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Playing with the chair

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Box'a'bits, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,471
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Not yet, because I haven't really pushed on it. But it's way more solid than the prior iteration, probably weighs less, & has more adjustability.

    The biggest difference will likely be in sidecar tyre wear. The prior subframe wasn't actually all one piece.

    • There was a front bottom mount, using an engine mount & a clamp, using the upward bend in the main frame cradle for rigidity;
    • The bottom rear mount was a piece of 150mmx10mm spar, tied to bike via the rear engine mount, & a clamp on the frame. This stepped out below the foot peg, to avoid a flare in Gus's cradle frame. The step out was achieved by welding three thicknesses of the spar together.
    • On the PO's G/S, the rear most portion of the spar was also supported by a swan neck to the tube brace under the swingarm. Because that wouldn't fit on Gus, I welded in a 'T' brace, from before the step out to part way out to the rear mount. This was to limit that portion of the spar flexing. I also added in a further bolt on brace, from the spar to the bottom bolt up mount for Gus subframe, where it attached to the main frame.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Behold the rigid & well engineered splendour that was the previous 'subframe' :hmmmmm

    Even given those additions, I could still flex the bottom rear mount with my foot when the sidecar wasn't mounted. So alignment potentially could have been pushed anytime we got a lateral load on (sliding around gravel bends as a for instance).


    Postscript - 4th June 2020 - 266,231 kms:
    Gus is back from having more work completed to address wear in the bushings in his sidecar swingarm/torsion bar suspension. The existing steel bushings were removed & fresh bronze bushings pressed on. An oiling port has been added into the sidecar frame, to allow for ongoing maintenance for the new bushings, which will hopefully make that area relatively long wearing.

    At the same time the female spline which fixes the torsion bar in the sidecar frame (nearest Gus) has been welded in place, to stop any future movement there.

    The front hub has had a small amount of material skimmed from the disc mounts (this time in a Lathe) in order to true these. And new caliper spacers have been made to centre the caliper on the disc.

    Also:

    • Added in 10x fuel line clamps - to keep the LVVC compliance man happy;

    [​IMG]
    • Replaced the brake pads in the front caliper;
    • Lubed the front brake lever pivot;
    • Replaced the burnt out front 21w halogen pilot light bulb;
    • Replaced the sidecar brake light bulb;
    • Returned Gus to the less than stellar stock horn, pending new mounts being made up for the twin fiams.
    Still to do:
    • Replace sidecar bolts & nuts with metric, nyloc nuts, split washers;
    • Check on pushrod seal leaks;
    steam powered and dazzadm like this.
  2. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,471
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Considering Scooters:
    Mrs Box’a’bits’ Gilera ST200 Scooter's CVT transmission died last week. She’d been helping me retrieve the sidecar, after it’d had some additional (planned) work completed. Apparently the Gilera didn’t appreciate lugging those post lockdown extra kilos up a rather steep hill.

    Unfortunately the parts required to get the Gilera up & running again are up to 6 to 8 MONTHS away. They need to come from Italy. No new parts in NZ. Italian manufacturing has suffered because of lockdown. And then there are freight issues... We may be able to source second hard parts, and should know about that by Tuesday.

    If we can’t source those, then it looks like we’ll need to get a replacement scooter. Saturday, we took a Vespa GTS300 Touring out for a spin. Nice enough, I suppose. But I am reliably informed that if we buy that, the Supertanker’s on the block. :doh

    We are between cars at present. We’ve have funds set aside for that. But even if we’d bought a new car, Mrs Box’a’bits can’t drive it, so that doesn’t really help.

    In the meantime, I’m running Mrs Box’a’bits ‘here & there’ in the sidecar.

    Dannevegas & Beyond:
    So after lockdown and way too many weeks without a decent ride (shopping trips, & dropping Mrs Box’a’bits round town don’t count), I decided I just needed to get out, to get my head straight. Strangely, Mrs Box’a’bits was not at all keen. Something about not risking our only working vehicle, or other such nonsense. And besides, it’d be too cold.

    I’d planned a massive ride, that followed the route of day one of the Carvan of Food Tour, thru’ to just after Birch Rd East. But that all quickly went south when I was late leaving J’ville. Plans were subject to revision because the original route already had me coming home after dark. And given the cold, that just didn’t seem quite as viable. So I decided to get to Pori Rd & review from there.

    3 degrees going down Ngauranga Gorge. Nippy. Not a quick run over the Remutakas. But not a cloud in the sky, no wind, & the day looked to be warming.

