Goliath has come to play

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by MIXR, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    Love the look of your rig.
    The way the paint matches and the angle of the "GS" lines up...awesome.
    Cool looking monkey too.

    Take care and be safe.
    #21
  2. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Cheers Eric. Last time I called my boy a 'monkey' he bit my leg off! I now walk lopsided. :cry

    As for the decals - They are a quality HumVee product. I spent a long time checking the angle and lining the side decal up with the tank. Bits of tape to hold it while I tested varius locations and angles, then more strips of tape to get the angle bracketed so it would be perfect. Then I stuck it on. Perfect. Lovely. Great job. Pat on the back.

    A few hours later I walked through the shed and admired the outfit. The damned decal was crooked and leaning away at the top! How'd that happen! Then I walked past the outfit and the decal was leaning the other way! WTF!

    As it turns out, the decal is only 'perfect' at one side view over a very small range of viewing angle. Move left and the decal appears to slope away. Move right, and it appears to slope the other way. I didn't think of that! Anyway - I'm happy overall, and the decal is not coming off.

    And if you use a flash a lot in your photos, don't buy the 'reflective' decals from HumVee as they 'light-up' with the flash and the colours won't match the tank decal when the photos are printed. Just get the plain colours. I wanted reflective decals for night visibility, but didn't consider the photo effects. See below.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, Mick.
    #22
  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I've got the same decals and try to get the decals lined up when I'm taking pics just so some bastid doesn't post up, "Hey, your decals are crooked!" It is weird though as you walk past the rig and watch the decal go from leaning forward, to perfect, to leaning back.
    #23
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Ah, that's interesting, because with my 1150/DMC rig, which is pretty easy on the arms even with 12-hour days, it gets even easier to drive when I have a full grown passenger, and wallowing is reduced! I'd carry a passenger full-time if it wasn't for the backtalk and harping. But even when empty, I toss in 50 lbs of ballast (on top of the tools and crap I carry) just because it rides so nice with the weight.
    #24
  5. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Well now Drone - The opposite effect?

    I know that this bike is a bit different to the normal thanks to the GS frame (as you well understand). Mine is using a 5-point link to the bike, with three upper mounts and two lower mounts. They all seem strong enough to prevent any flex, so I think it's all in the suspension. Some of the mounts are interconnected on a common mounting plate on the bike side.

    I will be seeking some expert opinion on the 'symptoms' I write about. This is a big learning curve for me. I'm happy enough to play with things, but want to do it more scientifically that just 'trial and error'. As an aviation mechanical engineer by background, I prefer a more exact methodology. Besides, what's the fun if it's all too easy?

    I've really started from scratch with this one. The new unladen mass is around 340 kg (@ 2.2 lb to a kg). That's what's listed for the road transport authority engineering report anyway. That means the chair is not really all that heavy. I only carry another 50 kg with the dog and his stuff, and camping gear. All-up, lets say an even 400 kg, plus two panniers and top box (loaded) at another 30 kg total and you are pushing 430 kg. Add a rider and gear at 110 kg (diet time!) and it hits 540 kg.

    That's still 'light' by some outfits I've seen. Now, I'm running absolutely stock R1150GSA suspension. The rear is set almost full hard, and the front is at full soft. The sidecar is at full soft, and seems to work well in the rough. I know that next ride I need to harden the front. That's positive. The rear is seriously affected by a heavy passenger (my mate Garry). I think that's what threw the handling and steering effort out, more so than the soft front suspension.

    So next ride it's a full dog load and harder front end. I suspect that I will need a harder rear end sooner rather than later. The GSA is too soft and too long-travel for this game. At least that's what I think at this stage. I was prepared for a rear shock cost addition. Pity they are so expensive here.

    So we will play the set-up game. And I will happily accept any and all constructive opinion on what I find versus what others have found. I already know that you cannot directly translate the behaviour of another GSA with a different sidecar and set-up to what mine does. That's half the fun. Spot the difference!

    I'm looking forward to the next test ride. And please come back here often and check up on me. I'll welcome your experiences (and all the others with R1150GSA outfits like Andrew2, Pops etc). Cheers, Mick.
    #25
  6. john82q

    john82q Adventurer

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    Mick,

    Nice rig, and lucky dog!

    Have you done anything about trail reduction, to lessen the steering effort?

