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Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Dirtyairhead, Aug 24, 2017.
I removed the chrome plated step and the bullet light. The chrome red and amber running lights will have to go too. I have a new led to replace all 3, just gotta paint its body black. The black air deflector is bolted on with steel hardware that must be replaced with plastic safety windshield hardware. The floorboard oilcans when anyone gets in or out so I plan to make a plywood floor with an adjustable foot brace like in a kayak. This is just the first time out of the garage. A trailer hitch front and rear with a winch to plug into either way. The winch will be used to load the rig onto a flatbed that pulls the big camper for long term travel. A big oil cooler will be installed somewhere in the middle.
Looking good !
It looks like the lower rear mount is the weakest link. From the pictures it looks like you could shorten the lower rear and adjust the others to lessen the length of the exposed thread in the lower rear link.
What 's track width as it is ?
Couple of suggestions. On your lower rear mount, move the mount on the sidecar until it is 90 degress to the bike. In other words move it 6-8 inches towards the front of the car. That Ubolt is not really strong at holding and you may want to look at something stronger. Rear upper mount, you can move the attachment point to the upper rear shock mount. Not sure how long the bolt on the upper clevis is but go with a longer heavier grade bolt if you can. Both will improve your angles. If you can build a threaded/removable cross brace between the two rear portions of the rear bike sub frame, above the battery, will help to tie both sides of the bike in. Those are fairly light sidecar mounts so you might have to make some modifications.
When you are setting lean out & toe in, do it with the bike loaded and the weight you are going to carry in the sidecar. Sit on the bike and tie the rear suspension of the bike down so that the rear suspension is compressed. Use two levels, place one side to side on the car, and the other one parallel between the bike and car ( use the lower mounts ). You want both of these to be level with a loaded bike & car.Then follow the instructions you got for setting the unit up and a good start point is 3/4" lean out and 1/2" toe in. Just measure the lean out at the handlebar ends ( assuming they are straight ). Keep everything loose until you can get your measurements close and then tighten things up.
BMW's front and rear tires are different sizes and in some cases the rear tire is offset a small amount, so make sure the pieces of metal/wood you are using to set the toe in is straight on the rear tire and the sidecar tire. It helps to have them a couple of inches off the ground. Ignore the space between your measuring tool and the front tire ( it is likely 1/4 to 1/2" gap).
Looking at your latest pictures, you will want to move the sidecar in. It is too far away from the bike( at least it looks that way in your pictures ), and some suggest 50" as a good starting point for track width. On my rig I have about 5 " between the sidecar body and the right valve cover and another 2 " to the sidecar frame ( car is a bit wider than the frame ). I have just enough room so that I can adjust valves etc. You will by trial and error find the right set up.
The bikes wheel base is 58 in, track width of 54 in, 12 in lead, 1 1/2 toe in. 1/4 bubble lean equals what in inches? I can make a through bolt to brace the frame and include the shock bolt. Allowing moveing the mounts as suggested to get down to 50 track and a larger triangle. Friction lock mounts will get a small welded locks. I'm hoping to get 12 in of clearance under the car. I live in the woods, a two track is my country road. Keep up with the comments, I have my own ideas and needs so please don't take offense if some ideas are different. I have some things to do, but will read postings later tonight. Thanks. John
You do want to set the rig up for the way you are going to use it, everything else is just a suggestion, based on ones previous experience. No way to tell how much a 1/4 bubble lean equates to, depends on level and distance being measured. The easiest way to measure lean, suspension tied down, sidecar weighted, with a tape measure, measure at the handlebar ends down to a level floor, as a start you should try 3/4" difference, with the bike leaning away from the sidecar, or you could use a magnetic degree protractor on the disk brakes. 1 degree equals about 1/2". You have a fairly light rig and I would think 1 1/2" toe would be too much. The only real way to tell if any of this works, is the way the rig handles at slow & highway speeds.
Lots of good info on setting up rigs on this site and others. Have fun and good luck.
I found a ural front mount in a parts box. Stole the anti sway ball off the camper hitch. 4 in shorter lower rear strut gets the track down to 50 in. Easy enough to set, and play with the toe .
You're doing a nice job- I was just out in the shop today and measured mine- WB 56 1/2, track is 43 1/2, and wheel lead is 10 1/2. Mine is for the street and not an off-road machine like yours.
