Return to Home page

Search | Statistics | User Listing Forums | Calendars | Albums | Quotes
Sidecar.com Forum ->  General discussion -> Sidecar FAQ -> View Thread

You are logged in as a guest. ( logon | register )

Ballast?
Jump to page : 1 2 3
Now viewing page 2 [25 messages per page]
View previous thread :: View next thread
   General discussion -> Sidecar FAQMessage format
 
claude #3563
Posted 6/26/2008 4:41 PM (#36794 - in reply to #36564)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 2480
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Originally written by Hack'n on 6/16/2008 12:29 AM

Unless you are blocking up the bike to the same heigth as the scale so it isn't leaning away from the sidecar, you are getting a light reading on the scale. Part of the weight is being transferred to the bike wheels.
How much? Haven't got a clue.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

dmobrien2001
The scale is around an inch high so the effect isn't that much.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Some long tim esidecar riggers will put the bike up on a 1x board (3/4") to simulate the crown of the road.If the sidecar wheel is on a scale the way to get the same effect woudl be to put the bike up on a thicker board.
Final adjustment will be " lean elft to go left and lean right to go right'...not rocket science here.
Claude
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Concho
Posted 2/23/2009 8:30 PM (#42194 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: RE: Ballast?


When my chair was removed for painting, I went to the local do all welding business and asked if they would be interested in adding some steel to the car frame. We dug around in his scrap and came up with a piece of carbon steel scrap which was 12" X 12" X 2" thick. It fit perfectly into the frame opening and adds 81 lbs. to the rig. It's supported on 3 sides with pieces of 1 1/2" angle. It took the weight of the Velorex up to about 235 pounds empty and approximately 35% of my bikes weight.

I couldn't be more pleased with the results after cleaning upthe welds and giving it several coats of Rustoleum paint.




Top of the page Bottom of the page
Hack'n
Posted 2/23/2009 8:57 PM (#42198 - in reply to #42194)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
That's a rare find.
The local steel supply here wants $240. for a 12"x24" slab of 1" plate.
Ouch!!!!!!

Lonnie
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Concho
Posted 2/24/2009 1:58 PM (#42240 - in reply to #42198)
Subject: RE: Ballast?


Originally written by Hack'n on 2/23/2009 5:57 PM

That's a rare find.
The local steel supply here wants $240. for a 12"x24" slab of 1" plate.
Ouch!!!!!!

Lonnie


I used to estimate a lot of steel and we used $1.00 lb. for estimating
purposes. Fortunately for me, this piece was in his scrap pile and he
charged me $80.00 for the steel, $1.00 lb. and $20 for the welding and
angle. I couldn't thank him enough....

If you call a steel supplier prices are out of sight. Scrap yards and
scrap piles are the best source.

An easy calculator for steel plate:
http://www.chapelsteel.com/weight-steel-plate.html



Top of the page Bottom of the page
deftone
Posted 7/2/2009 10:25 AM (#45019 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: RE: Ballast?


i picked up a CB550 with a spirit eagle sidecar mounted to it...the owner said he was a little big for the old suspension and it leaned way to the left...i put new rear springs and shocks on the rear and it sits a lot straighter with me on it....i am new to the sidecar world but have road bikes for nearly 20 years....it is a different animal but i am liking it so far....my questions are

1.when my wife or daughter are in the car it corners and rides good but the steering is a bit wobbly at low speeds, is that normal?

2.my wife and i together are about #300 +gear(me #180)...my daughter is about #50 socking wet...if i were to put my self and my wife on the bike and my daughter in the car how much weight should i add or would it matter much? also would this be a safe ride? i'm not looking to go far just cruising around town and such

thanks
Tony
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Hack'n
Posted 7/3/2009 8:38 PM (#45038 - in reply to #45019)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
Keep the bride in the car. For safety's sake the heaviest passenger should be in the sidecar.
For driving with an empty sidecar try dropping a 60# sand tube behind the seat and see how it rides.
With the long trail of the CB hondas some low speed nose wiggling is normal without a damper.

Lonnie
Top of the page Bottom of the page
hal77079
Posted 9/19/2009 1:58 PM (#46357 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


I tried to utilize my then 127 pound Pyr -X as ballast in my Watsonian GP. Got her snuggled down real good and even put up the convertible top as it looked like possible inclement weather. All went well until I climbed onboard and engaged the starter. As soon the engine caught she went straight out through the canvas top. Maybe she did not like the three into one running out on her side through open pipe. Never felt the need for ballast. However, my weight challanged friend in Canada who weighed close to 400 pounds did fill the entire wraparound frame on his english Hedingham with lead shot to keep the sidecar in balance with him and his 1800 GW. The one third rule is just that. A basic guide for most situations. But then, one must temper that with the real world - like WHO will be riding, and WHERE and how BIG will each person be. Certainly, one would not hook up a light 150 pound sidecar to a 750 pound tug. Nor would one hook up a 300 pound Watsonian four seater to a 275 pound 150 cc stepthrough. Let commonsense prevail. But human beings being what they are will commit both extremes - we have seen them at the rallies. I used to be asked to try out sidecar rigs. If they would not pass the stand on one side, swing body out while lifting on the handle bar test there was no way I would try out. The rig might have been safe enough for the driver who brought it to the rally but it was unsafe for me! Always put big moma in the sidecar and little Joe on the pillion.

