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Discussion in 'Hacks' started by CCjon, Sep 6, 2019.
Wow your a tuner also DRONE ? I am impressed now !
Texas Sidecars has now moved the R3 off of the waiting list to operating table.
With the the bike and sidecar frame sitting next to each other, mock-up time is at hand. Every sidecar build is a custom build with a lot of thought, planning, visualization and trial fitting take place before the welding torch is unleashed.
John with Texas Sidecars was explaining and showing me one of their upper bracket brace reinforcement ideas. At this stage, various ideas and proposals are cut and hand fitted to see if there will be interference with another part. How easy will it be to remove mounts if necessary to work on the engine, etc. At juncture of this design stage, we are not worrying about weight. The Triumph Rocket engine with 2300 cc puts out 167 ft. lbs of torque from its' 147 horses.
The over-riding thought in this process is, build it tough. The width of the sidecar plus the unpaved roads in Alaska will put more stress on every part of this rig than any normal sidecar will ever experience. Non-conventional methods and construction are needed for this project. Kent and his crew at Texas Sidecars are rising to the challenge.
The Strom was called The Beast and this one's called The Warthog.
Seeing those pics makes me think maybe those two names should have been the other way around.
Is it your hope to ride this to Mena?
Drone, not sure Warthog will be ready in time for Mena. After Texas Sidecars completes the sub-frame and upper strut mounting brackets, it's off to the powdercoater. Once TS have it assembled, I'll get the rig back to start on the electrical wiring, fuel plumbing, mounting aux fuel cell, re-install the camper, then all the other little details necessary to set the rig up for the next Alaska run.
Besides being built stout and really unattractive, the genesis for the name Warthog came from seeing how fast those little suckers can go from zero to 60 in a split second. When in Botswana, every time I spotted a warthog standing still, by the time I raised the rifle, there was nothing in the scope but a cloud of dust. Never did get a shot at one.
Claude was kind enough to send me a idea for a logo...
Stopped in at Texas Sidecars to check the progress. Jon cut and tacked up the bracing below after many discussions with Kent the owner. They believe this set up will be the strongest yet still facilitate easy removal if needed.
The Rocket has two forward engine mounts using thru bolts. Utilizing those points allows using all thread rods to attach bracing mounts on both sides of the bike. Two clevises will be mounted to the square tubing. One for a straight down upper strut and the other for a strut linking to the front of the sidecar frame. There will be three upper struts, two forward, one aft. Nothing sexy but solid as a rock. That is our goal.
The vertical square tube will tie the two engine mounts to the lower engine where the foot rails are attached creating a rigid square frame. Tubing under the engine will tie both lower rails together and give a solid mount for a skid plate.
The large rectangular tube along the bottom was specifically chosen for this application. Will display the build concept in photos as that aspect of the design progresses.
These are fitting tack welds for now. Final welding has not started. Are still open to making adjustments.
Right side ...
Left side... The down tube will have an engine guard/driving light/highway peg bar added later. The radiator overflow tank will be cosmetically modified with a heat gun.
Small tweaking of fittings here and there will take place as needed. No major obstacles encountered thus far.
The goal for Texas Sidecars is to have their phase of the project completed by mid-February.
Stopped in to visit the folks at Texas Sidecars today to check on the Warthog's progress.
What looks like an engine guard is to give both lateral bracing to the engine mount AND a place to mount a highway peg. Something I had insisted on.
On the opposite side the clevis connection for the front upper strut. At this point, they are taking the design ideas and tacking them up. No final welding just yet. Sometimes a great idea on paper runs into a clearance or interference problem in reality.
A new bracket was required to attached the anti-sway bar to the swing arm.
The old Vstrom bracket would not fit.
The work is progressing nicely. In line to have it all welded, powder coated, installed and adjusted, ready for pick up by mid-February. Will stop in again next week to take more photos.
Really enjoying seeing the progress Photos, take care.
Anti-sway bar? First mention of an anti-sway bar I think. That changes things. Be sure to show us the rest of those details as they come together.
