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to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??
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stancotreau
Posted 3/11/2016 11:14 AM (#88179)
Subject: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 51
2525
Location: Billerica MA
HI, I have a 2009 Bonneville with a velorex S/Car on it. I have been happy with it, although I am still pretty new to this sidecar thing.

My rig came all set up, rides true and straight, stops very well without a brake on the S/Car. I can't help but wonder if I should hook up the sidecar brake?

If it stops well without it should I leave well enough alone .... or give in to my inner voice and hook up the brake? ...... any thoughts out there?
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caddypat
Posted 3/11/2016 11:24 AM (#88180 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: RE: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Member

Posts: 24
0
Location: Astoria, or.
i would hook it up. i have ridden both ways and much prefer having the extra brake. if used properly there is no downside. pat
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stancotreau
Posted 3/11/2016 1:23 PM (#88182 - in reply to #88180)
Subject: RE: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 51
2525
Location: Billerica MA
thanks for the input
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Hack'n
Posted 3/11/2016 2:17 PM (#88183 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
The mechanical drum brake isn't really compatible with hydraulic disc brakes. A few have hooked the Velorex brake up as a drag brake but the differences in efficiency make for erratic stopping capabilities at best.
Best use for the Velorex brake on a non mechanical brake bike is as a parking brake(required in some places).
Even disc braked sidecars have problems with straight line stopping without driver steering corrections due differences in swept volume of brake surfaces, sidecar loading, surface traction and direction of travel.

My professional opinion. Others, feel free to express yours.

Lonnie
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stancotreau
Posted 3/11/2016 2:20 PM (#88184 - in reply to #88183)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 51
2525
Location: Billerica MA
so, if I understand you correctly. In your opinion it'd be best to use it as an emergency brake, if at all.

my concern is just what you stated, disc / drum combo

thanks
Stan
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jaydmc
Posted 3/12/2016 10:35 AM (#88192 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Expert

Posts: 1491
1000100100100100252525
Brakes on a sidecar are always a good idea, any one who say's that they are not usually has no clue as to how to hook up a brake and as such tells you that you do not need or want a brake on a sidecar. Any thing that might keep you out of an emergency room is a good idea. However the drum brake like much else on the Velorex leaves a lot to be desired. Why they keep selling a mechanical drum brake sidecar in an era when only a few bikes still have drum brakes on the rear gets down to the Velorex company is far more interested in sales then safety. If you want a brake on the sidecar to work well with the bikes hydraulic disk brakes you are either going to need to change the wheel to a disk brake wheel or change sidecars. If you do change wheels to a disk brake wheel chances are that the brake rotor will be to large to balance well with the bike. This is why we make our own cast iron brake rotors for our sidecars which every one either comes standard with a disk brake or the disk brake is an option as many people either can not get past looking at price or buy into the notion that a brake on a sidecar is not needed. I would not be with out one on my own rigs.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
www.dmcsidecars.com
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Hack'n
Posted 3/12/2016 4:14 PM (#88201 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
Jay,
The question was regarding hooking up the Velorex mechanical brake to be used in conjunction with the Bonnevilles' disc brakes.

In your opinion the Velorex brake isn't all that compatible with disc brakes. It sounds like you agree with me here.

I think the personal dis was quite inappropriate. I wasn't saying "Don't use sidecar brakes".

I feel they are worthwhile on a doublewide rig or one that is always heavily loaded.

In the last 26 years I have converted several URAL and Dnepr sidecars to disc brakes and linked the systems for clients, but do not use the sidecar brake on my personal rigs though several have had disc brakes, too many erratic stops.

I still had to countersteer in order to achieve a straight line stop. Due to the reasons stated in my earlier post.

I have used the two pedal system in past years for off road work with the mechanical sidecar brake pedal beside the rear bike brake pedal, with some success, but it takes a lot of practice to finesse this method.

