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Beginer's Luck Building First Rig
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Alabama
Posted 10/28/2016 6:27 PM (#91258)
Subject: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig


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I have a Harley Dyna Glide. I wanted to put a sidecar on it but never knew anyone with a sidecar. I researched the web for the technical issues. I proceeded to purchase a sidecar on Ebay.

What I purchased is kit manufactured by SideTrike. I did not realize when I purchased it, it is a rigid setup, no suspension. The manufacture supplied mount consisted of a large metal plate to be fastened under the bike via 4 Ubolts. I found that to be not satisfactory at all. The wheel would have been too far forward. The Ubolt mount not safe.

I took the bike and sidecar to a fab shop. The owner was an old time dirt track rider now in his mid 70s He had never built a rig. We proceed to fit mount to the bike. We cut the wheel mount off and turned it over to accommodate our mounting.

I purchased a tractor top link that is now modified to adjust the toe in. It is in a diagonal bar at the front of the mount. We used the bolts for the forward mounted brake and the bolts at front of the frame as mounting points also the standard foot peg mount points are incorporated to the mount. Another bolt in the center of the bottom is also incorporated into the mounting system. Now that is much more secure than the factory suggested method.

We placed a piece of box iron to all the above mount points and put the frame of the sidecar to the box iron.

I then put the heavy steel plate that came with the sidecar on to the frame. This is part of the luck portion of this mount. The steel plate acts as ballast. I did not realize this when we built the rig. This became apparent after learning to drive it.

There was a steel rectangle with an X made of 4" wide steel that fits under the body of the side car. To make up for lack of suspension I purchase springs that fit under lawnmower seats to suspend the body. I use hitch pins to fasten the body to the suspended X frame

The first ride was an adventure. The shop has a 11 acre yard. I needed it. The rig was nearly undriveable. I struggled to return to the shop. We adjusted the toe in and things improved. We adjusted more toe in a second time and the rig was ready for the road. I have been driving it since August it is now October. I have very little shake. I have made it to 75 mph with no problems

I drive it nearly daily about town. I have yet to take a passenger, wife's back does not permit her such adventures.

I think I was fortunate to have the project turn out as well as it has.

David in Alabama



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Sidewise
Posted 10/30/2016 3:34 PM (#91273 - in reply to #91258)
Subject: Re: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig



Regular

Posts: 87
252525
Location: NJ The Garden State
<p> </p><p>No upper struts or lean out adjustment? Could inadvertently become a leaner in a tight left. Time to do some reading and rethinking.</p><div><br /></div><div><br /></div>

http://sidecar.com/links3.asp

Edited by Sidewise 10/30/2016 3:49 PM
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Al Olme
Posted 10/30/2016 5:53 PM (#91277 - in reply to #91258)
Subject: RE: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig


Expert

Posts: 1736
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Alabama,

While it appears that you have some serious issues with your homebuilt design, your take on toe-in adjustment is unique and interesting. Your design doesn't change lean when you change toe-in but that's just because you didn't appear to use any diagonal bracing. There are VERY FEW sidecar designs that don't take advantage of the strength of triangulation. Still anytime you see a whole new way to look at things it's interesting.

Your design depends on the strength of the materials because the sidecar wheel is cantilevered out without any diagonal support. If you look at a conventional sidecar design you'll see that lighter weight materials are used successfully because they employ diagonal braces. A previous poster pointed you toward the online books we have on the site. You'd be well served by looking at them.

In looking at the website for SideTrike it appears that they focus on products that they have developed internally. Without any knowledge or consideration for conventional sidecar designs that have proven themselves over time. In short, they "did their own thing" and perhaps they should have done more research. Their prices are low but their engineering is subpar. That's my opinion, you'll hear others.
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Alabama
Posted 10/30/2016 6:26 PM (#91279 - in reply to #91277)
Subject: RE: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig


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Posts: 6
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Thanks for the input. I look at the fittings on a regular basis. We leaned the bike by eye it seems to work well, but this is the only rig I have experienced.

If I find another experienced driver I would ask them to take it around he block and tell me what they think.

I could adjust the lean by removing the sidecar wheel and axle, and align the splines that hold the axel differently. It seems to not be an issue. I have been progressively becoming more aggressive in the turns and have never had the car rise at all .
I am now at the point where the rig will fit my level of aggressiveness. That has declined as I have aged.

