R1100GS sidecar build - TripTeq Heeler

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by tsiklonaut, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Planning to build a R1100GS based sidecar rig but have some questions for the ones who know.

    I'll be planning to ride a bit offroad as well so the question is the following:

    I have a 21" front wheel conversion (over the original 19"), will the 21" be too large (a bit lifted front) and narrow for good steering or it'll be okay like that?

    Or should I just go back to smaller and a bit wider original 19" or even to some 17" car tires so all the 3 tires are the same on the bike?

    Thanks in advance!
    #1
  2. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Amongst the many considerations in building a rig, one thing you should consider regarding the front wheel is - steering effort.

    I've owned two R110GSA-based rigs, and from personal experience, I can assure you that there was a significant reduction in steering effort when I changed the stock BMW 19" wheel to an automotive 15" wheel. The small loss in ground clearance was more than offset by a reduction in steering effort due to the smaller wheel effectively reducing trail. Steering effort was reduced enough that I did not need any other front-end modifications, like a mod'ed TeleLever or a trail-reducer lower fork brace/yoke/"triple-tree".

    The point of the above is, with a 21" front wheel (or even the stock 19"), you may find the increased steering effort due the fact a rig doesn't allow the bike to lean into turns makes for a heavy-handling rig. This is true with a "stock" wheel. It may be exacerbated with a 21" front wheel.

    Good luck with your build!
    #2
  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    The 21" wheel is of course really good for off-roading your 2-wheeled bike but will make the steering effort on a sidecar rig quite difficult.

    But it seems to me that you are putting the cart before the horse. I think I would concentrate on building the sidecar rig first, then deciding about your front wheel once as the rig comes together and takes shape. Your front wheel choice will depend partly on the height of the rear wheel you choose, and the length of the shock (and spring weight) of the rear shock. And, for that matter, on the shock and spring you choose for the front.

    At the end of the day, you want the rig to "look right" and by this I mean that the rig should look like it is sitting level when it's on a level surface. If you use a 175/65-15 car tire on the rear with a lowered shock, you'll need a small front wheel/tire and a short shock upfront. If you put an Adventure length shock in the back with a 165/80-15 car tire, you'll need to go taller in the front.

    Regarding your comment about having all three tires the same size, this will require extensive modification to the forks to make them wide enough to fit a rear tire. Unless you plan to use a tire no larger than a 130 on the rear, which would be silly. So, forget about 3 matching tires. You can match the sidecar wheel to either the front or the rear motorcycle wheel, but don't try to match the front wheel size with the rear wheel size.

    Here's my 1100GS rig (now sold) ---->

    DSC_0128.JPG
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  4. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    @tsiklonaut

    Loving the round the world book! Looking forward to your perspective on a side car rig.
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  5. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Exactly the info I was looking for, million thanks folks!

    I am going to install the trail reducer, will test with the 21" and see how good or bad is it. If too much effort I'll see if I re-lace the hub to 19" rim. The automotive 17" takes too much effort indeed altough would be lovely.

    What wheel and tire do you have fitted in the front there @DRONE, R1200R?


    Thank you so much for the kind words! We'll see how things pan out with the rig... If it's a capable rig that works for our style of going, it'll be more to come.

    [​IMG]
    I just picked up the last package of the rig.



    [​IMG]
    The owner of the rig going through details in checklist, showing who's the boss around here (it sure ain't me).


    Cheers,
    Margus
    #5
  6. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Ahh, so you have the car. A Tripteq Heeler looks like. Nice choice!

    The cast front wheels for most of the R1100 models have 3 spokes. Mine was from an 1150. Doesn't matter which one - R1150R, R1150RS, R1150RT - they are all 3.50x17 with the same hub. You can fit up to a 130/70 tire on that wheel with the lower mud guard in place, or bump up to a 140/80 like I have in the picture there if you remove the mud guard. It looks like from your picture that your bike already has some kind of aftermarket mud guard so you may be able to fit a 140 under it.

    May we see a picture of the trail reducer?

    And what are those two wheels in the picture that "the boss" is examining?
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  7. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    snazzy

    [​IMG]
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  8. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Yes, it's a TripTeq Heeler with some custom addons.

    It was pretty much the only sidecar rig that has the most reasonable pricing by far (some sidecar manufacturer prices are just astounding IMHO), TÜV approval (can be life/death decider getting one officially registered in Europe) and out-of-box fittable w/o rocket building equipent (CNC machines, TIG welding, mills etc) and no higher engineering skills required or months of waiting in the backlist. Yes, I tried the other sidecar manufacturers/sellers!

