Zen and assembling a hack ! Your never done

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by davebig, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    I'm a character with some strong opinions, former USN diesel mechanic, lifetitme gearhead, general repair mechanic,motorcyclist, hot rodder retired postal worker Vietnam vet etc etc.
    I always wanted to fool with a sidecar, I bought a used inexpensive rig(83 GL1100 unfaired Ural) to be sure at what level I wanted to participate.
    That's when I figured out there's lots of hustlers and levels of commitment in the hack world, the previous owner said it had been profesionally assembled in the PNW(not DMC) it had 20" of lead it was a parade sidecar it only went straight. Got some triple trees from Brock Side Effects nice guy helpful, phone conference with Claude CSM they seemed amazed anyone put out a rig with 20" of lead,they helped me out.I and welder buddy repaired it.
    Now I have a big BMW based rig it works pretty well and I've learned allot irritated some of you hah !:lol3
    If anyone thinks it's just about slapping a chair on a motorcycle and suddenly ones Murphy we need to dispell that notion.
    It's a process one can't take a 600 pound BMW and add 50-60% of its weight to it and expect it to work easily and without changes.
    Gearing and steering in recent years BMW geared all their rigs very high (low gear numbers) it probably had more to do with road noise at certain engine speeds than efficiency your probably going to want a change.
    Trail reduction for easier steering, nothing is as good as a centerhub setup , followed by leading link forks the lower triple clamp change is a compromise meant to be affordable, it lowers your rig and increases the wheel base changes the lever angle of the forks, that's why I did my own Dedone style trail reduction, move the ball joint shorten the telelever to leave the fork in the stock position(thanks twintwin).
    Assembling a rig is more about what you can afford and are willing to put up with than right and wrong.
    Car tires, larger contact patches offer more braking more tire life and people have been using them elsewhere for years EML,EZS for example
    Here's one for you fear mongers if it ain't broke don't fix it !!!!
    Allot of these hack wheeler dealers early work left allot to be desired as far as structural metal work goes, don't believe me ask twintwin or stroker or anyone else who's had issues,it's a process for the builder also, they have reputations don't run to a guy who tells you what you want to hear.
    Anyone who has looked at the Smiling Swordfish thread :http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=779654&highlight=swordfish
    Should be able to figure out that there are allot of different ideas about how to build a rig and the US version is mostly the least expensive.
    If you want to be Murphy save your money there's allot to learn and do !!!! Fix your rig or not and finally a tip of the hat to FR700 the Heckler he has a huge amount of information and must have an engineering backround.DB
    #1
  2. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

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    I hope you do not mind if I throw a little bit of a differing opinion in here DB. I am not a character and have no opinions but I was also USN as a Machinist Mate, A Gang, R Division though not a hole snipe, on an old Tin Can. Did the cleanup in Vietnam, Cambodia in 1974, Saigon 1975 and such. Been working on cars since I was old enough to crawl under one to shag tools for my father.

    I bought my 2006 Ural new in 2006 so I could ride all year up here since my driveway has a foot plus of snow at least 5 months out of the year. I liked it so much I decided to hack my 2003 R1150GS that I also bought new in 2003. I found a Craigslist ad for a California Friendship II in Denver for $500.00 and drove down to look at it and bought it. It was literally in a barn covered with whatever occupies barns. I took it home cleaned it up and bought a subframe from DMC and off I went. To this day I still have less than $2,000.00 in the sidecar. The only concession I made to the bike was a rear wheel from Stroker since I was only getting 3,500 miles at best out of a $160.00 motorcycle tire and I could get 10,000 plus out of a $60.00 car tire. I have changed nothing else on the bike and 40,000 miles plus later I still see no need to change it. I had to change the factory clutch out 250 miles short of 100,000 miles and I finally blew the rear Showa somewhere in PA on my way to Arkansas so I replaced that when I got home with another stock Showa with less than 20,000 miles on it I got from ebay for $125.00.

    In short, I know too late, you do not have to spend a fortune to get a fully acceptable sidecar rig.

    Dana
    #2
  3. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    We're brothers Dana I was an Engineman repaired 12/71 Detroit Diesels (swift boats) in Vietnam and did A gang on an oiler after that it had allot of electro hydraulic winches, then 21months in Army hospitol after motorcycle crash.
    I didn't imply one needs allot of money to do a sidecar, though it sure helps one has to stay after the problems the whole thing is always a compromise and a process.You can't go to anyone other than a Ural dealer and get a turn key operation.You started out with the best 1150 they built the sport no ABS decent gearing.DB
    Your probably tougher than I am if you where on a tin can or at least you may have experienced alot more motion sickness.:lol3 DB
    #3
  4. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

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    I caught what you were talking about and was just reaffirming that you can do a budget build and be quite happy with it if that is what you want. You can also spend unlimited amounts of money if that is your nature and also be happy.

    Mine was mainly air conditiong and refrigeration and maintaining the 2 emergency diesel generators. Plus all of the general maintenance man crap on the ship.

    I do look a little different now than I did in the Navy days. Especially considering I am not a character.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. airspro

    airspro Been here awhile

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    Hey guys :

    Enjoying mine , not retired yet as I have 32 months yet to work :( .

    But I do enjoy the forum and the help I have gotten so far .