The weight of the materials seems to have eliminated the need for ballast. Not sure how it will handle with a passenger. I do not anticipate any long drives with passengers.

Thanks again

David

Edited by Alabama 10/30/2016 6:37 PM
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Alabama
Posted 11/5/2016 10:19 AM (#91357 - in reply to #91258)
Subject: RE: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig


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Posts: 6
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I have examined the rig with a critical eye. What I have found is by standing on the right side of the rig and pulling on the handlebars reveals there is a lot of give. The frame of the side car does not flex. It appears that the flex is in the suspension of the bike and perhaps the tires. I see some movement of the wheel on the side car, when I pull on the handlebars. There are quite noticeable changes in the distance from the bike to the rail I mounted the side car on.

I do not have any other sidecar rig to compare to. It seems triangulation would eliminate this flexibility.

I am now wondering if this flexibility would compensate for lack of triangulation to relieve stress when cornering.

I have tried taking hands off the handlebars at 30 -40 mph. There is some shaking. When I keep a grip on the bars there is not enough shaking that I would want to do anything differently, such as a damper or changing the steering geometry.

I may if I can figure out how to, put a short video of the motion mentioned above. It may not happen for a while though
Is there a way of doing this here? Will attaching a file after posting work for a video clip?

Any input is appreciated.

Edited by Alabama 11/5/2016 11:36 AM
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Sidewise
Posted 11/5/2016 2:14 PM (#91358 - in reply to #91357)
Subject: RE: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig



Regular

Posts: 87
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Location: NJ The Garden State
"All conventional rigs must be rigid. Play or movement between the motorcycle frame and the sidecar frame suggests something is wrong. Perhaps a loose nut or fitting, or perhaps the mounting struts are too weak. (No mounting struts in your set-up) The cycle and the sidecar must act as a unit under all conditions. The only exception to this was for sidecar rigs used in the outback of Australia where roads were hewn dirt tracks. Here, the mounts were deliberately loose to absorb the road conditions. Otherwise, the frames of the motorcycle and/or the sidecar would break. The loss of stability was offset by driving less aggressively and the corners slower."

Quote from Sidecar Manual by Hal Kendall, considered by most to be the sidecar bible.

Perhaps your set-up will be OK for your level of aggression but the opportunity for severe evasive action may present itself leaving you at a distinct disadvantage for controllability.
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Alabama
Posted 11/5/2016 3:41 PM (#91359 - in reply to #91258)
Subject: Re: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig


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Posts: 6
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The platform is built with 1/4 in plate steel with a 1 inch channel. The angles have gussets. I doubt the platform is flexing. None of the connecting fasteners are loose. When I shake the bike the distance from the exhaust to the large rectangular tube changes. It appears to be a combination of changing stresses on the sidecar tire, the front forks and likely the rear shocks

I can see the sidecar tire change shape (bulge a bit). I can feel some movement at the front forks., I cannot see if the shocks have any movement but I suspect it is similar to the movement at the forks.



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Sidewise
Posted 11/5/2016 4:55 PM (#91360 - in reply to #91359)
Subject: Re: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig



Regular

Posts: 87
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Location: NJ The Garden State
Alabama - 11/5/2016 3:41 PM When I shake the bike the distance from the exhaust to the large rectangular tube changes..


That in itself indicates that there is a lack of rigidity in the connections, the distance should remain the same under any circumstance. On a hard left the force will increase tremendously compared to just leaning, pulling and shaking the rig. Why not just add appropriate triangularization via struts to that big hunk of steel.
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MrMike
Posted 11/28/2016 9:49 PM (#91531 - in reply to #91258)
Subject: RE: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig



Veteran

Posts: 205
100100
Location: Richton, MS
Alabama

Where in AL are you located?

I think your approach to setting this rig up is fascinating. Would love to see it first hand. Would also like to let you try out one of my rigs. Then you could make some comparisons. I think we could both learn something here. Let me know if you are interested. You can contact me here, public or private message. Or, you can e-mail be at bodischm@bellsouth.net or call me direct at 601-788-7409.

Mike Bodisch
USCA MS State Rep
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Alabama
Posted 1/9/2017 10:51 AM (#91963 - in reply to #91258)
Subject: RE: Beginer's Luck Building First Rig


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Posts: 6
0
I added a trailer to the rig. Seems to pull OK

I also had an additional brace installed. All bracing is at the lower part of the bike's frame.





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