    Interestingly they're not so famous so I found TripTeq purely accidentially and was surprised how quick they replied compared very reasonable prices compared to all others I researched on and it pretty much gave me the real hope I could actually go sidecaring without the problems/challenges I named above. For GS models the TripTeq kits are certified, customised to your needs and shipped in a couple of days within Europe was another big pro for me.


    With 21" it doesn't fit with the trail reducer, tire touched the plate a bit. So I'll go back to 19" for now I think, fit the widest and most usable tire for that size and see how it does for a starter. With 15" sounds like the speedo will be off a lot since 19" is already off (21" was spot on since I think the R850/1100/1150GS speedo drive is actually originating from R100GS that had the proper 21" front)

    That's the one:

    20190726_152617.jpg

    Not sure what's the ring, but I guess it's for the telelever angle change if you should use it. I probably won't since I've seen people have problems with it. I'll just fit the plate that places forks in a bit more forward angle for easier steering w/ sidecar.

    Those are very decent automotive wheels, 155 R15, 3-bolt standard. Surprisingly lightweight. With the according Vredestein Snow tires fitted - very nice pattern for offroad+onroad and ready to be studded if ever needed too.

    One for the sidecar, other for the rear of the bike fitted with a special TripTeq adapter:

    20190728_142618_s.jpg

    What's your experience @DRONE with those rear wheel adapters on Oilhead GS bikes? Looking at it my concern is that it brings the wheel support point further away from the axle and putting more angular stress on the rear bearing (which is a weak spot on R850/1100/1150 models). In terms of bearing longetivity and ease-of-maintenance, is putting on the original GS 17" spoked wheel with a car tire a better idea or not?
    #8
  9. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    @tsiklonaut , super interested in your build, following! As one vote of confidence, Herbert Schwarz, co-founder of Touratech, had a TripTeq Heeler built with tandem seats for his two sons. As a result of attending the USCA national sidecar rally this weekend, I have a couple of riders that are asking me for advice on building a rig. I owned an EZS rig, and now own an EML and SBVW/Stepler rig, and totally agree with you on the merits of buying European kits. Did you purchase your Heeler direct from TripTeq, or is there a distributor? If so, could you share a link or contact info? The link for the dealer in Canada and North America on the TripTeq website is a dead link. How were they to deal with. And, would you be willing to share the all-up cost, including shipping and any importation/clearance costs and/or duties? Thanks in advance!

    Capture.JPG
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  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Without seeing the 15" wheel mounted, I'd guess that the car wheel's offset (from a Smart Car?) is different enough so that the center line of the car tire is pretty close to the center line of the stock moto wheel/tire. Maybe the center line is only pushed out a centimeter? Anyway, my experience is that as long as the adapter is properly seated and, most importantly, you use the right length of lug bolts (torqued properly) that go as deep as possible without bottoming out, the angular stress on the bearing is not an issue. If it was a leaning 2-wheeler, the stresses would be a concern, but not so much when the bike stays upright all the time. (Like for instance, don't make a habit of doing what that Touratech guy is doing in the picture above!)

    On the other hand, if you can find a car tire to fit the 17" BMW rim, even if you had to use a small spacer, that would probably be ideal. I've done that, but currently here in the U.S. there's only one tire available that fits. It's a 175/55-17 tire made by Achilles. Not ideal for on road/off road, plus it's a little on the short side.

    On the steering modifier, since that's something that's pretty easy to take on and off, you might want to try it without. I had no modifier on my 1100 and, while the steering was a bit heavy, it was manageable even with that big 140 tire. Keeping the fork angle stock is preferable to the alternative.
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  11. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    Thanks Mike!

    I'm just as excited to know what'll come out.

    I also don't have any dealer in my small country. So I contacted them directly and they replied fast. The price depends which frame kit (looking at their web page WZ1 or WZ2 and UN for non R-series motorcycles) sidecar body you want (Heeler, Ridgeback or Fox) and other customizations if you require them - disk brake vs stock drum brake, better sidecar suspension, sidestep, luggage rack, rollbar, higher windscreen, etc customisations. Try them at i n f o @ tripteq . com (spamrobot proofed address so you have to type in that address)

    No duties within EU. To ship to US I think EU tax (around 20% of the price) can be deduced before export and US tax (smaller than EU tax) added once you import, hence the price can be smaller (will compensate the higher overseas shipping cost I guess).


    Good points, DRONE! Not much car tire choice for the stock rear wheel indeed. I guess for that reason it's worth going with the adapter route. The tires TripTeq supplied on those nice 15" wheels seem to fit the bill perfectly.
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  12. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    20190726_133041_s.jpg
    Meanwhile we're assembling the frame.






