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Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Box'a'bits, Aug 29, 2015.
For your viewing pleasure...
Progress update 16th Oct '18 - making up sidecar mounts:
I'm in the process of making more robust mounts for the sidecar (than what is provided with the universal Velorex mounts). Bear in mind some of this is prototyping. In particular the rear mounts. I'll get something that works, then revisit things at some point, & make tidier versions. Any prototyped mounts will be replaced with fresh fabrications welded by a certified welder once the basic concepts are proven. If you see something that stands out, that could be improved, don't hesitate to sing out though.
Generally connections will be clamps or bolt up (assuming there is an existing frame structure I can connect to).
My ability to fabricate is limited:
I can only arc welding, & my welds have been... um, variable in quality. Any welding would be limited to the mount brackets I make up. Any welding on the frame structure is a no no. Mounts are all in steel, or use the existing mount clevis bolts.
I have no access to a lathe
I am limited in the steel I can use: 16mm 2mm wall tubing, flat strap 25x6mm, flat 50x10mm, tubing 38x2.6mm (which I would need to get in a hydraulic bender to bend).
My welding has improved dramatically, because I've purchased a proper welding helmet, with an auto darkening visor. No more welding by braille. And I’ve bought a cheap chinese drill press. What a jump up from my handheld drills. Especially through 10mm steel.
The front top will stay as is, except I have added longer bolts & locked them in place with nyloc nuts. The orginals had shorter high tensile bolts into tapped clamps – I felt there was room for movement due to different materials used.
The bottom front clamp is on a plate bolted to the front engine mount. No real potential for movement there, except for some spinning around the engine mount – unlikely given the clevis will hold it vertically. And there is only potential for movement if the mounts are not torqued to spec. The location of the mount results in any stress being spread across the frame across the engine mount, and is at one of the strongest points in the frame. No photo.
For the top rear, I will use the universal clamp to the frame, but with a bolt up mount to the frame to stop any potential for the clamp to spinning on the frame. Positioning is not ideal, but at a strong point. I may rethink this at a later iteration. Ideally I want this to spread stress across both sides of the frame.
Bottom rear is problematic. I used the universal clamp for the DGR, off the bottom of the frame between the footpeg & the gear change – that was too far forward on the sidecar frame. It worked, but didn't feel 'solid'.
The rear mounts are evolving, & I'm fortunate that I have a spare (wrecked) frame that I can try ideas out on.
Originally I thought to use 50x10mm flat plate (spars) across the mounts – but the gear change boss on the frame, & the accompanying gear change mechanism) gets in the way. One way around this is to use an earlier gear lever without the linkage & bore a hole in the plate for the boss (or cut it off completely, which I am loathe to do).
A second iteration used a parallel spars on either side of the LHS frame, again using the engine mounts. That bolt up concept again. The 'bottom' spar between the frame & engine replaced the engine mount spacers. These measured in at 9mm front left, & 6mm for both rears & the right front. This arrangement pushed the engine across the frame to the RHS a minor amount. The difference was made up with washers.
The 'top' spar only picked up the rear mount (because the gear change issues noted above). Behind the frame I was going to use a couple of 12 mm bolts & tubing to link the spars, to maintain spacings & prevent flex. This ran into issues with the exhaust position, but that was resolved with cut outs. It failed when I realised I could no longer pull in the clutch arm, as the shift in the engine had absorbed some of the arc the clutch arm needed to operate. I could have ground down the clutch arm slightly to get clearance but the limitations of this approach were becoming clear.
The next iteration used the top spar, but mounted to the bottom of the footpeg mount. This has some issues as over tightening the footage mount will stop the footpeg folding up. So it will be braced at the rear across to the Paralever arm, & up to the rear subframe mount. Still working on that...
As I said, work in progress...
I also need to brace the bottom rear sidecar frame mount clamp, as that also has a habit of spinning.
The pro's would use CAD rather than making several 10mm steel prototypes
Cardboard Aided Design Sometimes you do need to just start building stuff to work out what will fit though.
It's looking like decent progress, your welds look good. How about drilling out the pax footpeg pivot so you can have a sleeve inside that mount & therefore tighten up that bolt properly?
I like the parallel spars idea, could you not make the bottom spar from 6mm and the top spar from 10mm flat. Then, with a 3mm washer at the front engine mount, you would avoid your alignment issues.
Rather than bolts and spacers between the two spars, welding a piece of flat between them aft of the frame to make an I beam (or 2, 1 top and 1 bottom to make a box section) would significantly increase your rigidity. Adding in the brace from the inside of the paralever arm bracket to as near as possible to the sidecar mount should provide as much rigidity as practicable.
