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Old 10-08-2012, 01:41 PM   #13
Dog Chauffeur
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Tacoma, WA-ish
Oddometer: 4,094
Originally Posted by MIXR View Post
Drone - I've played with several types of ballast (but now run without it as I've 'adjusted' to just the weight of the dog).

Chains in long bags work, and are less destructive than solid lumps of 'something' if things go wrong. I tried sand and some bags of steel washers. Takes up too much room. And I don't like 'loose' stuff as ballast. The chain worked as I could run it length-ways, and would be good in an inner-tube. It still bounces around though, but is not 'destructive' like a solid (unbolted) bar would be.

But - The reason for the post is that the placement is as critical as the weight itself. I'm sure you have considered all this, but it took some experimenting for the thought to dawn on me! You need to remember that 50 lbs placed between the chair and the bike is not as effective as 50 lbs placed on the outside of the chair near the wheel. That's just basic engineering. The further out, the better. The closer you can get it to the wheel, the better, as it has less chance to upset the balance.

I'd be looking at running a tube of 'something heavy' on the underside of the chassis. You seem to have the space on your rig. Even a couple of heavy steel 4WD 'helper' springs (the main leaves which are fairly flat) would be a lot of weight but have a good shape and mounting holes built in. Or a solid bar of steel in an appropriate length.

Anyway - just a few more thoughts. Best of all would be a 'plate' securely bolted to the underside of the tub.
I understand the physics of weight placement. Also that the ballast should remain inside the tipover triangle.

I don't really want to bolt anything to the underside if it will reduce my ground clearance. On some of the roads I travel, I depend on the car having more clearance than the bike so I can get cleanly over some of the larger obstacles.

Bear in mind that I have no trouble operating the outfit with no ballast on paved roads. It's when I'm in an off-camber position on a dirt road, with the sidecar on the high side, usually going 10mph or slower, that I'm vulnerable to flipping the rig. I have a funky right knee and can't transfer my weight to the right footpeg the way I'd like. I have no trouble riding the rig standing fully on the left peg all heeled out when the road is off-camber in the other direction, but who cares since the tipover danger is not in that direction.

Perhaps I should move to England where my right knee would be less of a problem?

DRONE screwed with this post 10-08-2012 at 01:51 PM
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