Newbie question

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Prmurat, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    I have only 800kms on my Gear Up and having spend today in some twisties with my wife and 2 beagles in the car, I just had to take some muscle relaxants as my left arm is so sore... Ok my right arm is half invalid but left turns are so tough... So, surely not an Ural, have any sidecar ever been equipped with a kind of power steering? My Spyder has one and it is welcomed!
    Please, if you have no answers to a genuine question just do not respond!
    Thanks
    #1
  2. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    I don't know anything about power steering for sidecars, but you will find in time as you get more comfortable with the dynamics the problem will for the most part solve itself.

    The first thing is to relax and not fight it, your muscle memory will soon automatically compensate for the yaw caused by throttle and braking input. Also you will learn to use those traits to help in turns.

    Don't worry, it gets better with time.
    #2
  3. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    Ural's come with a lot of trail on the front end so that they can still be riden with out the sidecar, You can reduce trail further if you want which will make for lighter steering. To reduce trail the front wheel must be moved forward a bit, This is not all that hard to do if you have the link type front end.
    All of the power steering units I know of will not work on handle bar set ups, we are installing one at this time off of a Can Am quad onto a sidecar we are building that will be driven with a steering wheel by the passenger who will remain in his wheel chair.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    jay@dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    #3
  4. NortwestRider

    NortwestRider TRIPOD ADVENTURER !!

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    I 2nd what windmill said,You will get use to it and have the shoulders you always wanted!!.
    #4
  5. val. h.

    val. h. On the wrong planet

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    I find similarly that the steering can be very heavy. I have yet to build my LLs, though having done quite a bit of reading on the matter it does appeare that you might be best off trying to find a way of moving your front axel forward 'as Jay sais above'. You'll need to do a bit of cutting and wellding, but because you already have LLs it shouldn't be too big a job.

    However before getting the saw out do some measurements to work out how much trail the forks currently have. The less trail the lighter the steering. But be careful. Too little trail will cause the steering to be so light that the rig becomes dangerous. From what I understand moving the axel forward 30-40 mm from a solo bikes standard trail is about right. I imagine that the Ural is already somewhere close to that, but if what Jay sais is right, then you should be able to move the axel forward 10-20mm, which should make a significant difference. Doing this might be as simple as drilling a new pivot hole 10-20mm behind the original one.

    I have also just about covered 800 miles on my outfit, (776 to be precice) I understand just what you mean about getting really stiff while riding. After a gentle bimble out last weekend I could barely get off the bike I was so stiff. I understand too what Windmill sais, 'and I'm sure you do too' that the rider should be relaxed on the bars when riding. This is all very well, but it's so easy to find myself really holding the bars ridgidley to deal with road camber and having to tell myself to relax. Even so you do find that going round some of the tighter/faster bends can require a lot of input from the rider.


    HTH Val.
    #5
  6. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    +2- I've been on the road since September and it was a lot of work at first- sore wrists, shoulders, and lats. Now I don't notice it at all, but I did notice my suit jacket was stretched tight across my shoulders when I had to dig it out for a function the other day!

    One simple thing to try is tire pressure- the rig will steer easier the higher the presssure.
    #6
  7. Thermos

    Thermos Been here awhile

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    Use the knee pads on the sides of the tank!. When you go left, push into the tank with the left knee and then the opposite for right hand turns, with the proper monkey butt shifting for fast right hand turns.

    -T
    #7
  8. Zippydapanhead

    Zippydapanhead Damn kids, get away!

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    Hang in there. You may be running hard on the steering tensioner now and find you will turn it down after more bar time... and I see a lot of discussion on ADVRider about putting Kawasaki KLR bars on it for more leverage. Since your brain may be wired to countersteer if you have been non-hacking or bicycling... the switch to ATV, three-wheeler type steering will have you in knots for awhile.

    Good decision on the rig!
    #8
  9. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    I am trying to not have the "death grip" but gosh... road camber is really killing me... I guess having power in only one arm does not help either.. I am starting to look like these crabs: big left arm and rickety right one... Now big shoulders??? Great with my already big butcher like neck (40 years of riding does that to you...) finding the right side shirt is gone be fun!!!
    #9
  10. val. h.

    val. h. On the wrong planet

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    HaHa! never thought of the crap connection before. You could claim it's Barmans arm. :D

    Something I've noticed when I find myself struggling with the camber and really pulling hard on the bars to keep my line, is that I can actully loosen my grip quite a bit and just rest my parms against the bars and that I'm doing all this pulling for nothing. It appears that I'm actually holding on too tight, just because it felt like I should be, then I discover I don't need to hold so tight.

    Another thing with camber is to try to get the rig in a position that it's either straddeling the hump of the road (if the road is empty I'll ride straighit down the centre sometines) or get the hack or tug tyres in the bottom of one of the lorry tyre groves. It helps to level things out and makes for an easier ride.


