New build using motorcycle swingarm

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by toolittletime, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Eastport Idaho (almost Canada)
    Been lurking here for a while and am about ready to start my build. Thinking of using a motorcycle rear swing arm. I like the thought that I can have some brakes, and the obvious thought of less fabrication.
    Is there any particular swing arm that would be best for this application.......conversely, is there one to stay away from??
    About me......Have a shop...some engineering background....have welding equipment.....being retired I now have more time than money!!
    I plan to mount this on a 2002 Moto Guzzi EV that I bought a couple of years ago. Other bikes in the garage include a Goldwing.......Guzzi Norge....Guzzi Bassa.....and the one pictured here that I brought back to life from a basket case last year.

    Before and after.........

    Your help and suggestions would be appreciated..............Tim



    IMG_6094 (Large).JPG IMG_6418.JPG
    #1
  2. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Try doing a search in this forum. Others have used swing arms when building a sidecar frame.
    #2
  3. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Not a particularly elegant solution, Unless you find a single sided swing arm.
    You went to fair bit of trouble to bring the old Guzzi back to an excellent condition.
    My current rig has a twin shock swing arm setup but my next on my V9 will be a single sided setup with matching wheel.
    Using a trailer stub axle kit for each end of the swingarm. http://shop.trailerparts.net.au:8093/CBH/Page7?itemsPerPage=10
    This is an Aussie site but maybe you can get something local.
    Should be a set and mostly forget deal with standard automotive bearings.

    2 cents maybe worth.
    #3
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  4. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    brstar............ Thanks for the suggestions, but isn't your rig mounted on the wrong side :-):-)

    Tim
    #4
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  5. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Did I reverse the pics again ???
    Nah probably just the parralax effect as the wiring gets crossed at the equator.

    Got your own workshop?
    I'm working towards setting up a good one in my man cave (some excavation required).
    Bit of a lifetime dream really.
    Saw this for sale recently,
    tps://www.paramountbrowns.com.au/products/3in1-machine-1320-x-1-5mm/
    1.5mm steel means it should do 2mm Ali and maybe cut thicker.
    Proffessional opinions gratefully accepted.
    [​IMG]
    I won't garrantee not to try and buy one.

    When you build your own sidecar it often becomes what was available and cheap or a big spend.
    #5
    pops and Bobmws like this.
  6. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    Now that's a nice machine.......you could do some serious bends with it.
    #6
  7. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    I was in the fabrication industry for a number of years, worked/used 12' (80 ton) press brakes & 10' power shears and everything smaller down to finger brakes and Beverly throatless shears. Combination machines like the one you are looking at will take you right up to the point of frustration. They don't do anything well. You realize that is a hand crank "machine" right?
    #7
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  8. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Long timer

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    I'm using a Yamaha XT250/350 swing arm.ive used them before,there cheap and easy to find and there steel so there easy to modify.
    [​IMG]


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    #8
    Bar None and pops like this.
  9. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    I guess I need to post some pictures, or start a new thread on my build in the "build" section. I have made a lot of progress in the last couple of months.
    Tim
    #9
  10. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Long timer

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    The best part about using a swing arm is that you get your toe in/out by adjusting the axle in the swing arm,takes 2 minutes!!.


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    #10
  11. redfishguide

    redfishguide Old Dirt Biker

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    I used the swing arm from a DR 650 and am quite happy with the results. Pictures in my build thread below. I tried to keep the mono shock geometry the same as Suzuki did by checking with a stock DR as I set up the swing arm.

    Jack and Buck
    #11
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  12. Old Mule

    Old Mule Long timer

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    Read through the sidecar design thread up top- really worth it.
    How much suspension travel will you need? Is such a long swingarm needed? Others have worked out elegant solutions to suspension. Sidecars aren't motorcycles- long travel soft suspension, as obtained with a motorcycle swingarm, can bring their own problems in cornering and braking.
    Beautiful Guzzis!
    #12
  13. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    Ok.....so I will post some pics of my progress here, as I'm not sure if I need to start a build thread or not. I'm sure someone here will inform me if I have this in the wrong place.
    I started with a pvc pipe mock up to get some ideas of the size , etc.
    IMG_6827.JPG
    I welded up an assembly for the back to carry the top and bottom supports.
    IMG_6834.JPG

    Same thing on the front.....bottom and top.
    IMG_6842.JPG
    IMG_6843.JPG
    The bolts and good heim joints are 3/4" stuff.
    #13
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  14. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    Here is the swing arm from a gz250 on the table and held up for measurements.
    IMG_6851.JPG
    Here is the frame and connectors being fabricated. The round tube is 1.5" dom. The square is also 1.5"
    IMG_6855.JPG
    IMG_6864.JPG
    And here mocked up next to the bike to measure for the remaining connectors.