    Picked up Mushrooms at Parkvale (a gift for Mrs Box’a’bits – say it with Fungi, not flowers), & decided a hot pie & coffee at Wild Oats was in order.

    From there headed past Masterton & out via Bideford.

    [​IMG]
    The cure to gravel deprivation

    Once into the gravel, I noticed the road surface was becoming lumpy, & in some places the road was just a muddy mess. Deduced that I had a grader ahead, & he’d been taking clods of grass & earth from the side of the road. In other places, he’d skimmed a layer of loose gravel over a hard base, & that was just fine on the slidecar. But I don’t think the cyclist I passed was enjoying it quite so much.

    [​IMG]
    You know you're 1st thru after the grader when you leave clear footprints on the road...

    From Daggs Rd (after the Manawatu/Wellington border) normal transmission was resumed. Corrugations & hard packed gravel.

    [​IMG]

    At SH52 intersection I took a dog leg back to link to Bartons Line. I had a run in with about a dozen Black Angus Steers roaming loose in there. I just could not get past them. If I stopped, they stopped. And just stared at me. If I moved, they moved ahead of me. If I got passed a few of them, well then, they just passed me back. But a sidecar doesn’t get tired, & they did, so eventually I won. I’m betting they are a good few kilometers away from whatever paddock they broke out of...

    Back to SH52, & then Pori Rd. The M72 is a much better sidecar to do this road on than the Velorex. Going northeast, the predominant camber of road was sloped down towards Gus, ie the sidecar was sitting slightly higher than the bike. A pain with the Velorex (which was always more inclined to ‘fly’ unexpectedly). But the extra weight of the M72 meant that is much more stable, & presented no issues. A few stops for photos on the way up & at the summit.

    [​IMG]
    On the climb up Pori Rd

    [​IMG]
    Turned around for this one, at the summit of Pori Rd

    After the Pahiatua – Pongaroa Rd intersection, I decided to continue on. I should have followed Towai Rd, but decided to continue on Coonnoor Rd towards Weber Rd, & eventually Dannevegas. It was getting on for time, & I figured I’d leg it down the main roads & back home before dark. Stopped ½ way along there for some Peanut Butter sandwiches. Energy levels were starting to diminish. A (small) pie can only get you so far, you know. While I was doing that, I was entertained watching a farmer attempt to shift some more cattle.

    The rest of the ride was pretty much main road home, via the Wairarapa. 1st Gas at Featherston – the advantage of a big tank. 443kms for the day. Home just on dark. Buggered but happy (it’s a bit of work punting a slidecar around, don’t you know).

    And nothing broken, Mrs Box’a’bits... :ksteve

    Maintenance 15/06/20 - 266,885 kms
    • Engine Oil Change
    Maintenance 23/06/20 - 267,297 kms
    • Replaced the front disc with a spare to remove a warp;
    • Changed the front tyre to a new Metzler Enduro 3 (400 x 18") tyre;
    • Changed the caliper mount bolts to allow these to be bolted up with spring washers to meet LVVC compliance;
    • Swapped the prior front tyre (Bridgestone TW18) to the sidecar;
    • Completed an alignment
    Maintenance 05/07/20 - 267, 819 kms
    • Disassembled & cleaned the kill / start switch.
    • Lubed the sidecar boot latches. Also the padlock.
  3. Night Falcon

    Night Falcon Structural Failure

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    nice RR Steve, would be even better with pictures :D
  4. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

    Joined:
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    Compliance, & the return of the Gilera
    It’s been a good last few days.
    On Wednesday I had the sidecar booked in for LVVC compliance over at Carterton. The booking was for 9.30am, so I left J’ville at 8.00am. 2 hrs for the compliance check, which it passed (albeit with some discussion about sidecar idiosyncracies, the vagaries of sidecar handling yadda yaddda yadda).

    Picked up some mushrooms for Mrs Box'a'bits on the way home. Say it with Fungi, not flowers.

    [​IMG]

    Thursday I was back at work, but the project I was working on had had some delays, so took a day & a ½ off, to make a long weekend.

    Mrs Box'a'bits’ Gilera scooter had been with Scooterazzi 3 weeks. There’d been issues getting the right Variator drive pulley. None in NZ, & and an estimated six to eight month wait ex Italy. However they were able to source one from a Vespa 150, which, while similar, didn’t fit the Gilera. So I took it across to an Engineering Magician in Stokes Valley, who transformed it into a match to the rest of the CVT transmission assembly. I left the pulley assembly with him at 2.00pm, and it was ready for collection by just after 5.00. Thanks John. Really appreciate your efforts.



