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LBS-Sidecars USA | How to Make a Builder Jealous, Special Leading Link Kit, Wilbers Type 642-TS

Discussion in 'Hack Vendors' started by LBS-USA, Dec 21, 2020.

  1. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Yes, a bit of propaganda here, but eye candy too!

    My good friend (engineer, racer, adventure rider, sidecarist, GlobeRiders guide) inmate @DRTBYK, recently placed and order with us for a specialized leading link package:

    (1) our leading link kit

    (2) a modded front wheel comprised of a BMW 17" Cross-Spoke rear rim, laced to a BMW front hub (the stock front rim is normally 19"). This not only allows re-use of the stock twin rotor discs, but with a 17" front, all three wheels use the same 17" tire.

    (3) a stereo set of the most beautiful shocks I'd never laid eyes upon, Wilbers 642-TS Competition Blackline shocks.

    (4) custom wheel speed ring to insure the odo, speedo and ABS system were all happy (to compensate for a smaller diameter front tire).

    @DRTBYK is doing a self-install, he sent me this pic today:

    wilbers_lbs_01.jpg


    Here is the custom wheel speed ring as delivered, designed and machined at LBS-Netherlands):

    wilbers_lbs_02.jpg


    And here it is after @DRTBYK had it custom machined at my new local "maker" cooperative, Alki Foundry here in Seattle, WA:

    wilbers_lbs_03.jpg


    That fine machining is a great match for the Wilbers:
    • 46mm piston
    • zero-degree piggyback reservoir
    • 22 step adjuster for high-speed compression damping
    • 22 step adjuster for low-speed compression damping
    • 22-step rebound adjuster
    • threaded upper eye for fine-tuning ride height adjustment
    wilbers_lbs_05.jpg


    Close-up of the lower eye and rebound adjuster:

    wilbers_lbs_04.jpg
    #1
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  2. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Published, man's gotta' eat right :dutch ?
    #2
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  3. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    The install is going a little slower than I’d like. Might have to put my studded tires on for the test ride.

    P.S, I should add that the slow going is due to my being in the process of selling a house 3hrs drive away from where I live now.
    #3
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Looking forward to seeing this. Would not think it possible to lace a stock rear rim to a stock front hub using the stock 305mm front rotors and still get the calipers to clear the spokes. I would've expected there to be no clearance. Or are the rotors not going to be mounted to the hub in the conventional way?

    Don't have to answer, Mike. I can wait for the mounted pics from @DRTBYK.
    #4
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  5. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    @DRTBYK has our leading link, and our custom wheel, made for each other!
    #5
  6. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    The OEM Disc's are spaced out from the standard Hub mount's by 10mm to provide adequate clearance for the calipers and spokes. The custom Speed Ring Adapter also has to be spaced accordingly to clear the Disc mounting bolts.

    C770D7D8-E481-4524-84C0-29B6DA5C2FFA.jpeg
    #6
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  7. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Oh Crap! I've installed so many of @Stroker 's Advantage wheels I forgot about the spokes :eekers !

    I'll let @DRTBYK have the honor of posting the final assembly photos, especially as he now has all the parts ;<) However, I do have an OOB (Out Of Box) photo of the wheel when I received it from Ad, just to prove it's not fakenews:

    17_front_wheel.jpg

    Building one of these is a "non-trivial" task. Both the front and rear wheels use 40 spokes, otherwise this mod would not be possible. To lace a 17" rear rim to a front hub for the stock 19" front wheel requires a re-boring spoke holes at the correct angle, then the tedious task of lacing and trueing. Woody is of course the go to guy for this in the Americas. Ad will do it for "special customers" only - @DRTBYK is now a Diamond Member of both the LBS and GlobeRiders frequent flyer club.

    Obviously, a major component of this custom 17" twin-rotor wheel is pure labor. However, the "all in" cost is somewhat offset by being able to re-use the OEM front brake components.

    We do have another option, much easier to fabricate. Instead of having to lave a 17" rim, we can use a complete OEM 17" rear wheel, purchase a bigass after-market disc rotor that is installed in place of the OEM rear rotor, then supply a "Siamesed" twin-caliper carrier with our leading link kit. Used rear wheels are readily available which also reduces cost. The bigass rotor/Siamese-caliper carrier leading link can be seen on @SLACKER 's new LBS GS+URAL outfit. The brake system can be installed on either the right or left side, depending on the owner's preference:

    gs_ural_11.jpg
    #7
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  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Just waiting on the Speed Ring Adapter to be powder coated and I can finish the front-end assembly. Then it's over to the final drive to lube splines and change the gear oil.
    #8
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  9. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    And just as an appetizer....

    5E53CE4C-8F13-4DC3-B02A-123797418BEB.jpeg

    They do fit quite nicely. One does need to remove brake pads to install/remove the calipers.
    #9
  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    10mm in my mind's eye sounds about what I would have thought. Very cool.


