Kalich Leaner - "Build"

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Mac, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    If anyone building their own leaner, or contemplating doing so it is essential to understand that there are heim ends and their are heim ends. Going with cheap ones is setting yourself up for a possible disaster. You will find that pricing varies a lot. Look at the rating of the heim ends.
    Alos , as far a double shear goes it isn't really necesary in th eright application althoiugh, barring any clearanc eissues, will never be a bad idea.
    In single shear it is not a bad practice to design the retaining bolt to work in conjunction with a washer or some type of enlarged end to assure the heim end ball cannot come out of it's home in case of a mishap or unwanted impact.This is overkill but so what.
    Heim ends will wear in time and some 'slop' can become evident. Check them for play from time to time.
    I am not a huge fan of the ones with grease fittings on them but if they are rated you may want to consider them.
    Also, it is best practice to leave as few exposed threads as possible when installing them. And by all means use a jam nut as you do not wan tth eehreads 'working' back and forth.
    There are rubber type dust covers avaiable to better protect the ball areas. This may extent life of the unit. It can also retain some slight amount of grease without making a mess. You can find these at speedwaymotors.com among other places.
    If a choice is available within design parameters between large and small go large! This will give more bearing area and provide longer life over and above obvious strength ratings.
    I would not be tempted to use tie rod ends for pivots. Some have tried this and it just has too many downsides. Strength may be there but typical manufacturing tolerances are not within what one really needs. Sometimes what seems to be a cost saved does not translate into being the best value for many reasons.
    Just opinions of course.
    Safety is always what must come first followed very closely or directly paralleled by function. Looks take a back seat. The best designs, such as Kalich and others, are those that combine all of these things into a clean looking workable system.
    #61
  2. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    Before going with the Kalich, I was considering a direct build myself. Now that I've seen the quality and level of engineering required, I'm glad I didn't attempt it myself. I'm not that smart or skilled.

    For reference, Ralph Kalich uses 20mm heim joints in his design. Something like this: http://www.mcmaster.com/#59935k48/=76q6dv (these have a 12,836 load capacity each).

    And as you allude, it's not just the hiem ends themselves, but the design of the mounts around the joints.
    #62
  3. Arthurwg

    Arthurwg Been here awhile

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    I used leather "gaiters" to cover the ball joints on the front end of my Series 3 Land Rover. Worked great in the Sahara and everywhere else. They were a Land Rover part, but you could easily make some for your application.
    #63
  4. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    I am quite confident that Ralph Kalich has his act together. No one who manufactures anything such as a sidecar ever wants to have failures etc or underdesigned products out there.
    McMaster Carr is a good source for many items such as this. Notice thgat at 33 bucks plus these are not your typical el cheapo heim ends.
    Some are doing what you call 'direct builds' of leaners and many seem to do well. I am definately not a very knowlegeble 'leaner person' and have never built one but may do so at some point. There IS quite a bit of geometry concerns invloved to arrive at the best combination of weight bias, what leaning does to the camber of the sidecar wheel, what leaning does to to the toe in, how much wheel lead is best for a given outfit if any, and so on. Apparently the concensus of these questions is not settled as it seems alot of different ideas are still out there.
    #64
  5. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    Very good post!
    #65
  6. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    Thought so myself. Doubtful that one is able to match that on a first or even second attempt.
    I would buy again anytime. Imho worth every penny/cent.

    Very much so.
    #66
  7. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    Claude,

    the sidecar wheel on a Kalich/Armec Sidewinder leaner just runs beside the bike to spport the main weight of the sidecar. It should be small/narrow (better motorcycle tyre in small/narrow dimensions, don't use a car tyre) and possibly better equipped with a tyre of low grip.
    The camber should be basically of low to no impact (the bike still runs like a solo), imho just make it vertical with no camber.
    The toe in should be able to be adjusted in one way or the other, but with the front mount higher and a small/narrow tyre the leaning shouldn't be of concern. One will need the toe in adjustment to get neutral handling at your touring speed.
    Some wheel lead seems advisable due to the pushing/pulling of the sidecar wheel while leaning in/out (refer to the videos in post #23: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=525279&page=2).

