Martin's VTR 1000 Adventure Sidecar Build

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by m_cliffhanger, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    Hello,
    it is time to introduce myself and start a build log. My name is Martin, and I live in Pemberton, BC, a small village about 2 hrs north of Vancouver, BC. These days I see myself more as a builder, rather than a rider or driver. With two very active daughters, there is little time for long adventures, but I am very fortunate, to be able to sneek into my shop every morning, and commit some building. Thus I have finished an airplane, which took me over 3 years and 3,000 hrs; this was followed by a scratch built Lotus Super Seven roadster, a bit over 3,500 hrs and roughly 4 years and now, the VTR 1000. But I have burned the occasional hydrocarbon to have some fun; in the late 70's, I road raced a RD 350 and a TZ 250, then switched to FF and a Honda Spec series in the 80's. In the 90's I got seriously into aviation, competing and performing in airshows in a Pitts S1; having been fortunate to survive all of that I got into mountain snowmobiling and trail riding my trusty DR 350. As my daughter was born in 03, time and courage (or stupidity) became scarcer, and so I ended up enjoying building, more and more. But enough about me, on to the build.
    As the title says, I am building an adventure sidecar outfit, with a VTR 1000 Firestorm (or SuperHawk in the US) as a basis. Now why the heck, you ask, would I do that? Well, not trying to be glib, because I have it. My original plan for the bike, was to be an engine donor for my next project. I wanted to (and probably will, at some point in the future) build a Morgan 3 Wheeler. The VTR engine seemed like a good choice, since I couldn't justify a S&S. So I found this bike at an impound lot, and got it pretty reasonably, for $ 1,500. It was in fairly decent shape, but not pristine. But as I was working away on getting this project started, I realized that the Morgan would have a very similar mission as the Seven, and I am having way too much fun with it, to sell it. So I found myself looking at ads for adventure bikes, wanting to get back at riding the gravel roads again, which there is plenty of around here, but not really the place to take my Seven on to. However, sanity prevailed and budgets had to be considered, and I didn't buy a bike. Then it dawned on me: I have a bike, paid for and registered, all it needs is some modifications. Did I mention, that I have sometimes Lapses of Reason? Oh, well, it will be an adventure.
    So I have spent a lot of time, researching the many builds on here, and appreciating the information that has been posted. Hopefully, I can do the same with my build log.
    At this point, I have pretty much finished the sub-frame. I have also bought a new rear shock (from a Honda Varadero) and completed the installation of it . That included modifying the swing arm to make more room for the increased travel. I'm pretty close to start on the leading link front end, and I will catch up with the build log, and post pictures, as I'm going along.
    IMG_7821.jpg IMG_7822.jpg IMG_8073.jpg IMG_8074.jpg
    #1
  2. Bar None

    Bar None Old School Dude

    Joined:
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    :lurk
    How about a few photos of the 7 and the airplane?
    #2
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  3. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    I was following your not-quite-started build on Lo-Cost. Now I'll follow this one.
    #3
  4. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    #4
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  5. Bar None

    Bar None Old School Dude

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    Thanks for the videos. Very nice work.
    #5
  6. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
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    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    This should be very interesting. And I'm only 5 hours away if I want to duck in for a peek at the build. :bmwrider
    #6
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  7. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    You should, Drone. Lot's of good riding up here.
    I've never had the time for long rides, but I've been day tripping on every goat trail and logging road around here, on my trusty DR 350. I sold it once the airplane was finished, as I just didn't have the time to ride it any longer. Missing that, was the main motivation to take the build in this direction. I'm under no illusion about the short comings of the VTR for this purpose. This won't be a full blown adventure rig, but rather a mildly off-road capable outfit, used mainly on good logging roads. My daughters are still young enough (8 and 13) that going for a ride with Dad has some attraction; at least for a little while longer. And I want them to see some of the great country and vistas that are right around them.
    To improve the rear suspension, I installed a Showa shock (off a Varadero; a cousin to the VTR) that fit the bottom bell crank perfectly. The top mount needed to be modified, as did the swing arm, since the spring is wider than the original shock. So as it sits now, I should have around 6" of ground clearance and about 5" of rear wheel travel. Not gobs of suspension by some standards, but it should work for this application.
    Because the main frame is aluminum, I also added a small brace, to tie the upper shock mount area further to the engine. In true sport bike design, and most modern bikes, the engine is the main load bearing structure. So to beef up the frame, I tied as many points as possible, back to the engine. But more of that, when I get to the sub frame. IMG_8168.jpg IMG_8169.jpg IMG_8170.jpg
    #7
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  8. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    So what appears to be a sculpture of Welding Art 101, having gone terribly wrong, it is actually the subframe. I think of it as a Praying Mantis being strangled from behind, but you be the critic.
    The subframe sort of morphed into what has finally become. My goal was to provide as much rigidity as possible, while tying as many frame points into the engine, as possible. The square tubing is 1 x 1 x 0.125, the angles are 0.250 and the round tubing is mostly 4130. The lower brackets are 0.125, with shear tabs welded to the bottom. All of it is TIGed for extra strength. The main load is being carried by the rear bracket, which utilizes two 10 mm through bolts, and an upper bracket, which ties directly into the engine/frame through bolt (12 mm). The vertical/45 deg struts, will tie into one frame boss, the front down tube/steering head boss and a rear frame bracket that still needs to be configured.
    The subframe had to be split, since the cylinder heads were wider than the mounting bosses, necessitating the extra brackets and clamps. IMG_8214.jpg IMG_8217.jpg IMG_8189.jpg