    Watch the lefts,

    John
    #26
  7. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    John - Steering effort with Kipper on board seems to be ok (for me). It was only when lard-arse climbed in that I noticed a surprising difference to the heavy side of effort at all speeds. It may be due to the change in geometry with the chair settling under load as it's lightly sprung and set on minimum pre-load. That's the stuff I'm playing with next.

    As for left turns - Tight left and downhill turns will kill me one day! I really need to work on finding the left turn limits in a safe environment. I already know you MUST have power on, or at least be on a low trailing throttle. Any attempt to power off means Goliath goes straight on!

    More practice needed. Not sure I'll need trail reduction for my work and load, and I was trying to avoid that. Time will tell.

    Cheers, Mick.
    #27
  8. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    I was reading about your suspension set up and the changes you are thinking of making.
    I am sure you are already aware, but I didn't want to assume you know the difference between preload and spring rate before you buy anything.
    Buying a shock/spring that is in your adjustment range will make a huge difference in how a rig handles.
    Thing is, as you have already experienced, handeling will change as your load does.
    Set it up for the load you normally ride with and the roads you are normally on.
    What works for one person, may not for another.
    #28
  9. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Understood Eric. The existing GSA stuff is problematic. Front and rear have soft, long-travel shocks. Springs rates are fine with 'normal' loads and no chair. For me anyway. The spring rate is insufficient for handling a heavily loaded chair, particularly on the rear.

    Preload on the front has a marked effect on how harsh the bike is when it responds to inputs from either the road, or from the chair trying to steer the bike. I can live with the front end. There is no damping adjustment.

    Preload on the rear does very little in reality. I know the shock is being overpowered by the chair. Preload can be wound full hard and the rear remains saggy under power and the lack of spring becomes very pronounced on dips and holes. It lessens the movement of the bike under braking and somewhat under cornering. Damping adjustment is ok, but damping seems to run a poor third behind spring preload and spring rate.

    I know I need a rear shock with a higher spring rate. Then I can use preload to give me some load adjustment. At the moment, I'm using almost all the preload to artificially compensate for the lack of strength in the spring. It is not a good solution. My saving grace is the light load.

    Yep - A new rear shock is on the shopping list.
    #29
  10. pops

    pops Long timer

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    Hi Mick.
    When we had the original forks on ours The shock for the front was a wilbers it was 100% over stock shock.:deal


    [​IMG]

    Next to the gsa shock.

    [​IMG]

    The rear is a wibers as well. I will have to find some info on it for you .

    I would still like to try a sway bar it should make the rear stronger?

    Bloke in Melborne sells them and has been servicing ours .If you want his name i can PM it to you :ear

    Nev would know all about a front wilbers on a gsa rig .

    Have you checked out his GSA outfit :1drink.Very nice:thumb

    Cheers Ian
    #30
  11. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    You are gonna have to talk to Santa about that new shock.
    Maybe he knows someone at Ohlins or Wilbers who can give you a hand. :wink:
    Until then, enjoy the ride the best you can.
    You can hook an anti-sway bar up for the rear of the car to help with stiffening up the ride.
    The downfall of this is you loose some articulation/travel in the suspension when off-road.
    Good luck.
    #31
  12. pops

    pops Long timer

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    Found some photos of the rear shock.
    I have blown out the rear preload O ring once ,but it was still under warranty .:clap
    Very nice shock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers Ian
    #32
  13. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    Ian,

    How did you blow out the preload O-ring?
    Going crazy off-road or just normal riding stuff?
    Did Wilbers give you any grief for bringing back a broken shock?
    Good customer support?
    #33
  14. nevgriff64

    nevgriff64 Spelt with 2 ffs Super Moderator

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    Hi Ian. :wave

    Took the daughter away in the sidecar for an overnighter this weekend, 400 odd kilometres and enjoyed the trip. That Wilbers shock made a HUGE difference to the front end, i'm really glad I decided to take it off your hands. :clap

    Now all I need to do is work out how to get your trailer. :lol3








    Hi MIXR, :wave

    Sensational looking outfit there mate. :clap
    #34
  15. pops

    pops Long timer

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    Hi BeeMaa
    I was dozing off a bit on the way back from Pooncarie.
    I hit a wash out in a creek a wee bit to fast and that was that :cry Must have been all the BMW spares i was carrying.

    Wilbers were great:clap . I sent the shock over .And a few days later he gave me a ring to see what the go was with
    the shock. He rang again after a few days telling me what he had done and the price for the service.Too easy
    I have had very good service with him .