    20190727_115627_s.jpg
    And painting the sidecar.







    _SDI2409_s.jpg
    Disk brake and wheel mounted on. Two places to mount the brake caliper. Good quality parts.







    20190726_154111_s.jpg
    Mounted on. The old GS goes into a new way of riding life. All new to me as well!

    Attached Files:

    #12
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  13. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    _SDI2442_s.jpg
    Bottom mount.







    _SDI2415_s.jpg
    Nice'n'tight new parts mounted on the 310 000+ on-clock R1100GS still working like a Swiss watch.





    _SDI2416_s.jpg
    Locked nuts for added safety.







    _SDI2421_s.jpg
    Rear bottom mount and sidecar swing arm articulation point (you can actually choose between two spots depending how you like it).
    #13
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  14. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    _SDI2410_s.jpg
    Upper mount. All mounts are adjustable just like the bottom mounts. All good quality parts.





    [​IMG]
    Mounted on from the rear. It takes 3 lateral main points from below, in front, center-stand mounting points and from a special rear subframe+gearbox+footrest connecting arm part TripTeq supplies. The latter works as a "hard-part" as well normally known on the R850/1100GS bikes.








    [​IMG]
    Some final adjustments, very easy to do with the instructions coming with this sidecar rig.
    #14
  15. PaulRS

    PaulRS Dutch fool

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    Can we have some detailed pics from the lower subframe?
    How it is attached to the gearbox, and the front of the engine.

    It doesn't look like much, but being TUV approved, I think it will be strong enough.

    Paul.
    #15
  16. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    _SDI2435_s.jpg
    Automotive wheel adapter kit comes with a very neat brake disk adapter since to my surprise there was also the ABS-ring connector points as well, so I could continue using the ABS on the bike (ABS has saved my skin on many occasions).






    _SDI2440_s.jpg
    The weel adapter goes on with the original bolts so very easy to change the wheel or tyre in the future with 3-bolt connector for the automotive wheel (no need to mess with brake caliper anymore like with the original wheel).







    _SDI2445_s.jpg
    The adapter keeps things nice and cleanable.








    _SDI2449_s.jpg
    With car tyre on.






    _SDI2448_s.jpg
    IMO the 3-bolts solution is brilliant for ease of maintenance, just like on the legendary G/S models, don't know why they went for 4-bolts and have-to-remove brake caliper solution on the later models, it's just more work and not much benefit.
    #16
  17. mikepa

    mikepa SideCzarist Supporter

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    Super appreciate the build photos, one of the best things about sidecaring IMHO! No two are alike!
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  18. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    @tsiklonaut one comment about the toe-in measurement. You might get a more accurate result if you place the straight edges up on blocks so that the edge is making contact at two places on the tire sidewall higher up from the floor. The only trick is to then make sure that the straight edge isn't hitting some raised lettering on the sidewall or, if it does hit the raised lettering, make sure it hits raised lettering at both places where it touches the sidewall so that the measurement will still be consistent.
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  19. PaulRS

    PaulRS Dutch fool

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    @DRONE, Hijack deleted.

    Will start my own thread from scratch in a couple of days.

    Paul.
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  20. tsiklonaut

    tsiklonaut the (in)famous boxer perv

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    I'll try to make some pics when I'm there again. To me it looks as strong as it should by using all the crank length of the R1100 engine (there's no full frame on R850/1100/1150 bikes anyway) and top telelever mount+connecting rod to the other side of the bike, so taking additional mounts from the other side of the bike wouldn't make it any stronger on this model, just a lot more heavier.


    Thanks Mike! Yes, they're all custom in a way. I'll be off the project for around 2 weeks and will continue then, can't wait to get it put together.


    It's about the same method I used, I used two rods each side of the tire where I could get a flat contact and put the long straight metal piece against those two ends then to get the most precise indication of the wheel direction bearing from sidecar and rear wheel of the bike. TripTeq recommends 25-50mm toe in from the front of the bike. I got it on the max side around 45-50mm, lets see how it handles like that when I get my 19" front wheel in 2 weeks. Toe should be easily reducible if it needs fine tuning.

    I haven't adjusted the bike straightness to detail yet. I just took a level from the (straight) handlebars and adjusted the top connector of the sidecar frame. But I guess there's a more precise way to do it.

    Other question I have - what tire jacks you sidecar-travelling people use for most lightweight-per-function? Any particular recommendations?

    So far I've been using my Citröen car one working on the build, which is lightweight and goes surprisingly compact, but I need it in the car.
    #20
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