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Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Agent Wayward, Jan 11, 2012.
Thanks, the front end was made by our fabricator, do you like it?
More updates later today.
Moving back to the bike, the customer wanted standard position foot controls, so we got ride of the forward footboards and built some stainless controls.
Here's the left hand side:
And the right hand side, you can see that we built mounts into the subframe to take them.
Staying with the bike mods, we wanted all three pipes on the right hand side, in a Triumph Hurricane style. We used the existing Triumph race pipes with a stainless collector pipe.
We also cut down the rear mudguard to expose more of that FAT reat tyre. The subframe will also be cut down as this bike will have a single seat and never take a pillion.
You can also see the matching adjustable rear shocks, replacing the standard Triumph units which were not up to the job.
Here's a couple of views of the pipes and the cut down rear subframe with the mudguard in place and the single seat.
That's all the fabrication done, let's get those clocks working and all the other electrics done.
We wanted all of the instrument functions to work , so that meant a LOT of connections, each one soldered and heat shrunk.
The sidecar will carry a leisure battery to power the wheelchair belt retaining system and the power sockets for the rider's gadgets. A split charge relay keeps that battery topped up. Of course, we need lights and indicators on the sidecar as well.
Here's the clocks, all working. That was a relief! Note the odometer in the sidecar reads 0 miles.
I guessed we might need some brakes, so we needed to work out how that would be.
We have a large ventilated disk on the front with 4 pot caliper, the standard rear brake and a solid disk with a 2 pot caliper on the sidecar.
We linked up the rear master cylinder to the back brake and the sidecar without a proportioning valve as we suspected that we'd need maximum braking on the sidecar wheel. If it didn't work out, we could always put a valve in later.
Here's the calculations for the brake pipes:
Getting all the right unions and fittings is always complicated, many thanks to Goodridge UK for their help in this.
Here's a shot of the sidecar brake, the front brake is pictured earlier in the thread.
All the brake pipes are braided hose with stainless fittings. The front brake was relatively straightforward, of course, just a single line to the front caliper.
Before we did any painting or polishing and the final fit, I took it on a shakedown run to establish a few things.
I'd done a basic setup and wanted to know how the outfit felt on the road, would we need a steering damper, did the brakes work efficiently and were there any rattles etc. Were the electrics all ok?
Also, this outfit is 7' 6" wide, so that might take some getting used to as well, the roads around here can get pretty small, did we have enough steering lock to make it manoeverable?
In order to do this legally, we fitted the indicators, one of the two rear lights and the number plate.
The indicators are the original Triumph Rocket units from the left hand side of the bike, fitted at the same level as the one's on the bike. The rear light is an led stop/tail unit, there will be one mounted either side of the number plate. The plate itself is lit with led bolts. We fitted a temporary indicator on the rear mudguard of the bike to comply with the law as well.
So, roll her outside (surprisingly easy to push) and fire her up.
Wow, those pipes are LOUD! Blipping the throttle was fun, watching both those rev counter needles spinning around the guages on the bike and the sidecar and seeing all the people in my neighbouring businesses come running out to see what the noise was all about!
Off we go. First down a straight road, nice and easy, try the brakes. The good news was that she tracked straight and true on the road on a neutral throttle, with a slight pull to the left on acceleration. No steering wobble at all!
The brakes pulled up in a straight line, not quite as powerful as they could be, but these are new disks and pads which need bedding in. After a few miles, they improved dramatically.
I tried a few parking speed turns, not too bad at all, considering the width. The steering was great, not too light, not too heavy.
After stopping for a checkover, all ok, I set off again, this time on a faster road and opened her up a bit.
Despite all that extra weight, the Rocket with it's race ECU and open pipes had more than enough power, accelerating hard and feeling very solid.
That was fun, lot's of attention from everyone who saw it, as you'd expect from something this imposing.
Back to the shop for a full checkover, everything was fine, the only casualty were 4 bolts and spacers which rattled out of the gate panel on the rear of the sidecar.
Here we are on the road by the local RAF airbase.
So, everything is done mechanically and electrically, just the fit, finish and paint then!