If your not happy with the idea of welding the two spars together yourself I would suggest tacking them and finding a local engineering shop (I know... Wellington, would probably mean a trip to The Hutt) rather than attempting to bolt them with spacers.
The problem of your foot peg not folding is only relevant if you don't have a side car on the bike... it ain't going to fall to the left. Solid mounting the peg with a spacer in it to strengthen the bracket could be fine
Yup I am also a proponent of CAD design - but usually for smaller more complex pieces. I basically knew what I was aiming for here. A friend used a piece of angle steel for the front 'spar' on an earlier bike & that seemed to work fine. Unfortunately the GS has a slightly different set up that precludes that option.
There was a bit of work in that back spar, & the clutch issue was a real 'Doh!' moment.
The footpeg idea was also one I was mulling over. I have two sets of these pegs, & a further set of rubber pegs I can use, so not too worried if I don't get an ideal outcome. In amongst my scraps I have a piece of tubing that will work inside the spring, so I'll probably try that. But I also still want bracing from the other side of the frame.
BTW, that's a good 'in action' photo you used there
The original spar idea was so that there was no welding. Once you throw welding into the equation, there are a whole lot more options.
There is not really sufficient clearance with the exhaust for the 'I-beam' idea, hence the spacers.
However I had already tack welded a 25x6mm strap brace at the lower back of the front spar, from the clevis mount forward to the footpeg mount - just didn't include that in photos. That allowed the more solid universal clevis mount to be used on the backside of the spar, similar to the front top mount. I may partially cut that brace off while I'm working on the paralever brace.
Had occurred to me. But want to retain that 'utility' where possible. And also don't want to bend those mounts - the original pegs have a partial spacer only, so aren't braced side to side.
wot he said
If you bend either footpeg with the sidecar attached you'll have way bigger problems than just bent foot pegs....
Progress update – 22nd Oct ‘18
I thought a sawn off shotgun could help defray expenses. Thinking Ma Baker. Unfortunately this appears to be the wrong bore.
Welded two 16x2mm wall thickness tubes together to start the brace to the bottom rear sidecar mount. The end mounts for the brace are the Paralever pivot mount, & the rear of the spar, just ahead of the clevis.
The paralever pivot bolt is 10mm thick, & has the brake lever at the other end. Fortunately there was a spacer between the pivot mount & the nut, so that allowed the brace to use the same pivot bolt & nut, without the need for replacement. The spar mount bolt is 8mm thick.
You can also see the brace from the clevis mount I talked about earlier.
Took the opportunity to lube the rear brake lever pivot, & also replace the brake cable, which was fairly stiff.
Back to the brace. There is minimal clearance on the exhaust. The V1.0 was too tight. There is about 1mm in it in V2.0.
The v2.0 brace hangs down from the paralever pivot 45 degrees, in order to get clearance from the exhaust. I was going to gusset this, but that would make the pivot nut harder to tighten, so we’ll see how it goes. The force acting on it will be anything that attemts to bend the 10mm spar. The mount brackets pivot mount is 6mm thick, so a reasonable amount of steel to bend, & not a long lever.
I’ve drilled out the folding LHS footpeg mounts holes to 12.5mm, & have a 25mm piece of 12 mm alloy tube inside that, to act as a pivot. The tube is clamped between the two frame 'ears'. The main benefit of that is that it braces between the two ‘ears’ on the footpeg mount, & allows that to act as a solid mount for the rear mount spar. But the footpeg can still pivot freely.
So the rear mount is now complete aside from paint.
Bolted the sidecar back on Gus, did a quick realignment, & took a squirt out to Rifle Range Rd to test things. When I did the alignment I reduced the track, in part because I wanted the rear sidecar mount straight, & the tie rods were running out of adjustment. I'm happy with how solid the mounts are, but bugger me, I'd forgotten how light this thing is, & it's propensity to fly in left hand bends. I may increase the track again sometime shortly. For the South Island trip, this'll be less of an issue. I remember last year, luggage ballasted the sidecar nicely.
Next up will be resolving the spring rate in the forks, as there is too much sag there.
No it bloody well isn't. Round off those corners at the back you rough bastard.
So the rear mount is now complete aside from a final tidy up & paint.
Appreciate your quality assurance on this project though @clintnz
Left them 'as is' before the test ride, just in case I decided to make any further changes.