Hal Kendall
Top of the page Bottom of the page
WinginCamera
Posted 9/22/2009 1:14 PM (#46439 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?



Posts: 204
Location: Spanaway, Wa.
For my GL1800/Escort rig I when empty I carry two collapsible five gallon plastic water containers, which is about 80 lbs total. If I pick up a passenger it is easy to dump the water is easy to dump. I just seat belt the containers into the sidecar so they can't move around.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
cat0020
Posted 12/7/2009 1:02 PM (#47967 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


I use two car batteries on the seat of my sidecar, approx. 80 lb.

Edited by cat0020 12/7/2009 1:07 PM




(4.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments 4.jpg (177KB - 26 downloads)
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Snapgadget
Posted 5/13/2010 2:13 PM (#51266 - in reply to #36564)
Subject: RE: Ballast?


I'm going to give this subject a little bump...where do I get the shot several have spoke about?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Hack'n
Posted 5/13/2010 4:06 PM (#51268 - in reply to #51266)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
Gunshops and reloader suppliers have it. Since lead shot has been banned for most purposes it may be on a back shelf in 25# bags.

Lonnie
Top of the page Bottom of the page
hal77079
Posted 5/13/2010 6:20 PM (#51269 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


Lead can be available - least it was in 2089 - from hardware stores - in 5 pound ignots - these are about 5 or 6 inches by 2 inches by three inches - in a trapezoidal form. These may be drilled or mounted in any fashion. I got mine from an ACE hardware store. Drilled hole then mounted by bolting. Was fairly inexpensive.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
SidecarMike
Posted 5/13/2010 10:44 PM (#51270 - in reply to #51268)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 1710
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA

Hack'n - 5/13/2010 4:06 PM Gunshops and reloader suppliers have it. Since lead shot has been banned for most purposes it may be on a back shelf in 25# bags. Lonnie

It's getting pricey.  I was at the local big box gun shop lately and they wanted $45 for a 25# bag.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
hal77079
Posted 5/14/2010 4:19 AM (#51271 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


Battereies i if used - must be careful to vent outside the cabin. Cost of new lead or washed lead from about $1.50 to $3.00 per pound. - reclaimed lead shot, or bars or ignots.
=================================================
Salvaging lead from batteries can be hazardous to your health. The "maintenance free" batteries are not like the older lead plate batteries. The ones these days have calcium and other alloying elements in them.
The danger comes when alloys containing calcium are melted with those containing antimony and arsenic (such as in wheelweights). Compounds are formed in the melt which becomes mixed with the dross. When the dross is discarded, if it comes in contact with moisture highly toxic gases can be released.
For instance, an alloy containing calcium mixed with wheeweights will have a silvery-looking scum that forms on it fairly quickly. It tends to cling to the ladle and often ends up in the mold. In the melting of these two alloys small crystals are formed and a reaction can occur. Two of the most common reactions are:

2Sb + 3Ca=Sb2Ca3
or
2As + 3Ca=As2Ca3

Neither one of these compounds can be fluxed back into the alloy and will become dross.

The danger lies in what happens to the discarded dross.

If moisture is introduced, the calcium oxidizes for form lime while the hydrogen combines with the antimony or arsenic to produce either stibine gas or arsine gas. Both are actute poisons.

The gases are heavy and will lie in low places, such as the bottom of a garbage can.

As little as 50 parts per million of arsine can impair the function of the blood or cause pulmonary edema. A few breaths of it can be fatal.

Calculations show that 1 pound of the above alloy can produce about 0.1 cubic feet of gas. If trapped in a garbage can, it could prove a fatal dose should one inhale it after taking the lid off. It would only take 0.3 cu. ft. of such gas to contaminate the air in an average basement or garage.

It is best not to mess with melting down batteries.
The above information was gleaned from "CAST BULLETS" by Col. E.H. Harrison, article "Battery Plates: Bad News For Casters" by Dennis Marshall, page 116.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
WildThang
Posted 7/6/2010 5:10 AM (#52310 - in reply to #51271)
Subject: Re: Ballast?



Posts: 14
Location: Middle Georgia
2 50lb bags of sand behind the seat... 6 bucks at Lowes
Top of the page Bottom of the page
gnm109
Posted 7/19/2010 9:29 PM (#52620 - in reply to #52310)
Subject: Re: Ballast?



