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Old 04-06-2007, 07:29 AM   #1
urbaneccessity602 OP
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To Swing Or Not To Swing: Double vs. Single

I am sure this debate will echo in the halls of eternity and has been echoing for that long, especially among most of the older riders. The older riders that have seen locomotion go from horse and buggy to wheel devices with engines.

To the riders that are from the "yester year" I am sure that a mono shock was something that only the imagination could conjure up. Sitting in a Diner and drawing on a napkin a design that has changed the motorcycle forever.

Who would have thought that balancing the rear end on a motorcycle would only take tightening up the tolerances on a swing arm. Granted the mono shock design is leaps and bounds from the "dual shock" design, it almost seems to be experimental.

From tightening the tolerances I mean designing a swing arm that on all the joints would have less play where the joints come together, I am hoping this, but it seems logical. The "mono shock" design must have been equivocated to a man walking on the moon to the generations before us. Can you imagine balancing the rider by placing a shock in the middle of the bike, designing it to counteract the forces of movement along and axis or arc.

I don't know if it is just me but sometimes I do feel just the slight play in the rear wheel when I go around corners, it must be within the tolerances of the design.

Now the single-sided swing arm is coming into play and I dont know if the Japanese are making fun of the Germans and others that are using the single-sided swing arms or not, but the new Versys and Ninjas have a rear shock design that is found on a single-sided swing arm and their bikes are dual arm, super reinforced.....



(Versys)


(Ninja 650)

Well... they are baffling when compared to a single side swing arm:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamrMark
The Versys just looks to be a bigger more "beefed up" swing arm with the side mounted shock. But when you look at the new BMW F800ST and see the logic of the technology of the side mounted shock with a single side swing arm, it is only then do you start to wonder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbasa

Swingarm is massive and, one would assume, strong. Primary cover is clearly indicated by the big gear. Belt cover encases almost the entire belt, which makes me wonder if BMW will keep this scheme for the F800GS. Hint, hint, BMW. We want it.


Suspension is via a massive and competent Showa shock offering about 5.5 inches of travel. Preload is via a simple and accessible knob living in a recess on the right side of the frame. Rebound damping is readily accessible and adjustable via a triangular knob on the other end of the shock. Again, in typical BMW fashion, there isn't any rocker linkage, rising rate or other magic. For those of us old enough to remember them, this is a "lay down" shock.

Preload knob in frame recess. Note placement of accessory outlet. C'mon BMW. On the right hand side?


Preload adjuster can be operated without a screwdriver. Why doesn't every manufacturer do this and why doesn't BMW do it on all their bikes?

(F800ST) Although I am not an engineer, this seems logical as to why the shock would be mounted on the side because the swing arm is "mono". So for Kawa to place a side mounted shock on different bikes with different dual arm swing arms is somewhat confusing, where to the BMW engineers it is the only place where they could put the shock.

The rhetorical question as an engineerr put it to me, "everything from the past is over built for safety" this was regarding the bridges and tunnels of the old NYC. According to him they can support 30 times the weight of what a full traffic jam would weigh today. Maybe I am from the old school with the notion that "over building" is good and is not seen as waste.

Let's just apply this to motorcycles.

Are we as motorcycle enthusiasts about to be "eaten" by the technology we crave as a society.

Input, commentaries are more than welcome!!! To those that have taken apart a bike, I might just be blowing wind....

urbaneccessity602 screwed with this post 04-06-2007 at 08:54 AM Reason: wished too
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:15 AM   #2
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Would a single sided swingarm cost more. If so putting one on a relative budget bike like the Ninja 650R would affect the final price. Many buyers are looking for a competent cheap do it all kind of bike. I'm sure the Japanese engineers are compensating for any side loads coming from a non-centered shock placement.

Other than tire changes are there any real benefits to a single sided swingarm? Assuming weight is the same.

They do look sweet though!!!
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaklr
Would a single sided swingarm cost more. If so putting one on a relative budget bike like the Ninja 650R would affect the final price. Many buyers are looking for a competent cheap do it all kind of bike. I'm sure the Japanese engineers are compensating for any side loads coming from a non-centered shock placement.

Other than tire changes are there any real benefits to a single sided swingarm? Assuming weight is the same.

They do look sweet though!!!
Do you think the weight limitations are different from double to single? Would a 300 lb pound rider feel the same as a 150 lb rider?
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:03 AM   #4
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Single sided swingarms are at a disadvantage from a performance standpoint - for a given level of investment they will either be more flexy or heavier than a traditional swingarm, simple physics. Their advantage is in enabling super-quick tire changes for endurance racing, cosmetic appeal and packaging (i.e. providing more room for exhaust etc).

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Old 04-06-2007, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikePilot
Single sided swingarms are at a disadvantage from a performance standpoint - for a given level of investment they will either be more flexy or heavier than a traditional swingarm, simple physics. Their advantage is in enabling super-quick tire changes for endurance racing, cosmetic appeal and packaging (i.e. providing more room for exhaust etc).

That is interesting, I would have never made a connection from the professional racing level ley alone for quicker tire changes in the pit.

I was starting to think maybe the fuel economy of the bike was at stake or something that had to do with the ride, I was just trying to find out some info.