    <S> Salute
    spro
    #5
  6. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Hell I thought you where Jerry Garcia living a quieter life in the mtns !
    #6
  7. zipper421

    zipper421 Been here awhile

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    nice
    #7
  8. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    One thing good about the sidecar world is that one can start out without throwing a ton of cash into an outfit and then go from there. Do you NEED trail reduction? No but it is nice. Rode these things for many years with basically stock front end and just dealt with it. Do you need car tires? No but they are better then motorcycle tires once we go to a dual track vehicle. Do we really need all the do dads and techy stuff to get started? No. We do need a safe assembly and a well set up outfit with what we have to work with though. I tis important for those just getting into this to know that. " getting your feet wet to see if you will like sidecar with a poorly sorted out, poorly mounted assembly WILL not give the right impression as to what sidecars are all about for a newbie. THIS is where some go wrong and it reflects on the whole sport. I think sites such as this and others have done a lot to improve the quality of sidecars from what we used to see in the pre internet days. We as a community are somewhat self policing and that is not a bad thing.
    Most all who are in this full time as a business are nice to work with and are dedicated to their customers before and after the sale is made. Most who got into this full time did so because of their passion for the sport being great. Face it you can count the sidecar manufacturers in tee USA on your fingers. Don't be afraid to call any of them and ask a few questions. Heck I would even say don't be afraid to ask them about others in the business. Most of us get along very well.
    #8
  9. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars

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    +1 on what Claude said.

    3legs
    #9
  10. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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  11. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Thank you
    #11
  12. vortexau

    vortexau Outside the Pod-bay

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    You are quite welcome. Doing what I can to defuse anger.

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    My own outfit (bought S/H as an outfit, but likely more than ThirdHand for the tug itself) had a horrible condition of enlarged centre hole in the Upper triple clamp plate. NOT having any form of Trail Reduction, the high forces produced by upright steering instead of banked steering had caused this damage.

    My solution was in the form of a speciality replacement Upper triple clamp plate (from Perry's Sidecar of Texas) which reduced the trail measurement by a significant amount. The steering effort was considerably reduced by this single change.
    #12
  13. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

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    DB, Claude, my point is that you do not need all of that extra stuff to make a fun and safe sidecar rig. Everybody always says "you can start easy and add as you go" but you do not need to add if you do not want to. I can afford to put any kind of front suspension, or rear for that matter, that I want but I do not feel that it is neccessary to do so. Nor do I feel the need for sidecar brakes or automatic lean angle thingies, I like my rig the way it is and do not see any reason to change it. If I was building a HP rig I would definately have center hub steering with killer brakes all the way round and car tires and all the rest of that because that is the nature of a HP rig. I just hate to see people shy away from the joy of sidecar wrangling because they feel that it will be too much of a financial drain and that there is always something that needs upgraded and they are never finished.

    Build it and ride it because if you are looking for the perfect wave it isn't there and you will drive yourself crazy trying to perfect it because by the nature of the beast it will never be perfect.
    #13
  14. cleatusj

    cleatusj Dirt floor engineer

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    Well said DR.
    #14
  15. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Dana we are saying the same thing. I guess I didn't express what I said that well. Sidecar outfits need to be safe number one. From there one can go in many directions. I guess I am more of a sidecar nut than a salesman but ,yes, one can enjoy this sport safely and do so for many years without all the bells , whistles and pricy stuff that is out there. Yes I am in this full time and only wish we would have begun this business years earlier. But even though the food on the table and the light bill being paid is based on sales we do not push people into things un needed. Safety and a well balanced outfit go hand in hand. Past that there are many ways to go if one wishes to do so and those roads can enhance the sidecar experience in many ways. Required? No. Desired? By many.
    #15
  16. cleatusj

    cleatusj Dirt floor engineer

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    Claude, I've see the rig that you built that Lee just bought and the chair that Keith has on his VTX 1800 and would love to have the money to have one, but I enjoy building and am too cheep to let the money go if I had it. I like what I have and took the time to make sure it handles great for a dual track vehicle.

    I thank you and DR for all ya'll do to help others on here and other places to understand these rigs can be fun and safe regardless the amount of money invested.
    #16
  17. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

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    Claude, I did not mean to imply that you would push things just to increase the bottom line. I just think that we get carried away sometimes with pushing the envelope and we can scare away the lurkers who get the impression that they need this stuff to get a sidecar rig together when they really do not. Safety should always be the first issue though and a lot of that can and should be training.
    #17
  18. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    No it's my fault Dana, I started the thread because I was exasperated with a fellow inmate and his lack of mechanical aptitude.I'm a compulsive tweaker and I can't stop till I have pretty good handle on what I think I need to know about stuff.
    Since I'm sure your not a character I'm relieved otherwise I'd think you might be like another buddy of mine who rides a Helix Scooter to BMW rallies or a Yamaha TW200 on dual sport rides just to tweak other folks noses a bit , take a Helix to a track day sometime nobody wants to get passed by a scooter.lol
    I have learned one cannot have his cake and eat all of it too. These damn things are way to compromised and thanks to you and Claude I've figured out riding them has allot more to do with finese than raw courage, the more I learn to be smooth and pay attention the quicker I get even the woman friend pointed out to me we're going better and not working so hard.DB
    It was either a nice sidecar and I had an extra motorcycle or a Mini Cooper and auto X being a lifelong bachelor it's always about ME LOL.
    #18
  19. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana

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    :freaky It's all good.
    :p3rry
    #19
  20. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Jerry your my hero !!!!!!
    #20