Lonnie

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Sal
Posted 3/12/2016 8:19 PM (#88207 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 84
252525
Location: Houston Tx
Not a professional here but having had a similar size bike and velorex I agree with Lonnie. Never felt the need for a sidecar brake, now if it would've been a heavier outfit then yes a brake would be helpful.
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Al Olme
Posted 3/12/2016 9:57 PM (#88210 - in reply to #88207)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Expert

Posts: 1736
100050010010025
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
OK, my two cents... I have rigs both with and without sidecar brakes and on balance I'd rather have a sidecar brake than not have the brake. With some few exceptions, if you have a sidecar brake, it should be connected. If for no other reason that it might help, even in some small way, in an emergency.

So what's the exception you ask? If the brake isn't working properly and causes too much brake pressure on the sidecar wheel. I've ridden rigs where the sidecar wheel pulled the rig sharply toward the sidecar under braking. Until that can be fixed, it is the only reason I can think for NOT wanting a sidecar brake. Even if the brake is ineffective it helps slow the rig. Sidecar brakes may not be essential but they are generally a good thing.

OK, now, make up your own mind ;~).
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stancotreau
Posted 3/13/2016 7:32 AM (#88214 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 51
2525
Location: Billerica MA
Thanks everyone, now I have to decide ...... it sounds like if I want to have a s/car brake I'd have to convert the velorex to disc...... any idea what that cost would be?

I appreciate you all taking time to answer

Stan
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timo482
Posted 3/13/2016 3:55 PM (#88229 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Elite Veteran

Posts: 628
50010025
Location: Belle Plaine MN
still today lots of guys ride with no front brake on there bike - or never use the brake that is there, that is there business and ok for them. several of my good friends wear out rear brake pads regularly and have factory original front pads many many years in, that is there business and good for them. most of them most of the time do just fine.

keeping a lid on speed, not driving during rush hour, being super careful goes a long long way.

personally i want all the braking effort i can muster, i want all the wheels with the most brake i can afford. the typical moron driver pays zero attention to how far it takes me to stop and my bike has no airbag. in the harley manual it states that the rear brake pedal will make the rig pull to the right and the front brake will make it pull left & that minimum stoping distance is achived by using both at the same time - they are right.

most importantly in this discussion in the world of today - i would NEVER be caught printing in words or recorded voice telling anyone anywhere ever to operate on open roads with any brake on any vehicle disconnected unless i was old enough o be near done and had no dependents. i would also never ever tell anybody that I had a disconnected brake for fear of a insurance company investigator finding our about it. and if i do have a disconnected brake i want it to look like it happened this morning away from home and i was going home to fix it.

sorry for soap boxing and i hope you will all forgive me.

to
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SidehackRalf
Posted 3/13/2016 5:06 PM (#88231 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Veteran

Posts: 128
10025
Location: Libby, Montana
Over the years I've avoided hitting something, (deer, elk, people distracted for one reason or other). Last year Jay sent me the brake and everything to hook it up. On the first trip out a buck deer jumped over the barrier on a down hill grade. It was worth all the trouble right there because it stopped immediately and the buck brushed by the rig without contact. The braking balance is real good. I would recommend this setup to anyone.
Ralph
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jaydmc
Posted 3/14/2016 11:05 AM (#88236 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Expert

Posts: 1491
1000100100100100252525
Lonnie, No dis on you, Sorry you thought it was. Mainly there were two companies out their until very recently (one closed its doors, the other the owner died) that would tell you not to hook up brakes. One of the companies I even offered to provide them with every thing they needed for brakes on their sidecars. They were not interested.
I do however stand by my comments on the Velorex company. In a time where almost all bikes have disk brakes, why continue to build a drum brake sidecar? Safety must always come first. The only thing we offer for Velorex sidecars are mounts, nothing for the brakes.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
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Bob Hunt
Posted 3/14/2016 12:38 PM (#88240 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: RE: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Veteran

