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First Sidecar
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ncdave
Posted 7/21/2016 11:58 AM (#90005)
Subject: First Sidecar


I finally got my beta test on the road. I am completely new to sidecars and wanted to find a way to cheaply test the waters to see if this was for me. I found a VERY cheap sidecar locally. I manufactured my own mount points from 1/4 steel plate. I spent some time fiddling/tuning the connections but have it pretty well sorted out now. based on my reading and research, I have the lean angle of the bike along with toe in set. also set the lead on the sidecar wheel ahead of the rear tire.

Before you start flaming me too badly, I know this sidecar is too small for my Nomad. it won't be my final solution, but for the price a good test machine. the picture attached was from my maiden voyage into work this morning. a friend was behind me with his video camera on.

I'm taking it VERY easy learning to drive a sidecar rig. I started with a few trips around the block as I dialed in the connections. I then expanded to a couple rides on some country back-roads, gradually and slowly increasing speeds so that now I can run about 60 MPH and feel pretty comfortable.

I'm sure there will be a bunch of questions for you guys, but here's a few. if anyone has any useful feedback or improvements, please let me know. I'm eager to learn more about things and improve. At this point I am enjoying the sidecar experience and will undoubtedly upgrade to a better sidecar in the near future. for now, it's a learning experience.

1. I get a fair amount of wobbling of the bars at slower speeds of 15 to 30 MPH. above 30 to 35, it seems to settle down and run pretty true and straight. is there something to do to adjust for the wobbles, or is it just the nature of a sidecar?

2. the pressures involved in steering the rig seem to be quite a bit. much more input than I expected would be needed. is this normal, or do I need to re-think my setup?

3. right turns have exposed what I think is a bad wheel bearing on the bike. I get a LOT of dragging on the brake rotor. it's quite noticable. Just new bearings needed, or is some amount of this expected?

4. how much will a 6 degree rake on the triple tree help with number 2?

ok....flame way!



(On The Road.png)



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Attachments On The Road.png (719KB - 2 downloads)
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Hack'n
Posted 7/21/2016 12:38 PM (#90006 - in reply to #90005)
Subject: Re: First Sidecar



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
What make is the sidecar? Can't tell if it is too small.

1- The low speed nose wiggle is the nature of sidecar rigs. A damper would control this if necessary but you'll probably get used to it soon.

2- You have to steer a rig, no more gently pushing on a handlebar and easily banking into a turn. Left turns are hardest, right turns can be the scariest without ballast or passenger.

3- Brake rotor dragging is not a common sidecar effect.

4- Modified trees help a lot with steering ease.

Lonnie
NWSC
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Al Olme
Posted 7/21/2016 1:49 PM (#90011 - in reply to #90005)
Subject: Re: First Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1736
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Before you spend money on a damper, try adjusting the steering head bearings. The rule of thumb is that the bearings should be tight enough that if the front end is jacked up, the wheel should fall slowly to one side. If it just flops over, they are too loose If it doesn't move, they are too tight. Naturally, they should never be so tight that they hamper steering.

Also, experiment with pressure in your front tire. Most folks seem to run higher pressures than they would for a solo bike.

A LITTLE head shake starting out is common for some rigs. Don't put up with anything that doesn't go away by the time you get to 10-15 mph. [Usually, less]

Running ballast is a good idea as a training aid but not as a full time thing. About the sidecar being too small for your bike... It's not just the weight of the sidecar but the strength of the mounts and tubing. You can bend a mount in a right turn with a big mismatch.

The risers have little to no effect. If anything, they help create a longer moment arm and help your leverage for steering. Decreasing front wheel lead is the ticket for a permanent fix. The steering head angle isn't the issue [although "raked" trees are a method], it's reducing lead that makes a difference.
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Al Olme
Posted 7/21/2016 4:57 PM (#90013 - in reply to #90005)
Subject: Re: First Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1736
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
ncdave - 7/21/2016 1:01 PM

Steering head bearings were replaced last summer and I'm comfortable those are tight. <>


All the more reason to check them. If you haven't reset them since installation the probability is very high that they are a bit loose. And it's free. Don't retighten until you check the drag by doing the flop test. It's free too.

The Ural is one of many bikes that use a leading link front end [not all Urals, just some]. Some leading links can be set for either solo or sidecar work like the BMW /2s with forks designed by Eddie Earles . The main advantage of the leading link is the idea that they are designed to accept side loads. A side benefit is that they don't dive under braking, they actually rise. It's a tiny thing but it transfers a very small amount of additional weight to the back wheel and it takes a it to become accustomed to the difference.