From a physics level we all know that if you lift something that is heavy with two arms it we bill even heavier with one arm, therefore the bracing has to have more stress which in turn will destroy the integrity of the link.

From the advantage of just how they do it, I figured it would have to be shorter to adjust the pivot of the rear wheel and maybe the angle of intercept, where the end of the swing arm and the frame meet would have to be at a slight angle to get the wheel to move differently than a dual swing arm, consider the length of the swing arm also to get the physics of the wheel movement to line up with the side mounted shock, for there to be any benefit.

Then I was thinking that there was a second piece under the intercept of the swing arm and the frame to make the rear wheel pivot to intercept the shock, of course I am talking about the full momentum of the moving rear wheel.

They seem quite popular as a modification for the street bikes, a simple search yielded various companies that produce aftermarket single sided swing arms.

By the way anyone have any pictures of a single swing arm disassembled with a frame?
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:23 PM   #6
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Haven't found a pic with a frame, but here is a Goldwing swingarm.



Pretty beefy, huh. I bet it could have been done lighter, but it sure makes the rear tire change easier!
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:35 PM   #7
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huh...
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbaneccessity602

To the riders that are from the "yester year" I am sure that a mono shock was something that only the imagination could conjure up. Sitting in a Diner and drawing on a napkin a design that has changed the motorcycle forever.

.
Ha..ha...ha...ha...

Mono shocks are so old dude that your great grandmother may well have ridden bitch on one.

Enjoy:

" In 1908, Merkel merged his company with the Light Motor Co. and the new Merkel-Light Motor Co. moved activities to Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Flying Merkels were known for having one of the finest rides in all of motorcycling and also as one of the most reliable motorcycles on the road. Merkels were more costly than many motorcycles of the time, but Merkel engines utilized the best German-made bearings and other high-quality materials, which led to excellent reliability.

Merkel also helped design a unique front and rear suspension system on his motorcycles. The rear suspension was a mono-shock design that proved to be decades ahead of its time. Yamaha would later make a similar single rear shock design popular again on racing machines of the 1970s and beyond. Even more impressive than the rear suspension was the front fork of the Flying Merkels. The fork was so good (telescopic in principle, using dual coil springs, yet looking like an unsprung trussed fork) that many other manufacturers put Merkel forks on their factory racing machines even through the 1920s, years after Merkel had ceased production.


Hey what goes around comes around... again and again and again.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrytori
Ha..ha...ha...ha...

Mono shocks are so old dude that your great grandmother may well have ridden bitch on one.

Enjoy:

" In 1908, Merkel merged his company with the Light Motor Co. and the new Merkel-Light Motor Co. moved activities to Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

Flying Merkels were known for having one of the finest rides in all of motorcycling and also as one of the most reliable motorcycles on the road. Merkels were more costly than many motorcycles of the time, but Merkel engines utilized the best German-made bearings and other high-quality materials, which led to excellent reliability.

Merkel also helped design a unique front and rear suspension system on his motorcycles. The rear suspension was a mono-shock design that proved to be decades ahead of its time. Yamaha would later make a similar single rear shock design popular again on racing machines of the 1970s and beyond. Even more impressive than the rear suspension was the front fork of the Flying Merkels. The fork was so good (telescopic in principle, using dual coil springs, yet looking like an unsprung trussed fork) that many other manufacturers put Merkel forks on their factory racing machines even through the 1920s, years after Merkel had ceased production.


Hey what goes around comes around... again and again and again.
Here she is... "The Flying Merkel"

Back in 1913 the bike was the bomb. A converted bicycle frame...The Japensese must have been blown away with the idea, I just can't get over the purely aesthetics of the single-sided swing arm.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:00 PM   #10
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If dual-sided swingarms were so superior, race cars would have them for each wheel. Cars have much greater weight & loads at the axles.

Tom
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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Merkel

Man, I knew the Onza Porcupine MTN bike tire was an old design, but I didn't know it went back to1913! Here's a pic of my speed Triple SSA.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:45 PM   #12
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My HawkGT had a SSS, and it debuted in 1988...not so new.

So did the Ducati 916.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbaneccessity602
huh...
You asked "By the way anyone have any pictures of a single swing arm disassembled with a frame?" I found a picture of a pretty beefy swingarm for a GL1800 Goldwing. Not quite what you were looking for but pretty damn neat engineering. Seems like Honda did it just because they wanted to. Would make a tire change easier though.
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:46 PM   #14
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The side mounted shock on the Ninja 650R and Versys is a packaging solution. Looking down from the top, imagining the rear subframe and seat aren't there, the battery sits on the left, the shock is on the right. This, combined with the design of the transmission, leaves room for the exhaust under the shock without an unnecessarily high seat height.

Its nice that the preload adjustment is right there, and I think from a styling perspective it works well with the lines of the steel trellis frame, but as outlined above, I believe it was a packaging solution. A really sweet packaging solution.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefrider
If dual-sided swingarms were so superior, race cars would have them for each wheel. Cars have much greater weight & loads at the axles.
If single sided is better, why do all of the Dakar winning BMW cycles have rear forks?
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