Triumph Sidecar: What bike would you pick and why?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by TripleDaddy, Sep 25, 2019.

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Which Triumph would you use for a budget Sidecar rig build?

  1. A 2015 or newer 1200 ccExplorer. Has cruise, and DMC hardware is cheaper than the 800 cc Tiger.

    11 vote(s)
    17.7%
  2. A 2015 or newer Tiger 800. Has cruise and can easily swap sprockets for gearing.

    4 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. A fuel injected 800 cc Bonneville or Scrambler. Still has more HP than a Ural and is cheap.

    22 vote(s)
    35.5%
  4. A newer T120, fuel injected with more HP

    10 vote(s)
    16.1%
  5. Something else

    10 vote(s)
    16.1%
  6. Stick with the trusty, but slow, Ural

    3 vote(s)
    4.8%
  7. Make a Beemer rig instead

    2 vote(s)
    3.2%
  1. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    He's SOL, since I already have that one, but he can find a nice one nevertheless. :D
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  2. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Please check back in a week; I hope to have some news but don't want to jinx it...
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  3. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Motoblag's 2008 Scrambler

    IMG_20200423_132340.jpg
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  4. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Found it!

    2015 Triumph Explorer with DMC sidecar!

    I have to order a subframe and 70 degree clamps from DMC, but should have things together in ~5 weeks.

    20200827_183645.jpg
  5. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    Jolly nice, TD.
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  6. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    Congrats!! Good luck with mounting!!
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  7. propforward

    propforward PIE!romaniac

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    So what’s the story - was the chair ever on that bike? Purchased from two separate people but in one pick up trip?

    one person with big plans that never happened?

    Nosy people want to knowze!

    :ear
    DRONE, JustKip, davebig and 3 others like this.
  8. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    This is actually the bike shown in the photo in my very first post - the one I was lusting after.

    I believe the 3 mount connection was made by Vern or Richard Goodwin. The top mount was actually an electronic actuator. Unfortunately, one of the lower mounts failed and the owner didn't believe the setup was structurally sound enough to work safely. My plan is to order the 70 degree clamps and a subframe from DMC to allow for a traditional 4 mount setup.

    Here is how it looked when it was initially put together:

    9498d557c4b250607a42736594431583-1.jpg

    Here are the parts that broke:

    IMG_1038.jpg IMG_1034.jpg
    claude stanley, propforward and DRONE like this.
  9. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Since we can't see the lower mounts are they hiem joints ? Its a bad idea from start to finish. Vern's been dead for sometime https://journalstar.com/lifestyles/...cle_588bfeda-240a-5176-9f3f-d1edde5734dc.html
  10. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    I believe the photo of the bike from the rear (in the post above) is at the subframe manufacturer's shop (in Nebraska?).

    Here's a photo of the subframe that was on the bike. The weld failed - I don't think the joints were the root cause.

    IMG_1039.jpg
  11. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    :fpalm:fpalm Vern may have had some talent , his son who knows that stuff looks like junk, two hiems and a actuator no hard fast joints really poor idea , there are plenty of folk who think 2 hiems are a bad idea, in Europe all mounts are solid. If your going to load your kids, the dog, wife whatever, get yourself someone to help you a bit when you get it all together.
    claude stanley likes this.
  12. High Octane

    High Octane Long timer Supporter

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    I wouldn’t put that subframe on my bike. I think you got it right to get a new subframe and mounts from someone else. I’m not a fan of hiem joints although I did have 2 rigs with them and no issues. I’d rather take the time to get the alignment right for 4 good solid joints. Although you’ll likely be fine with a DMC hiem joint set up.
    One of the things I dislike about hiem joints is when ever I disconnected the top mounts to make a lean out adjustment the damn rig wanted to fold up.
    draperg1, claude stanley and davebig like this.
  13. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    That's an issue if you don't put a jack under the car to keep it from moving while the uppers are disconnected. That's also a good time to have a sidestand deployed on the bike so it doesn't fall in the other direction!