Keep the pictures coming, please.
Wb 58, track 50, lead 9, toe 1/2 inches
lean out half a bubble ☺
It will be interesting to see how the Ural front mount works, as the ball and socket can move. Also the stock one would allow you to adjust your wheel lead where as the Ural one won't. I see you added another tube to the frame to mate up with the Ural Mount and at least you can go back and forth between the 2 front mounts. Now if you want to make an upper top piece ( making a clamp ) that will allow you to bolt the rear lower mount, and get rid of the U bolt, you would have a much stronger rear mount. Once you have the rig where you want it to be then I would suggest tack welding in a couple of places this piece to the sidecar frame.
Some suggestions. I went back and looked at your sub frame pictures and see that you still have the trailer frame ( or portions of it at least ) still attached to the bike. I take it you are still going to want to pull a trailer and if so you will not want to use that set up. The trailer if one is being pulled would be better pulled from the center area between the car and the bike and most have the lower sidecar tube extend out behind the car, and put a receiver into the tube . I think where I am going with this is that you would have a much stronger sub frame for your set up if you incorporate the centerstand attachment points of the bike into your lower mount or even attach your made up subframe for the bike to the hitch in some fashion.
If you plan on using this rig off road, you will have to make the mounts really strong. Looking good.
We think alike. Yes I will pull the Minimate. I'm going to sell the hitch on my gs, just haven't gotten to it. Then I will need to make a mud flap to protect the trailer. I'm planning on a hitch somewhere like you suggested, my priority is to line up the left trailer tire and the bike tires. Tac welds are planned too. Pillow blocks will be made with the new 1 1/2 hole saw . The center stand brace was considered and likely be added, the subframe is way stronger than the bikes or the sidecar. I'm not sure if the heavy duty front hitch is actually a ural. I bought it from a importer from China. Maybe different from ural, I don't see how it can move horizontal, yes it pivots in all directions. I'm using the rear lower mount to fine tune toe in. Since I'm constantly changing things, I try to leave the opportunity to get back to original. Which mount gets replaced with a electric trim unit? Is it a good idea to have from the beginning?
Ps...I live off road.
The electric trim is nice if you are constantly running with different weights over different roads etc, but if you set the rig up for the way you usually use it, then you will rarely if ever have to adjust the lean etc. I have my rig set up for a loaded bike & sidecar with a passenger. When the passenger isn't in the bike, I put in 30 lbs of water ballast and the rig handles just fine. I don't off road and all my riding is normally on pavement, but I'm not against a gravel or dirt road. Some of the electric leans I've seen are mounted on the rear upper mounts and runs parallel to that mount. I would think that both ends would just need a pivot point. Shouldn't be too hard to make.
Some of my friends call me the gadget guy because of the things I modified for easy operation. Adjustable trim seems to be my kinda accessorie. I also lean towards simplicity. The struts can't be adjusted without tools, a manual turnbuckle made-to-order is in my head presently. Thanks for the reply on trim. I'm wondering if anyone has put an air shock in place of the stock shock. The water ballast trick is very useful since the weight can be acquired or dumped anywhere. Thanks everyone for the suggestions and keep them coming. I'll do my part and continue to post pictures and ask for advice. You guys are helpful for me. Building the subframe and compareing the sidecar mounts makes me think universal mounting hardware is a compromise in strength.....
Possible manually adjustable
View attachment 977
Yes universal mounts are not the best when it comes to strength. Sounds like you have a plan.
Manual adjustable rear strut
Second test drive. With the sidecar shock cranked up tight. Road conditions are.... The better way home is deep sand at the edge of the pavement . Steep uphill hard pack natural gravel with rocks and shallow ruts. Then a 1/4 mile of pleasant when dry slightly wider than a two track .The back way is steep down hill deep sand, flat slime you really want muddy knobbies for and if you get stuck you will need a blood infusion. two track steep sand uphill climb. Then a 1/4 mile of pleasant two track.
On the hardpack dirt the rig pulls hard to the down hill side left or right. In sand It drives like a boat. Different from two wheels but kinda the same. On pavement it pulls to the right. I can get to a neutral steering load by straddling the center of road. Tonight I will set it up and do the measurements.