    That was going to be my next question. I have a 17 on my 2008 GSA with the 305mm rotors and I'm able to just barely install and remove my calipers by simply removing the two caliper mounting bolts -- BUT -- my 17 is a 2-1/2" front rim not a big ass 4-1/2" rear rim like what you're using. So removing your front wheel to change the tire requires a little more effort, but the tradeoff is that you get the same size tire at all three corners, and you get the strength and good looks of a spoker.

    This is gonna be a very cool GS rig.

    In keeping with the title of this thread, I'll also point out to anybody looking that leading link forks connect to the bike using a BMW OEM lower fork bridge (visible in Post #1) and what I assume is the OEM ball joint and telelever (trailing arm). While the ball joint will still swivel left and right as you turn the bars, the telelever becomes a fixed part because the front shock absorber is replaced with a rigid strut.

    Do I have that right?
    #10
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  11. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    Methinks the man is fishing for a compliment ;<) Well, here it is; as one of hack forum SME's (covered that in another post I think, SME=Subject Matter Expert), you have it 100% correct.

    Our kit includes a new upper fork cross brace axial aligment bearing (@DRTBYK, did I remember to give that to you???). The one special tool required to self-install our kit is a hydraulic press and the the propers adapters to replace the OEM bearing, but is otherwise straight forward.

    For Beemers with ESA/DESA shocks, you can purchase, or we can supply the Tractive/Touratech ESA Disable Units to keep your CANbus and OEM suspension algorithms from freaking out (as no one makes a set of ESA/DESA stereo "twin shocks" to my knowledge), but given the issues BMW has had with their ESA/DESA implementation, I consider non-ESA/DESA shocks, as Martha Stewart would say, "A Very Good Thing" - one less point of failure.
    #11
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  12. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Yep, LBS Angular Bearing was installed in the GPR Pro Top Clamp. :-)

    Never had an issue with my TT DESA and wish someone did make a Twin-DESA for Leading Link front-ends....WILBERS!?!:wave
    #12
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  13. twintwin

    twintwin Been here awhile Supporter

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    The twin DESA or ESA, do not exist on a L.L. as only one shock, (right or left) is connected, the other one is acting like a dummy, and has no electronic in it. Same concept for the regular fork, for instance on the R1250R, or S1000 model.
    I have a 2017 GSA rig with L.L. and Tractive ESA all around, set up directly at the Tractive factory in NL by the mc department head engineer (also one of the owner of Tractive). And only one shock on my L.L. is ESA compatible.
    Do a rig need ESA or DESA developed for a 2 wheeler on a rig??!! This is another story. The Tractive factory has set up my ESA shocks (rear and front) for one specific setting, (dynamic, one person with luggage). They told me to stay on this setting, otherwise the rig will not handle nicely. Indeed, I have played with all the ESA combination and only one (the one recommended by Tractive), give me satisfaction.
    If I had to do it again, I would have hacked a non ESA bike.
    #13
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  14. twintwin

    twintwin Been here awhile Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    Only the right shock is ESA wired.

    [​IMG]

    On the left the ESA right side shock for the L.L. The other one is not on the picture, but has no wire.
    Middle, rear ESA shock.
    On the right, chair non ESA shock but with manual preload knob, mounted on the rear upper arm, to be easily reachable by the rider.
    Do not pay attention to the number on the springs, they were changed a couple time since the picture was taken
    #14
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  15. twintwin

    twintwin Been here awhile Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    Rear shock with the BMW ESA device mounted. Again, do not pay attention to the numbers on the spring, spring was changed since then.
    #15
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  16. LBS-USA

    LBS-USA Been here awhile Super Supporter

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    [QUOTE="twintwin, post: 41466229]If I had to do it again, I would have hacked a non ESA bike.[/QUOTE]

    @twintwin, great info, thanks for sharing! Could you tell us what springs rates you finally settled on for all four shocks, and also what the part or item number is for the non-ESA front shock on your leading link? TracTive's online catalog doesn't show any stereo or twin shocks sets except for a Triumph model as the vast majority of bikes are monoshockers today.

    Were you working with Tom at TracTive on your project? As sophisticated and beautiful as the Wilbers shocks are, the company is super difficult to work with. Even one of the biggest US importer/distributors I source from has difficulty getting any info or customs builds out of Wilbers. Most of my clients replace or upgrade their GS's OEM shocks with Touratech, but Touratech only offers monoshocks, so Touratech-branded shocks are not available for a leading link kit.. I'd like to offer TractTive leading link stereo shocks for clients who would like all four shocks from the same manufacturer (TractTive/Touratech). Thanks!
    #16
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  17. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    @twintwin I expect the reason that TracTive 'recommended' not changing the ESA settings is because you don't really have an ESA system any more. They manually set the Left shock dampening to match what the ESA sets for "One Person w/Luggage". When/if you change the ESA setting you now have out of balance shocks on the front and I can imagine what the handling will be like. There is no reason why twin-D/ESA shocks can't be made. I had Active/Dynamic suspension on my race cars over 20 years ago - so if it can be done with four shocks, it can certainly be done with two. Again, we're only talking about changing the damping on one circuit in each front shock. The other issue of course is making the impedance for two shocks match the impedance for one BMW ESA circuit.

