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[Actual] LBS-Sidecars USA | Adventure Sidecar Build Thread #1 | 2013 BMW R1200GSA + URAL

Discussion in 'Hack Vendors' started by LBS-USA, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I've received another commission to build my favorite outfit, a BMW TwinCam, an URAL body, built on an LBS chassis.

    This adventure sidecar build is for a 72-year young, 3rd-generation farmer back in the MidWest, referred to me by Skip Mascorro of MotoDiscovery (www.motodiscovery.com) that some of you may remember in the early years as Pancho Villa Moto-Tours.

    It takes weeks to work through the build spec, source components, and put together a quotation, but with a build confirmation deposit in hand, it's time to begin the build!

    My client asked me to find a bike. I was able to broker the purchase of a locally-owned 2013 BMW R1200GS Adventure TwinCam, the last of the Oilheads, and what I consider the best choice for an off-road-capable tug. Here's a stock photo of the bike:

    20201125_2013_bmw_r1200gsa_stock_photo.jpg


    Bike was delivered by the previous owner, which gave me the opportunity to inspect it before money changed hands. All in all it was a solid purchase - the buy was made.

    Deconstruction begins with removing body panels to pull the olive-drab wrap off the tank cover and beak, and disassemble the front end for installation of our trail-reducing lower fork cross brace (for reduced steering effort, as the client wished to retain his stock Cross-Spoke front wheel):

    20201125_bill_mccue_r1200gsa_twincam.jpg


    A bench-full parts. I pulled the wrap off the tank cover (to the left), revealing a near-perfect metallic black factory paint job (client has ordered a factory-painted black sidecar body and fender). To the right, you can see the (inverted) beak with its wrap still applied):

    20201124_bill_mccue_05.jpg


    The PO was tall, I'm guessing close to 6'4", the new owner is not. First order of business was to lost the ROX Bar-Riser(s) "tower" the PO had self-installed:

    20201124_bill_mccue_01.jpg


    Yes, one set of ROX "shock-isolating" risers in the OEM risers, and a 2nd set of ROX risers in the first. This also required an extended brake line and a non-optimal re-routing of wiring harnesses and cables. In the photo above and below, also note that the top set of risers are not rotationally aligned. I'm guessing that the PO didn't have the short-arm hex Allen wrench required to access clamp bolts, so he rotated one upper riser forward, and the other backward, so he could torque things down:

    20201124_bill_mccue_02.jpg


    Here's the full stack:

    20201124_bill_mccue_03.jpg


    Though I have yet to re-route hoses, cables and harnesses, we're nearly normal again:

    20201124_bill_mccue_04.jpg


    Naked bike ready for front-end mods:

    20201124_bill_mccue_07.jpg


    Wheel and fender removed, ready for trail-reduction:

    20201124_bill_mccue_08.jpg


    Our 7051-T6/clear anodized trail-reducer with its pre-installed/new BMW Ball Joint, held below the OEM lower fork brace that will be replaced:

    20201124_bill_mccue_09.jpg


    And, as expected, a future task of cleaning up the dealer/PO installed accessory wiring, but that's another story for another day:

    20201124_bill_mccue_06.jpg
    #1
    tvan, DRONE, kokemill and 3 others like this.
  2. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

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    Good stuff. What is the actual trail dimension you are shooting for? I ask because I’m thinking about reducing my trail further and could use a true number to target
    #2
    LBS-USA likes this.
  3. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    @High Octane , apologies. Our trail-reducing lower fork cross brace is designed and fabricated by LBS-Zijspantechniek, Netherlands. As it is a tested and proven design, I don't have the data. I only order and import the component for builds or resale.
    #3
  4. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    Seattle, WA
    Well, that took longer than expected! The one thing I caution all potential clients inquiring about a sidecar build is this - it takes a boatload of patience! Launching a small business building sidecars in the midst of a pandemic with factory shut-downs and shipping delays has been "trying" for everyone involved, for suppliers, for myself, especially for my clients! But, the components are finally starting to be delivered. Took delivery of Russian components for the first of several LBS BMW GS+URAL builds on order yesterday!