    Dropped the reworked pulley back to Scooterazzi at 10.30am Friday, & the Gilera was ready for collection by 2.00 pm. Mrs Box'a'bits is hugely relieved to have her scooter back, which gives her back her independence. And I am hugely relieved that the pressure is off (somewhat) for me to sell the G/S to fund a new Scooter.

    Today we took the Sidecar into Wellington CBD (cnr Taranaki & Dixon Sts) to meet up with Miss Box'a'bits & her partner. Coffee & Brownie at Lashings, then some shopping with Mrs Box'a'bits to find a new watch strap & a puffer jacket. Topped off with a walk around, people watching.

    There was a brass quartet playing from a verandah at Cuba St. Very cool.

    Looked in the Army Surplus store for a folding shovel. The ones they had were a bit pricy for what they were.

    Back to the Sidecar at 2.00pm, and we discovered we'd been blocked in. So we did a bit of creative riding up the curb, across the footpath, & onto the road. Mrs Box'a'bits jumped in, & we got the left turn light almost straight away. Mrs Box'a'bits was busy waving to a guy watching us, I was aware of a rather yummy lady across the road doing the same, so flew the chair rounding the left bend, & caught Mrs Box'a'bits by surprise. Things went way higher than anticipated. It may have looked fairly spectacular, but of course it was totally under control. But I wouldn’t have wanted any uniformed personnel with disco lights to have seen that....
  5. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    :jack:jack

    ...And Mrs Box'a'bits response was...?

    And so what did it mean to the bike for the cert? I assume you passed... Does the Velerox need to be certified when I eventually get it onto the bike?
  6. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    I took her by surprise (which was rather the point) but she was totally okay with it. She was still on a shopping high, so just laughed & then scolded me.
    The LVVC is sort of a one off super WoF to check that any modifications to engine (conversions or displacement), frame, frame geometry, suspension, brakes, or use changes meets legal requirements. Also that in the opinion of the certifier that these modifications are safe for the application & for use on the road.

    At one time, sidecars were viewed as an accessory, & did not require this. In Nov '15, the rules were tightened. If the bike had a sidecar OEM, then LVVC is not required. So Urals, Dneprs, Chang Jiangs, some Harleys, & a bunch of classic bikes (a number have sidecar mounts as standard) don't require certification.

    I'm aware that some people take the sidecar off (otherwise stock) bikes, prior to seeking a WoF. Of course then you have issues with square tyres (which aren't illegal :lol3), & any other mods made to make the sidecar work well (stiffer suspension etc).

    I guess the safety aspect trumps all. There are a bunch of people setting up sidecars where the weight of the sidecar is too light for the weight & power of the bike. A Velorex on a Goldwing or a GSXR would be a good example of this. Or the mounts are inadequate or just plain dangerous (there have been some examples that have come up in ADVrider that highlight this).

    I was in a catch 22 with Gus. He has been so heavily modified that he requires a LVVC even without the sidecar. I've long since sold off the stock bits. And without the LVVC I could not meet WoF requirements, & therefore could not re-register him. Yes, he passed.

    One downside to LVVC is that everything is measured, recorded, photographed, & stored. So any other meaningful (non cosmetic) changes to the bike may require re-certification. That, in a nutshell, is why it took me this long to do this. I needed to get Gus to a state that the LVVC was near the end point of his evolution. And sidecars (like Hot Rods) do evolve over time.

    There are still some things I'd like to do that may require a return visit. I'd like disc brakes on the rear of Gus, & on the sidecar. But these are long term goals. There are other things that I can still do that won't require LVVC (for instance dropping the final drive ratio).
  7. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    So how did gus go with the forks/wheel? Or was this just seen as bikes have forks... ?
  8. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    You can make like for like replacements. So you can replace your OEM rear shock for a new OEM one. Or you can replace your shock with an upgraded unit like an Ohlins. And you could replace the front suspension with OEM, or an upgraded unit (say drop a Racetech.de cartridge in it).

    However as soon as you make a material change away from OEM spec, you need a LVVC. So changes to the type of fork (say RWU to USD WP4860), the triples (HPM), axle (R80 mono), wheels (changed 21" cross spoked R100GS to 18" cross spoked R1200C rims & hubs), brake caliper (Brembo 2 pot to Brembo 4 pot), & disc (305mm R1200C) need a LVVC. The resultant changed rake & trail is also noted.

