Adding a Watsonian Grand Prix Classic to a 2007 Triumph Bonneville

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by propforward, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    I set one straight edge between the bike and sidecar.
    But having said that, that's where you need space to adjust things.
    Still so long as the straight edge is longer than the bike.
    If you block it up so as to be close to axle height.
    Then measure ( usually multiple times) till it is parallel to both the front and rear rims.
    The front needs moving till its dead ahead.
    And the rear can be out of line as well.
    Tyres can be lumpy and not true.
    As can rims.
    Spin to see.
    But you should get within a few mm easy enough
    I tend to clamp a bridge across from one straight edge to the other to keep them parallel also.
    Mine is a lot easier as I can clamp a straight edge between the bike and sidecar body onto the sidecar frame.
    Toe in is set at the sidecar wheel.
    2c.
    #61
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  2. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    It seems like it would be pretty easy to make bridges for this extrusion, and set the toe in on the extrusion, and then adjust the sidecar to meet it. Kind of a really basic alignment rack. Have to give that some thought.
    #62
  3. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Also front and rear tyre/rims are often different widths.
    #63
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I'm sure you know how to measure toe-in. Everybody who's following along knows that you're taking your measurements from right in front of the wheel, and that the bars stick out that far in front just because that's how long they are. We all know there's no way you're measuring from the ends of the bars.

    :freaky
    #64
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  5. PaulRS

    PaulRS Dutch fool

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    You can shim to compensate.

    Tie the straight edge to the rearwheel with a strap, c-clamp or big Ty-rap, just to hold it.
    Shim the front wheel and tie, to make sure it is straight ahead.

    Then measure and adjust.
    Rotate the 'straight' edge 180 and remeasure, your straight me not be as straight as you think.

    Paul.
    #65
  6. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    If the bars are longer than the bike it is easy to measure to get them parallel or better to clamp/bolt them parallel.
    Then you work out how much toe in using the appropriate methodology.
    Easy on the metho though.
    I find getting every thing parallel is the fussy part.
    But looking at the normal adjustment arrangement on most rigs gives me the hiebie jiebies.
    Yep made those 2 words up.
    #66
  7. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Yes, they’re 8 ft long just to make it easy. 6ft long would be a pain to set up. The extra length gives material to support each end out of the way of the measuring point, and tie together out the way each end if desired. Which I might, or might not.

    More faffing about.

    As for not being straight - these are as straight an 8ft long thing as I have ever managed to find. :dunno

    Better than 2x4s for sure. But rotating them 180 degrees and repeating the measurement to verify that is smart. I think I alluded to that before. May not have been clear about it - was a bit frustrated yesterday, but I’ll get there.
    #67
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  8. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Fluorescent tubes are perfectly straight. This is how mine was set up at Hannigan's shop.
    Sidecar Install 017.jpg
    #68
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  9. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Yes they are. I considered those, but was put off by the fragility. Naturally I'm aware plenty of people use them successfully. However, I have a couple of possibilities for checking the straightness of my extrusions, one of which involves just laying them on our 20ft granite table at work. I may do that.

    But really, let's not get too hung up on straight edges. We know the alignment bars, whatever they are, need to be straight. The key here is when something feels wrong on the outfit, investigate it properly. Here I am glad that I didn't rush for a steering damper, but took solid advice to check measurements.

    No worries, start again with a better set up. My approach of marking the garage floor for alignment didn't work, that's what you get trying to do things on the cheap. With 9 grand into the purchase of the sidecar, springing another few dollars for some materials to set the rig up better is a no brainer. Still, you live and learn.

    I'm actually amazed how well the rig handles given how far off the alignment is. Fills me with hope that it will be a joy to ride when set up properly. :thumb
    #69
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  10. Dave Bell

    Dave Bell Been here awhile

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    I have an '18 Bonneville with a Texas sidecars Ranger. I have some head shake at very low speeds and if I hit a pothole (there are many on my county road). I run 40 psi all around, and that helps. If head shake gets worse, it's telling me my tires need a few psi.