    In the background, painted and waiting for a chassis, the "kit" for my next personal build. In the foreground, just picked-up from the IMWA warehouse in Redmond, WA (just a 30 minute drive from my shop), the URAL components for my first customer order, factory painted in gloss black:

    lbs_gs_ural_01.jpg


    For those of you who own an URAL, notice anything unusual about the quantity of one particular component that differs from a standard URAL outfit? How about the one non-URAL component?:

    lbs_gs_ural_02.jpg

    lbs_gs_ural_03.jpg

    lbs_gs_ural_04.jpg

    lbs_gs_ural_05.jpg


    And here's another photo of the tug, a 2013 R1200GSA TwinCam. Our new chassis are in final fabrication at LBS-NL. I have five on order. As soon as the first is powder coated, it should ship in about two weeks. Until then, will install the front-end mods, and assemble and pre-wire the sidecar body.
    #4
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  5. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,900
    Location:
    Tacoma - ish, WA
    Since your "quiz" question is limited to Ural owners, I'm precluded from answering. But . . . pretty easy question for this non-Uralista. Unless of course I got the answer completely wrong! :brow
    #5
    Strong Bad and LBS-USA like this.
  6. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,998

    Extra Snowman....3 instead of 2

    Lower triple tree....non Ural

    And I think I can just see the ear of a small marsupial hiding in the tub

    I'm pretty sure it's one of these
    1604909844_untitled-design.jpg





    What do I win ?
    .
    #6
    rg sw wa., SLACKER and LBS-USA like this.
  7. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    As previously noted, I received my first crate of URAL sidecar goodies from Russia, so can begin assembly of the tub for this build:

    20210116_115937.jpg


    First order of business is to replace all factory hardware with 300-series stainless steel flanged socket head cap screws, Nylock nuts and washers (unless a higher-strength alloy bolt is required of course!):

    20210116_115949.jpg


    Am waiting on the windshield frame to cure (client wanted a short windshield, so had to shorten, grind and paint the frame arms), so changed gears to the front end. Here is the stock OEM lower fork brace:

    20210116_080804.jpg


    The OEM bits removed for installation of our trail reducer:

    20210117_150541.jpg


    Makes for a pretty clear view of the road immediately ahead <g>:

    20210117_163826.jpg


    Completed installation of our LBS Trail Reducing Lower Fork Cross Brace, machined from 7051 aircraft-grade alloy, clear anodized for corrosion resistance, complete with a new OEM Ball Joint with the proper thread-locking compound applied, torqued to factory-spec 130Nm, then marked with a paint for for a future visual inspection:

    20210116_175719 1.jpg


    Steering mod completed, front wheel and calipers re-installed:

    20210116_175959.jpg


    Client purchased a nicely-equipped GSA TwinCam with a full complement of ClearWater LED auxiliary driving lights. The lower Darla set was mounted low on the fork sliders. It's a personal thing of course, but I've never been a fan of mounting anything on a moving suspension component. Bike has a bigass set of Erica's mounted high, so we moved the Darla set over to the tub's brush guard/bumper:

    20210118_091707.jpg


    Next up, completing assembly and pre-wiring of the tub, then we wait on chassis to ship from Holland.
    #7
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  8. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    A seminal day today, our first prototype GS+URAL subframe, rigging, chassis and trailing arm is fabricated, powder coated, and ready for crating an shipment at Ad Donker's LBS facility in Holland!

    Here's the pilot's-side view of the chassis. The most notable feature is our roll bar, fabricated from the same 4mm thick metric tubing as the chassis itself. The most common chassis failure we've seen on other rigs is a weld or tubing fracture in the corners of the main chassis members, especially the left rear (as viewed from the bike). We have steel plate gussets in all four corners to reinforce these highly-stressed weld joints. The two up front are a hardpoint for rigging the forward control arms or struts, the two in the rear are where the roll bar is secured with four bolts per side.

    The chassis is designed to allow different configurations depending on whether an owner wants a rig optimized for highway or adventure touring: (1) lower ground clearance for a highway touring build, higher ground clearance for an adventure build, (2) two solid/lower profile machinery shock isolators for highway body suspension, a total of three URAL "snowmen" rubber shock towers for adventure body suspension, (3) adventure chassis will have Class II hitch receivers front and rear for a winch or trailer, (4) optional roll bar for either:

    gs+ural_chassis_01.jpg


    The street-side view. We've sourced a European steel fender, and offer our own welded tubular steel fender rack. Trailing arm can be configured with a wheel hub to accept either a 4-bolt or 5-bolt BMW 17 cast cross-spoke wheel. The entire disc brake assembly (rotor and caliper) remain in the trailing arm, no need to mess around with adapters, changing wheel studs, swapping rotors or removing calipers to change a tire, or, swap wheels with the bike's rear wheel for rotating tires (for extended tread life). Wheel hub comes with a machined insert to carry the BMW roundel:

    gs+ural_chassis_02.jpg


    Front view of the subframe. Ad is a master at mandrel-drawn tube bending:

    gs+ural_chassis_03.jpg


    The full kit, ready for crating and shipment. Already have the new, factory-painted URAL body assembly in house:

    gs+ural_chassis_04.jpg


    We fabricated a total of four GS+URAL kits for our first run. The three shipping next will all be for adventure builds, two for confirmed orders (both will have our leading link kits and WARN AXION winches), one for local inventory.
    #8
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  9. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Super excited to receive myu first of five of our all-new, designed from the ground up, LBS GS+URAL chassis for the R1150GS/A thru R1250GS/A. The crate containing this chassis was shipped DHL Air Cargo Express. Here it is being pulled for uncrating at my warehouse in Redmond, WA:
    20210211_lbs01.jpg


