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Old 04-05-2011, 07:19 PM   #181
NortwestRider OP
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OH ya..note to self

NEVER REMOVE STREERING DAMPNER AND ATTEMP TO RIDE !!!!!!!!
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:42 PM   #182
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Maybe it's the leaf spring suspension I built??,It's camber changes as it moves up and down !!.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:48 PM   #183
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Build your own

Just read your build posts from start to finish. Too cool. It takes me back to building my first sidecar one winter in a logging camp. No suspension, eight inch wheel, one eighth ply over one by two frame body covered with white camper aluminum in the spring. Of course it had a black competition stripe down the center. Thanks for the memories. Wish I had a picture of it on my old Water Buffalo.

Couple of things that may help when building your own. Don't worry about the center stand. Get a small scissor jack that will lift any of the three wheels as high as needed to change tires. Remember that although the lower mounts carry the weight of the sidecar there will be much more force than that pushing and pulling sideways during cornering. When you are ready to align the potential mounting points to the motorcycle or if you are mounting a sidecar with adjustable arms remember to pre-load the motorcycle with the riders weight. Tie it down in that position. Then level and attach the sidecar. Once attached and the bike suspension released it will sit tail high on the motorcycle side but be level when you climb on to ride. An old time trick to determine if it is ballasted correctly is to turn the steering toward the sidecar. Then stand on the footpeg away from the sidecar and grasp the handlebar. Now try to pull the sidecar off of the ground. If it is correct it should only lift the sidecar wheel a couple inches and set right back down. If you find yourself with the sidecar wheel two feet of the ground it is too light.

On your rig I would suggest starting the toe-in between 5/8 and 3/4 inches. Assuming there is no play anywhere in the rig you should be able to do a first/second gear slow test without the damper. If the steering has more than a minimal shake under thirty mph try adjusting the toe-in one way or the other about 1/8" at a time and retest. Doing this will get the steering shake to it's minimum. Then if you need a damper hook it up. The typical rig usually has a minimal low speed shake under thirty mph but should be easily controlled with your hands on the bars but a damper will cover it up if it is adjusted to it's minimum first.

You are going to experience the push pull effect of the sidecar more until you have grown accustomed to it. Start off moving out slowly and smoothly shifting until you get used to it. That way it will not react too violently in either direction. Your two wheel experience means nothing once a sidecar is attached so take it slow for a while. Once you get used to it you won't even notice the push pull any more.

I don't get the time to check all these posts often but if you would like any more suggestions or have any questions I might be able to answer send me a PM. I hope to get time to see you at Shelton. Barry
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:21 PM   #184
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THANK you very much.As far as the shimmy shake thing goes,today I attempted to ride without the dampner and WOW OMG it bout killed me.At about 30mph I let off the throttle and it shook so hard it whipped the bars out of my hands and off the road I went !!.I did preload the bike when I hooked it up but something must have changed,because now the bike sits straight and the car sits tire high.I came to to Enumclaw and talked to you guys about 2 months ago,but the wife nixed the $5,000 thing so I built it my self.When the car is empty the push/pull thing is not bad,learning to live with it,BUT loaded it is to much to try to compensate,it really will pull you into the ditch.As far as the left pull under braking some of that might be me pulling so damn hard to left trying to go straight that I pull it left under braking.I really love this thing but I guess I'm getting very frustrated trying to figure out something I know very little about.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:31 PM   #185
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Originally Posted by NortwestRider View Post
...I came to to Enumclaw and talked to you guys about 2 months ago,but the wife nixed the $5,000 thing so I built it my self...
...just remind her about the $5000 road bike she bought. Or has that card been played too many times?
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:50 PM   #186
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Ok so she never came out and said " NO ",but being married for 25 years you tend to pick up on such things.Nope,I'm still waiting for to use the roadbike thing for something REALLY big !!.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:29 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by NortwestRider View Post
THANK you very much.As far as the shimmy shake thing goes,today I attempted to ride without the dampner and WOW OMG it bout killed me.At about 30mph I let off the throttle and it shook so hard it whipped the bars out of my hands and off the road I went !!.I did preload the bike when I hooked it up but something must have changed,because now the bike sits straight and the car sits tire high.I came to to Enumclaw and talked to you guys about 2 months ago,but the wife nixed the $5,000 thing so I built it my self.When the car is empty the push/pull thing is not bad,learning to live with it,BUT loaded it is to much to try to compensate,it really will pull you into the ditch.As far as the left pull under braking some of that might be me pulling so damn hard to left trying to go straight that I pull it left under braking.I really love this thing but I guess I'm getting very frustrated trying to figure out something I know very little about.
You've done a good job with it for a first build. Everything you say about it screams toe-in problem to me. I am assuming here of course that you solved the side flex in your subframe and nothing else moves. I don't know what you are using for a straight edge. That is a problem since they don't make straight lumber any more. LOL If you are careful a pair of long fluorescent tubes will work for this. I put a piece of two by four on edge under each end of the straight edge to get it up on the tire a bit. You are aligning the sidecar wheel to the rear bike wheel. I am away this weekend but let me know if you don't get it figured out. Maybe I can get time to take a look and make some suggestions if you want. Barry

Forgot to ask. How much wheel lead?
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:25 AM   #188
Steve In Ireland
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John has collated some good links on fitting a sidecar on this page :-
http://www.sidecarjohn.co.uk/sidecar_fitting.html
Hopefully this will help a bit.