    IMG_6890.JPG
    #14
    We're Here, pops and DRONE like this.
  15. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    And more work continues. I had marked a 12" wheel lead on the bike and ended up at 10.5" when adjusted.
    IMG_6892.JPG

    Front mounts in place and measuring for rear mounts.
    IMG_6895.JPG

    Everything in place, and primed.
    IMG_6893.JPG

    Starting on the body......cut out a template for the side views.
    IMG_6925.JPG
    #15
  16. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    Amazing how nice a job you can do with the Harbor Freight pipe bender (kinker) if you do a few modifications to it,and take your time.
    Everything is 3/4" square material.

    IMG_6945.JPG

    IMG_6951.JPG

    Pull it together with some clamps and add cross supports as you go.

    IMG_6954.JPG

    And here it is sitting on the frame.

    IMG_6955.JPG
    #16
  17. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

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    I needed a brake pedal to control the drum brake on the car, so I just fabricated something that seems to work just fine.

    IMG_6959.JPG
    IMG_6962.JPG

    Made it so I can reach it at the same time as the rear brake, or can use them independent.

    IMG_6964.JPG

    Here is the work on the rear lift gate. It will get a latch to keep it closed, and pneumatic arm to assist .

    IMG_6979.JPG
    #17
    largemouthbass, We're Here and DRONE like this.
  18. toolittletime

    toolittletime Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Eastport Idaho (almost Canada)
    And finally (for now) here is a pic to show that I survived the test ride.
    IMG_6984.JPG

    After the initial ride of about 5 miles, I checked the toe in......it was about 1" so I reduced it to 1/2" and it did make steering better. there was no wobbles or shakes noticed on acceleration or on decel. There wer no pulls either to left or right, except for the normal feel of a rig. I have over the last 2 weeks put about 100 miles or so on it, just getting used to the feel of the rig. I mounted the tub, though not complete, and rode a few more miles. I am sure when the tub is complete and the weights are final, I will need to re adjust everything, but so far, so good. Just taking my time and getting used to the feel of it.

    About myself......
    Yes I have driven a few sidecar rigs over the years. I have 2 friends with Goldwing /Hannigan rigs. Some others with BMW rigs. I have close to 1 million miles on motorcycles over the last 50 years. Yes, I realize that does not necessarily translate to sidecar rigs, but does help with awareness and general safety on the road. I am a former instructor for GWRRA, teaching all of the bike, trailer, and trike classes, former Idaho STAR Instructor, and for the last 10 years I have been an MSF Rider Coach for the state of Montana.
    I didn't mean to give everyone my resume or to try and impress anyone with my credentials......just trying to share the joy that I have experienced over the last fifty years on 2 wheels .....and now on three.

    About the rig.
    The weight of the frame/wheel assembly was 150 pounds before it was painted.
    The tub, while not complete, should weigh in at about 70 pounds, so the total weight before cargo or passenger is about 220 lbs.
    The track width is 57"
    The overall width of bike and car is 82"
    I am going to cover the tub frame with .030 painted aluminum....similar to the way cargo trailers are currently being built.
    I have attached welded brackets for the windshield, and I am currently engineering how to attach it.
    Hopefully, I can have it complete in the next few weeks.

    I know I could have gone out and bought all of the parts to do this build, but it was so much more fun (and cheaper) to do it myself over the last 2 months. As all of you who do these builds know, there is a great deal of satisfaction associated with completing a project like this. Let's face it.....what else was I going to do with the snow ass deep here, and a lot of time on my hands in the winter......just seemed like the thing to do.

    Soooooo....I'm going to sit back now and listen......and I will post more pics as the work progresses.

    Tim
    #18
  19. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Long timer

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    Very nice work


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    #19
  20. triumphsidehack

    triumphsidehack Been here awhile

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    Way to go Tim:clap , looks like your well on our way to being a full fledge Hacker with your build. Well thought out and building it yourself will make you enjoy it that much more and give you the insight and a complete sidecar experience that many miss when jumping into this wacky world of hacks.
    Starting with a great tug and getting lots of feed back from this forum, looks as if you have done a lot of research from your friends and others to make this happen. Very much looking forward to your completion and future adventures with your sidecar endeavors. I think your in it for the long haul.:gdog
    #20
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