Here We Go Again - Yet Another BMW R1150GS Adventure/Ural Sidecar Renovation

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by mikepa, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    As far as I know earthing to an aluminum frame is not a good idea.
    Dissimilar metals and all that.
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  2. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride Supporter

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    Great thread; I'm learning a LOT, thanks.

    Would love a source for the cable ties with a stainless steel locking tang, please. I've done a number of searches and am coming up empty.

    Cheers!
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  3. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Let's take the Ural fender and front/rear lighting assemblies I just installed. Ural depends on chassis ground, that it, unlike the motorcycle itself, there are no discrete ground wires, they "ground" side of the light bulbs holders depend on a return path from the bulb base to the cast aluminum backing plate, from the plate through the two screws that secured to the painted sheet metal holder, then the screw and nut that press the holder to the fender (both painted), then through the fender sheet metal to the screws and nuts that hold it to the chassis, etc., etc., back to the negative battery cable. That's a lot of junctions, interfaces, potentially insulating paint, and over time, for sure, crevices and cracks and interfaces for rain, water, dirt, grit to wick into, and over time, cause corrosion, which by definition, is usually an insulating oxide of some sort.

    Whew!

    On more than one occasion, most often on long multi-month tours, I've lights stop working for no apparent reason (both on my rigs, and others). The quickest fix has always been to run a ground wire from a lamp base casting directly to a known good ground on the bike's frame.

    Chassis ground is real problem on vehicles made with a steel chassis and aluminum body (like a Hummer H1, which I once owned), which used chassis grounding, and over time, the dissolved salts in rainwater and road spray would wick in between fasteners, mounts and surfaces of dissimilar metals, and with current passing through them, over time, create micro-batteries which would eventually create oxides and "insulate" the grounding point.

    Most electrical accessories are installed with grounding wires, especially today, where non-conductive materials are used extensively. This is why people have few problems.
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  4. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Use the search string: thomas & betts cable tie stainless locking device
  5. Flyin' Monkeys

    Flyin' Monkeys Wicked Witch Airlines Supporter

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  6. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    So weird, I tried to go back and re-edit the link, but it persists on pointing to our friend the Tank Engine, WTF? Deleted it, left the search string.
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  7. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a locomotive. Haven't installed the tank as I am waiting on a special order front brake line "junction" to revert the bike back to a non-ABS configuration, as the ABS system on this rig was toast, but it's starting to look like a proper adventure rig again! Still have to wire the sidecar though . . . .

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  8. Flyin' Monkeys

    Flyin' Monkeys Wicked Witch Airlines Supporter

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    VERY impressive, Mike. :thumb Kudos to you for all the work, and the fine details.

    May that beautiful rig take your friend and his wife on journeys that enrich their lives.

    Edited: when I found out the rig is for a friend, and you will be their guide into sidecar happiness. :ricky
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  9. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Thanks for the kind words! However, this rig is not for us, but a pro bono refit for a good friend and his wife. Like me, he suffered injuries in an accident, and though he had to give up riding, until the notion of touring on sidecars came to mind. We intend to go touring together, so there is a bit of self-interest here, I don't want him breaking down out on the roads less travelled!
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  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Mike, it looks like you're swapping in a Touratech saddle to replace a very nice HEATED Corbin seat.

    corbin.jpg

    Any insight into this decision? I know you didn't do it on a whim! I only ask because when building my R1150GSA rig I went the other way -- got rid of the straight saddle and added the heated Corbin.
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  11. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    One other question, again so I can get a glimpse into your head.

    What's written on the blue masking tape on the driveshaft housing? :ear
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  12. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

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    Me too has a question. What is the track width? Looks to be a lot of room between the pannier and the Ural car compared to my set up. Looking totally awesome by the way.
    You are by far way more meticulous in your work than I can ever hope to be. Nice to see.
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  13. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    I started out on that Corbin on my 04 gsa I hated it ! Put a stock saddle I had refoamed by Sargents on it.
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  14. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Yes. Personally, I find two-bucket saddles are not optimal for off-pavement riding, I like to change position, push back on descents, scoot up on ascents. There's a reason most dirt bikes, rally bikes, adventure bikes have a flat long saddle. I've had two bad experiences with Corbin back in the day, don't like them, don't find them comfortable, and their customer service is non-existent. This Corbin seat was incredibly heavy, had FOUR electrical connectors on it, messy wiring, generally shoddy workmanship.. Finally, the owner, like me, has a long inseam, the Corbin seat was simply too low, the new Touratech is narrower, flat, well built, and was available in a tall height. But of course, all butts are different and YMMV!
  15. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Track width, from outside of sidecar tire. to outside of rear tire, is 58". Wider than it needs to be, because this rig was built from a circa 2003 era DMC "universal" kit with a two-piece engine cradle. I have a similar rig with an R1150GS chassis, with the bare minimum clearance needed to remove the inside pannier, and its track is 52".
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  16. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Hah, a reminder to install a new cable tie to secure the front of the driveshaft bellows. I'm stunned at the totally fracked-up condition of this bike. Nothing that can't be fixed of course, but, yet another example of shady-tree maintenance, the cable tie on the bellows is only halfway secured.
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  17. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

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    Hmmm, about the same as mine, 57 out side to out side. Looked to be more space but maybe not. Thanks
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  18. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride Supporter

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    It looks to me like "REPLACE TY-WRAP" with an arrow.
    Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 13.12.46.png
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  19. bert111bel

    bert111bel Adventurer

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    66"9 hier lol

    Attached Files:

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  20. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Winner!
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