    I put on a steering damper with virtually no effect whartsoever.
    \
    Once I hit 25 mph, no head shake at all and tracks and rides great.
    #70
  11. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Thanks Dave, I appreciate your input, it all helps. :thumb
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  12. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    Apparently I was never clear on this. I use 8' long 1 1/2" pipes when measuring mine, rotating them for multiple measurements to make sure they are straight. I have always measured from both ends. This would indicate I actually have less toe-in than I thought if I had measured right at the ends of both wheels on the bike. Probably not a significant amount especially since there is no "best" exact measurement. Somehow I thought I was doing it correctly.
    #72
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  13. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    The taper means that the toe in measurement increases by about .007" to .009" per inch of toe in length - depending what you use to define toe in length. So that if you assume a 60" wheel base and you want to end up with about 1/2" of toe in, then the taper is 0.0083" toe in per inch of wheelbase. So if you measure at the end of the 8ft length of extrusion instead of at 60" (60" is the center of the wheels anyway, but for illustration purposes you get the idea) then that means you would measure .8" toe in at the ends of the bars, vs 1/2" at centers of the wheels.

    If you're comparing from the very rear of the rear wheel to the very front of the front wheel on my bike, then it's not a 60" toe in length, it's more like 70" toe in length, (closer to the ground, not the quadrant point of the wheel immediately ahead of the axles, which would make it an 84" toe in length), so that means 1/2" toe in measured at the very front of the wheel sort of near the ground translates worst case to .68" at the very end of the toe in bars. So how much does that really matter? Well, since I'm certainly not a sidecar expert, I can't really say, except that I can assure you my toe in is currently WAY WORSE than that error, and the handling still isn't as terrible as some would have you believe. I bet I'd shred tyres quickly if i carried on riding as is though.

    In essence, I don't think you're wrong. I know a guy who has successfully set up a great many rigs, and he measures from the very ends of the 8ft long bars, and swears by it.

    I didn't mention it before because I don't really want my thread diverting away from my bunglings into a pedantry match on where to take the measurement, but I think it is a good question and worth the little bit of analysis.

    I measure at the back of the rear wheel and at the front of the front wheel. I'll probably now measure there, and also at the extremes of the bars. And probably put it all in a spreadsheet, and never look at it again once I'm done.

    I was a bit surprised, to be honest, that no one chimed in when I started marking out the garage floor. That is a crap technique, please don't anyone go that route.
    #73
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  14. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    The reality is that these measurements are used as a base setting or a diagnostic tool. As mentioned they may need adjustment based on performance.
    With the proliferation of inexpensive construction type lasers, I'm surprised no one is using them for alignment. :dunno
    Here's the OSHA notefrom the package: "Never look directly at the beam with your remaining eye." :eyes :fpalm
    #74
  15. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    On my 1st rig, when setting it up, we used a 24" level that had a later built in. A 2x4 perpendicular near the front and back. One would hold the level against either the rear wheel or sidecar wheel and the other would mark the 2x4. As we made changes, we could see the distances that we had moved things. Worked pretty well considering we were doing it on a dirt farm road.
    #75
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  16. Vato Jinete

    Vato Jinete Feo del Norte Supporter

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    [QUOTE="
    I was a bit surprised, to be honest, that no one chimed in when I started marking out the garage floor. That is a crap technique, please don't anyone go that route.[/QUOTE]


    As you are an Engineer, we thought you knew what you were doing.
    #76
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  17. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    I frequently try new things to see if they work. In that I knew what I was doing was not a typical approach I knew what I was doing. The alignment lines were not accurate enough though.

    OR

    I simply didn’t mark them out right. Wouldn’t be the first time. Oh well.

    All in the spirit of learning, but now I am enthused to use my straight edges in a more traditional alignment manner. :clap
    #77
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  18. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Besides, you should know me better by now.

    Good news! My extrusions are straight.

    I can now take them away, set them back up, rotate them around their long axis, and the toe in measurements are always the same, within 1/16" over multiple set ups and different days.

    It's not exactly a gauge R and R study, but it's a lot more gooder than anything I've done so far setting this up.

    So with that, the next step is tub off, level the sidecar and set up again. :thumb

    Thanks for coming with me on all this everyone. If I were watching me I know I'd laugh. :rofl
    #78
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  19. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    And I'm sure you will take into account the extent to which the floor is level upon which the rig sits.

    My garage has been sinking on the east side for the last 30 years and I park the rig north-to-south -- I need to add a few degrees to my level when leveling right-to-left. Or do I subtract? :scratch Whatever . . . I compensate!
    #79
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  20. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Weeeeeeeell. If I'm going to all this effort then I might as well measure one more thing.
    #80
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