This looks like it will be a real robust build. I'm gonna be watching closely to see how it handles the rigors of Alaska etc. Too bad it won't be finished in time for Mena.
That was the missing descriptive word - ROBUST. That is exactly what we are going for. Reducing weight is not part of the equation with this build. Thanks Drone.
Can't say it won't be ready for Mena, but is too early to commit. So far no major hiccups...
I’ve been following along. This outfit will certainly have presence.
Over the weekend, the Texas Sidecar crew fitted the lower mounts.
After hooking on the three upper struts, Kent took it for a spin to the petro station..
The brave soul who first tested it, claims it is SOLID.... handles well.
Now to complete the welding , clean up the pieces for the powder coater.
Curious about Paint on the complete Rig?
Things have been quiet here while Texas Sidecars stitched the tug and the tub together, so escaped to Iceland for a week or so.
On return Kent called to say the rig is ready for pick up..... whooo hoooo.
Trailered it home, now attack the rest of the project. Admired the work Kent and Jon did on the Warthog... Left side of Rocket.
Tried rocking the rig from several different points, jumped up and down on the framing, it is solid. No flex ing anywhere. Am encouraged it can withstand the road to Deadhorse.
Right side of Rocket.
The right side vertical square tube ties the two engine mount bolts to the top cross-over and to the lower frame.
Seen from above... a total of three upper struts, two up front.
The rear upper strut ties into the rear sub-frame. Unlike most bikes, the Rocket rear subframe is cast iron and welded to the main frame. It has to support both the rear fender and the passenger, so is built strong. It also serves as a shock mount.
Have a list of what all needs to be done. First, install the auto battery...
Then cut and weld the swivel rack, to remount the top box and an aluminum aux fuel cell. This cell has baffles, not anti-slosh foam. The previous cell had the foam that disintegrated from the fuel additives. Constantly clogging inline fuel filters.
Am mounting the fuel cell off center from the rack, but centered over the rear fender with the idea it might serve as a backrest mount...someday.
Will post more photos as work progresses.
NOTE: small photo below shows the lower rear strut with the bolt left intentionally long for making final adjustments after we get the rig loaded for travel.
Forgot to mention, a known weak point of the Rocket is the starter does not last long. Probably from trying to turn those three huge pistons when cold. The OEM starter is 1.2 KW for $767. Online the R3 site recommended using a Toyota starter, 1.4KW for less than $100. Two bolts, one nut, the job is done. Easy fit, five minute job. Between the Toyota starter and the auto battery, the engine does not hesitate to turn over.
After competing all the welding work for the racks, we moved the Warthog off the trailer and started working under roof in the garage.
With the aux fuel cell mounted, now to decide where to tap into the main tank for the fuel
to gravity feed from the aux to the main tank.
Why the aux fuel cell?
All sidecar rigs are known to drink gasoline faster than two wheel motorcycles. Once this rig is loaded, I have no idea what to expect on miles per gallon. Remember the stretch of roadway from Coldfoot, Alaska to Prudhoe Bay is 245 miles with no services. Plus there is the strong possibility of headwinds causing poor gas mileage. I want to be carrying enough fuel for a 300 mile range. The main tank carries 6.3 gallons, the aux cell holds 5 gallons. If the Warthog can average better than 24 miles per gallon, I will feel secure. Won't know mpg for sure until we get it built out and road tested.
Look at those stout twin spine tubes. Triumph knew what they were doing when they designed the Rocket III for strength.
Draining fuel from the main tank was messy, even dangerous but neither I nor my friend Gary smoke... anymore.
Flipped over the fuel tank to remove the mounting plate with the fuel pump and filter assembly. Opening the main tank revealed rust and metal flakes. Further investigation showed, thankfully, it was not the main tank at fault, but the plate and arm used to hold the fuel pump and filter.
The only spot where I could drill a hole in the main plate for the aux fuel inlet, was corroded. That would not give a secure drip free fuel connection. So ordered from Bike Bandit a new plate and arm for the fuel pump and filter. To arrive in a couple of weeks.
With the main tank off, will be easier to re-wire the driving lights, air horn, turn signals, etc. though waiting for the fuse block to arrive in a few days.