    Hi Nev i am glad you like the shock :clap. Huge change from stock.

    The trailer is easy Nev . It is yours.




    You can tow it to the off center rally ride for us:deal:D

    Cheers Ian
    #35
  16. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    Thanks Ian.
    We will be looking to upgrade our suspension soon and this has really helped.
    Glad to hear you had good service from Wilbers.
    More coffee...less dozing. :D
    Cheers.
    #36
  17. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Geez - You have a few hours sleep and the thread fills with 'shocking' posts!

    Great info and discussion guys. I used to play with sway bars back in my sports car days. Not sure that's the answer for me, particularly a it would require a fair degree of engineering and the addition of new attachment points. I'm trying not to turn this into a 'project', and don't have the home workshop that would allow any significant fabrication to be done.

    I'm happy with the front end. The rear is the problem. Nothing worse than a saggy rear-end! I'm pretty sure the rig will be far more user-friendly with a stiffer back end, so that's first on my shopping list. The chair is set very light (lowest setting of three) and runs a very easy (progressive) spring, so it's good. We have a motorcycle suspension guy here who does good work, so I'll have a chat with him after Christmas about the rear end of the bike.

    I have already noted that I can improve things by running the bike light. Two side panniers and a topbox are 30 kg, and if they are left off the rear seems to work much better. So that's where I'm heading first. Anything else might be an improvement, but won't be a neccessity.

    Thanks for the input. I appreciate the fact that some of you have well and truly been down this path already, so your experiences and opinions are valued.

    Cheers, Mick.
    #37
  18. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    Keep us up to date on how it all turns out.
    Enjoy your holiday.
    #38
  19. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    I decided to have a chat with Laurie from Suspension Smith here in town. He specialises in bike shocks, forks and springs. He was keen to see the outfit, and said he could probably assist in sorting it out, but only if I brought the thing in for him to have a look at the issues. So I did. No problem. The stock shocks are reasonable quality, and he had the ability to do a rebuild on the rear that would do everything a much more expensive shock would do.

    So I went 'purple'. The stock shock was pulled out, a new 1,000 lb spring fitted, and some re-valving of the damper and new seals went in. What a change! The stock shock spring (?) is a 13, and the new one is 17.9 (whatever that means for those numbers). Laurie did start to tell me about that stuff, but .................................. I was more interested in the overall effect. Fantastic! He set it up fairly hard for the expected load, but I'm running a much lower preload now than I was with the original item (almosed maxed that out), and have actually backed the new one off three more clicks as I felt it was just a bit too hard. Lots of scope for heavier adjustment. Wonderful!

    [​IMG]

    Laurie also had a play with the sidecar shock and dropped it back to the lowest setting and played with the damper as well. I should only need to 'up' the setting one notch (of three) if I carry a person. Not sure about that, as the handling was a bit flatter and more precise with the stiffer sidecar setting, but at the cost of road comfort. Maybe it's a compromise I need to live with.

    [​IMG]

    Overall, I'm pretty happy that my rear end no longer sags, and the rig sits much flatter at speed on sweeping bends. My confidence is way up now, as the soft wallow with the stock rear shock was very disconcerting. Anyway, all seems good, and the cost was a small $400 all-up. Gotta be pleased with that!

    The rear tyre is starting to show signs of being 'used', so I guess I'll be playing with tyre types and tyre pressures in the new year. A mate wants me to joing him on a fairly exacting day-ride into the mountains (lots of rough dirt), so that will now be a good overall test of the changes.

    [​IMG]

    For now, I'll wish you a great Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2012. Mick.

    PS - I've realised I'm starting to push the limits on this thing, so maybe It won't be that slow after all! The really slow sub-50 kph turns are still a problem, but are not the big deal they once were. Also, the change in attitude of the bike now that the rear doesn't squat down has meant that it's not as nice at highway speeds. More steering effort required. Maybe I need to start looking at some other adjustments (now that's a scary thought!).
    #39
  20. hunter_greyghost

    hunter_greyghost XS650 Allroads Traveller

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    Often do rides out this way & further north, be good to have an outfit along for trip, had a couple in the past but tow a trailer now [when needed!], :freaky
    keep an eye on 'ACT & Surrounds' thread on Aussie page :lol3
    Cheers
    Baza
    #40