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Got 'er going....observations and a question or two
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Posted 4/21/2004 9:47 PM (#3179)
Subject: Got 'er going....observations and a question or two


Hey Folks;

Well, I finally got my Hannigan SuperSport sidecar restored, painted, installed on my 2002 Kawasaki Concours bike, wired up, polished up, tested up and checked out pretty thoroughly.

Some observations that are old to you but new to me....

1) It's MUCH more fun than I anticipated. I believe my slowness to get everything finished was as much due to apprehension (that I wouldn't like it) as anything. In fact though, it's still motorcycling, big time, and what you lose in those twisty lean angles, you gain back in those adrenalin generating opposing 'G' forces during turns.

2) The rig pulls right during acceleration but not terribly so. It pulls left during braking (with no brake as yet on the hack) and yet, with panic braking, a modicum of attention can pretty easily insure a straight stop....I've increased my following distance however, just in case.

3) Slow speed take-offs on a straight line give a minor front fork wobble. I've now put nearly 200 miles on and find I'm compensating for the shimmy by the way I use my arms. So, while I might consider adding a steering damper, I'll wait until everything else proves ineffective. In fact, I could readily enough live with what little wobble there is, especially given that it doesn't occur at all if I'm turning during that take-off sequence.

4) Bike and hack combo are tight and together, even at speeds in excess of 95 mph (very heavy crosswinds contributing to some darting, but in windless conditions I expect the rig would be as stable as an anvil). Interestingly enough, straight-line forward motion, at whatever speed, is so stable it allows me to remove my hands from the handlebars for substantial lengths of time (although it's harder to steer with mere weight shifts).

5) I've got toe-in set at approximately 3/8ths of an inch and can't see any kind of additional stress on the tires, nor extra hard steering as of yet....still may be too early to detect that. Camber is electrically adjustable, but to this point, doesn't seem to effect ride quality or control in any very obvious manner. However, my sidecar shock seems bad (has no rebound damping, and may be without compression force as well). Shock replacement will have to take place before I can do anything further along those lines.

6) The bike corners just fine, although requiring quite a lot more steering input, even at speed. However, even without actual evidence, I feel as if I'm putting great stress on my front forks, so will probably be adding a fork brace soon....the only other accessory I see needed now is one of those 'push' lights for inside the sidecar trunk.

7) I guess I've missed the boat, but even without ballast, I've been unable to fly the car without riding in a manner quite a bit out of my usual run of things....sure, I know I could do it, but why if I don't need to?

8) My bike has a six speed transmission and I find it has plenty of torque to cruise along just fine in highest gear. However, it does work the engine harder, and I doubt my highest speed now would be much over 110 mph, as opposed to the nearly 140 without the hack. So it's going to cost something in gasoline and power....I suspect the sacrifice will be worth it, as even the wife (if Mom's happy everybody's happy....if Mom isn't happy, nobody's happy) seems pleasantly surprised with the riding experience.

And finally, my question....my camber set-up is, as I mentioned, adjustable on the fly. But is there a 'happy medium' insofar as the usual lean-in distance is concerned? I'd like to tweak the bike so that the best position could be dialed in at the mid-point of travel for my linear actuator.

Thank you very kindly. And hopefully too, photos forthcoming.

Catch you later!

Sahagan
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