Posts: 241
10010025
Location: Boiling Springs, NC
Hi Stan. I don't begin to speak as an expert on sidecars but I've had a couple of them and one of them had the brakes on it which I quickly removed. I found that with the brake on it the s/c is gonna pull to the side and without it I could really get on the front brake until it squeals if necessary and she goes straight and true. I know a lot of people wont ride without brakes on the s/c but I just don't like them!
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jaydmc
Posted 3/14/2016 12:41 PM (#88241 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Expert

Posts: 1491
1000100100100100252525
Your brake was not properly matched. It more then likely had far to large of a brake rotor.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
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stancotreau
Posted 3/14/2016 2:55 PM (#88242 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 51
2525
Location: Billerica MA
Thanks for all of your replies ..... I feel like I opened a hornets nest here,by asking about the brakes, I assure you that was not my intent. I am simply trying to be certain I understand as much as I can about my rig.

That said, here's what I think I'll do. I think I will use it as is while I try to figure out if it is possible to put disc brakes on the velorex?, and at what cost? After I sort all that out I can make an intelligent choice.

thanks again
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VLAD
Posted 3/14/2016 5:15 PM (#88244 - in reply to #88242)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 411
100100100100
Location: DENVER, COLORADO
You need to ask yourself how will you use your rig. If only you will be riding it will be no need for sidecar brakes (most likely). If you will carry passenger in sidecar (or heavy load) it will be helpful to have sidecar brake. Some do separate brake pedal to the right of bike brake pedal and cable to drum brake.
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timo482
Posted 3/14/2016 6:06 PM (#88245 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Elite Veteran

Posts: 628
50010025
Location: Belle Plaine MN
its not a hornets nest really. its a matter of the fact that the manufacturers of the motorcycles stopped doing the engineering to attach sidecars. many sidecars currently made were actually designed to fit to bikes long ago. so the brakes don't mesh properly. harley stopped making them a few years ago - everybody else a very long time ago. so sidecars are manufactured to fit as wide a variety of bikes possible. if the sidecar brake is too large or too small there are issues. many just toss them out rather than go though the expense of making it right. basically the entirety of the issue is that it can be real money to make it work right. the other problem is that to stop straight the sidecar brake has to be "just a little" over strong so that when both front and rear brakes are applied hard its even. the sidecar brake connected to the bike rear brake *SHOULD* make the bike pull to the right a little bit - not a lot just some so that when both are used its even. as i said the other day - at this point in time everybody can do whatever they want to do. as for me i run a sidecar brake - and ill never ever tell anybody not to run a sidecar brake.
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trikebldr
Posted 3/15/2016 12:13 AM (#88246 - in reply to #88242)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Veteran

Posts: 104
100
Location: Independence, MO.
Please excuse me for chuckling a bit, but some questions will evoke 50 different answers from 50 different people!
I like what VLAD had to say about how it all depends on how you will use your sidecar. Unloaded, the braking needs will be much different than when it is heavily loaded, so there's no way to have a well coordinated brake on the sidecar in all situations. I much prefer the separate brake pedal for the sidecar, but then I have a lot of racing experience where we learn to rock our foot on the brake and throttle at the same time.
I'm hearing a lot of bad vibes about drum brakes. I sure won't argue that discs are much better, but drums are a very acceptable brake. If they aren't strong enough, then that only means the leverage ratio is all wrong on the pedal and should be re-worked for higher leverage. As long as the drum brake is well maintained, just as the disc brake needs to be, too, it is a fine brake. A LOT of cars today still use drum brakes on the rear. As far as cable actuation on the drum brake, all it needs is to be kept well maintained to work just fine. The effectiveness of a drum brake is all just a matter of being set up correctly and being well maintained. As Jay says, if a disc brake is too sensitive and overpowering, it means the rotor is too large. That can be changed. But, on a drum brake, the drum size can't be changed, but it's pedal pivot point can be moved to alter how much effort it takes to actuate the brake.
I have a Vetter Terraplane with the Airheart 175 series disc brake. It has a fairly large rotor and was a bit too powerful for average stops, so I replaced the caliper with the smaller 150 series caliper used on go-karts. I also moved the pedal pivot to require more pedal pressure to actuate the brake. My pedal rests right next to my bike's rear brake pedal. There is a gap between them that allows me to use either one separately, or both together, allowing me to rock my foot side-to-side for braking balance. It does take practice to do that though. And, when I have my 260lb nephew in my car, I REALLY appreciate having that brake!
Stan, my best suggestion would be to have the brake available, keep it well maintained so it works reliably and smoothly, and think about having it connected to a separate pedal and learn how to manage that arrangement. A sidecar brake coordinated with the bike's brakes will only be a compromise at best.
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RoanokeRider
Posted 3/15/2016 1:06 PM (#88251 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Member

