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Leaf 03-03-2012 04:07 PM

"New" Ratty Hack... I hope!
Hey folks! New member here.....

I grew up in rural WV with a '68 Trail 90, then later an '80 XR200, which I rode up until 1997 or so and sold for $300 because the engine needed rebuilt a 3rd time. Between then and now, I had a brief hate/hate relationship with a '78 GS1000, which I got rid of in favor of an '05 Rebel 250 that I paid too much for at a dealer (I like them smaller bikes, ya see :3 ). For the past couple years, my main bike has been a '95 Vulcan 500, which I think is an absolutely great bike, maybe the last of the decent not-quite-UJMs, imo...

Anyway, on Monday I am set to go pick up a used Velorex 562 with all the mounting hardware, for $1000. I think it's the older model with the smaller axle, but I haven't seen it up close yet, so iunno. It looks to be in good shape though. No rust on the frame, only a little bit of pidgeon poop on the tub, and a new-looking tire. I'd thought about building a utility hack myself with an old swingarm and rear wheel, but I'm not sure I want to embark on that adventure until I've learned to ride a rig. :P

The plan is to mate the Velorex to a $450 CB400T or a $500 XS400, whichever I get running first (or maybe a conglomeration of the two, lol).

I've already got the CB400T, but it has some carb issues, of course... I've had it running on one cylinder, and the compression is good on the other side, but that other carb is being a real pain....

The XS400 is on Craigslist since yesterday, and supposedly runs, but the seller hasn't gotten back to me yet. I'd really rather use it (or at least its motor), 'cos it has a kicker...

I guess in a pinch I could hang the hack on my 500, but I'd really rather keep that bike solo. I think it might be too much bike for a Velorex, anyway. It's not terribly heavy, but the power-to-weight ratio is the highest of any non-sport bike I've ridden. The Rebel is out, as it barely pulls me and my junk, much less a sidehack, up these WV mountains, and I kind of unofficially gave it to a friend anyway.

Anyway, I'm kind of excited. $1500 plus some elbow grease to weld up a subframe out of scrap metal seems to be a pretty good price for a rig, even if it is a little ratty. At least I'll hopefully be able to get my toes wet before deciding if I want to bite the bullet and plunk down some cash for a Ural.

I'll try to post some pics when the time comes, if anyone is interested.

TouringDave 03-03-2012 04:14 PM

Hi Leaf, welcome to the asylum :clap

Looking forward to some pics.

Leaf 03-05-2012 05:13 AM

A pox upon thee, o' belated winter weather.

:vardy :cry

Must it snow enough to stick for only the second time this winter upon the very day that I was destined to acquire my hack, forcing the clapped out old 2wd 3-speed pickup into the ditch until I abandoned my quest?

Woe is me.


(I really just wanted an excuse to use the llama emote... Rescheduled for tomorrow!)

Bobmws 03-05-2012 07:43 AM

Welcome Leaf, keep tilting at those Windmills!

ruffshod67 03-05-2012 10:31 AM

Welcome fellow Appalachain American.I'm no expert but my first rig was a 700 nighthawk velorex combo that my wife and I put about 6000 miles on our first year hacking.I think any of the bikes would do well.I've always thought the vulcan 500 would make a great tug it has a great motor.

Leaf 03-05-2012 02:06 PM

I think the 500 would make a great tug, too. Except for maybe the belt drive on gravel roads. But gosh, I sure do like it as a solo machine, too. :3 Maybe one of the later LTD models with a chain drive, though, so it could be geared down a little bit. I've got one of the old ones that looks like a 6" longer 454 LTD, with the belt drive and mag rims.

I was trying to pick up a 454 LTD fixer-upper on CL to use for the tug (or maybe for the solo; I hear that the 454 is peakier and faster than the 500 even), but no response from the seller. :/

I was in Teays Valley just a couple weeks ago. Never been through Liberty, though. I'll have to bug you to clue me in on some nice routes the next time I'm over in that direction. :3

Leaf 03-05-2012 02:25 PM

I bought a CB400A 18x2.15 front rim off ebay today, to replace the 19x2.15 front rim that comes stock on the CB400T. The rotor should mount right up, but I may have to space the caliper out just a hair.