Strip it all down and get everything painted, powder coated, polished. Fit all the electrics properly, fit the brake pipes properly, fit out the sidecar body.
As any of you builders will know, this is always the most difficult and time consuming part. No matter how good your design is, or your engineering skill, the final finish and fit is the part of a build that really makes the final bike.
Poor fitting and finish can ruin a great project. But man is it dull!
So, take everything apart. Here's the outfit stripped back, just after the base frame went back on after finishing.
All the electrics run through that single, large diameter conduit that can be seen in the picture.Also, the brake lines have been fitted in their final positions.
The loading ramp can be seen in the background, along with the rear gate frame. The lowest tube on the gate frame is the part that keeps the loading ramp held securely in place when the ramp is stowed underneath the sidecar floor.
The sidecar swingarm is polished and back in place.
All the rest of that stainless tube (and my God there is a lot of it) needs polishing.
We decided to do it ourselves (OK, I decided to do it MYself) as I'm a bit of a control freak and couldn't find a polisher that I could trust to do it well enough! Days of polishing turned into weeks.
Here's a sequence of photos of the base frame going back together which I thought you might like to see.
Lower mounts in place only.
Swingarm and shock absorber mounted.
Brake caliper mounted and brake pipe fitted and bled.
Wheel in place.
Upper struts mounted, sitting on the suspension. Toe in setup and basic setting for lean in set. The setup will be done again once the full weight of the sidecar is in place.
All the nuts and bolts are stainless, the nuts are currently straight nuts with spring washers, these will be replaced with nylocs later.
Meanwhile I was playing around with Photoshop and discussing colour options with the owner.
He's a big baseball fan, his team is the Tampa Bay Rays, so we were thinking about using their colours from the start.
I did a large number of different visualisations, but we didn't find the right answer until the owner came down to the shop.
We tried out a lot of variations whilst he was with us, but then he spotted a painted wheel I had on a rack, it just clicked with him, so we decided to go for that.
First though, here's a pic of the polished top frame:
Here's a few of the colour combinations we tried.
There's one for all you Americans!
Here's another one. We decided that we needed to use colour to help bring the height of the sidecar down and to accentuate the polished frame.
In the end we went for a 2 colour design, a deep Yamaha blue and a bright white.
Here's the body, in the actual paint, fitted back on the base frame:
And with the polished top frame in place:
Of course, we have painted the bike to match...
First here's a shot showing the sidecar mudguard in place, we shortened it from the original mudguard.
Here's the bike:
The outfit has a name, we've dubbed it the Treble Express.
Three wheels, three cylinders, three pipes, three rails on the frame etc. and it's rapid!
Something to perhaps consider for a possible future build regarding brakes . I use a separate master and pedal for the chair . The pedal is placed so that I merely need to swing my toe to the left to reach it while my heel remains on the peg/floor board . The advantage for me is that it enables me to cat/track steer in parking lots for a super tight turn . It also greatly assists when the outfit wants to drift right in a tight left turn at speed ... just lightly drag the chair brake and the outfit turns left . You soon learn to modulate all three brakes for a controlled panic stop on varying surfaces . On dirt just stab the brake and apply throttle for a controlled left turn drift
Did I mention Quality work ?
I've ridden outfits with seperate brakes, they do work well.
In this case, the choice was the right one for the outfit and the customer.
WOW haven't you been busy! Congrats, its an amazing machine!
Thats one cracking build. Hope to see it on the road one day.
Fantastic build. Fine work. Father Son time on the way!
Cheers! It's been a hard work, but hugely gratifying project.
Did you ever get yours sorted out?
The outfit now has it's own website: http://www.motorcycle-sidecar.co.uk
We are handing it over to the owner at the Ace Cafe in London on the 31st March.
We showed it at the London International Custom Show earlier this month and received a lot of attention.
Awesome. Simply. Awesome.
Short film of the launch day at Sidecar Saturday at the Ace Cafe in London.
Luke has since been for several rides and is deeply loving being out on the bike. :)
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Please feel free to share the film around.