    Regards

    Jens
    #67
  8. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    Mac

    How are the first impressions or is it still unfinished?

    Regards

    Jens
    #68
  9. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    Nice timing. I got the parts from the painter back late last week, and put it all together this past few days. Today, I got it out on the road for a few minutes, and realized I needed a bit of alignment. It was pretty close, so I did the wheel alignment but still have to get it out on the road.

    Too early for driving impressions, but it definitely looks awesome. I'll try and snap some pics when I take it out in the morning.

    Stay tuned...
    #69
  10. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    still tuned...
    Is the weather still not better?
    #70
  11. roadracer

    roadracer Been here awhile

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    I haven't even picked up my sidecar yet and this thread managed to make me dislike leaners and the people who ride them!

    What a bunch of pompous asses, haha!
    #71
  12. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    Eww, a squid farted in the thread.:rofl
    #72
  13. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    The weather is fine, that's the problem. Riding.

    So, I got out this morning for a ride and snapped a few pictures. They're uploading now, and I'll put them up in my next post.
    #73
  14. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    Finally, I've managed to get the leaner all set up properly and out on the road for a few hundred miles. It's running perfectly. We hit a few snags along the way, but Ralph got those ironed out quite nicely.

    As promised, here are the completed pictures. You can click on any of these pictures and will get a high-resolution version.

    All these were taken around 0730 Local, with the sun on the east side of Pikes Peak. In the mid-ground, you can see parts of the "Garden of the Gods Park". In the upper left of the third picture, you can see Cheyenne Mountain - inside is where NORAD tracks Santa Claus, and does a few other things.


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    #74
  15. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    Gorgeous paint and the graphic is Very Well done.
    #75
  16. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    Thanks. Fortunately, I didn't do it myself. My paint skills start with a paintbrush and end with a rattle can.

    This work was done by a great local classic auto restorer / artist. The paint is House of Kolor Kandy. Five layers of translucent "Brandywine" over "Orion Silver", and finished with four layers of Urethane. All hand finished to perfection. Must see in person to really appreciate it.
    #76
  17. whd721

    whd721 Adventurer

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    Great pictures! It looks really good.

    Can you add a little between the first teaser pic and the finished product.

    Did everything fit?, clear instructions? all required parts? How much disassembly of your bike? Any major issues? Alignment issues? Electrical connection issues? Anything else you think is important ?

    Leaner handling experience once you gain experience.

    Others may also be considering a Kalich.
    #77
  18. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    Can only: Dito!

    very nicely done:clap
    #78
  19. Willi-Jens

    Willi-Jens Been here awhile

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    Go out & play with it!
    Remember: Even if you don't feel, it is there - so keep the Mantra in mind: wider, wider, wider

    I wonder how long it will take you till you hit the stopper for the first time while leaning into a corner (usually shorter timeframes than people imagine...).
    #79
  20. Mac

    Mac Long timer

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    Between receiving the crates and driving the finished sidecar, there are a few things you have to do. If you buy this sidecar in Germany, Ralph will assemble it and get it on the road. However, if you're not able to a drive up to his shop, you have a couple other options.

    You can have all the parts unfinished and not fully assembled, which is what I chose, so I could get it painted locally. Alternatively, you can also choose to have him have the tub painted and then fully assembled, then crated up. All you'd then have to do is mount the sub-frame to the bike and hook up the lights to your bike, then adjust the alignment.

    There will always be little issues you have to resolve as a builder, or even an assembler. If you are afraid of working out these issues, then no build may be right for you. The little things I had to work out may be completely different from the ones someone else may need to address. If you expect drive up - drive out ease, you need to find someone who can provide that service.

    That said, I'll try and answer your questions:
    Did everything fit? Yes, everything fits
    clear instructions? Yes, you also need to have common sense
    all required parts? Yes
    How much disassembly of your bike? A little. Must discard the crappy engine guards and the center stand. Also, you need access to some wiring.
    Any major issues? No
    Alignment issues? No
    Electrical connection issues? No
    Anything else you think is important? Be smart, flexible and creative.

    The bottom line is that Ralph is very easy to work with, is fluent in English, and most importantly is a great craftsman who will work very hard to help make sure you can get his creation on the road.
    #80