So now I'll have 18s front and back. The back calls for a 4.10-18 and the front calls for a 3.60-18. But according to my calculations, the Metzeler Block-K 4.00-18 tubeless flat profile sidecar tire should mount on both (google says that 2.15 is the minimum rim width for a 4.00 tire), and I'll end up with close enough to same wheel diameter that the speedo shouldn't be off too much.

The hack has a 16" spoke wheel. Once I have it and know whether it has a 1.5 or 2cm spindle, how the brake drum is hooked up, and how much free space I have under the fender, I will probably see if I can transplant a 4.10-18 hawk rear mag rim and drum brake onto it, so that I can run the same tubeless square-profile tires on all three wheels and only have to carry one spare tire in case of severe sidewall damage.

Do any of y'all see any gotchas in this plan? :3

Leaf 03-06-2012 07:14 PM

Yayyyyy, the Velorex is mine.

I probably paid too much for it.

Pics tomorrow when there is some light. :3

MightyChosen1 03-06-2012 07:35 PM

I'm mounting the same car to an XS-650. I nearly have it done but I have the two separated to do some work on the bike. I would guess the frame on the 650 is pretty close to the 400. I could post some pics of the mounts if it would help.

Leaf 03-06-2012 09:26 PM

If you feel like taking some pictures, I'd love to see them. But...

I'm going to have to build a subframe. The engine is a structural component on the CB400T. :cry

I'll probably make some tabs and weld them onto the frame and subframe, instead of using the clamps that came with the hack. Me thinksie those clamps will slide around... :3

I may replace one of the arms too, the one that takes the most stress (rear lower, right?) with something more substantial/unadjustable. Maybe those mounting arms are made of unobtanium or something, but they look mighty skinny to me... D:

And I 'spect I might try adding some lil' drilled-out gussets to the frame. It looks a bit weak, too... >_> Shame to ruin that nice paint on the frame, but I'd rather that than have it crack when I hit a nice big DOT-has-no-money WV pothole... The roads aren't too bad in this neck of the woods, but man in the southern part of the state they have some that you can lose a bus in, lol.

Nice bike. I was hoping to get an XS400 for this hack, but the seller never responded. :<

KneeDrachen 03-07-2012 12:01 PM

welcome to the group. make sure you have smooth, soft hands and a thick skin.

looking forward to the build.

NortwestRider 03-07-2012 01:29 PM

Up here in the PNW they use 250's with sputniks for the sidecar class's.I must say that I was suprised at how well they did with 2 adults onboard!!

SomeMook 03-07-2012 07:21 PM

Nighthawk 250 hacks are a blast!
From the sidecar class I attended last year at the local community college. They were pretty clapped out, but a blast nonetheless. A couple other ADVers attended also.

Good luck getting it all together!

Leaf 03-08-2012 04:48 AM

Edit: Holy huge pictures.... Brb with resized ones...

Leaf 03-08-2012 04:57 AM

Here's the ugly thing. 1990 Velorex 562. I probably paid too much for it.... $1000 bux. X_x

For comparison, my usual ride was $1200 with 6500 miles when I bought it (1995 Vulcan 500). Pay no mind to my redneck fairing. >_> Hey, it was cold this winter, but it works. ;3

And the $300 Wonder Truck. 300 straight 6, 3-speed manual on the column.... Thank you, $300 Wonder Truck, for making it all the way to Staunton go pick up the hack, without breaking down. :3

(That was really just a poor excuse to post mah other vehicles, because I lub them and don't want them to feel left out. >_> )

But I digress. This thread is supposed to be about the hack, eh? >_>

The seat is a little rough, but I think salvageable.

The mounting hardware looks like junk. I'll probably make new tabs, welded to the frame....

The electrical has been...... Messed with. It's not even hooked up. But I am ok with electrics (I guess), being an ex-electrician.

Rrrrrrrrust!!! And plier gouge marks on the forward lower adjustment arm. -_-'

And no brake cable!!! The brake seems to work though, but I have not tested it under load.

Yea.... I paid too much. But desperate men do desperate things. :3

Link: Here's an album of everything, and the pictures from the next post too.

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