Cooper's Rig

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by kmroxo, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    I bought MZcountryboy's sidecar rig to mate up with my bike. I figured since he had the exact same bike as mine, except the wrong color, this should work out pretty well. There are a couple of goals with this, the primary being able to carry my dog Cooper around with me on some rides. The other goal is that I am now living just outside of DC and ditched the car so I'm hoping the sidecar can help with Costco runs and a bit more stability on some snowy days (if I don't chicken out from cold).

    Right now I'm not sure if I will keep it attached so it is ready to take Cooper at any time and only detach for solo rides or keep it detached and only attach it for a dedicated Costco run or Cooper ride. Of course it is entirely possible that I will leave it attached and buy a second bike! Regardless I am curious about the best way hold the sidecar up and move it around. MZcountryboy had it on a couple of jack stands, but it can't really be rolled around like that. Maybe a motorcycle jack that has some castering rear wheels would be good? I wanted to get some thoughts from more experienced folks.

    The bike is clean(ish) and I have a 12/24k service kit coming in from Beemer Boneyard to do the 72k service. Once that is done I will start on the hookup.

    Thanks
    #1
  2. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    Congratulations! Sidecars are a blast. You'll probably find that it's a PITA to detach the sidecar and reattach it. The sidecar rig will quickly become its own vehicle with its own intrinsic qualities. Better to get a dedicated solo. More bikes!

    I use a $14 Harbor Freight furniture dolly and two pieces of 4x4 to roll my car around when I need to. Works fine.

    Lots of experienced riggers on here. Claude of C Stanley and Jay at DMC are the pros. They are both good resources for advice and mounting hardware. In fact there's a vendor Sticky at the top of the Forum....
    #2
  3. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    I have read a bunch and have heard that it is a pain to attach and detach. I'm not opposed to getting a second bike, but that means a trailer and a truck or SUV in the future too so we'll see how it goes. I'm in the military so I move every few years.

    I just bought a bike lift so I will give that a try. I do most of my own work on my bike anyway so that won't be a bad thing to have. If it doesn't work for moving the solo car around I will go with what you are doing.

    I actually just got off the phone with Claude about a custom car for the frame to accommodate both of my dogs. We were talking about something modular that could be for dogs or people or cargo. But first priority is to get the frame and existing car set up first. The rig is a Dauntless product that the previous owner bought and it has the electric tilt control and the BMW wheel conversion. I'll get pictures once I start. My service kit just arrived today so that will get done tomorrow and then I can start attachment.
    #3
  4. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Sidecars make horrible wheelbarrows. You can build a simple dolly with some wood and some caster wheels. Build it to fit under the left frame rail of the sidecar.Three or four caster wheels work best.
    #4
  5. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    Finally getting started. My front Ohlins shock was starting to leak and I need to do a few more things for service so I stripped the bike down a bit.

    [​IMG]

    I figured with the bike up on the jack and the tank and seat off would be a good time to install the sidecar mounts and electrical connections. However I realized that I didn't have all of the splicing and quick disconnects I wanted/needed. I also realized that I couldn't install the lower mounts while the beast is sitting on the jack. But I did get the two upper mounts installed.

    The forward one was a bit of a pain.

    [​IMG]

    The rear one wasn't that bad, but getting the back plate squeezed in was a pretty tight.

    [​IMG]

    I took the back up bike (old Specialized Comp FSR mountain bike) a couple of miles to Radio Shack to get the required electrical components and will work on that tomorrow. Then it will be a couple of weeks before I get my shocks back before I can take the bike off the jack and install the lower mounts.
    #5
  6. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    Well the electrical connections have been made. My shocks should be on a delivery truck heading back from North Carolina. Hopefully by the end of next week I will be able to get it all hooked up for the first road test.
    #6
  7. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Echoing CLAUDE..


    "Sidecars make horrible wheelbarrows. You can build a simple dolly with some wood and some caster wheels. Build it to fit under the left frame rail of the sidecar.Three or four caster wheels work best. "
    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->__________________
    Claude



    You can build this simple support Dolly with wheels...thig is what I use when I detach my side car. Takes my 10-20 min; quick disconnect electricals; brake line then 4 bolts...she's free!

    Before.....

    [​IMG]

    After

    Ready to be attached to the hip of my 1200GS...

    [​IMG]


    Cheers....
    #7
  8. Melrone

    Melrone Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
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    979
    Location:
    Cheese Head Country
    Thanks for the ideal.I was looking for a new way to jockey it around unhooked.that dolly is neat...
    #8
  9. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    Everything is hooked up. Took it for a couple of test spins around the neighborhood. I have my rear preload adjusted to max. I need a bit more weight in the car for practice also. Cooper's doggles came in today so I think tomorrow I will take him for his first ride and then do a Home Depot run to get some wood and caster wheels to make a dolly.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This sidecar has a electric tilt/level control. So far it seems like when I raise or lower the sidecar it kind of effects my lean out a bit also. Is there another purpose to it than that or is that so I can adjust it based on the load inside the car?

    Thanks.
    #9
  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Yes, you can adjust it to reflect your load, but also for the camber of the road you're traveling on. If a road has a big crown, raising the sidecar can return your steering effort to neutral. In the backcountry, when I'm sidehilling, I'll raise the sidecar on the port tack and lower it on the starboard tack.

