Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Hack Vendors' started by LBS-USA, Oct 30, 2020.
Really nice work, looks like a factory sidecar from BMW. Just the way it should be. Cheers Leigh
That’s about as clean of installation as it gets. Fantastic. Let us know how it drives too.
Beautiful!! Why is there a damper already?
Well, at least for the initial build on this thread, here is a (semi) final chapter - delivery day!
Left to right: Owner – Dave Currie-Wendell, 2W Mentor Instructor/3W Chief Instructor Trainer | Yours Truly | Tina Wendell:
Dave heads out for the first-ever test ride!:
Back from a brief initial test drive. Feedback was that the steering was too light. Though a highly experienced rider/trainer/sidecarist, Dave’s most recent outfit was a heavy, and heavy-steering rig. The primary reason to invest in a leading link front end is to reduce steering effort. I suggested that Dave get at least 30 minutes of driving time to tune his muscle memory to the more subtle steering inputs of the leading link, but to mitigate, did a quick install of a higher force linear steering damper. After a 30-minute 2nd test drive, Dave came back all smiles:
The rig does look wide! However, have taken measurements, it’s only about 6 inches wider than our “standard” builds for more off-pavement oriented rigs:
Viewed from the left side, though the chassis has 4-strut rigging for strength, the subframe is completely hidden:
That noted, the rig has a wide/stable stance for sure!:
The trophy shot:
As a builder, am happy that only a damper swap was needed to dial in the rig for its first powered test rides, a testament to Ad’s experience and design skills – it’s why I partnered with him:
I think it safe for me to claim this is the world’s first (and if I may say so, finest!) leading link front suspension on an R18. This model comes with standard telescopic front forks, not the best front suspension for a bike rigged to a sidecar, as telescopic forks are not designed to take the tremendous side loads imposed from the added weight of the sidecar itself, coupled with the fact the bike cannot lean into turns. I was concerned a leading link might look a bit “busy” and overly “industrial”, but I think it worked out well, and certainly reduces steering effort dramatically:
The sidecar wheel, donated by Ad Donkers, is from the rear of a BMW R nine T - black rim, spoked, a perfect match! No detail is too small, note the lovely custom-machined wheel hub cap, with a BMW roundel applied:
A rear view of the underside. Found a discrete, fully weather-proof marine connector normally used as the masthead light disconnect for sail boats. All wiring from the bike to sidecar is fully sleeved in woven loom. The harness and connecter are virtually hidden from view. In the photo, one of the six machine shock/isolation mounts that secure the body to the chassis:
A rear view of the rigging, electrical harness and brake line routing, very sanitary:
Rather than riding on plain bearings, our trailing arm pivots on an oversize axle, with two double-row/sealed bearings, house in a sold steel carrier. A custom-machined cap sets it off:
Inset automotive taillights:
Our BOXER body has a capacious 160-liter/5.65-cubic foot trunk:
As the R18 only has a 16-liter/4.25-gallon tank, a RotopaX FuelpaX was secured to the rear seat/trunk wall to extend range. To the right of the FuelpaX is the sealed relay/fuse box for the sidecar circuits:
A rear view of the relay/fuse box we install, with weatherproof grommets and seals installed:
Front view of the relay/fuse box. We pride ourselves on marine-grade wiring throughout, and NO P-Taps, D-Taps, or other dreaded Scotchloks "insulation displacement connectors" allowed!:
Relay/fuse box (with cover removed) and terminal strips for the sidecar lighting and accessory systems:
All circuits, fuses and relay are labelled for future service work or upgrades:
BMW roundel was inset in our fender to match that on the bike itself:
Unless a higher-strength alloy was required (for securing the struts and leading link), all hardware and fasteners are stainless steel. Copper-based anti-seize was applied to threads to prevent galling, Loctite 272 Blue thread locker where required for retention (thread locker also prevents galling). All nuts are Nylocs (also Nylocks) except where Acorn nuts could be used for aesthetics. And ALL fasteners are 100% metric, just like the bike:
Even months after introduction, very few official BMW accessories are available from dealers for the R18. These are from Hepco & Becker, design and made in Germany, very nicely detailed:
Client allowed me to apply our logo across the rear of the BOXER sidecar body. Initial build and delivery complete of this build complete! The rig will be back for upgrades in the passenger cockpit (a more tailored seat, folding passenger footrest, accessory dash with 12VDC and USB power outlets, heated seat inserts.
But for now, some breathing room until my next shipment arrives from Holland. Next on the schedule, two BMW R1200GSAs, URAL sidecar bodies, LBS chassis and leading link front ends, full-on adventure touring rigs with Japanese cast wheels:
Out-frigging-standing!!!! Amazing build. Well done.
Thanks for the kind words, it was a lot of fun, and an international effort in more ways than one! Main thing is, the customer is happy, and at the end of the day, that is what really matters, and also makes it all worthwhile!
Sorry, gone already, you'll have to aske the owner! However, from a couple of guys at South Sound (Brendan and Wayne), I've heard that without 4" bar backs, unless you have "ape hangers" for arms, you don't have the reach to turn the bars lock to lock from the saddle anyway. And in parking for maneuvering, as you know, it has reverse!
Hey @Prmurat , not sure I understand the question. Damper was installed as the leading link reduces trail "a lot". Virtually no steering effort required. Owner previously had some big tub rigged to a Suzuki touring rig, no front end mods, very, very heavy steering. Didn't want him to freak out over how "light" the steering effort would be, and the feedback from any surface perturbations in the road surface, so fitted the damper as a precaution, and good thing, as he felt it was a bit "twitchy", so installed our heavier rate damper and now he's happy!
You just answer my question. Damper are normally installed to take care of a badly adjusted sidecar wanting to shake its head at low speed. Glad to know it is there only to “slow” the steering.
Such an awesome built. I look forward to seeing the next bunch of GS/Ural builds.
Excellent! Yes, knowing that the owner's "muscle memory" had "learned" how to react and adjust to a very heavy steering rig, I expected, regardless of how experienced a sidecarist he is, that he would find steering with a leading link to be unsettling and twitchy - at first. I have heard from others, to include our very own @MGV8 , that our leading link is stable enough without a damper. Personally, I used to think a steering damper was a Band-Aid for poor design; no that BMW and other manufacturers are installing them on a variety of models to enhance the stability of increasingly quick-steering front ends, I'm over that, and will install a damper on every outfit I own or build, especially now that we have the option of either linear or rotary dampers for the BMW GS models that most commonly rig sidecars to.
That thing is a Beautiful Beast!