilt control is preferred by many for ease of handling. Modified trail will also help.
Have fun sorting it out.
|By tilt control, you mean the electric trim adjustment that raises and lowers the sidecar to adjust it for load and camber, right? This rig has that, and obviously this changes the lean-out at the flick of a toggle switch. I have used it to keep the bike tracking straight when the sidecar load or the road camber changes, but are there other things I should be paying attention to, when I adjust it? |
The rig has a car tire on the rear and the sidecar, and a motorcycle tire on the front, for what it's worth. I haven't measured the toe-in yet but when I have, I will report back.
I have since had a few more rides, and sent my husband out for a few rides. We have decided that the headshake is only at 20mph. Speeds above and below this aren't a problem, and if you blast past 20mph without staying there long, it doesn't have time to establish itself. The trick is to avoid spending time at a steady 20mph, when I live in a neighborhood where that's a normal speed. Wherever else I go, the first and last few blocks are close to home.
Edited by elizilla 3/16/2015 1:17 PM
|I am out of the office for another week, My general manager Barry can help you with this if you phone the shop. |
Location: Pago Pago, American Samoa
elizilla - 3/16/2015 7:13 AM
.. We have decided that the headshake is only at 20mph. Speeds above and below this aren't a problem, and if you blast past 20mph without staying there long, it doesn't have time to establish itself. The trick is to avoid spending time at a steady 20mph, when I live in a neighborhood where that's a normal speed. Wherever else I go, the first and last few blocks are close to home.
I had a similar problem and, pound for pound, I'm as strong as an ox; knocking out 100 pushups is my daily routine - it ain't your health!
Contrary to popular advise, I decreased the inflation on the s/c tire and it helped somewhat. (I was going to decrease the preload on the s/c shock, but letting a little air air was a lot less work! ).
As seat time increased, I found that uneven changes of speed would set off the oscillation, and I got better at being smoother at the critical speed. Bad road conditions would also set off the oscillation.
The final change, which cured everything, was switching to a Heidenau K-28 tire on the front. Night and day difference. I can now run one handed at the speed range when I'd be thinking 'oh crap, here it comes again'.
Hope this helps.
|DMC has been in touch and is going to design a steering damper. |
In the meantime I have been out a few times and blasted through the problem speed without staying there long enough for the slap to establish itself; it's all going pretty well. I have been avoiding the street where the natural speed is a speed that triggers it; I'll stay out of there until I get the damper.
Things are in train for a resolution!
|Hi Markus, |
Harley has a special right lower fairing that is designed to fit with a Harley sidecar - not sure about a California, though.
I frequently see them on eBay - might be work a look.
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