Spring rates

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Ridn3, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Just out of curiousity, I am wondering what spring rates others are running on thier shocks. I currently have 400 lb on the front and 1100 lb on the back. This is on my R1150RT/Champion Escort rig. I still seem to have to much sag and the shop that rebuilt my shocks is talking about going as high as 700lb on the front. Sounds high to me. I dropped a tire off at the trash transfer station and the scales there showed the rig with me on it, no luggage or passenger at 1250 lbs. Not 100% sure that I trust the scales as they only weigh in 25 lob increments and I was all the way at the end og a scale big enough for a tractor trailer.

    Thanks for any info.
    #1
  2. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Call Champion see what they say. That may be the better
    place to start.
    #2
  3. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Aren't you the inmate who found Lindeman or someone to rebuild your stock Showa shocks ? BMW's always seem to be sprung toward a great ride ( too soft for sidecar).
    I'd head for the recycling place weigh it loaded and unloaded then weigh each corner loaded and unloaded with the usual amount of stuff (dog, significant other etc) Then call the shock guy and see what he says and how to proceed calling Champion also and getting spring rate of ESCORT, WARNING : a buddy did that he thinks it rides a little too rough (he's old and worn) I drove it and thought it was perfect.When things are right they are a little taught !!!!!!!!!!!
    #3
  4. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Yes, I had my stock shocks rebuilt by Lindeman. They also installed heavier springs. So far they seem to be working ok, except the sag. I used a DMC subframe which does not give a lot of ground clearance at the front. The sag causes the subframe to be even closer to the ground. I am mainly concerned that the suspension not become to stiff and thought that I would get an idea of what springs others were running but this appears to be difficult to ascertain. I will contact Champion and see what they have to say. Last time that I contacted them about a sidecar they referred me to DMC. They have changed thier name to Champion Trikes so it is obvious where their priorities are now. :(

    Thanks to those that replied.
    #4
  5. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Trikes are a big market but they did just recently come out
    with a new sidecar model...go figure.
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  6. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    What did DMC say??
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  7. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    How about a little out of the box thinking, how much longer are 1150gs shocks ? Try going up one number in spring rate, used GS shocks are easy to find, find a used after market shock with the ability to adjust spring preload.
    #7
  8. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    On my 2008 R1200GS Adventure, my front shock has a progressive spring that goes from about 310 lbs/in to about 410 lbs/in. The rear goes from about 1130 lbs/in to about 1670 lbs/in. On my previous rig, a 2004 R1150GS Adventure, my front spring was 354 lbs/in, and the rear was 1084 lbs/in. Bear in mind that these aren't necessarily comparable since the lengths of the telelever and paralever for the two bikes are different, not to mention the geometry of the mounting points for the shocks.
    #8
  9. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    But DRONE Wumpa's Tele and Paralever would have been the same as his RT's I believe, but shock lengths would be different.DB
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  10. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Dave is correct--WUMPA is the 2nd rig mentioned--the 2004 R1150GSA. The geometry on that rig should be about the same as your RT. Also, I believe Dave is right that if you wanted more ride height, you could switch to GS shocks, or even better -- GSA shocks. Sometimes a set of OEM GS or GSA shocks will pop up on the Flea Market. If in a hurry, there's a set of GSA OEM shocks on eBay right now for $300, but the spring rate won't do you any good. You will still need beefier springs. Sorry, but I don't see a cheap way to resolve this for you. If you want to fix the ride height, you need longer new aftermarket shocks, or get Lindemann to re-spring a set of OEM GSA shocks.
    #10
  11. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    With sidecars it's often difficult to have cake and eat it too Economically !
    #11
  12. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Sounds like longer shocks may be the answer. So....If they are working okay as you stated above We have put LT shocks on the smaller models. Have put LT spring son the stock shocks and Have also put spacers on the stock shocks. These are inexpensive ways and do work fine. Hannigan has done this type of thing for years. Works fine.
    #12
  13. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    This is exactly the type of info that I was hoping for. I looked at GS shocks on ebay and they seemed to be about 0.5" longer. Have not looked at GSA shocks yet. Did not even think of the LT shocks. Might be something to look at. Esp if the RT spring will fit. Does sound like high spring rates are not unheard of. I was worried that we were going to far on the springs.

