Champion Escort on an R1150RT build

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Ridn3, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    I know that this list is primarily adventure rigs but I wanted to add my build on my street bike. Hey, every ride is an adventure. I was moving my Champion Escort from my airhead to my oilhead and Bill Draper offered to assist. Knowing that Bill has put together 3 great looking/handling rigs, I agreed. Before my DMC subframe arrived we had the bike in Bill's shop. We removed the triler hitch and the side panels to get ready. Bill couldn't help himself and spent some time cleaning all the newly exposed places on the bike and sidecar frame.

    When the subframe arrived we began installing it. Many trips to the hardware store and some tweaking, we had the subframe on. Apparently Champion makes to different frames, one for Goldwings and one for everything else. My sidecar came off a Goldwing and I have an everything else. After a lot of head scratching, cardboard mockups and discussions, we decided on a plan with lots of cutting and fabricating. Almost as soon as I got home, Bill called with a much simplified plan using 2"X1/4" angle. Bill aquired the steel from a friend at a machine shop and set to work. The front mounts on the car were way to far forward for the mounts on the tug and the rear upper strut looked like it would benefit from the bottom being moved rearward.

    This is as far as we are so far. We are awaiting a lower mount and hope to finish the frame install this weekend. The body is back from the painters and looks great. Now if we could just get it on the road, I would be one happy campare.

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    #1
  2. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Good luck with the build - looks good so far! You're not the only one on here with a street rig - I'm in the process of putting a "vintage" (as old as the bike) Hannigan sidecar onto my 96 R1100RT.

    I ordered a subframe from Hannigan - which went on pretty well - but when I went to mate the subframe to the sidecar frame things seemed to be about four inches away from where they should be. Turns out Hannigan also makes two different sidecar frames - and the mounting points are about 4" apart. I had no idea there were different frames and the people I spoke with at Hannigan didn't ask me to measure...so... a few new parts in the mail, a little cutting and a little welding (not by me though!) and now it's all hooked up.

    Anyway - looking forward to seeing what yours looks like and how you like it. I ordered the DMC steering mod from Jay and I'm hoping to get that on the bike by the end of spring break to test out on a few days out at the coast. I'd be interested to hear how you find the steering on your rig.

    josh
    #2
  3. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Wow, we got it on the road today. I am one happy camper. Rode it home on wet roads and some rain, about 60 miles. Handles great at speed but has a wobble @ 20mph and when going down hill off throttle at low speed. I'm going to try to tighten the steering head bearings a bit. A little back ground, I have taken the Evergreen sidecar course twice, once twelve years ago and again 5 years ago when I put together my first rig. I had the GL1000/Friendship 1 rig for only a year and about 5k miles. So, I don't have a lot of experience. Yet. Th8is rig is going to be our touring bike for the foreseeable future and I hope to rack up the miles.

    The DMC steering mod is fantastic.Riding home was no more effort then riding the same bike as a two wheel. The tilt that is on the sidecar sure does make interstate riding easier although I was half way thru the interstate portion of the trip before I remembered to use it. :) It definitely feels like I need new shocks but I need to replenish the financial resources before that will happen. As I mentioned in another thread, I am going to attempt to mount a 175/70-17 car pusher tire soon, it is sitting in the garage waiting. After that I will look into adding a brake to the sidecar.

    Now to get out and ride it and get lots of practice. I'llo post photos of the finished rig soon.
    #3
  4. 3legs

    3legs Real men ride sidecars Supporter

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    G'day

    Don't worry about it being a road outfit. Any outfit is welcome on this site. Did you build the chassis?. Interesting use of the angle iron. I'm not trying to be picky but wouldn't it have been easier (plus lighter and neater) just to weld some mounting points instead of the angle iron.

    Can you post some pictures of the sidecar suspension. I'm always interested how other builders solve their design problems.

