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Old 10-08-2012, 01:25 PM   #16
DRONE OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WU7X View Post
Hey Drone, When SWMBO isn't riding monkey, I use two 40 lb plastic sacks of water softening salt. I'm not doing the rugged outback, but if I was I'd move the salt into a more secure, flexible container. An old Navy duffel bag or air force flight bag comes to mind. I've hit some pretty big potholes and the salt and/or my wife haven't bounced badly at all. The salt will "flow" into any shape, so long as you keep it dry, of the container you put it into. It is certainly cheaper, and safer than melting lead. It should be pretty easy to lash down inside the car too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstuff View Post
I too usually use a bag of water softening salt... I just leave it in the bag it comes in (about 50 lbs.) and put it on the seat within another garbage bag....I use the seat belt to secure it and the stuffed bear that rides monkey. I usually do only tarmack with the goldwing so haven't ever had an issue with the weight shifting. The bag is easy to lift out when taking a passenger and cheap and easy to replace if it gets ragged. It is also easily attainable when I find myself away from home without ballast or a passenger. I have used small sandbags as well, but find they tend to shift a little more.
I would never have thought that salt would be very heavy. I'll go check it out. I put my ballast on the floor of the car under the seat on the wheel side. If I can get 50 lbs to fit there, the salt sounds like a good solution.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:41 PM   #17
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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?
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DRONE screwed with this post 10-08-2012 at 01:51 PM
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
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 was going to chime in until I saw Drone's post. Makes sense now.
Jim
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by on2wheels52 View Post
I was going to chime in until I saw Drone's post. Makes sense now.
Jim
I'm glad. Maybe I wasn't clear before.

Here's a pic from this weekend. Rode this road uphill to this viewpoint and relatively flat spot. Five minutes later we started downhill and immediately met up with two hunters in one of those 2+2 4x4 ATV's. They flagged us down to tell us that the road ahead was impassable on the outfit. Well that was like waving bacon in front of Kirby who insisted that we forge ahead! Ran into two more ATV's and one serious lifted 4x4 pick-up truck on the way down. I made Kirby run behind the outfit because I'd rather have him watch me go over the side than have him go over with me. Without his 50 lbs (but WITH my 50 lbs of ballast) the sidecar wheel got airborne a few times and got me to thinking about starting this thread.

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #20
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Also, the previous weekend, I was on one pretty challenging road (all uphill) and I had a human monkee on board--probably about 150 lbs. I could hardly believe how much easier the tough stuff is with the sidecar weighed down like that. Here's a pic she took on that road.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #21
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My idea for secured but removeable ballast is to bolt or otherwise fasten a short dowel, pipe, or tube that matches the inside diameter of a 45 pound barbell weight (2 - 3 inches?) to the right vertical wall of the tub. It would be about hip high to a seated passenger. You could slip the barbell weight on the dowel and pin it with some sort of cotter, perhaps with spring tension to prevent rattling. It would have to line up pretty close to the wheel axle to keep the weight within the triangle. The same could be done with flat plate in any shape other than a disk.

Forgive the PowerPoint sketch!

Ballast
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:20 PM   #22
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In my Goldwing hack I used a 43lb. of cat litter behind the seat. Completely waterproof and held in place by the seat.

I haven't felt a need to add any ballast with my URAL
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:27 PM   #23
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Sandbags work very well, heavy and they stay put. I've still got some new clean unused bags. If you want a couple or a few PM me your shipping info and I'll mail you some. You provide the sand.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #24
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Explanation is good!

Drone - Your explanation helps a lot to understanding 'why' you need the ballast. All makes sense now, but I'm not sure you will get the 'planted' outcome with the ballast you are talking about.

I ran with an extra 20 kilograms (44 lbs) of ballast with my 20 kg dog and it really made very little difference. So I doubled it. Still no 'huge' difference, but more 'swing' on decel and power, so I ditched it and the rig actually felt much better when it was light again.

Too much weight can be bad, so I hope you find the right amount to solve the problem without introducing others. If you can't go 'under', then on the side nearest the wheel would be next best. I like ag_streak's idea with the barbell weight!
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:08 PM   #25
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Try soft dive weights. They are always on Craigslist.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:46 PM   #26
DRONE OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmellyGoatBoy View Post
Try soft dive weights. They are always on Craigslist.
Nice find Smelly! Except I think they might be a little too spendy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ag_streak View Post

Oooh! I like this idea! Except I could mount a short spindle vertically under the seat and stack the weights then use a regular barbell clamp to keep the plates from floating. Easy to remove the ballast, the spindle would be unobtrusive, and I could use epoxy to attach the spindle to the fiberglass floor so as not to compromise the strength of the body.

Excellent, excellent idea!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:33 AM   #27
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Drone:

I'm using 25 lb bags of lead shot I got at Bi-Mart. Put them under the seat and they stay put - no shifting at all, even on rough roads.

Another option is to weld a plate to the sidecar sub-frame as DirtyDR did.

Duncan

BTW, rode FR23 from Randle to Trout Lake [and then home] Saturday. Part of the PAVED portion of the road, south of the gravel section, is caving in. They had a couple of guys stationed there to guide people through it. Would be really nasty to hit at speed, especially at night. I'm guessing they are going to have to close the road pretty soon [if not already] for repairs.

I need to start carrying a camera.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:02 PM   #28
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To save on money you could but the older hard style scuba weight and a belt. Secure the belt in the sidecar to hold it in place.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:40 AM   #29
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I used a bucket of kitty litter.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:50 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
I understand the physics of weight placement. Also that the ballast should remain inside the tipover triangle.

Physic:

a medicine that purges; cathartic; laxative.
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