Originally Posted by claude
Leaners are a whole different ballgame than more conventional sidecars.
The lower mouning positions can make the rig 'steer' the sidecar wheel in or out depedant upon placement,
That was going to be one of my further points...
If you put the front pivot higher than the rear one it will tend to make the sidecar wheel steer in the direction that the bike is leaning.
The amount of up/down offset will determine the degree of steering effect at different lean angles.
A set of heim joints for the pivots would take care of dealing with any small angular alignment issues that might arise from such an arrangement.
As far as a strut to limit motion when the going gets slippery...
Any kind of simple sliding strut, friction rod, etc. between the car/bike is going to severely limit your lean angles because of the limited range of motion that you are going to be able to achieve with that setup.
If you wanted good range of lean on dry roads with a permanently attached strut, you would need a compound slide unit, like a three-part drawer slide. That would add complication and be harder to clamp rigid when needed.
I spent quite some time thinking about ideas for a leaner that I could use in the winter time, and basically decided that the best solution is to carry along a solid strut, have clevises on the car/bike frame that are threaded on one side so no backup nut is needed, and a wrench for installing it when needed...
You could simplify it some by having the strut permanently mounted on a hinged mount on the sidecar frame with a clamp to hold it down when not in use and a single bolted connection at the upper mount on the bike when needed. Or even a clevis pin with a spring clip cotter for a no-tool option.
However, there would be some play left in the strut with that setup, which would eventually lead to wear in the mounts as you rode.
IMHO, for the few times that you would NEED to lock the leaning down while out-and-about, carrying a solid strut in the trunk or strapped to the frame and a ratcheting box wrench, with the clevises threaded on one side to facilitate single tool installation, seems like the best solution.
Others might have a differing opinion. That is what makes these forums so much fun and educational!