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
I added a weight over the frame outside of the tub. on my Harley TLE sidecar. It is a steel casing that I welded and filled with molten lead. It weighs 50 pounds and is approximately the same size and shape as the original Harley-Davidson cast iron weight that is no longer available.

With 50 pounds out at a distance, it gives a very good downward force. I can feel it working when I take a long turn at high speed. The wheel really doesn't want to come up. I don't want it to come up either. LOL.

I've shown these pictures before.

The farther out the weight, the less weight is needed but 50# is about tthe minimum, IMHO.

Photobucket

I had to build a caltilever mount to keep the weight away from the tub. The original Harley weight would always cut notches in the fiberglass body.

Photobucket

I also had to make a new foot step mount to move it forward about 3 " to just clear the front of the weight.

Photobucket



Edited by gnm109 7/19/2010 9:34 PM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Xpehbam
Posted 1/3/2011 9:43 PM (#55339 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


Posts: 3
A HD does not need ballast...rookie or not. I am the odd-man out in that I do not believe in ballast. It is a crutch. A sidecar specific rig (Ural/Dnepr/Cj/BMW/HD/etc.) does not need ballast. Cobbled together rigs and rigs not designed for chairs...may...need ballast.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
gnm109
Posted 1/3/2011 9:54 PM (#55340 - in reply to #55339)
Subject: Re: Ballast?



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
Xpehbam - 1/3/2011 6:43 PM

A HD does not need ballast...rookie or not. I am the odd-man out in that I do not believe in ballast. It is a crutch. A sidecar specific rig (Ural/Dnepr/Cj/BMW/HD/etc.) does not need ballast. Cobbled together rigs and rigs not designed for chairs...may...need ballast.


Your opinion is duly noted. If you don't feel that you need ballast, by all means, don't use any.

That said, I've riddien both with and without ballast and I prefer it. I don't do much more than 50 pounds and that's over the wheel on the spring.

Calliing it a crutch is somewhat harsh. "Crutch" is a word used to belittle the efforts of others.

This is an old thread. Are you trolling? Dd you look for a thread with which you could disagree?

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Hack'n
Posted 1/3/2011 10:56 PM (#55344 - in reply to #55339)
Subject: Re: Ballast?



Posts: 4833
Location: Boise, Idaho
No ballast needed? Not if one drives a well matched combo with caution after enough seat time to know what to expect under (most) all conditions.
No brakes needed either unless you want to stop quickly when you wish to.
No parachute needed if the plane is on the ground.

Let common sense prevail.

Lonnie
Top of the page Bottom of the page
SwampFox
Posted 1/3/2011 11:06 PM (#55345 - in reply to #55344)
Subject: Re: Ballast?



Posts: 1660
Location: Summer Grove, LA USA
Double-wide EML conversion: No ballast required; chair has never lifted in "regular" driving; only got light once.

Sportster with Texas Sidecar: Quite difficult to keep the chair down unless there is 30+lbs of ballast; un-expected situations could get ugly without ballast; better is the usual load of 80lbs (including Maddie the dog).
Top of the page Bottom of the page
hal77079
Posted 1/4/2011 12:22 AM (#55346 - in reply to #55345)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


Since the earliest of times - going back at least 100 years - to 1911 - just after the sidecar was born - it was found that when the sidecar was about 35% of the weight of the combo, optimum performance was achieved. Whether this was in the form of an optimally balanced rig, or was in the form of a slightly lighter sidecar with some added weight, it made little difference. Of course, adjustments may be made for your particular speed, roads travelled, etc - but this is a general finding. Where a much lighter chair is used it will spend much of its time in the air. For some this is the way to go. If the chair is too heavy, it will lag when accelerating and attempt to lead when braking. There is no one size fits all. Whatever suits you is just fine. Should one optimally ballast a rig for his driving style, it will probably not suit another sidecarist - maybe too light or too heavy. Many times when I used to go to the major sidecar events, fellas would come up to me for my opinion. I gave it my classic at rest sidecar swing - foot and body on left footpeg, swing body outwards while yanking up on right handlebar and pushing down on left handlebar. If rig came up swiftly and almost overturned I just smiled and said sweetly - your rig is unsafe. Suggest you have it carried back home. If the sidecar came up a few inches and thumped back down I was then ready to ride it.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Xpehbam
Posted 1/4/2011 10:12 AM (#55347 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: Re: Ballast?


Posts: 3
GNM109, Lonnie...I said nothing different than what Mr. Kendall stated above. Apologies that I am not as eloquent as he. The original poster was inquiring about an Electroglide with factory sidecar. That combo needs no ballast unless he weighs about 500lbs. I was not aware that you can not share a differing point of view on this forum or add to a "old topic". If that qualifies me as a troll here, so be it. Again, my apologies to all who were offended. I shant troll here again.