Posts: 36
25
I have a BMW R1150RT with a Champion Escort. Not a real large rig but not a small one either. I don't have a brake on the sidecar but would like one. The bike stops fine with out it, both loaded and empty. My main fear is riding on the interstate, 70 or so mph, in the rain and suddenly needing to come to a stopped, like for an accident a couple of cars in front of you. Have not had to do a panic stop in the rain at high speed but just know that I would feel better with the sidecar brake when it does happen. Just my $0.02.
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Al Olme
Posted 3/15/2016 2:57 PM (#88253 - in reply to #88251)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Expert

Posts: 1736
100050010010025
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
This isn't going to help you feel any better. IF you have an effective disc brake on your sidecar and you are driving down that imaginary highway at speed, in the rain and the sidecar isn't loaded, in a panic stop, the sidecar brake is going to lock up and become totally ineffective. Further, since the wheel is not spinning and adding to directional stability, the sidecar wheel will act like a ball bearing and will do little to nothing to keep the rig going straight.

I'm in favor of sidecar brakes but you can't depend on them to save you in an emergency. They are simply one factor in a complex combination of equipment and skills that keep you safe on the road. Ideally, the amount of braking you get on the sidecar brake would be variable based on the load and road conditions. That's why the folks who run a separate sidecar brake pedal believe they have it figured out. There might be someone out there with the reflexes of a jet fighter pilot who can actually make that work in the split second that it needs to... but I doubt it. At the end of the day, you prepare as well and you can, drive with all our skill and hope that combination will bring you home safe.
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stancotreau
Posted 3/15/2016 3:09 PM (#88254 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: RE: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Regular

Posts: 51
2525
Location: Billerica MA
Okay, now my head is just spinning I think I'll stick with my most recent plan..... thanks for the input
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wvsporty
Posted 3/15/2016 3:24 PM (#88256 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 409
100100100100
Location: Inwood WV
I got a Sportster with a Velorex never used the brake and have since completely removed it. That little drum brfake didnt impress me and to have two brake pedals just seemed like an accident waiting to happen .
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Sidcar
Posted 5/21/2016 3:53 PM (#89219 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Regular

Posts: 75
252525
Fascinating discussion. I been a sidecarist for over 45 years and, with the exception of when I raced an outfit, I've never had a sidecar brake. However with my GL1500 and Oxford outfit I'm wondering if now is the time.
I don't fancy the sidecar wheel locking up when it's unladen (that used to happen on the racing outfit when the passengers weight wasn't over the wheel, all you got was a lot of smoke and large flat spots on the tyre) so would a relatively low efficiency sidecar wheel brake linked to the one front and the rear disc be worth the trouble and expense?
Sid
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jaydmc
Posted 5/23/2016 11:36 AM (#89238 - in reply to #88179)
Subject: Re: to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??


Expert

Posts: 1491
1000100100100100252525
I once had a GL1500 Oxford rig, knowing the Oxford I would hook up the brake as you never know what you will be tempted to have in the sidecar. I once took my wife and I and two other couples to dinner in our rig, 6 adults in all. Another time just riding around a fairgrounds I ended up with 7 kids in the sidecar. Granted in the fairgrounds it really did not matter if I had a brake or not as I did not get out of first gear you just never know what you may do down the road.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793
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