My friend John Klein fabricated a mount for the left side pannier. Good solid steel. One thing we do not have to worry about with this build is weight. The Rocket has so much hauling capacity, we can go stout, weight be damned.
Starting to look cluttered, messy, thus the name... WARTHOG.
The side pannier sticks out too far when working on the rig in the tight confines of the garage, so will wait to bolt the pannier box on later.
Recycled the left heavy duty pannier from the Vstrom1000, kept the old stickers. With the pannier on, this rig has a W-I-D-E .
Dropped the seat off at a shop that has built up two other motorcycle seats for me. The guys there all ride long distances so they know how a good LD seat should fit.
Stand by for a slight lull in the build, while we wait on more parts to arrive.
Texas? Hm. Open range.
4" wrap around nerf bar?
Don't tell her she needs a bumper bar.... or a back up beep - beep - beep - beep........
Oh, nothing elaborate...
With new fuel tank parts now in hand, we can continue the work on plumbing in the auxiliary fuel cell.
Did finish up the wiring on the bike, yet to wire in the rear of the camper. However, after seeing the meticulous job Mikepa does with his wiring. photos of mine will NEVER EVER see the light of day.
Let's just say, everything works as it should... lights come on, horn blows, no smoke. We're good.
However while waiting for new tank parts, a discarded piece of aluminum diamond plate caught my eye,.... hmmm... odds and ends laying around and a cutter / grinder at hand makes for a dangerous situation.
Could not resist, made an elephant ear for the Warthog...? WHAT??? Now why would I do that??
Can you guess the purpose of the giant ear?
With new fuel tank parts in hand, now to figure out where to drill for the aux fuel line bulkhead fitting. After trying several different combinations and sizes, settle on this.
Note how bad the old plate was rusting and flaking. The tank itself is in great shape, no rust.
Dry fitted the 1/4" connection. Inside view. Can fit a socket or wrench on the nut to tighten.
Outside view of the barbed nipple with a rubber washer.
Started with the rubber washer but then remembering my experience with rubber and fuel in Canada causing leaking problems. Decided instead to go with JB Weld epoxy and a copper washer for a leak-proof stable seal.
Painted the epoxy in, under and between the inside fittings also.
Once the epoxy cured, added a length of fuel line with a quick disconnect fitting that extends past the edge of the main tank. Here it sticks out from under the tank.
Starting at the auxiliary fuel cell, first is a quick disconnect screwed into the tank,
then the fuel line leading to...
...the inline fuel filter secured between the rear upper sidecar mount and the shock mount. Is not touching anything that might crack it. Wrapped the line clamps with electrical tape to cover sharp edges. Zip ties hold the line in place.
After experiencing getting bad gas on another ride, having an inline filter is very important. Plus having an easy way to clean or replace that filter without losing all of the fuel in the tank is critical.
Coming after the inline filter is the valve for turning the fuel flow on or off. This is a simple gravity feed flow, no need for a fuel pump. The Aux fuel cell sits higher than the main tank. Simplicity is best, easy to fix, can source replacement parts anywhere on the road.
Oops, seems to be a gap between the shut off valve and the male quick disconnect fitting coming from the main tank.
Actually the gap is too small, as I need to fit a check valve and the female end of the quick disconnect in there. Trimming back each of those two hoses should solve that.
The check valve allows fuel to flow to the main tank but does not allow fuel to flow the other way.
That's where we are today. The Warthog project inches along each day, not all progress is dramatic or even visible. As long as I have the parts to work with, all is good. But the waiting for parts can get ugly, even produce elephant ears and all.
Oh, I can hear clearly now, the ra.........
The ear idea is to divert more air flow toward the exhaust headers on the right side of the engine. Have read of complaints from Rocket owners about the excess header heat burning holes in their rain gear.
Next up is to mount the camper tub.
Stay tuned, riding weather is here. Am getting anxious to get the Warthog on the road.
Ride safe and far friends, cough in your elbow and wash your hands.
Now... where can I mount a gallon bottle of sanitizer on the rig?