PROGRESS UPDATE - 4TH NOV:
At the conclusion of the last post Ken from a Better Boxer Co contacted me, & offered to assist build a better engineered set of sidecar mounts. He may also have been motivated to do this given I’m supposed to be riding with him on a South Island sojourn. I think he’d prefer not to pick up a mate off the pavement. That would be inconvenient. What ever the reason, it has been damned good of him to help me out.
The first step was to nut out a design for the mounts. A right side sidecar mount is relatively easy, & well documented in the interweb – a left side mount has a number of obstacles to work around. Those include:
Gear change & foot peg arrangements
Exhaust (on the GS & G/S in particular)
On the GS, the lack of a left passenger footpeg gives a challenge for rear mounts.
How the mount interacts with the frame, and
Where the mounts can bolt or clamp onto the frame.
We looked at a few iterations of the design, but the final one closely mirrors what is commercially available for RHS chairs.
We’ve used 38mm 2.6mm roll cage tube at the bottom, running just above the frame, with welded ‘U’ channel down to the engine mounts. The tube is then bent under the footpeg, The bend clears the exhaust & picks up where the original spar would have placed the bottom rear mount. The front bottom mount is marginally higher than the original, & somewhat forward. This changes the sidecar lead a small amount, but was better for the top front mount pick up.
The top front mount remains ‘as is’, except we’ve added a tube running down to the bottom front mount. This strengthens both mounts by stopping any frame twist. The tube picks up the top mount using the existing mount bolts (tapped into the new tube steel ‘slug’).
The horn will be relocated back up the frame nr the steering head, given the mount tube already partially restricts airflow to the LHS barrel.
The top rear mount sits on a clamp to the left rear downtube, linked down to the bottom rear mount by more welded tube.
The load is spread across the frame from an existing frame tab to the top shock mount. This is positively positioned with a saddle arrangement across the top of the shock mount.
The tube running from the top rear mount to the bottom rear mount is kinked to clear the frame, & then linked to the main frame with a weld in ‘T’ piece of u-channel, which picks up the subframe mount, & on the other side of the tube also provides a mount position for the rear pannier frame.
All of the mounts are on solid steel slugs, that have been milled to allow a press fit inside of the mount tubes. These are then fully welded in. There are also plug welds further along the tubes into the slugs for additional strength. Where the clevis bolts in, the slugs have been milled for spacers to allow easy bolt up.
The gear change was a potential problem. Ken made up a gear change linkage from the RT, & a cut down GS lever (the RT lever placed things in the wrong plane). A new boss has been welded onto the top of the sidecar mount just in front of the footpeg. The throw was very short in this iteration, mostly resolved by drilling a new hole further down the gear lever linkage.
The footpeg feels okay, but may need to be extended outward at some stage.
The mount in isolation prior to painting
I've had to buy a new Vapor Speedo, as the existing one has killed off the backlight. However when I was installing the new one I discovered the reason for this was the power cable had a break in it. So it turns out I could have repaired that. Oh well...
I'll just drop this here to remind myself how to do this: Vapor ODO reset (not in the manuals) -
Press and hold all three buttons down for three seconds to enter the data setting mode.
Once there using the mode button progress to the tyre size.
At the tire size enter 9110 using the left and right had buttons to increment the digits.
Immediately after entering the new tyre size press and hold the right hand button down for three second. This should move to a screen with ( 12HR ) flashing on it. If this is displayed you are in the permanent data set so any alterations will be saved to the permanent information.
Once in this data set again using the mode button move to desired screen in this case the screen that reads ODO for odometer.
Finally using the left and right buttons again alter the ODO to desired mileage.
Once complete you can either wait for five seconds and let the Vapor revert back to the main screen or you can use the mode button to reach the main screen.
Resetting the proper tire size is not needed since the Vapor wll automatically default back to the values you had set prior to this adjustment.
Not that I know the first thing about side cars, other than they seem to attract a certain type of rider, that certainly looks to be a very well engineered set up.
As usual your documentation of the process / progress is top notch ...
Yup, can imagine that you both are ...
Now you are talking..far better than the flat bar thingy...
If I ever do another one... I will build a bash plate from 5mm stainless
and swing the car off it..
PROGRESS UPDATE 11TH NOV & FIRST SHAKE DOWN RUN:
Changed the exhaust back to the SV1000 can - quieter, & cleaner at small throttle movements. Also pinched the bash plate off the Supertanker, given the terrain we expect to see this coming week. The Supertanker will get the swiss cheese R100GS bash plate.
