Leaner Sidecar/ Vintage Vespa

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Charlieman22, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Hellracer.nl

    Hellracer.nl What the hack???

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    Moving the pivot points to the proposed locations will result in lifting the nose of the sidecar in a right hand turn.
    If you calculate or simply measure the weight of the sidecar at the pivot points, you'll find that this is very low. Most of the weight is at the sidecar wheel.
    I think it won't make any difference in the feeling.
    #61
  2. Charlieman22

    Charlieman22 Adventurer

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    IMG_3596.JPG Thanks gents. Will think about this one a bit more.
    Plan to drive the scooter on its own today - without the side car - to see how much effect is just the normal scooter vs motor. The motor is as heavy as the chassis I am guessing - so having it off to one side has a certain effect.

    I don't feel pull when going at speed - just when driving very low speed like in a parking lot.
    I may have to just get used to using my foot rest on the sidecar rig as a place to lever against to avoid any tilt feeling.
    Picture above shows a quick job testing.
    #62
  3. Hellracer.nl

    Hellracer.nl What the hack???

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    This is very normal.
    #63
  4. Charlieman22

    Charlieman22 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the quick response Hellracer. Saved me a bunch of cutting and welding.
    Instead - going to ride it for a few days and see how I adjust.
    Stay tuned...
    #64
  5. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    And that is the key to any sidecar operation, rigid or leaner, they are all different and require the rider to adjust.
    Good job!
    #65
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  6. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) He’s my President! Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing your build journey !
    #66
  7. Pete-NZ

    Pete-NZ Long timer

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    the scooter will want to fall over.... same as putting all your weight on one foot peg of a motor bike...
    the more weight in the car the more the effect will be..
    Pivots must be along the centre line of the bike...

    Look at the 2 links in my Signature ...



    .
    #67
  8. Charlieman22

    Charlieman22 Adventurer

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    Gents - I highly appreciate the comments and insights.
    You guys have a lot of experience with this - I have zero.
    With that said, I am trying to listen carefully to determine if there are certain paradigms that are different in my scooter set up then a standard motorcycle.

    Unlike a motorcycle, when I stand the scooter up, it wants to fall over to the right.
    In fact, I can lean it about 15 degrees away from the hack - and get it to balance (with the hack on it).
    That should give you some sense of how much the weight of the motor offset is affecting the hack.

    In a rigid set up - this is an advantage as it offsets right turns.
    But in a leaner - it is quite noticeable when moving slowly.

    Hellracer pointed out that there was not so much weight on the pivots - compared to the hack wheel.
    And Pete noted that the pivots need to be centered.
    But I am still tempted to experiment with moving the pivots to the far side of the CL as any weight would help.

    beyond some nose lift on the hack if I did this (on right turns), would there be another disadvantage that you guys are concerned about?

    Thanks for sticking with this thread and providing the feedback.
    -CM
    #68
  9. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Bore the engine out some more .
    That will make it lighter.
    Also faster which helps as well.
    Sling the battery (car) of to the left?
    Seeing as you have the extra footrest use it and get used to it?
    Actually I always wanted to put an extra outrigger foot peg, like highway bars but attached to the sidecar frame.
    That way it could be foot steered.
    #69
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  10. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Dress left, problem solved........ :getiton
    #70
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  11. Charlieman22

    Charlieman22 Adventurer

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    Well - must say - you guys have some mighty good suggestions...
    I get that the off center concept is not favored - and I may never go there.
    But sometimes - just pushing a little brings out good stuff.

    brstar - battery on the left. Mighty good idea.
    Currently in sidecar. Adds weight there -could be ballast on left side of scooter instead.

    Option B: Dress left. Ha! Indeed.

    Drove today and really got feel for first time.
    foot pad made enormous difference.
    Scoot is light and pretty powerful for a scoot.
    front wheel wants to lift in first if I get on it.
    Then skips right as sidecar is pulling a little.
    makes for an interesting takeoff.

    But with a foot firmly on foot pad, it’s a game changer. Easy to control.

    below, a second vid. Shows the footwork a bit. Fun ride.
    Thanks guys!

    #71
  12. ZigzagguzzI

    ZigzagguzzI Been here awhile Supporter

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    Super cool!
    #72
  13. Charlieman22

    Charlieman22 Adventurer

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    IMG_5572.JPG Update. Have about 1000 miles on it now.
    Bike will do 70MPH on the highway - see here for a chuckle:

    Have made some upgrades like a custom steering damper that have really improved.
    Power on my little scoot is not so bad - so this thing is a ton of fun to drive in the hills:

    With some driving experience under my belt - now would like to optimize for a few things:
    - With new tires on it - bike feels a little "knife edged" rather than stable at center.
    - Front feels a little light. Feels like I need the center of gravity moved a bit forward.

    Few questions for the experts - everyone's opinion/experience welcome.
    1. If you had to choose between getting the front mount lower to the ground, or keeping the "steering" effect of having it 8° higher than the rear pivot - which would you choose? (I suspect the scrub from height of front is related to knife edgy feel)
    2. I am using very little lead. If I increase lead, will it improve the front weight feel, or help the lack of center balance stability?
    IMG_5576.JPG
    IMG_5576.JPG
    Screen Shot 2020-05-22 at 9.14.16 AM.png
    #73
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  14. WILL_S

    WILL_S OUTLAW POSTIE 001

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    No expert
    Would having the rear mount at the back be similar to trying to wheelie .
    Be a bit like someone pushing down on the back of the bike while riding .
    Rolling off and on would exaggerate the lightness over the front .
    Another example is riding a solo bike over loaded on the rear rack creates similar to what your are describing (i have experience at this ,its my job but we wont mention that lol )
    Fixes... move rear mount or stiffer rear shocks to damp to the effect or if it's not dangerous learn how to ride around it
    Cheers
    #74
  15. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Very little lead?
    What did it finish up measuring?
    No doubt increasing lead will change things some .
    It would reduce the steer affect some and move the weight forward some.
    How much some is is open for debait and or verification.
    It will also increase scrub some.
    Oh I used that word some more.
    Looks like a fun jigger.
    70 mph?
    That's crazy.
    At least some crazy anyway. :lol3
    Tyres and tyre pressures?
    Nice steering damper.
    #75
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  16. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Reduction from 8 deg?
    I suppose there's no definitive setting for the angle.
    Your machine is a bit unique with it's short wheelbase including rear/right weight bias.
    And it's small wheels.
    How to quantify changes?
    Feel free to experiment at least for the benefit of my curiosity.
    Is the scooter twitchy solo?
    #76
  17. Charlieman22

    Charlieman22 Adventurer

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    Thanks gents.
    Suspension is adjustable - so I went ahead and stiffened the back a bit.
    but the knife edge remains.
    I did not have this sense before I changed the tire - so I will also revisit that.

    I set it up with about 5-6" of lead.
    Sounds like increasing lead is similar to lowering the front pivot point.
    Lowering the front pivot lessons scrub but diminishes steering effect.
    Adding lead increases scrub - but shifts weight forward.

    Perhaps I will move my battery to an alternate position.
    It was suggested previously that I might swap it to the opposite side of the motor.
    This would take weight off the side car - and counter balance the motor somewhat.
    If I can sneak if forward a bit - that might give me some marginal improvement also.

    Will start with the simplest stuff - then move to the more intensive.
    Thanks all!
    -CM
    #77
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  18. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride Supporter

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    When in search of gremlins (or better handling), remember to change ONLY ONE variable at a time.
    #78
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