    I've had three rigs with DMC subframes and heim joints on the lowers. I've had plenty of problems as you guys know, but none of them were with the DMC subframes or the heim joints. And though the heim joints are not rigid, I've found that when adjusting the uppers, the heim joints are so stiff that I can't even budge the bike unless I loosen the heims a little first.
    draperg1 and Hookalatch like this.
  14. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    To be fair to DRONE he's correct , DMC's product is better than the past the hiems are easy. Nationalism DRONE :hmmmmm ? In Merica we do things differently !!!!!! Proof is obviously everywhere take the Covid 19 problem a fine example of our handling of things :fpalm I prefer stuff with some engineering behind it, to be honest I've thought about getting a DMC rig for my last GS I'd be looking for light weight not ultimate strength or reliability.
    Back to my original point if your going to haul yourself and loved ones around be safe.All the metal work you've posted images of is shrapnel !
    draperg1 likes this.
  15. claude stanley

    claude stanley Claude

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    Free leaners are what they are and there are fans of them. Kinda fun to ride . However,,,,power leaners can be an issue as the only thing keeping the bike in position is the actuator. Any issue with the actuator can be a huge issue to the rider etc especially in the twisties. Had a guy stop by the shop a couple of years ago with one. It was his first sidecar. He asked me to take it for a ride as he felt maybe something was not right. ( If I remember it ws a newer Triumph Bonneville). Well off I go onto our typical test 'track' which is partially highway and partially twisties. The actuator was slow but worked if you leaned into the turns. Not acceptable to me. So..... I did another run without using the actuator and riding it as a rigid. First lefthander the bike moved slightly toward the sidecar as the actuator did not hold position. No biggie but not good. Well then after a couple more turns I went into a right hander at a fairly decent clip the actuator moved a little and then moved a lot and the bike suddenly leaned to the left at about a 20 degree or more angle. ( Actuator would not hold the bike)....well it was good nothing was coming the other direction as goof ball me went across the road and out into a field ( pucker moment) . I somehow rode it out and back onto the road. Bottom line by the grace of God no damage was done and all was okay. We ended up converting the bike to a four point mount using our mounts and all was fine. >>>>>>>>>>>>>NOT a fan of power leaners for that very reason. Any failure whether it be with the actuator as in this case or with anything electrical within the activation of the actuator can be lethal. One well known and respected company did a few power leaners years ago for a short period of time and that was it. ..................... In theory a great idea but in real life not. ................................. Four SOLID mounts minimum are best IMHO. Sharing the load is a good thing.
    draperg1, Prmurat and davebig like this.
  16. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    More about the heim joints. Now this is only one incident, but it's the one incident I have in my rolodex to illustrate my point. Back in 2013 I rolled my R1150GSA rig into a 12-ft ditch. The rig was fully loaded for a multi-week camping trip. The tub was a 2007 vintage DMC M72D with the heim joint connections on the bike side of the lower struts where the lowers connect to the DMC subframe. The outfit spun around and went ass-first into the ditch on the opposite (left) side of the road, so the sidecar wheel was the first thing to drop out of sight. The rig rolled, with me still on board, 3/4's of a turn and landed on the left rear pannier (which prevented my leg from being crushed) then rolled back 1/4 turn to settle upside down in the bottom of the ditch. So this impact you could say would be similar to getting T-boned in an intersection where the other vehicle hit you in the left rear pannier.

