Cheap scales for weighing sidecar rig

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by brando4905, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. brando4905

    brando4905 Been here awhile

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    I’m sure someone will tell me I did it wrong, but.......

    I had called Klaus at EPM to get new shocks for a new to me sidecar rig, he wanted weights of the three corners with and without load. I have a race car buddy that had car scales but they were buried deep in his trailer and couldn’t be found. So I started searching for high capacity scales with a big enough deck to weigh all there wheels. I found this one on Amazon, it’s the My Weigh SCMXLT700 for $65.

    I took a few pics of unloaded weighing. I had no idea I’d come close to capping out the scale on either of the three corners, but came close on the rear with full load at 682lbs.!

    I know the most accurate way (or weigh), would be three scales at once, but I feel this method is certainly close enough for new shocks.

    A6F57473-2BB7-464D-BD85-77DAC41481B2.jpeg
    AEE089D2-FDF2-4825-9C73-3193A9E67786.jpeg
    2C52C9BB-3477-4C3E-B2A9-BF786721A71E.jpeg

    #1
  2. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Now try it with a spacer the same thickness as the scale under the other two wheels and see how much it effects the weight. Just curious.
    #2
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  3. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    I agree, accurate enough for shocks.

    I've never weighed each wheel on my rig, just used the truck scales for a total loaded weight. It would be interesting to just weight the bike wheels with the sidecar off, just to see how much weight the sidecar adds to the bike at rest. That load would certainly change a bit going down the road, but a lot of that would be lateral loading so hard to figure out the actual weight of the rig on the bike. Sidecars tend to be set up to run level going down the road so I imagine it would be similar to the tongue weight of a trailer.
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  4. brianjonesphoto

    brianjonesphoto Hacked off

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    I did a very slow similar thing last year trying to figure out spring rates. I used significantly cheaper scales and they were not up to the job. On thing I did differently was to make some plywood platforms the were level with the tops of the scales. This allowed me to roll the rig on and off all 3 scales for a more accurate readings of each corner at the same time.
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  5. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    I was able to use the track scale at a local sand plant to weigh my rig. This scale was built flush in the ground so I was able to position each wheel on it individually. Those weights were sent to Klaus and the shock he sent were perfect! Your method will be fine.
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  6. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    $65! That's a pretty good deal for a scale that'll go up that high--nice find!

    I figger that since sometimes I ride with a full tank and sometimes with an empty tank, sometimes with a passenger and sometimes alone, sometimes with camping gear for a multi-week trip and sometimes with no gear, that weighing each wheel just needs to be in the ballpark. This gives Klaus an idea of what he's dealing with. With the dual rate springs he uses on the HyperPros, he can give you a ride that's not too springy when riding light and not undersprung when riding heavy.
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  7. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    BTW, is that 3 bags of sand in the car? I think that when I travel with my 50-lb dog and all my camping gear and tools loaded, that would be like 2 bags.
    #7
  8. brando4905

    brando4905 Been here awhile

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    That’s two 60lb bags. Simulating the weight of my dogs, plus I had a few pounds in the trunk acting as gear weight.

    Now to figure how to get the two dogs comfortable in the car!
    #8
  9. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    I've read that you should feed them ( likely one at a time ) in the car. I read a post on here somewhere about that.
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  10. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Train one to ride pillion...and the other to drive, and then YOU can ride in the car!
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  11. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Just for the heck of it I weighed my sidecar rig using bathroom scales. Method was to use three pieces of 2x4" under each wheel, then replace a 2x4 with the scale. ( The scale and the 2x4 where the same height ). I'm currently doing some winter maintenance on the rig, so I have the gas tank & seat off. The bike was empty, no saddlebags and the sidecar likely had 10 lbs of junk in it. Sidecar was mounted to the bike.

    Weight on Sidecar Wheel - 175 lbs
    Weight on Front Bike Wheel - 230 lbs
    Weight on Rear Bike Wheel - 265 lbs.

    Total weight is 670 lbs so if I added the gas tank & the custom seat it would likely be an additional 65 lbs or a grand total of approx. 735 lbs for an unloaded rig. I'll likely try this again in the spring when I've got everything back together with a full tank of gas.
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  12. draperg1

    draperg1 PapaBear

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    I bought a set of the above scales to weigh my rigs. After reading the above I thought I would weigh both rigs with the off wheels not blocked up to same height as scales and blocked to see if there was a significant difference. There was not a significant difference as the attached chart will show. Mind you this was done with empty rigs, no pilot or monkey. Will do it with pilot as soon as I can get Ridn3 away from the fire to help!:lol3 IMG_20171229_140921705.jpg
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  13. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Actually, that IS kind of interesting. It shows how the weight is transferred away from the wheel being weighed when you don't block up the other wheels. Which makes sense. Until you spot the 552-544 number. What the hell happened there? Quite the anomaly.
    #13
  14. draperg1

    draperg1 PapaBear

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    Not sure, I noticed the same but checked the weights twice both ways, only thing I can figure is it must have to do with the geometry of the two rigs. Of course the LT rig is longer and wider.:hmmmmm:hmmmmmThe percentages are the same.
    #14
  15. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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  16. draperg1

    draperg1 PapaBear

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    Yea he had those at the national but the line was long and Boss Monkey was restless so I didn't get a chance to check my rig out. Those units are a little pricey for me. The $65 tag on my scale was doable ( I only bought one, not three). It will have to do! Not that I'm cheap, but.............!@#$%
    #16
  17. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Yea also I'm not sure unless ones building and tunning a race rig of some kind what real good the extra information does one as long as one's realistic with accepted sort of sidecar practice. Sidecars are what they are a strange religion ! :lol3
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  18. draperg1

    draperg1 PapaBear

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    Yea, the rigs ain't the only thing unbalanced!:fpalm
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