In parting, let me extend my deepest gratitude to Mr. Kendall for allowing his publications to be freely distributed to the community. A very selfless thing to do in the name of safety and knowledge. I tip my hat....
Top of the page Bottom of the page
SidecarMike
Posted 1/4/2011 10:51 AM (#55348 - in reply to #25872)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 1710
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA

I have to agree with Hal and William.  I've been around sidecars for more than 40 years and have seen more poor combinations than good ones.  Ballast, to me, is one more thing that can backfire on you. 

 I used to carry bags of sand in my HitchHiker/Goldwing combination, figuring I could dump them in the ditch when they were too much.  Unfortunately, when they needed to be there, they were empty.  Or when the sidecar was loaded to capacity, it was overloaded with 2 75 pound bags.  I'm sure that is the reason I bent the frame on that car twice.  I had the frame gusseted and reinforced and still bent it a second time.

Since then, I pay particular attention to keeping the weight ratio correct when I put one together.

Without exception, every time I hear a nightmare story about sidecars, it involves a Spirit of America, Velorex 562, or something similar on a Harley or Goldwing, or other big bike. 

An important thing to consider though is that we are talking about the weight when going down the road.  I recently had a conversation with a man who told me he switched from a sidecar to a trike, because "sidecars are death traps".  Upon further discussion, he insisted that his outfit, a Harley Davidson, was "properly balanced at the factory".  The part he didn't consider was that he weighed nearly 300 pounds, and his sidecar carried a 12 pound Schnauzer.  Now his 800 pound motorcycle weighs 1100 pounds, and his 250 pound sidecar isn't nearly heavy enough.  Add to this that all his camping gear is on the bike, because he didn't want to crowd the dog.

Now he rides a trike and the dog stays home.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
gnm109
Posted 1/4/2011 11:22 AM (#55349 - in reply to #55348)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 1370
Location: Sacramento County, California
SidecarMike - 1/4/2011 7:51 AM

I have to agree with Hal and William.  I've been around sidecars for more than 40 years and have seen more poor combinations than good ones.  Ballast, to me, is one more thing that can backfire on you. 

 I used to carry bags of sand in my HitchHiker/Goldwing combination, figuring I could dump them in the ditch when they were too much.  Unfortunately, when they needed to be there, they were empty.  Or when the sidecar was loaded to capacity, it was overloaded with 2 75 pound bags.  I'm sure that is the reason I bent the frame on that car twice.  I had the frame gusseted and reinforced and still bent it a second time.

Since then, I pay particular attention to keeping the weight ratio correct when I put one together.

Without exception, every time I hear a nightmare story about sidecars, it involves a Spirit of America, Velorex 562, or something similar on a Harley or Goldwing, or other big bike. 

An important thing to consider though is that we are talking about the weight when going down the road.  I recently had a conversation with a man who told me he switched from a sidecar to a trike, because "sidecars are death traps".  Upon further discussion, he insisted that his outfit, a Harley Davidson, was "properly balanced at the factory".  The part he didn't consider was that he weighed nearly 300 pounds, and his sidecar carried a 12 pound Schnauzer.  Now his 800 pound motorcycle weighs 1100 pounds, and his 250 pound sidecar isn't nearly heavy enough.  Add to this that all his camping gear is on the bike, because he didn't want to crowd the dog.

Now he rides a trike and the dog stays home.



40 years? You're a short timer. LOL.


Apparently some say that ballast isn't needed and some say it is. Someone came up with a figure that the sidecar should be exactly one third of the GVR (Gross Vehicle Weight). Where did that come from? And if that's correct, wouldn't it be a good idea to add ballast to the sidecar to balance to that figure if the sidecar is lighter than it should be?

For the record, I've ridden many a mile on a Harley sidecar and they are rather well-balanced. A little weight helps but, overall, they are quite good. Too bad they quit making them in favor of their $35,000.00 (plus tax, documentation, freight and other state and local fees) trikes.

I'm trying to determine exactly what this thread is about. So, if someone could tell me whether there is a dispute going on here, I'd like to know what it is.




Edited by gnm109 1/4/2011 11:23 AM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
SidecarMike
Posted 1/4/2011 12:24 PM (#55350 - in reply to #55349)
Subject: RE: Ballast?



Posts: 1710
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA

gnm109 - 1/4/2011 10:22 AM  40 years? You're a short timer. LOL. 

Actually, it's 43 years.  I started young. 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Jump to page : 1 2 3
Now viewing page 2 [25 messages per page]
Jump to forum :
Search this forum
Printer friendly version
E-mail a link to this thread

 


Copyright 2004-2008, The United Sidecar Association — Built by BarringtonPress — Send your suggestions and comments to the webmaster
USCA Web usage policy



(Delete all cookies set by this site)
Running MegaBBS ASP Forum Software
© 2002-2017 PD9 Software