The soft suspension on the bike will make setting up more difficult and amplify any handling issues, but it does sound like you need some more toe-in. As said before, you really need to set up the outfit in loaded condition.

You will probably need some trail reduction to seriously reduce the pull to one side and make the steering easier. If you can't go to the cost of leading links or different yokes (triple trees to you I think) then you could try dropping the front and raising the rear of the bike as much as you can.

You may be able to get it set up to be neutral at certain speeds, but it will still pull when you go significantly faster or slower than that "sweet spot" for any given set up. You will also find that you are fighting the steering a bit until you get used to steering with the throttle.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:45 PM   #189
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When I set up the toe in at first I used 2 10' peices of square stock ( steel ),but used them up so now I have to get more.Yesterday at work I checked it with 2 peices there and found out that I have 0 toe in.I'm hopefully buying some leading legs from a inmate here so that should really help.As far as subframe flex goes I can't see OR feel any so if there is some it's minimal at best.I'm riding it now with the car empty and except for the VERY hard steering it's not to bad,I'm told that the DMC leading legs really help and as soon as I can get them I will put them on and hopefully the hard steering will improve.This weekend I'm dismounting the car and remounting with the bike under load and leveling out everything and setting the toe in at about 1 inch to start.Oh ya and my wheel lead is at about 9-10 inches.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NortwestRider View Post
When I set up the toe in at first I used 2 10' peices of square stock ( steel ),but used them up so now I have to get more.Yesterday at work I checked it with 2 peices there and found out that I have 0 toe in.I'm hopefully buying some leading legs from a inmate here so that should really help.As far as subframe flex goes I can't see OR feel any so if there is some it's minimal at best.I'm riding it now with the car empty and except for the VERY hard steering it's not to bad,I'm told that the DMC leading legs really help and as soon as I can get them I will put them on and hopefully the hard steering will improve.This weekend I'm dismounting the car and remounting with the bike under load and leveling out everything and setting the toe in at about 1 inch to start.Oh ya and my wheel lead is at about 9-10 inches.
One inch is too much. Start at 3/4" and fine tune as needed from there 1/8" at a time. Your wheel lead should be good. I start with a range of 10 - 15% of the bikes wheel base. Experience tells me if I need to favor one end of the range or the other but what you have should be good for your bike. Barry
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #191
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Throw some heavier suspension on the bike to match the chair.
If the bike is sprung too lightly your chair is the dominant member.
Get rid of the wallowing and set the rig up as a unit.
When you stand on your rear struts you should get equal compression from both suspensions.
I don't think that big ass car tire on the sidecar helps much either, it will win everytime and the knobbies are no match.

But I could be wrong...

Don in Nipomo

D.Bachtel screwed with this post 04-06-2011 at 08:10 PM
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:20 AM   #192
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Did you ever get a shock back on the chair. Not saying that is the contributing factor, but it can't be helping to have an undamped system out there.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:40 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Bachtel View Post
Throw some heavier suspension on the bike to match the chair.
If the bike is sprung too lightly your chair is the dominant member.
Get rid of the wallowing and set the rig up as a unit.
When you stand on your rear struts you should get equal compression from both suspensions.
I don't think that big ass car tire on the sidecar helps much either, it will win everytime and the knobbies are no match.

But I could be wrong...

Don in Nipomo
You're absolutely correct on that one. The closer the bike and sidecar match the better it gets. However I put a lot of miles on a homebuilt with no suspension and an 8" wheel. The only issue was the passengers ride quality or lack thereof. I solved that by putting an actual automotive bucket seat in it. Didn't totally solve the problem but it was enough to stop the screaming from the sidecar.

The automotive tire really doesn't make much difference except when hitting deep standing water with it. Be ready for a noticeable pull to the right depending on the depth of the water.
Barry
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by camaroz1985 View Post
Did you ever get a shock back on the chair. Not saying that is the contributing factor, but it can't be helping to have an undamped system out there.
A shock does help. It is going to be fun to get the correct damping rate. Automotive shocks tend to be overdamped for sidecar weight. Motorvation uses a torsion suspension for their Formula II without a damper. It rides soft but I just don't like the bouncing after hitting a bump. B
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:58 PM   #195
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As far as stiffer suspension for the bike go's that is a REALLY expensive fix that I can't afford right now ( but will in time).I'm thinking about softening up the car abit to get it closer to the bike??.I will start with 3/4" of toe in and go from there.The car rides ok without a shock ( empty) BUT my wife and I could feel it bounce and wallow a little with her in it.I have been riding it all week and today in a snow/rain and hail mix,hit some pretty deep water and it went somewhat straight thru it .I'm also going to loower the car some,I do like the ground clearence but it could stand to be alittle lower.Thanks to everyone that is helping me with this,without you guys I may have given up and went solo again.
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