My soon-to-be Roadster + Monza rig -- DIY?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by TheOtherBart, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. TheOtherBart

    TheOtherBart Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,056
    Location:
    DeKalb County, Illinois
    I haven't updated this in a while but I've made a few more adjustments. The car is sporting a new Heidenau "Racer" scooter tire, and I've adjusted the upper rear mount a couple more times. At this point I'm ~10 full turns out from where it was when I picked it up and I think I'm close. It still pulls to the right some when I'm riding solo, but with my 13 year old on the passenger seat of the bike it's fairly neutral. I'll probably still tinker some more before I tear everything down for paint.

    I am scratching my head about something just a little. If you go back to the pictures I posted, someone correctly pointed out that I would need to rotate the lower rear mount 90 degrees so it wouldn't bind when I went to adjust the lean. The problem is, when it's rotated in such a way that the lean is adjustable then it's in a position where it would bind if I tried to adjust the toe-in. Not a huge deal because I seem to be doing okay with just adjusting the lean, but I know that every adjustment I make has side effects on other alignment specs, so I always follow each tweak with a very cautious ride around the block to see if I created any really evil problems. So far so good.
    #81
  2. TheOtherBart

    TheOtherBart Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,056
    Location:
    DeKalb County, Illinois
    I haven't updated this in a while. We don't put a lot of miles on the rig, but it's a ton of fun when we do. I had been tolerating the pull to the right for a while, but last week I finally got around to taking it over to Kurt Liebhaber for him to massage. I can't even describe what a pleasure that was. Kurt is a great guy and every bit the sidecar wiz everyone said.

    The top front mount that had come with the car wasn't long enough to get the lean correct, but Kurt had a different (better) style strut on hand that he swapped in. He measured the toe-in at about a half an inch, which he was happy with, then dialed in a few degrees of lean out. Riding home was a real pleasure, the bike tracked nice and straight. I had to get used to right turns all over again because the empty car is a lot more prone to fly without the bike leaning into it, but that will just be a matter of practice.

    Now I can start thinking more about the cosmetics. Knowing what I know now, if I were buying a "project" car again I'd look for one with a separate chassis and tub. On the Monza the lower front mount threads into an insert molded into the fiberglass, and there's a tube that goes all the way through the tub from side to side behind the seat. The result is that it's not exactly straigtforward to take the tub off the frame, especially without messing up the alignment.

    My original plan was to pull the tub to paint it (or have it painted) and have the frame powdercoated as one assembly. Now I'm thinking I might just prep and paint the whole thing together. I'm not looking for a show-quality finish, just something that looks a little nicer and matches the bike.
    #82
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  3. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Jan 18, 2010
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    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Not sure if you are running motorcycle tires or not, but if you are, an easy way to tell if your lean out is right, is look at the wear pattern on the rear motorcycle tire. The marks on the tire from the asphalt or dirt should extend the same amount left & right of the tire center. Also using a tire depth gauge can tell you the difference from both sides of the rear tire. It is surpising how much 1/2 turn on the upper mounts can make when it comes to tire wear. This would likely work for car tires, but they wear so much longer than a motorcycle tire, so I'm not sure it would really help. The rounded motorcycle tire is much easier to see what is going on.

    I find the above works fine for the load I have the rig set up to carry. If I add a heavier person to the car it will affect lean out. For short rides I don't worry about it, but if I was going a longer distance the lean out would have to be adjusted. That's why it is really important to set the rig up for the way you are going to use it.
    #83
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