    We are going to raise the front of the subframe about aan inch this winter but that does not help with sag and fender/fairing clearance. Thanks everyone for the advice, I will post what I end up doing and how it works.

    BTW, the recycling center here locks the scales up and has security. :( There are a couple of quarries nearby so I will check thier scales some Sunday.
    #13
  14. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Does your bike have a trial reducer on it? If so that may lower the front also. Is the subframe just designed to sit too low? We have done many BMW RT'S AND RS models with no issues. Most were with Hannigan sidecars using a Hannigan mounting system. We have also done various other sidecars on these bikes with no issues. One thing to keep in mind ...IF you hav ea sidecar rbake and IF you decide to plumb It into the rear (which is preferred) you may want to go with the larger 15mm master cylinder. The stock one is probably a 14mm and they are hard to get bled out well as the capacity is just about maxed out. Dunno what happens if you plumb into the front as we do not care to do that.
    #14
  15. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    Claude, Yes I have the DMC trail reducer and it does contribute to the clearance issue. The front subframe bolts to a boss in the bottom of the motor and hangs down below the belly pan. According to Jay it was done this way to keep from needing to trim more of the body work. I would rather trim plastic and regain some ground clearance. It looks to be pretty easy to raise the subframe about an inch which we will do shortly. A friend has the Hannigan subframe and it does have more ground clearance. Thought of using the Hannigan subframe but thought the DMC would be more "plug and play". No sidecar brake so that is not an issue. I may ad one later.
    #15
  16. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    I have the Hannigan subframe on my R1100RT - it's pretty low too, but I haven't hit anything with it in the front yet; on two occasions I scraped *something* near the center of the bike going over pretty sharp speed bumps, but I have not taken the time to determine if it was the subrame, sidecar frame or the center stand. The only trimming I had to do for the subframe/mounts was to put a half-moon into the plastic of one of the shark fins up front. I have not put the black side panel (under the seat) back on the car side as I haven't finished up my extra rear MC for the sidecar brake - not sure if that needs to be trimmed or not.

    Been having a good time watching your thread, so thanks for asking - suspension is next on my list as well.
    josh

    :lurk:
    #16
  17. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    It's time for a loud mouthed opinionated SOB ! Wait that's me ! You have subscribed to the simple trail reduction schemes sold in the US as a good idea when all it really is, is a economical idea ! It works your front sags it makes the forks into a lever that compress the front spring easier !
    You could look thru this thread then hire someone to shorten your telelever A frame and you front would rise probably over and inch, your forks would be in the stock position ! Since I'm beyond offending Claude ! Try a little cynicism sidecar builders sell you what is expedient not necessarily what works best ! http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/dedone-trail-reduce-mods1100-1150gs.786238/
    #17
  18. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    We can do a shortened tele lever but it wil be tubular and not a modified stock unit. Not as expedient as a modified stock one but it takes the 'wonder' out of it. No offense taken DB...hope none given.
    #18
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  19. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    I agree with Claude he has a good plan and possibly excellent if you have a heavy rig that your pounding down the CDT but for the most part the stock A frame works fine mine has 50k miles of pounding and has no issues.
    Here's Dedome web pages http://www.dedome.com/PF1150GS.html
    Oh look a sidecar rig with trail reduction forks where they belong and a big sidecar .
    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. DirtyDR

    DirtyDR Dana Supporter

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    Or you could just keep it stock and spend the money on fuel. I suppose I really should change the stock shocks, after 120,000 miles they are getting a little soft.
    Just saying.

    [​IMG]
    #20
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