    Several months later I took the wreck apart in my garage. The heavy-duty Happy Trail pannier on the left side was caved in. Duh. It was mounted to the BMW rear subframe which was bent about 2" to the right, kinda like what you'd expect if you got T-boned in the rear quarter. The rear upper strut was mounted to the BMW rear subframe and, as far as I could tell, the bike side mount of the rear upper had not moved. But something had to give, right? Stay with me here. The car side of the rear upper attaches to the car frame via a single shear bolt through two threaded rod ends as seen in this pic---->

    rear upper.png

    The car side mounting point is a short stub of tubing welded to the frame as shown in the pic. The "stub" is surrounded by the rear lower "A" bracket that attaches to the car frame with two tube clamps held by 8 bolts. The far end of the "A" bracket (not visible in the pic) attaches with a heim to the DMC subframe. This welded-on "stub" on mine was the old-style. Newer DMC frames have the "stub" tube go all the way through the frame, welded above and below, then the threaded end goes all the way through the stub with a big nut on the underside. Like this ---->

    P1030162.JPG

    Much sturdier than my frame's stub. Maybe @TripleDaddy or @High Octane can chime in here with a pic of this area on a newer car to see how DMC is doing it nowadays.

    Anyway, back to the crash. The "stub" cracked at the weld and bent to the right about 2", same as the BMW rear subframe. And that was it. The tub was fine, the tub chassis, trailing arm, wheel and suspension were fine, the bike subframe was fine, and all four struts were fine. And the heims, as far as I could tell, didn't move.

    Is this setup as rigid as a European rig where the bike's subframe, the lower struts and the sidecar chassis are all welded together? Of course not. But it's a user friendly system, easy to adjust lean out and toe in, easy to get the car level, easy to move the car from one tug to another, and tough enough for 98% of DMC's customers who rarely do the crazy stuff that Adventure Riders do.
  17. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    DRONE so far you've pointed out that it took DMC a little too long to learn anything about structural welding, but then he was a mechanic not a welder or engineer.
    Did I say I wouldn't have one of those pieces of s**t I didn't.
    So far I have over 65k on EZS sidecars with no structural issues.
    Hell I broke one of Claude's.
    It all is what it is ! The Europeans have better products we have laissez-faire capitalism.
    Guy s who like better stuff buy it, there's We're Here, Mikepa, Kjo1, myself.
    You get what you pay for !!!!!
    As for your crashing the bag was your crush zone, not real rigid may have helped,be more careful with your maintenance and your driving :-)
    DRONE likes this.
  18. claude stanley

    claude stanley Claude

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    Nothing made by man is unbreakable. All the cars do not finish the indy 500 every year. If a crash was not created by a failure of a given part or assembly then damages to said assembly etc was created by the reason for the crash whatever it was. The sidecar world overall has improved on mounting structures in this country and globally overall. They say the scool of experience is a great institution but the tuition can be high. It is good to see better systems today than in the past. We have had very minimal issues and I AM THANKFUL FOR THAT. Some have not been so fortunate but have changed things here and there for a better design. Some have changed things even without a history of failures due to a better design idea. ............................... BTW...The thing about heim ends ? They are made to rotate. This means they only share the load on a given plane. Not a huge issue if the other two mounting points are up to the task. In the past there have been many rigs that had an upper mount failure. Why? Not enough 'beef' up there to counteract the trait of a heim end down below. Have not seen this in a long time now as things have improved. With that being said new model bikes keep getting to be more and more of a challenge to mount sidecars to. Little or no substantial frame on the lower side...aluminum structures....etc etc. ..... It can be a challenge. Good friend, Hal Kendall PhD. used to say " build it stout out of things you know about". Great advice as overbuilding is the better option to go the other direction.
    davebig likes this.
  19. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    While perhaps not technically correct, it seems to me that a good quality heim joints in double shear, along with triangulated upper solid struts essentially function as solid connections. At least in my application they seem to be. I have been putting a jack under a loop on the subframe when I remove the upper struts to adjust lean out and stand on the bike side in case it wants to go that way. So far when I have done this I have had to tug on the bike to get it to move in or out to accommodate the upper strut adjustments.
    DRONE likes this.
  20. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    It would be interesting to hear/read the conversations about this from a 100yrs ago when the sidecar was a more normal form of transport for many.
    propforward likes this.