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'79 Vetter Terraplane/'84 Kawasaki Voyager
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trikebldr
Posted 4/3/2016 1:21 AM (#88559)
Subject: '79 Vetter Terraplane/'84 Kawasaki Voyager



Veteran

Posts: 104
100
Location: Independence, MO.
About six months ago I bought this 1979 Terraplane from a member on this forum. Drove from Kansas City almost to the Canadian border to pick it up in N. Dakota. Have spent the last six months laying in snow and ice to make up the mounts and fit the car to the bike. I also re-painted the wheel, installed new wheel bearings, made up an adapter to mount a spinner in place of the original plastic cap over the axle nut, used the broken side window as a template to make up new side windows, added four new LED lights across the back to match those on the bike, replaced the front amber reflector with an amber LED and removed the whole brake system for rebuild. Found a lot of corrosion in the caliper and master cylinder, and too much pitting to feel safe with them. A whole new brake system is ready to be installed now. The rotor looks like it never saw any use, so a quick cleanup with scotchbrite pads made it look new. This car was in excellent condition regardless of it's age, and it's original seat is still in great shape. Terraplanes use a three strut mounting system with an on-the-fly manual lean adjustment strut on the upper rear. Both ends were heim joints and both ends were totally worn out. With such a heavy tug I wanted a four point system, so on-the-fly adjustment was sacrificed. All new mounts were fabricated and over-built for rigidity against such a heavy bike. It has 10" of wheel lead, and I started at 2 degrees of leanout on the bike, and 3/4" toe-in.
The bike is absolutely stock, with the steering head bearings given just a touch of preload. All new wheel and swingarm bearings were installed. With everything being new and tight I couldn't even force any shimmy in the forks at any speed. It has no steering damper,........yet.
I'm running a Dunlop Graspic DS-3 rear tire, and will eventually run the same size Dunlop Elite 3's on the front and sidecar. Right now I am running an Elite 2 on the front, and the original Carlisle Arrow on the sidecar. I'm amazed at how well that Arrow has held up all these years! No sidewall cracking or failure showing at all. Still don't feel too safe with it, though!
So far I have two 120 mile runs with this rig. The car is listed as just 190lbs, so it is technically very light for such a bike (960lbs!), but with about 150lbs ballast it rides great and with reasonable care in right-handers it has no tendency to lift,.....unless I want it to! Even after both runs I can't feel any feather-edging of the tread, so I think the toe-in is pretty close for now. More miles with the new tire will give me a better guage. After taking a 185lb passenger for one of the runs I have reduced the leanout to 1-1/2 degrees to give me an average neutral steer on the highway. We have some awfully high-crowned streets here in Independence, MO, though, so it takes a bit more steering effort around town. I prefer it to be set for highway use!
My wife's first comment was "It's too smooth and boring!". But, she's 6' tall and looks over the Terraplane's windshield and complained about a couple of bits of dust getting in her eyes even with a full-face helmet and full shield. I may try to get a custom fit windshield made that extends up and back a bit farther, then will add a model-t style top to it.
Next on the agenda is to fabricate an aluminum gas tank to go alongside the car between the mount struts. It calculates to hold 7.2 gallons. I also plan to add a larger car battery in the trunk of the car for a bit more ballast. Like with my first Voyager back in the '80's I will be tapping into the cooling system to add heat to the sidecar. Will also extend my intercom over to the sidecar, as well as put it's own stereo and speakers so the passenger has control over that.
It' been 20+ years since I've had a bike, or a rig, and it sure feels good to be back on one. I have two of these Voyagers and now looking for a second Terraplane, or maybe a Bingham MkII for the second rig.



Edited by trikebldr 4/3/2016 1:31 AM




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DirtyDR
Posted 4/3/2016 11:42 AM (#88561 - in reply to #88559)
Subject: Re: '79 Vetter Terraplane/'84 Kawasaki Voyager



Veteran

Posts: 254
1001002525
Location: Edwards, CO
Nice rig, I have always liked the Vetter Terraplane sidecars.
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trikebldr
Posted 4/3/2016 5:00 PM (#88566 - in reply to #88561)
Subject: Re: '79 Vetter Terraplane/'84 Kawasaki Voyager



Veteran

Posts: 104
100
Location: Independence, MO.
Thanks! I liked it for this particular bike because it kinda carries over the styling of the Voyager. I would like to find a Bingham MkII also because I think they follow the Voyagers styling even closer.
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