|04-02-2011, 10:04 AM||#1|
Joined: Mar 2011
GS ground clearance
I am seeing a lot of questions about ground clearance issues with the BMW GS models with sidecars. First off I have to say that I love the Telelever front ends. The problem we run into here is that when we install a new ball joint mount plate to reduce the trail and provide lighter steering, moving the wheel forward causes the front of the bike to drop slightly. Of course this modification immediately gets the blame for the loss of ground clearance.
The GS is built with a reasonably long travel, softly sprung suspension. It provides an awesome smooth ride over very rough terrain in its stock two wheel configuration. Then we add the weight of a sidecar which of course we load down with everything but the Kitchen sink as the saying goes. What have we done to help the suspension compensate? A lot of the time nothing, but of course the front end modification is going to get the blame.
Traditionally, when installing a sidecar to any bike, one of the first things suggested to the new sidecar rider would have been to upgrade the suspension. I have never put a sidecar on a GL1500 for example, without changing out the front springs. Those of us that install sidecars, and specially for the first time owner, have to take some of the blame for not taking the time to educate our customers properly in this regard.
Now the reason for this post is not to divert all the blame for ground clearance problems away from the front end modifications. Of course they can contribute to the problem as well, but we need to look at the whole picture to really solve the problem.
As part of our ongoing effort to improve our products when we see issues arise, most of our front end mods have been designed to help compensate for this loss of clearance. As we build these in small batches, it allows us to make changes fairly quickly. In fact, we have one batch being made right now with this change.
Ride Safe Barry
General Manager, designer, installer, test rider, problem solver. Generally whatever needs doing.
37 YEARS PLAYING WITH SIDECARS
Myths and misinformation are more seductive than the truth.
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