Show us your sidecar suspensions!

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by rantingsmith, Mar 18, 2017.

?

If you bought an existing sidecar, have you upgraded, or thought about upgrading its suspension

  1. No, it performed well enough.

    18 vote(s)
    30.0%
  2. Yes, but not sure how to.

    10 vote(s)
    16.7%
  3. Yes and I have.

    27 vote(s)
    45.0%
  4. No, but I woud if I could get a bolt on upgrade.

    5 vote(s)
    8.3%
  1. rantingsmith

    rantingsmith Quadrilingual blacksmith seat of pants engineer

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    That is a good question.
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  2. rg sw wa.

    rg sw wa. Long timer Supporter

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    Pics man pics ! :dirtdog
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  3. mthure

    mthure Adventurer

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    Rule of thumb is ride height is 1/3 of travel, when loaded.
  4. arbalest

    arbalest Long timer

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  5. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    Bump! What he said.

    Got a new rig recently and it was set up with the sidecar Hagon set at maximum. With 100 lb load and me jumping up and down there was no movement whatsoever.
    But it handled great on dirt and pavement but with no shock absorption it ended up breaking the upper rear mount on the bike. (now set on softest) So the car is stiffly sprung and the tug - africa twin has a soft squish even with a lot of preload. But the wallowing doesn't seem to hurt in directional control and the leading link is very stiff, so it's like the front wheel and the car wheel don't allow sway and the squishy rear wheel absorbs butt smacks. All this goes to show that I don't understand all I know. Just haven't heard much discussion on how the suspension at the three corners work with each other.
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  6. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    When you are saying maximum and minimum are you talking about 'preload adjustment' ?

    If you still have the factory Shock with stock weight spring you may want to look into at least a stiffer Spring for it.
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  7. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    Sorry, Hagon shock. Can't see any identifying numbers. Received it with maximum preload so that there was no movement on the suspension regardless of the weight I put on it. The wheel might as well have been bolted to the frame. I put it on minimum preload (tub shock) and now at least I can feel it absorb bumps somewhat - probably around 5% sag. So definitely don't want a stiffer spring, if for no other reason, to reduce sudden stress concentration which I fixed. So not trying to correct anything with this post just trying to understand why it handles the way it does. Another guy with a HAT + sidecar kept the original front forks and said it would really dive in the corners and he restricted the suspension travel in the rear and max preload. My rig does not sway - probably because of the stiff leading link front springs (which nevertheless is still a comfortable ride - about 20% sag) and the still very stiff tub suspension. The bike's rear suspension is stock, very squishy 8" travel with preload cranked in. This , from what I've read is not an ideal setup for an outfit - but - I wouldn't want to change anything for handling reasons. In terms of my own body pain I can take a pothole twice as fast as the Ural - either side - without wincing. This is good. I'm starting to get the feeling that every single outfit out there is absolutely different than every other. I've spent 3 years on a Ural, sidecar training on a royal enfield, tried a hog with hack, and now my HAT hack. And yup... beat to fit, paint to match, Ouija board, :topes, all the while bitching about how Mr. Harley and the Davidson boys got it all wrong.

    Think I'm going to like this hobby.
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  8. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Sounds like Josh was referring to the bike rear shock as needing a stiffer spring.
    Something I agree with as too soft leads at least in my experience, to changes in the overall steering geometry while turning or even during camber and crosswind variations, if I can put it that way.
    I:E the bike leanout is exaggerated in a turn towards the chair making it work against the turn.
    Only marginally I know but some.
    It's part of why people put ride height adjusters in their chair suspensions.
    My Chiang chair had very little suspension. (One third the bikes)
    Upside was it was slow to lift as there was little travel before the weight of the wheel itself (unsprung weight) added to the general stabilization effect.
    Downside was it bounced the bike sideways with every surface variation let alone bump (something my leaner never did).
    Springs are cheap.
    If you can balance the sag percentage on the three wheels somewhat it would be better all around.
    I am working towards that on mine.
    Stiffer and softer it's a matter of balance.
    That's the full 2cent tour.
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  9. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    ^what Bruce said.

    also

    adjusting preload is adjusting height, it may feel stiffer or softer but it’s mostly about height. (This is my 4th grace understanding of it)
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  10. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    I agree about the height adjustment but in this case the sag on the tub (jacked up to no weight on it then down with my traveling ballast load) is 1/2" or less. Test ride confirmed (at least to my refined sense of judgement) that I hadn't changed the geometry enough to change the handling. And now the chair wheel sucks up bumps and potholes enough so that it's a thump instead of a bang. So now if my butt is happy (been married too long for that to be believable) and I can keep it between the ditches, the next test is duration in time. Sorry for all the technical terms but this IS the hack forum...
    pops, Bobmws and rg sw wa. like this.
  11. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    Still messing around with the setup. Still don't understand why the car was sprung so stiffly. Why have a suspension if it doesn't move? But in watching sidecarcross it almost looks like their wheels are bolted to the frame or at least very stiffly sprung. But it's very light. I think they list the tub at 150lb. then add wheel and struts/subframe. So if I add 150 pounds of gear I have doubled the load on the spring and as a percentage of the total load on the spring, my variable load is a much higher percentage of total than say a heavy expedition sidecar where your variable load might only be 25% of the total (guessing). Then the range of adjustment I would need (from lightly loaded to full load) for my spring would be much greater than a bigger sidecar.