Wired in the sidecar lights. Tapped off the rear light loom, connection taken care of by a lovely waterproof deutsch plug. I think I may used more of these when I tidy the wiring loom. Tracking colour coding
Left tug indicator - Black/red to sidecar taillight white
Lights tug - white to sidecar taillight red
Brake tug - Gr/red to sidecar taillight green.
Sidecar taillight ground - black.
Refitted a Vapor Speedo. I previously couldn't get the backlight to work. It died after one hugely wet ride, & I thought the issue was internal to the speedo. That wouldn't have passed WoF. It turns out the power feed had a break in it right at the waterproof connector. Bugger...
Swapped the LHS footpeg for an unmolested one (originally from Gus pre 'Pivot Pegs').
The sidecar mounts have been painted. Unfortunately I didn't wait long enough for the paint to harden, so I'll need to do that again at some stage. At least it will keep the rust at bay. And it may motivate me to start cleaning up some of the 'patina' that Gus has developed in the 8 years I've owned him.
Registered & warranted.
Out with Mrs Box'a'bits to pick up some Parkvale Mushrooms, & for lunch at Martinborough. Good to have her along as ballast. This was the first ride in anger over the Remutakas. Reasonable sort of day for it.
The stronger front end doesn't flex or move compared to the R80 Mono. On the whole, much nicer, but it does cause a chain reaction that means when I am pushing on, the front tyre is more inclined to slide.
Steering is heavy, but fine. I didn't feel as beaten up by the time I made it across the Remutakas.
Front brake is weaker, but still adequate. The R80 Mono was twin disc
The rear brake is weaker, & a lot less inclined to lock in right hand bends (which I sometimes used on the R80 Mono to turn the bike in slow bends).
The tug suspension has more movement but is well damped. Unsurprising given it is higher quality & has adjustable rebound & compression damping. And more suspension travel than the more road oriented R80.
Mounts are way better than the universals I used at the DGR, & EddieB's mounts on the R80 mono - you can really lean on the new mounts without feeling flex. But the stronger mounts do feed more engine vibration back into the frame.
There is still a small amount of carb hesitation just off idle, which I can tune out. Plugs are lean.
I need to move the gear lever linkage slightly, to drop the gear lever. This may assist with gear change - which needs to be fairly deliberate
It definitely feels higher geared than the R80. I've put in a lower first gear to try to compensate, but longer term I may also try to find a 32:10 ratio final drive from an R80GS to drop in.
I haven't been able to fit the new (R1200C) sidecar wheel for this trip. I need new spacers made up for that. Maybe next time
Need to get a (donated & squared off) Kenda 270 rear tyre fitted. I don't think the Shinko has enough life left for this weeks ride.
Heading South Thursday morning with 3 other sidecars & 2 solos.
Very nice lamb fry, black sausage, & caramelised onion, on a bed of potato mash, with brown gravy & extra bacon for Sir, & a smoked salmon platter for Madam. With coffee. Very nice
Fitted the Kenda 270. 10mm tread depth middle of the tyre.
Changed the needle jet to 2.68 from 2.66. Hesitation is still there & the plug colour has changed from grey to light tan. I'll try moving the idle mixture. The hesitation/ surge is improved if I put the choke on slightly when it is occurring, so that indicates to me that it's a lean mixture issue.
Changed the position of the gear lever which has improved things.
Nice mounting solution. I may have to keep it in mind when I get to it... (but I do have a new roof on the house, so looking forward to weekends soon...)
The Bike is looking great. Shame I can't get away this month to see it with you on the ride. Enjoy.
I spotted a serious issue with your design. With the top strengthening support you have from the top shock bracket across the top of the battery you know can't fit your most important item. A factory tool kit.
After much thought on how you would resolve this issue I worked out that this whole exercise of fitting a sidecar. It is so you can carry more tools in the side car.
Have you found a 12v 50kilo battery powered welder so you can do fixit jobs during coffee stops.
You need to also carry a price of 1m long 2' x 2' cause I think they have replaced all those old wooden road markers with plastic ones which will be no good for holding up the sidecar while welding underneath.
Here to help.
Yes, you got me...
on Longway Round Charlie & Ewan used cable ties and tire irons to fix their busted beamerzzzz.....just sayin
Hang on guys, let me get a screen shot of this.
Two replies agreeing with Left Testicle's post! Considering the normal quality on his posts regarding things mechanical it's got to be some kind of record, or at the very least, a note worthy occasion ...
Pop around I need a bit of a scratch.