    [Port tack--when the hill is on the left and the drop is on the right; starboard tack is the opposite.] :smile6
    #10
  11. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    I took Cooper for his first ride today. We didn't go far. Stayed on side roads and went to REI to get some climbing rope and carabiners for his permanent tether. Today we just used his leash wrapped around a bunch to shorting it some. I just need a good swivel so the climbing rope won't bind now. He really seemed to like it.

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Nice looking outfit.Noi doubt Cooper will be smiling for along time. The tilt sdjustors are cool additions and can be used for various conditions as a compensation devive for loads in sidecar, road camber and so forth. Play with and u will see the difference it makes. You will see that if you have it jacked up for a left hander or a road with a lot of camber in it and then get into a right hander you will feel the sidecar get light quicker than usual.
    The addition of an anti swaybar is a plus as it is a self compensating device up to a point. It also will help negate nose dipping in left handers and will porovide much flatter cornering capaibilities all around. These can be retro fitted with no problem if you decide to go that route. However in some cases some of th esubframe shoudl be reinforced for piece of mind . This depends upon what design of subframe or partial subframe you have.
    #12
  13. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    After a couple of weeks riding around with the rig I was getting more comfortable. I'm not ready for major twisties, but it wasn't freaking me out too much anymore. I had a OHV day ride planned so I wanted to take the sidecar off. I did leave the lower mounts on and it definitely effects my ground clearance as I was bottoming out much more on that rear low mount point. If I were going to do a multi-day ride I would replace the lower mounts with the center stand.

    I built a dolly as you guys suggested and it came out pretty well. I was able to jack the bike up a bit, slide the dolly under, lower the bike a bit, remove the connections, and roll the sidecar away. With four swivel casters it moves around very easily. This first removal took 30-40 minutes. I suspect as I get more familiar I can get it down to the 20 min that people have said.

    Here is a picture of the dolly. I used a 3/4" sheet of plywood as the base so I can put the tools and connecting parts on there as I attach/detach.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I don't plan on putting it on and taking it off on a daily basis. I figure it will remain off until I decide to put it on for something and then it will probably stay on until I have some dedicated reason to take it off and I'll just flip flop like that. I may leave it on over the whole winter actually.

    Cooper is using his Ruff Wear Webmaster harness that he has for backpacking. In that earlier picture taking him to REI I bought some carabiners and climbing rope to make a dedicated tether. He has a locking carabiner on him and a regular one clipped to the rear rack. I can adjust for length by moving the knots or moving the clip on point further back. Actual climbing swivels are very expensive and hard to find so I am using a stainless steel swivel I found at the Home Despot.

    [​IMG]


    My girlfriend came to town last week and I told her to look for my new truck when she got off the metro, but I surprised her and had the rig waiting to pick her up. She said it is way different than riding on the back and creates a whole new perspective. But she said she likes both the back of the bike and the sidecar.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. Abenteuerfahrer

    Abenteuerfahrer Deaf on Wheels

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    Wooooo....fancy, fancy....Your Dolly is nicer than mine.....don't forget to paint it the bikes color :D.....:rofl

    YOURS :thumb

    [​IMG]

    Mine.... :poser

    [​IMG]

    cheers....
    #14
  15. jlsworks

    jlsworks Acid Stained

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    Location:
    Norman, OK
    Very nice, just what I was thinking. Did I miss where the hack came from? The Flea Market?
    James
    #15
  16. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

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    It was in the flea market about a year or so ago. I wasn't in a position to buy it at that time. I decided to get one recently and it turned out it had never sold so I scooped it up.
    #16
  17. Mr.Mellow's WildRide

    Mr.Mellow's WildRide Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Ol' Montanny

    The heck with that...........where'd you get the GIRLFRIEND..........???

    :wink:
    #17
  18. fabian adv

    fabian adv n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8
    Hi My name is Pawe&#322; and I try to build motorcycle with sidecar: BMW 1150 GSA and Ural. I have some qestions: Do You had any problem with sidecare during ride like vibration on stearing wheel. Did You construct turn shock absorber? Occure any cracks on the basic construction? How many liters of petrol consume Your machine?Do You have any drawings or instruction from Your old sidecar (angle and distant beetwen wheel from sidecar and motorcycle are important for me). Thanks for Your answer Pawe&#322; (Poland)
    #18
  19. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad n00balicious

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    Location:
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    Pawel,

    Your best bet is to contact a sidecar company in Europe to obtain a subframe & mounts to attach your Ural tub to your 1150GSA. You absolutely do not want to build that yourself, the 1150s have been around long enough that there are people out there in the sidecar business who have worked out the right way to mount a sidecar to them. A properly engineered mounting system will prevent cracks to you bikes frame from stress related to the additional load of he sidecar.

    With the standard fork setup you should not have much steering feedback, in fact you may find it to be a bit on the stiff side. A steering damper is commonly employed after the front fork angle has been changed (modified) to make the rig's steering easier. But, the answer is, if you leaving your forks alone you most likely won't need a "turn shock absorber".

    I recommend you buy a mounting system and after attaching the sidecar, see how the steering feels and make those modifications/additions only if you feel like you need them.

    I only recommend the European sidecar company because I don't know what would be involved in having it imported to Poland from CSM or DMC. I hope Claude or Jay will add their thoughts to this.
    #19