    The sidecar subframe is examined as part of the certification, but isn't specified in the LVVC plate (it's encompassed in the 'sidecar' attachment, & is certainly part of the LVVC photo documentation). The 18" R1200C wheel on the sidecar is noted.

    There were some surprises. My LVVC for Gus also details the HPN Tank, which is bolt on, but he wasn't interested in the hi compression motor. However if/when I certify the G/S, then I'll need to detail the increase in capacity from 800 to 1000 cc (even though this is the same base motor with bigger barrels & pistons).

    The LVVC plate summarises all of the mods made. At the next WoF this will be checked to ascertain that these modifications have been signed off. A more detailed record is also kept at the LVVC HQ, which I assume the police & insurance people would check if there is an accident.
    dazzadm and steam powered like this.
  9. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    Thanks for that. I appreciate the full explanation:thumb
  10. Left Testicle

    Left Testicle Been here awhile

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    Why did you take to Carterville.??
  11. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    The options were Levin or Carterton. I know that Julian at Carterton has dealt with sidecars before, & therefore was a better bet in this instance. He used to come across to Upper Hutt once a week - but that proved uneconomic, & he no longer offers that service.

    The list of LVVC compliance agents is here. The bottom of the page outlines what they are qualified to look at.
  12. steam powered

    steam powered just a regular punk

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    So would you use him again/recommend him? The nearest to Nelson appear to be Carterton or Temuka.
  13. Left Testicle

    Left Testicle Been here awhile

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    Thanks got confused thought you had gone out of town to get a country warrant. Certified engineer not VTNZ
  14. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    I've already recommended him to someone else, so yes. When I first rang him, he was a bit gruff, & didn't have a high opinion of Chinese made (maybe because he'd seen some poorly made product), but once he saw what I was presenting, that turned around.
    :jack cynic
    dazzadm and steam powered like this.
  15. Left Testicle

    Left Testicle Been here awhile

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    I thought you would have to go further to find someone that had not read of your antics. At least as far as the Mariana trench
    dazzadm likes this.
  16. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    Strange he hasn't come across headshake before - every sidecar I've ridden has it at low speed. Most you don't know about until you take your hands off the bars.
  17. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    I don't think there is much expertise out there now on sidecars. And prior to the 'clarification' of the LVVC rules, not much demand for certification of sidecars.

    AFAIK Julian has far greater experience in cars & solo motorcycles. He's certified some sidecars, but I don't think he rides them all the time. I think the headshake comment was about why Gus had reacts the way he does. My response possibly helped in that it showed: I was aware of the issue, &; had sufficient experience with chairs that I knew what was & wasn't acceptable. I also used as an example a chair I knew that he had certified (hi Ken :wave) that had fairly stock OEM geometry, that acted in a similar fashion. In the end he accepted that they all did that to a greater or lessor degree.

    If I think about how the Velorex rode, that had far less headshake, I think in part because it was a much lighter chair. But it also had other less desirable traits (including a tendency to fly at inopportune moments).
  18. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    My Norton with a heavy chair and massive stock trail had a pretty big shake, but nothing to get worried about. At the other extreme, my racing BSA outfit with near zero trail and 16'' wheels had no noticeable shake, but with my hands off the bars I'd give one bar a wack, and it'd shake, one hand back on the bar and it would stop. And very speed specific and more on decell than acell as you know.
    Box'a'bits likes this.
  19. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair Supporter

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    All legal, LVVC plate is on the sidecar, Wof'd, & rego'd.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    The LVVTA rules are a little vague (for bikes & sidecars) about where the plate needs to be affixed. They discuss permanent locations on the chassis like door sills, engine compartments etc, all available/applicable on cars & trucks. I discussed positioning with the plate installer. Given the limited opportunities to affix it to Gus's frame, we figured the next best location would be inside the tub, in a low wear area, where it can be easily read.

    Absolutely full of a cold/chest infection, so not really in a position to take advantage of it.

    Maintenance 25th Jul 20:
    Bolted on a new registration plate. This is the 3rd plate on Gus in the time I've had him. The last plate cracked despite being on rubber mounts.

    Maintenance 8th Aug 20 - 268,413 kms:
    Took a trip up to PNth to visit Mum & Dad. Was demonstrating the sidecar suspension to Dad, & discovered the torsion bar/swing arm had no movement. Pulled it apart today, & it looks like something got into the bronze bush & galled it badly. I've cleared that out, & smoothed the bush. Lubed, reassembled & is working well now. Something to keep an eye on.

    Also changed the sidecar side-light. That blew on the trip back.
  20. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    Awesome, something to be proud of.