Your basic solo bike with a slider front end is set up to take loads in only one plane, in line with the center line of the bike. Since that plane changes with the bikes attitude regards the road surface, sliders work really well. Sidecar rigs don't do that because for all practical purposes, they don't lean. With sliders on a sidecar rig you are stressing the front end in ways it was not designed to accept. This usually isn't a big deal but occasionally you can suffer stiction and/or premature wear. Not a big deal, just service the front end regularly.
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jaydmc
Posted 7/22/2016 10:52 AM (#90027 - in reply to #90005)
Subject: Re: First Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1491
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First, you are right this sidecar is way to light both in weight and build for your bike! So you say it is for "testing". You could also end up testing what it is like to be in the hospital, dead or put other people in the hospital. Safety must always come first, cheap or not!

The last one of these sidecars we mounted we did so on a Triumph T-100 but only after welding in cross braces to the frame and changing out the lower mounting system over to bosses and clamps some what like in this article for a totally different sidecar and bike but it is the best example I have at hand. http://www.dmcsidecars.com/the-result-of-improper-sidecar-mounting-... We also changed out the wheel bearings and shock. This sidecar was not set up for a brake which I strongly feel all sidecars should have a working brake.

You say your sidecars brake rotor is dragging. I suspect that some one changed out the wheel as I have never seen one of these with a disk brake.

The wheel bearings on these sidecars tend to be bad right from the factory. With bad bearings you will never be able to know what you set the toe at as every time you check it, it is likely to be different.

As to degree of "Rake" you are not changing the "rake" of the bike at all, you are changing the angle of the forks in relationship to the steering stem which reduces trail on the front of the bike which makes for easier steering. Any reduction is good, 6 degree's of change may be all you are able to find for your bike but may not be idea, more reduction in trail, lighter steering but the more it tracks every grove in the road and the more you have to stay on top of things. So people that live in the plain states may want less reduction then people who live in the mountains. There is no "ideal" number.
Front end shake is common and can be hidden with a damper however it is not the best way to deal with front end shake. First the mounts must be STOUT as must the frame, swing arm, suspension and so on. This is not going to happened with this sidecar short of building a new frame for it. You might also find that the wheel on the sidecar is some what less then round. Next the alignment must be correct, changing the toe setting as little as 1/8 of an inch either way can make a huge difference in front end shake. We also like to slightly over tighten the steering head bearings, not so much that they bind, just so that this is a little more drag on them.

If you truly want to test out sidecars with this sidecar, why not put it on a much smaller lighter bike? Small bikes with sidecars can be a blast, my wife had an MZ sliverstar gespane for several years she loved, the bike was physically a bit small for me but had enough power. It is a 500cc single. I currently have a KLR sidecar rig, this is a 650cc single and is a lot of fun. Your "test" is not really a fair test as it is so mismatched.

Jay G
DMC sidecars
www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793
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jaydmc
Posted 7/22/2016 11:46 AM (#90031 - in reply to #90005)
Subject: Re: First Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1491
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Pretty much when it comes to triple tree's you either have them custom made or go with what ever a company is making for them. If all you can find is 6 degree's that would be fine as would 4 or 8. Go with what you can get, we no longer offer these tree's as the company that was making them for us closed its doors.
I have attached alignment instructions.
I know you are not looking to spend money on setting up a "test" rig however this sidecar would be truly a lot more fun on a smaller bike.
Jay G
DMC sidecars



Attachments
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Attachments BASIC SIDECAR INSTRUCTIONS.doc (388KB - 7 downloads)
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jaydmc
Posted 7/22/2016 12:15 PM (#90035 - in reply to #90005)
Subject: Re: First Sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1491
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The bike would be a lot more fun with a proper matched sidecar be it ours or many of the other made in America sidecars or a few other "heavier" stronger sidecars on the market. The CB 750 would work better with this sidecar and the "universal" type mounts work well for the upper mounts. The lower front mount we pick up the two bolts that allow you to split the frame on the right side of the bike and make a mount that drops down through the exhaust pipes to about even with the bottom of the frame. For the lower rear mount we remove the center stand and make a mount that drops down even to the ground with the front lower mount.
You want to set your toe in and then fine tune pull with lean out. The reason for lean out is that you are setting this up on a level floor, the road has a crown to it, the goal is out in the real world to have the bike up right. It is very important that the rig is aligned with the suspension compressed to where it is with you on the bike.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
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