    Yeah, I had to read it twice too.:deal

    So - what about an air adjustable shock like the Harley style. It would add complexity but all the pieces are available off the shelf. Plus tilt/height adjustment on the fly... looks like a 13" shock would replace the Hagon.

    And yeah, it's raining. Hard.

    [​IMG]
  12. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    This is the Outback sidecar on the Africa Twin? Possible that the rig was assembled with the wrong shock? They just grabbed the wrong one off the shelf? Because there should be good movement there.
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  13. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    It's the enduro.
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  14. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    The Suspension ain't gonna feel alright till you deal with the Bikes shock (the one under your bumb)

    You've added a bunch more weight and your Shock is only meant for maybe a 200 pound Rider, not a couple hundred xtra pounds hanging off the side.

    Get you a stiffer spring on it and then re-set your Rig up.

    my .02 of course, so feel free to ignore me :lol3

    ps

    Does Jay set up Rig's with peoples actual weight on them?
    rg sw wa., pops and brstar like this.
  15. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    I think the sidecar spring would be cheaper to replace. Hagon lists a bunch of different spring rates but I didn't see anything about changing springs or buying them for that matter. It's like you have to decide in advance and then order what you want. And if you have to ask the price of a new Honda monoshock, you can't afford it. That's why I was wondering about the air shock.
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  16. Flyin' Monkeys

    Flyin' Monkeys Wicked Witch Airlines

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    On this subject, here is my own experience. I knew in advance that I would want to improve the OEM suspension on both of my Honda Goldwing 1800 "bikes" if I was going to add a sidecar to them, especially a double-wide sidecar. So while my wife's Goldwing already had a Progressive Suspension heavier rear spring on the back of here bike, and Progressive Suspension mono-tubes in the front end, my bike did not, so I changed out the front and rear suspension on my own Goldwing 1800 to prepare for the sidecar installation. Despite the Goldwing 1800 having an adjustable rear suspension, research told me it needed that heavier Progressive Suspension Spring on the back, so the entire bike suspension was upgraded, and while I previously had the rear suspension set at a 10 (on a scale of 0 to 30) as a solo rider, it is now set at a 5, with the heavier rear spring, but with the Champion Daytona sidecar attached to the bike.

    And the Hagon shock that DMC installed onto my wife's Hannigan Astro 2+2...........then I got it home I discovered they had the brand new Hagon shock set at the maximum setting :fpalm (which made no sense to me) so I set it to the middle setting, and am happy with that. Wife will never carry a hominid passenger in her sidecar rig, only luggage and baggage. Not even dead bodies.
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  17. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    I had no difficulty obtaining just springs (lighter in my case) for the Hagon shocks that came with my Unit leading links. I got them thru Dave Quinn who is no longer in business but they should be able to be obtained from the other Hagon importer. Unrelated but interestingly, the Hagon shocks that came with my Unit forks only damped when mounted upside down. I have seen several pictures of other Unit forks with the shocks in the same upside down position.
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  18. Metalcarver

    Metalcarver Geezer Berserker Supporter

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    Just want to stress that I really don't understand all I know. After riding 10k miles on my Ural there is nothing I would want to change on the handling of the Honda. It is so much better than the Ural. It tracks almost hands off, more comfortable, more power, brakes absolutely straight, and I would have said nothing except that the rear upper strut mount broke after 600 miles of easy riding. That's when I discovered the odd setup. I guess I'm just going to have to abandon my family and go down to Death Valley for a couple of months and study the problem. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it...
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  19. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Urals are usually OK handlers do you have an idea if it was setup correctly ?
    An enduro sidecars suspension isn't going to move much unless there is some weight on it. light sidecars don't add allot of weight to the wheel without a passenger.
    If it's breaking bits that may be a DMC problem.
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  20. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    MC,

    I'm sure your factory 'shock' is just fine for your Rig but a heavier 'spring' may makes things more better.

    This is my only pic of the rear Spring swap on my (former) camo Rig's Shock

    notice how much beefier the red spring is over the silver stock spring.

    [​IMG]

    Heres a Vid I just found

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