    Cheers

    3legs
    #4
  5. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Just for the hell of it what steering head bearings ? You have one large bearing and one retainer bolt. You may want to try tightening the bushings on the end of the fork tubes in the upper clamp.They are hard rubber and possibly worn out, your use of the trail reducer has misaligned the forks not doing the bushings any favors.You can try seeing that the sidecar tire has allot of air in tire keeping it harder than the front may help with the headshake.DB
    #5
  6. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Dave, thanks for the info. Guess I should check the manual before I post. :) The sidecar tire is a 13" car tire. Before I left we set the pressure in all three tires at 39psi. How much higher do you think would make a difference?
    #6
  7. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    3legs, We didn't make the frame, just modified the attachment points. Neither of us is a welder and the angle iron seemed to be more expedient. We thought of several solutions and this is the one we chose to go with. Bolt on, no welding.
    #7
  8. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    You get to play with it but it needs to be harder I'd try max pres on sidewall. They all shake a little , you may need a steering damper, if it's a scarey shake.DB
    #8
  9. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Thanks, I'll try that. I am hoping to avoid a damper if I can but will add one if necessary. I know that they all shake, but this seems a little excessive compared to my old rig and low speed downhill can be a little scary. At speed, so far, it seems steady. Will know more after I ride it some more.
    Thanks again.
    #9
  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Can't wait to see what the guys with build experience say about that angle iron. As a non-builder, I look at that think it can't possibly last for 5000 miles without breaking. But I'd love to see you make it work.

    Also, you say you have a 175/70-17 car pusher tire? Better check the date of manufacture on the sidewall because I'm not aware of any car tires made in the last 10 years in that size.
    #10
  11. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    As for the angle iron, I have already heard from one that disapproves, and one local one who approves. awaiting others opinions. We were going to use 3/8 flat bar but decided the angle would be more ridged.

    As to the tire, my mistake, 175/55-17 with a build date of 2713.
    #11
  12. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    175/55-17 sounds like an Achilles Economist. Also available in 175/65-17. Good tire if that's what you have. Grippy and reasonably quiet.
    #12
  13. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts more on before/after this mod, and on the installation. I've got one on order from DMC and am hoping to receive it within the next week or so - would like to have it for a trip to the coast toward the end of the month.

    I'm also working on connecting the brake on my hack. Splitting the line from my rear master cylinder (independent non-servo R1100RT brakes) didn't provide enough force to work the bike and car calipers. Planning to add a second MC just for the car and hopefully set it up so both will work from the stock rear brake pedal.
    #13
  14. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    It's not just that it's angle iron. It is also how it is mounted. Why not remove the angle iron and make a couple of tabs on the sidecar frame for the upper mounts.
    #14
  15. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    +1:clap
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  16. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    I am asking thus because I really want to know, not because I think that I know it all. The angle iron is mounted to the original mounting positions so should be as strong as they were before. The lower ends of the upper struts are both mounted between 2 different original mounts. To me, this would seem to share the load and put less pressure on each of the original mounts while getting the mounting positions a lot closer to where I want them. How does this end up weaker? Also, how does this differ from the sidecars that have a tube that runs in about the same place that we have the angle iron that the lower mounts of the upper struts clamp to?
    #16
  17. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Installing the trail reducer must not be to difficult, Bill did it one evening after I left. I "think" that he said that he had to loosen the lower shock bolt to get it set then re-tighten it.

    You may want to contact Bill Draper, he has a similar bike to yours and added a second master cylinder has the original did not have enough volume for both brakes. He is using one peddle with adjustable linkage on the sidecar master cylinder so it can be adjusted. PM me and I will give you his contact info.
    #17
  18. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    What no one really wants to say is that if you found a sidecar installer with some experience he'd weld some mounting points to the frame and you would get away a set of possible issues, but it would require some one with competent structural welding experience.Everything bolted can and may move, your lower mounts are hiem joint they are strong but not ridgid.good luck.db
    #18
  19. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    I think perhaps you already did over on BMWRT.com (should have noticed despite the different usernames - that's you, right?)! I talked to the shop manager at DMC today, I believe, and he was kind enough to send me a pic of their setup; very nice of him as I called meaning to buy some bits and he suggested with the pic I could probably get it set up myself w/o any of their parts. We'll see if that's true, and when it's not, I'll call Bill W. :rofl
    #19
  20. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    There is nothing keeping the angle iron from twisting. Take a pipe wrench and stick it on the angle iron halfway between the mounting points and you will see how much the angle iron moves.

    The other thing is your upper struts are only single shear. Find some clevis's.
    #20