    To saving clients on shipping cost, LBS-NL shoe-horned this GS+URAL Chassis into the same custom-made, palletized crate for a BMW R18 build I am also doing. Here is the shipment with the top removed, you can see the GS+URAL chassis blocked in over the top of the BOXER sidecar body:

    20210211_lbs02.jpg


    A box of spacers and hardware in the upper left, the highway-touring version of our GS+URAL chassis and trailing arm in the center, and to the left, in my not-so-humble opinion the finest subframe money can buy, nestled in our signature roll bar:

    20210211_lbs04.jpg
    #9
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  10. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

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    Looking impressive
    #10
    rg sw wa. and LBS-USA like this.
  11. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Ordered a 1,500lb capacity motorcycle lift to make assembly a bit easier on the back and joints, but Seattle got hit with a rare dump of snow, and even 1" of Nothwest Cement backlogs all the auto body shops for months. Needless to say, the lift delivery is held up, our driveway is an Olympic bobsled run right now:


    20210214_131726.jpg


    Did manage to get the tasty bits for this initial GS+URAL build on our new chassis inventoried and sorted out, ready for assembly:

    20210211_182638.jpg


    The subframe is a tubular artwork of and by itself:

    20210211_182656.jpg


    One hell for stout sidecar brake system, makes me a believer in them again. And just like the bike, everything remains on the chassis; to remove the wheel (will be a stock 17" Cross-Spoke), just spin off that machined/threaded wheel hub cap with the BMW roundel on it, back out your five wheels bolts, and the wheel is off.:

    20210211_182717.jpg


    My client wanted a GS rigged to an URAL tub, so we designed and tooled an all-new chassis, trailing arm and sub-frame to dso it right. However, as he's a retired farmer living in the MidWest, he asked me to configure a rig that could venture off-pavement, but was optimized for long-haul highway touring. Our new subframe allows the chassis to be installed in a "high" position for adventure rigs, or a "low" position (50mm lower) for highway rigs. An instead of triple URAL "snowmen" on an adventure rig, we retain the forward rubber bushings for the nose pivot axle, but replace the stock dual snowmen with machine isolation mounts:

    20210211_185402.jpg


    Ad Donkers is a master in his craft, the parts fit perfectly, here is the left-hand subframe:
    20210214_155031.jpg


    Too impatient to for the snow to melt and the lift to arrive, I did my mechanic's yoga on the floor and have everything positioned to mate the bike and chassis tomorrow, for "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this builder from the midful completion of his comissioned builds <g>". The shop's a mess, first order of business in the morning will be putting tools away:

    20210215_165904.jpg
    #11
  12. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
    274
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Well, I was able to borrow a pick-up, meet the freight truck, and take delivery of my new 1,500lb capacity motorcycle lift:

    20210215_135142.jpg


    But as I've already started rigging the chassis to the bike, won't be able to use it until the hi-lift scissors jack I've ordered for the sidecar arrives, so I'll continue assembly and alignment on the floor. I guess the resulting stretching and "yoga" is good for me?

    Figured it's time for the chassis to stand on its own, so installed a shock and wheel. Ad uses a 20mm shaft, welded into a stout received on the trailing arm. For robustness (as opposed to the more common open tapered wheel bearings) wheel rotation is handled by two SKF dual-row sealed bearings, similar to the configuration of the BMW front wheel. Standard BMW conical Torx bolts secure the wheel to the massive wheel hub:

    20210216_122619.jpg


    The beauty is in the details, another view of that lovely machined/spin-in wheel hub cap:

    20210216_173435.jpg


    The jury is still out regarding BMW's ESA/DESA/Self-Leveling shocks in the context of sidecars. We're doing all we can to learn, as there is little other than anecdotal information as of yet. Our new GS+URAL chassis is designed to accept the R1200/R1250 front shock (has the advantage of saving the client a bunch of money, as most order our leading link, which replaces the front TeleLever shock with a rigid strut, so the "take-off" shock can be used on the sidecar). aside from the reliability issues with the front shock (already superseded three times on the LC's), the Self-Leveling feature is a conundrum that no one seems to have figured out yet. This is just a test fit on the build, as the client has ordered our trail-reducing lower fork brace, so the tub's final shock will be either a Touratech or Tractive standard non-ESA/DESA shock:

    20210216_171645.jpg


    For robustness, am installing a powder-coated steel fender. Powder coating doesn't provide the Class A surface finish of a paint, but as the fender takes rock hits both in front and underneath, the client wanted a durable, relatively chip-resistant coating. Mounting and fender are strong enough to sit on, so a top rack was welded up, coated installed as a cargo rack, seat and passenger grab handle:

    20210216_173425.jpg


    Here's a front 3/4 view on build day 3:

    20210216_173509.jpg

    Attached Files:

    #12
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  13. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2020
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Ad dry fits all components in Holland on the same motorcycle as my client's here in the USA to insure that everything fits perfectly. The components are then removed and sent out for powder coating. Powder coating generally cures at 350°F to 450°F (184°F to 240°C), and cure times can range from 15 to 25 minutes. Even though most of the chassis is fabricated from tubing with a 4mm wall, the cure time at those temperatures is high enough to allow the tubing to "relax" a bit, especially in the bends, so a hydraulic porta power kit and a support ram is used to push the forward/lower clevis onto the forward/lower subframe tang:

    20210220_gs+ural_02.jpg


    A few strokes on the 4-ton capacity ram is all it takes to get the final fitting aligned and bolted. Note how clean the subframe to chassis interface is. It's all purpose-built to the specific make and model of the tug - we don't build a "universal" kit. No toe-in adjustment is required as it was all designed in CAD, and welded in jigs. Only 6 high-strength bolts hold it all together and in alignment. Two threaded tangs on the lower ends of the struts are provided to dial in lean-out if needed. For strength and to spread the load and shock forces, we have thick corner gussets in all four corners, and these also provide the hard points for installing the struts and roll bar:

    20210220_gs+ural_01.jpg


    Views of the "dry fit" hardware assembly:

    20210220_gs+ural_03.jpg

    20210220_gs+ural_04.jpg

    20210220_gs+ural_05.jpg

    20210220_gs+ural_06.jpg

    20210220_gs+ural_07.jpg


    Next up, installation and wiring of the electrical components:

    - Clearwater ERICA LED auxiliary driving lights on the motorcycle

    - Denali SoundBomb horn on the motorcycle

    - Motorcycle/sidecar power and control harness and quick-disconnect

    - Clearwater DARLA auxiliary driving lights on the sidecar front bumper

    - Dash-mounted Blue Sea Systems sunlight-readable DC voltmeter in the sidecar cockpit

    - Dash-mounted Euro/Hella style accessory port in the sidecar cockpit

    - Dash-mounted automotive-style 12V accessory outlet in the sidecar cockpit

    - Dash-mounted Twin USB charging ports in the sidecar cockpit

    - Twin white LED forward running lights on the sidecar fender

    - Amber front R/H turn signal on the sidecar fender

    - Rear running light/brake light on the sidecar fender

    - Amber rear R/H turn signal on the sidecar fender​

    And to make it all the more fun, a "pre-wiring" gift from the previous owner:

    20210220_gs+ural_08.jpg
    #13
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  14. TurTal

    TurTal Long timer

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    A true craftsman....very impressive
    #14
    Bar None and LBS-USA like this.
  15. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

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    Canoe BC
    Yes impressive and confidence inspiring. These are going to be awesome rigs.
    #15
    LBS-USA and Bar None like this.
  16. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    If the temp is high enough to what heat treat guys call "Normalize" the parts, re-bending after the parts are cooled puts that stress from welding back into the part. If he had a jig to hold the part when heated, it would relax in the desired shape with not stress.
    #16
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  17. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Location:
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    I can see that working during the welding process.
    Trying to imagine how to hold something you just 'painted' without damaging the finish.
    Possibly measure a few pieces to see if the 'shrinkage' is the same and build it a bit oversize.
    #17
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  18. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

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    I must be doing something wrong. I didn’t have to force anything into alignment after powder coating. And I fit most of the bolt holes with “tubular dowel” construction to carry the weight so there ain’t much room for miss alignment. The key is to plan to counter the movement with solid supports. The trade off is extra weight and time. But then I’m a bit of an annal toolmaker.

    Attached Files:

    #18
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  19. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    A proper built jig will allow the parts to be held, coated, and handled without touching the newly coated part, in fact if done right it could make handling the parts easier!

    Being able to predict and control warping is just one more additional skill of a good fabricator!
    #19
    Bobmws likes this.
  20. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Along with a big hammer.
    #20
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