    Val.
    #10
  11. Arctic Orange

    Arctic Orange Been here awhile

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    Been following these threads for several years. I have now collected the pieces and parts. The trusty K-75 will be wearing a velorex soon. The question of arm strength has crossed my mind, due to loss of some left wrist bones. So
    Prmurat's question goes X2. Everyones replies have givin me some insight on the subject, Thanks all.
    #11
  12. BlairBear

    BlairBear Been here awhile

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    I'm new to a Hack also. I thought I was having a heart attack the other day, my chest was hurting. One thing I found that help me on my rig (2011 Patrol), I took some tape and marked the handlebars to clamps. Then loosened the clamps and moved them up 1/8" at the clamp mark. It seemed to make around 3' at the grips. That made a huge difference to me. I did have to re-index the throttle housing and the levers. Besides that, I'm still trying to get use to it!
    #12
  13. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger Off riding around on bitumen circles.

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    If the sidecar isn't set up correctly, considering the load & camber, then no amount of muscle building is going to help. Was it set up before you took possession? By whom? For whom?

    Without drilling, cutting, adding parts etc, you need to establish some basic dimensions. Loaded and unloaded. Don't forget, you need to have your weight on the seat as well. Placement of a load on the bike &/or in the sidecar may also effect the measurements.

    Sidecars will forever be a compromise. The objective is to come up with the best compromise for your particular situation. You may end up with a number of settings for different riding situations.

    Just throwing parts at it may never turn it into a silk purse.
    #13
  14. alzyck

    alzyck Been here awhile

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    That's what I found with my Gear Up. When I first took delivery, it was hard work to keep it going straight down the road. People told me I just needed more experience to get used to riding a hack. It just didn't feel right. I finally took it back to the dealer. The toe-in on the sidecar was way off. We reset the toe-in and bike camber to the Ural recommendations. After that, it rode like a whole different bike. It's more work to drive than a normal bike, but nothing like it was.

    It does take a while to get used to driving a sidecar rig (I'm still working on it), just make sure you're not battling an incorrectly set up unit.
    #14
  15. jeffygs

    jeffygs Been here awhile

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    After purchasing my rig (GL1100/EML) I thought I would not be able to ride it long distance, the first day after purchase on the commute home after 360 miles I thought my arms were going to fall off. I finally made it home after suffering for 5 days and 2000 miles. I spent hours checking my rigging (it was way off) and bought Steerite triple trees to reduce trail. Now I couldn't be happier, Now my GS sits in the garage.
    Im sure your Ural trail is correct with the LL but the toe in, lean out/ in I suspect are out of wack, just because you bought it new does not mean it was set up properly or at all. My opinion (might be wrong) is to set it up as your going to ride it. sitting on bike, type of roads and camber of the roads, person or weight in sidecar(if your always taking someone). lots of help here, these guys are brilliant and even on youtube. my .02
    #15
  16. KneeDrachen

    KneeDrachen Long timer

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    Couple of things. I am incredibly limited in use of my left arm/hand. I bought the hack before my surgery so I thought that I wouldn't be able to ride again post-op. That being said, here's a few tricks I found have helped, through my own trial and error.

    1). Leave the steering dampener loose, I know it seems counter-intuitive but it actually makes it harder when you're a bit. . .uneven with your arm strength.

    2). For off-camber roads, rather than fight the handle bars, shift your WHOLE body, by supporting your weight with your legs and steer with your strong arm. It's funky at first but soon becomes second nature. It isn't uncommon for me to have have of my rear-end sitting on the sidecar body edge.

    3). Run a higher tire pressure up front and make sure the wheel is true and balanced

    4). Relax. It's been said a zillion times, but until your are relaxed and confident, you're working against yourself.

    5). Figure 8s in the parking lot for practice building up endurance. People will look at your strange and the local constabulary may pay you a visit, but I wasn't able to find a better way.

    6). Rest. Often. I break up my rides into smaller chunks rather than a long distance all at once. Takes more time but you will feel better.

    7). Set-up. As said in previous posts.
    #16
  17. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger Off riding around on bitumen circles.

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    There is an older fellow over this side of the pond. Let's call him John, 'cause that's his name. He had a K100 with a double width chair and was towing a camper trailer, one designed to go behind a small car.

    his solution to aid the steering, especially in a straight line, involved running an elastic rope from the rear of the front swing-arm to the inside of the sidecar, through a guide to the back of the sidecar, then back toward the front. The front end was within hand reach so that he could adjust the tension on the rope depending on the road he was riding on.
    Of course that was very handy over here where straights can be measured in lots of kilometres, or not so big lots of miles.

    Sorry, I don't have a photo. I realise that my description is inadequate, especially in the set up adjacent to his knee where he could control the tension. The reason it actually worked was because, unless you're riding quite slowly, there isn't that much steering input to change direction, so even when he was turning against the rope tension, it wasn't that huge.
    It worked for John, so he claimed. I've seen other's who have just used ocky straps to give some pre-tension on the handlebars too.

    Anyone got snaps? Or clearer descriptions?
    #17