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Steering Challenges!
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Posted 6/29/2005 5:23 PM (#8263)
Subject: Steering Challenges!


Hello..I recently purchased a 2005 Stella with matching Stella side car. The dealership opted not to install the steering dampener for this system. As a result, I get a total workout on my scooter when ever I drive. The scooter wants to track right when driving and when I brake hard pulls hard to the left. Is this normal? Can I expect an improvement if I have them install this device that fits on the steering column? Help! Thanks

T.I. in Colorado Springs
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Uncle Ernie
Posted 6/29/2005 5:52 PM (#8265 - in reply to #8263)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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Hey TI, went to google- that looks like it would be fun. I'm assuming this is your first "rig" (giggle). Sorry. To answer your question, a steering damper is to prevent handlebar/front wheel wobble. Sidecars usually get "low speed" wobble, solo bikes usually get "high speed" wobble. Sometimes a low speed wobble can be helped by using a steering damper, but usually it's a need to tighten the steering bearings, possibly bad swing arm bushings/bearings, wheel bearings, etc. Probably a moot point as you don't sound like you have this problem.
What you are describing sounds pretty normal, possibly exagerated by having such a short wheel base and tiny wheels. The added weight of the sidecar (sort of like a pivot point)hangs back when you accelerate so it pulls to the right. When braking, inertia continues to push the sidecar forward and the scooter becomes the pivot point so it pushes left. This is a big reason regular motorcycles use wider bars for more control/leverage.
So- 1)If available, get wider bars. 2)welcome to the world of sidecarettes; get used to it. 2a) Good luck!
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Posted 6/29/2005 5:57 PM (#8266 - in reply to #8263)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!


Thanks so much for the reply. Guess I'll need to build up my wrist strength! Going from total agility to something that handles like a tractor will take some getting used to. Again thanks for the reply. Cheers T.I.
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MikeS
Posted 7/7/2005 5:49 AM (#8423 - in reply to #8263)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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TI

Pull to the right on acceleration, and pull to the left on braking; I'd look at alignment/set up or a loose strut. I've owned only two rigs, both larger motorcycle rigs. My first pulled like yours, because of it being a bolt on set up. I hated it. I figure there was flexing, which changed the alignment of the sidecar to the mule during acceleration and braking. My EML rig has no pull, and the struts and alignment are rock solid. The EML rig, although 24 years old, is a very fun rig because of the easy handling.

Not sure this is your solution, but it's one thing to consider. A steering dampener is for low speed handlebar shake.

MikeSenty
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Posted 7/24/2005 1:32 PM (#8812 - in reply to #8423)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!


Mike, you're saying there is NO pull on acceleration or braking with your ig??

Originally written by MikeS on 7/7/2005 6:49 AM

TI

Pull to the right on acceleration, and pull to the left on braking; I'd look at alignment/set up or a loose strut. I've owned only two rigs, both larger motorcycle rigs. My first pulled like yours, because of it being a bolt on set up. I hated it. I figure there was flexing, which changed the alignment of the sidecar to the mule during acceleration and braking. My EML rig has no pull, and the struts and alignment are rock solid. The EML rig, although 24 years old, is a very fun rig because of the easy handling.

Not sure this is your solution, but it's one thing to consider. A steering dampener is for low speed handlebar shake.

MikeSenty


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SidecarMike
Posted 7/24/2005 1:47 PM (#8814 - in reply to #8812)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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I think it has a lot to do with the setup, but also with the combination. The only time I've ever felt any pull on acceleration was when I had all three grandkids in the sidecar. Then, if I tried to take off from a stop I felt it, but nothing on the road. Likewise on deceleration, once in a panic stop to avoid a deer when I again had nearly four hundred pounds of weight in the sidecar the bike pulled a little to the left. But I have a heavy bike and a relatively light weight sidecar.
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Posted 7/24/2005 2:03 PM (#8815 - in reply to #8814)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!


I'd bet that is almost all of the reason!

But I have a heavy bike and a relatively light weight sidecar.




Edited by rooskyrider 7/24/2005 2:04 PM
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Uncle Ernie
Posted 7/24/2005 2:43 PM (#8817 - in reply to #8815)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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Mike- A Stella is basically a Vespa scooter. If you're used to a motorcycle and get on one of these things, you wonder how anyone can ride one and live to tell about it- they're that squirrely. Imagine adding a tiny sidecar to that. You're also probably right about the set-up, though, as they don't have a 4 (or even 3) point attachment. If I remember properly, there is a plate that bolts underneath the scooter that holds one fat pipe to attach the SC. Put that same sidecar on your bike and it would probably just rip off from the get-go and you wouldn't even notice until you got home and wondered where you left the groceries.
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Posted 7/24/2005 3:17 PM (#8818 - in reply to #8263)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!


There aren't really any adjustment points on this rig. Its a bolt-on solution that offer very little play for adjusting track. I recently added a sterring column dampener and that has eliminated the steering vibrations at low speeds out. The pull to the left on breaking is still there but I'm getting used to feel of the scooter. T.I.
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Uncle Ernie
Posted 7/24/2005 9:59 PM (#8824 - in reply to #8263)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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Location: Asheville NC
Tightening the steering head bearings usually helps the low speed shakes, also. Otherwise, sounds like you're doing good. That's how you get to Carnegie Hall...
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claude #3563
Posted 7/24/2005 10:29 PM (#8827 - in reply to #8824)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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Carnegie Hall? Ernie, are you always liKE this or does it just come natural..LOL.
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Hack'n
Posted 7/25/2005 1:07 PM (#8841 - in reply to #8827)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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You remember that one don't you Claude?
Tourist asks the New Yorker, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?"
The local boy says: "Practice, Practice, Practice!
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claude #3563
Posted 7/25/2005 3:53 PM (#8845 - in reply to #8841)
Subject: RE: Steering Challenges!



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Guess I have lived a sheltered life.
Don't know his name but his face sure rings a bell.
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