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Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Hookalatch, Aug 9, 2015.
Great job !!
Very attractive rig. Matching snowflakes are nice. It will never look more beautiful than in those pics. Nicely done, Hookalatch!
Yep, great rig and really like the color and matching rim on the car!
Chuck - great rig. The color is what you want, so it matters not who else it may please or displease.
As to the brakes, I was surprised to see the old swing ATE calipers on there. They can certainly stop the rig if the master cylinder is sized properly, but they will be sensitive to alignment, and certainly to displacement if the leading link is flexing around the axle shaft. Make sure that's your problem before cutting and welding. The brake line routing, especially the hard to flex line transition, looks iffy to me in terms of clearance and movement. There also appears to be a lot of line volume. Did you bleed the calipers dismounted from the arm? Just make sure you do not have some air still trapped in a pocket with them mounted with the bleeders in that orientation. Even reverse bleeding is no guarantee that there is not some air trapped.
More pics as your exploration continues!
The 70 degree clamp sliding into the welded on clamp on the rear needs to be trimmed off on the in side other wise with a heavy passenger the "snowmen" rubber mounts on the body can compress enough for the body to make contact.
Other wise, great looking rig!!
Thanks for that advice Jay. I wasn't worried about it since it was hidden but didn't consider the possibility you brought up. Now I wished I had trimmed it before mounting the tub.
I am very grateful for all the great comments and advice I am getting from everyone. Jim you apparently took a good look at those photos. I planned on new brake lines from the beginning. You are correct- the lines are too long and the routing is poor. They get very close to the exhaust headers when turning and get flexed way too much. I only put it together with what I already had. I am thinking flex lines all the way from the splitter. I did not remove the caliper during bleeding. I have had 3 Airheads but this is my first experience with ATE calipers. Even when I get a fairly firm brake lever it still feels mushy compared to any other hydraulic system I have worked on. You brought up another point I wondered about. I am using the original master cylinder sized for the Brembo brakes. I planned to measure piston sizes and hoped I could still do the math to calculate area of a circle to see if I was requiring a lot more fluid on the ATE's. The nice thing about the placement of the calipers is you can lay on the ground and get a really good view of the pads to get good alignment of the caliper. If my Chico sidecar guru ever returns from his Montana wanderings I should quickly have new brake lines on order.
I am not going to mess with further bleeding until I get those installed and will do it with the calipers in my hand this time.
Edit. As I indicated in a post above, the problem was flex in the Unit forks, not a hydraulic problem. I did think my brakes lines were too long and could be better routed but Chris at Boxer Metal said he thought they were fine. 5+ years later I am still using them and haven't had a problem doing that.
Thank you. I thought you promised more info about your new rig. I saw the pictures- did I miss the rest of the story?
No doubt about it... not just a hit, but a game-winner.... good looking rig!
I too am in the Newbie column with my rig, have maybe a thousand miles on it now and am feeling much more confident and comfortable with how it rides. I can relate to the thoughts of "being better at this"... it really is just totally new/different!
Unlike your rig, I bought mine "assembled" but had to do a fair bit of fussing, with a lot of trial and error with alignment, brakes etc. The one thing that made a big difference to me was to rig up a steering stabilizer. I read a bunch of threads in Hacks and came up with a basic concept, then put it together and it works great. I have a /2 with its' own friction damper, but I had to crank down too hard on that, and even then it wasn't satisfactory. The hydraulic "shock absorber" really works.
Here's a pic (more details in my thread over on Airheads):
It's a steering stabilizer for a Mercedes car, find them for $30 or so, plus the bolts/hardware. Another inmate (lucky6600) built one just like mine, and he loves it, too....his bike is WAY prettier than mine, but this coming winter will find Matack being "disassembled for maintenance"....!
One of these days I'll get around to posting some info. Nothing exciting. It's pretty much a plain jane 1200GSA rig.
its a VW part number, i have a few of them on the shelf at work. they fit early mercedes cars too.
Here is a photo of my 1975 R9100/lowered ural with Brembo front brakes put on by the Chico sidecarmeister. Brembos came form 1987 K75 and had them rebuilt.
B E A U T I F U L Rig !
Nice looking rig
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Beauty rig. I don't think you can (or would want to) narrow it up much as the frame connections have to hold the sidecar frame just off the jug heads. You've probably already been through the toe in bit, but that can be the source of twitchies. I have 12mm on my rig which seems a good compromise between easy steer and unsteady. Tire pressures and spring rates can affect lean-in-out and have an effect on steering as well. Make sure your sidecar frame is either level with weight on the bike, or slightly (1-2.5cm) high on the bike side with no one on the bike (which is what I use as my weight squishes things down to level).
Slow in and accelerate out is the best for corners. Going in hot can make you bike a tircorn hat on you ! Your in a good location to take a sidecar skills class which I would highly recommend if you haven't already.
Its been confirmed! I am a WUSSIE.
When I started this thread the question of hit or error was a real one. I was satisfied with the appearance but driving the rig for the first time was unnerving to say the least. I have never been accused of bring timid operating any motorized vehicle until now. I was afraid to go over 40mph the first time out. I didn't really know what to expect but I thought this can't be right. I needed someone experienced to drive this thing and help me figure out what was wrong with it. I drove it the 75 miles (doubling my previous sidecar mileage) down to see Chris at Boxer Metal and explained what an evil beast this thing was.
Here's a couple of shots out behind the Boxer Metal shop as Chris prepares to take it out.
You can see his "shop truck" in the background.
While Chris was out riding I was talking with his wife saying I sure hope he finds something wrong and we can fix it. It didn't work out that way. Chris was very complimentary about the rig. Something about one of the nicest handling rigs he has ridden. As he piled on the accolades I could feel my nuts shrinking. When he mentioned going down the freeway at 80mph with just one finger on each handlebar grip I was reluctant to say anything for fear that my voice had changed. He did make some recommended changes- bleed the brakes again and do something with the front shocks that are too stiffly sprung. He loaned me an old pair of Ikons to try and then advised me to just ride the thing and enjoy it. I had almost regained some of my self respect but the final blow came as I was leaving. He had left his mark out in front of the shop- a series of very tight rubber-defined circles. I had expressed concerns about possible tip-over. He let me know it was pretty hard to get the rear wheel to lift. Somehow just visiting the shop apparently transformed the machine. It was much more manageable on the trip home, enjoyable even. Might not have hurt to know it was the driver and not the machine. Got a lot to learn but I am going to follow Chris's advice and ride and enjoy it.
Edit. I found out something interesting about the Hagon shocks that came with the Unit forks. They only had damping when mounted upside down! Actually Dave Quinn confirmed that for me when he was still a Hagon importer. When the shocks were positioned in the "normal" orientation there was no damping whatsoever. Apparently that is unique to that particular model of shock. I noticed that when I was changing to a lighter spring. Between the lighter spring and the shocks working as they should it made a huge difference in the handling.
Don't worry I said the same thing when I first rode an outfit and I kept running into the gutter. I thought it can't be me it must the bike. After I got slapped on the back of the head a couple of times by the owner and told what not to do again or else I suddenly found out oops, it was the rider not the bike
Never thought you'd be able to improve on that lovely airhead, Chuck, but what you've done is definitely over the top!
I very nice rig. I enjoyed riding it very much. This should be what all strive for when building a BMW Airhead rig(nothing less).