    I agree with @LBS-USA regarding WILBERS lack of response to custom inquiries. I sent them three over the past nine months and never even received a "not interested" reply. But, I do really like their products.
    #17
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  18. twintwin

    twintwin Been here awhile Supporter

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    @twintwin, great info, thanks for sharing! Could you tell us what springs rates you finally settled on for all four shocks, and also what the part or item number is for the non-ESA front shock on your leading link? TracTive's online catalog doesn't show any stereo or twin shocks sets except for a Triumph model as the vast majority of bikes are monoshockers today.

    Were you working with Tom at TracTive on your project? As sophisticated and beautiful as the Wilbers shocks are, the company is super difficult to work with. Even one of the biggest US importer/distributors I source from has difficulty getting any info or customs builds out of Wilbers. Most of my clients replace or upgrade their GS's OEM shocks with Touratech, but Touratech only offers monoshocks, so Touratech-branded shocks are not available for a leading link kit.. I'd like to offer TractTive leading link stereo shocks for clients who would like all four shocks from the same manufacturer (TractTive/Touratech). Thanks![/QUOTE]

    I do not know the specific info on each shock. Jochum Rijpma, the head engineer of the motorcycle department at Tractive, was part of the project since the beginning. My rig was the first one for Tractive, so it was a learning and challenging curve for him and his team. The rig stood 2 weeks at the factory, with many test rides. I send you his info on WhatsApp a couple month ago. Jochum is really a great and professional guy. Before he stepped up personally, EZS and Touratech shop (Tractive distributor and installer) have tried unsuccessfully to set up the shocks, went with 3 pairs of shocks setting, including different springs. My EZS rig was handled very poorly after delivery, limit dangerous, and it was difficult to pinpoint the causes. First LC GS bike for EZS. Subframe? shocks? tires? trail? chair's alignments? It took a couple month to correct every thing.
    Regarding the twin shock on the front end, again, I was told that only one shock on the L.L. is ESA connected, same thing for a regular telescopic fork, where only one leg is ESA wired, from the factory and with aftermarket units like Tractive. I'm sure that Jochum would gladly explain it if you contact him. Unfortunately I have no technical expertise on this matter.
    #18
  19. SLACKER

    SLACKER Been here awhile Supporter

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    vagabond.......
    It's odd the complaints I hear regarding Wilber's. I have had nothing but good luck dealing with a Wilber's distributor in Germany for various sidecars and bikes over the years and had them shipped to both Spain and USA. I think that any factory "lack of response" might be due to the Pandemic currently visiting Germany where the term "Lockdown" is taken more seriously than my compatriots in America and has gummed up the supply chain. The only complaints I have had is with spring rates but they have been more than willing to send me heavier springs. In all honesty I have yet to find a shock supplier who understands what will make me happy on a sidecar rig and I have tried a few (Wilbers distributors on two continents, Ohlins ditto , Ted Porter for both Wilbers and others, Klaus at EPM). The best I hope for these days is one who will at least readily change springs until it is right. I know that other inmates have had better experiences on setting up shocks on their rigs so I suspect it is a very subjective issue.
    As to TwinTwin's rig as set up by Tractive..........despite the ESA issues, after test driving it I thought it handled very very nicely with regards to shocks but fine tuning for a trip with a passenger and gear might be another story.
    As far as the ease of having an ESA suspension set up to work on a sidecar rig..........best of luck with that. It seems like the best minds in the sidecar world have not had any luck so far as far as I can tell....although I have no doubt that it is doable....If you can get it sorted in the long term I will buy you a beer. After wrestling with mine in Holland for a week with both LBS and an ESA "specialist" at a Touratech distributor (who charged me 250 euros and said to further diagnose would require a "blank check" ) I've decided my money would be better spent on some non ESA shocks with the correct spring rates and a spanner for adjustments.
    Just my two cents
    #19
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  20. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Don't get me wrong, I liked WILBERS shocks when I used them on my race bikes and I think I'll be very pleased with the 642 TS Competitions. Having spent time talking with both Ted and Jeff at The BeemerShop turned out that they knew nothing about this model of WILBERS as they don't import them here. The 642's are a 46mm piston/body and have very nice High & Low Speed compression damping adjustments as well as easily reached rebound adjustment. They should be no problem setting up for my rig.
    #20
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