    Attached Files:

    #8
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  9. brstar

    brstar Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    993
    Location:
    Shoalwater Western Australia
    Seriously impressed here.
    Looking forward to seeing it together.
    #9
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  10. Miggins1

    Miggins1 Adventurer

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    Jun 13, 2013
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    89
    Location:
    Cheshire, England
    Wow - great work.
    #10
  11. cog8603

    cog8603 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Oddometer:
    290
    Location:
    NC
    seeing as I just sold off my 99 yellow superhawk last month, I'm very interested to see how this goes for you!
    #11
  12. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    Thanks, guys.
    Well, Santa came early, and brought me a mini lathe. I've been pondering the need for one for quite some time, but as with my previous builds, each one results in adding more tools to the shop. And once you have it, you always wonder how you did without it.
    I couldn't justify anything bigger, money and space wise, but I think it will do, what I need. My immediate goals are axles and axle spacers, but I can see a bunch of other things that become possible. Furthermore, it should be a great learning experience.
    I'm planning to use as much from the bike as possible, and so the front wheel, which is 17", will become the sidecar wheel. I found a 19" front wheel to replace it. The sidecar wheel was going to be mounted in a double sided swing arm, due to the bearings and the axle. But now I can consider a single sided swing arm, with a custom axle, which will look a bit tidier. There is not enough material to machine the wheel hub for a larger bearing, but I may have found a Timken tapered roller bearing that may fit (42mm OD and 22 mm ID). And 22 mm should be enough for a stub axle. IMG_8220.jpg IMG_8219.jpg
    #12
  13. willys

    willys Long timer

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    Excellent work and sellection of builds, I came a nat's hair away from building a 7 also....wish i had now! Damn!

    Watching with serious interest.....
    #13
  14. pinkius

    pinkius Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    152
    Location:
    saint Paul, Minnesota
    :-)

    I have 99 VTR1000 and wanna add a third leg also
    #14
  15. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    I made the handlebars. The obvious choice would have been to mount some ATV or Moto hi-bars to the upper clamp, but it is fairly light duty to begin with, and I would have had to bring them back a fair bit as well. So I used the clip-ons, which have a nice clamp, and welded the structure to them. It may help in clamping the top of the fork tubes a bit more, and it saved drilling the upper triple clamp. When I'll make the fork legs, they will extend above the triple clamp, for adjustment, but it will also allow the bars to be raised, if necessary. The bars are 33" wide, but will get some aluminum end plugs; a good lathe exercise. IMG_8221.jpg IMG_8222.jpg
    #15
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  16. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    Fabbed the sidecar swingarm. I had thought of a single sided one, but in the end, it was easier to go this route. The axle is the VTR's front axle, and I basically copied the way it mounts in the forks; two split sleeves, with a large bolt pulling it together.
    The brake disc is the stock front, and I found a stock caliper for $25 on Ebay. Beats a universal one, and I re-built the other two already, so I still have some seals on my shelf. Now, the brake appears to be total overkill, and it probably is, but I'm planning on making it a thumb-brake. I will probably not have that much power to operate the master cylinder, so it may just work out; a very light touch should be enough. IMG_8287.jpg IMG_8288.jpg
    #16
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  17. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
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    Chambers Bay, WA
    A thumb brake? Never heard that term before. I'm guessing you'd mount a thumb shaped pedal above the left grip? Or . . . ? Please educate me.
    #17
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  18. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Tiny master cylinder thumb actuated lots of old time F1 bike racers had them as they where required to have 2 brakes but the pedal one was mostly in the way with stiff boots and racing position.
    But that's still way toooooooo much brake out there !
    #18
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  19. m_cliffhanger

    m_cliffhanger Momentary Lapses of Reason

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Pemberton, BC, Canada
    Drone, that is correct. It is more like a small lever, mounted behind and slightly below the left grip, so it can be reached and actuated with the left thumb. I believe it was Mick Doohan who used it first, after his ankle was so badly damaged and bolted together, that he couldn't operate the foot pedal.
    Dave, at this point I have no way of knowing how much brake force will be required. I will try to find the largest diameter master cylinder that I can find, and then it will be a matter of testing. If it is not workable, I'll be the first to bring out the grinder, and build something different. But for now, it was there, and readily available. I'm under no illusions, that a lot of controlled testing won't be required. That's part of the fun.
    #19
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  20. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    That's a nice selection of files you have there, obviously not your first rodeo ! Mick Doohan ! Right I couldn't recall his name , the 2 stroke era those where some wild machines. One of the better sidecar fabricators is in Kamloops https://www.facebook.com/Side-Effects-144069652295470/
    #20
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