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Old 12-13-2011, 02:59 AM   #16
TouringDave
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Mick, that is a top looking outfit! Congrats!
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:42 AM   #17
pops
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That looks the part .
That dog is going to pester you every time you try to go for a ride

I also like the look of the spoke wheels.

Cheers Ian
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:52 PM   #18
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The wire wheels and quality

The wire wheels look really good, and it will be hard to ever replace them with a car wheel set-up. I've been watching the bike's rear closely for any signs of stress (feathering etc) from pushing the load, but it seems to be sitting nicely on the road. Early days though with only a few hundred kilometres up, but maybe the setup will have a less-pronounced effect on tyre wear than some of the bigger and heavier rigs.

As for build quality - I'm still finding things wrong that have to be re-done, which is annoying. One of the travel-toneau press studs pulled out of the tub. A couple more are loose. A close look reveals that the alloy rivets used to secure the studs to the tub just aren't long enough, and some of the holes have been badly drilled and are oversize. And while checking that, I noticed that the felt backing on the seat is just glued on, and has already started peeling off. So, I have purchased a pack of correct size riverts and some vinyl glue to do the job properly.

It's not structural stuff which I think (hope) is all ok, but the general fit and finish is woeful. Annoyng when you spend top-end money and get bottom-end quality. It's not worth taking the thing back to Bathurst to have the builder address these little thing and to be honest, I'd prefer to do it my way and not have to worry about it failing again.

And so we soldier on. Holidays coming up, so lots of trips planned. And some detailed shots coming soon for a few guys who have asked for them. More later. Cheers, Mick.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:26 AM   #19
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Update 15 December 2011

Managed to clear out from work a little early today (Christmas Lunch) so I headed home and loaded up Kipper for a short 150 km ride. Practice, practice practice!

I ended up on a dirt road, so what the heck - Time to see how it likes loose gravel. It's great! Better than driving tarmac Soaks up the bumps and feels very stable and solid.



I'm starting to get the hang of the left corners, but seem to be pushing a bit too hard at times. Hard to say if the effort is excessive, but I can feel my arms tonight! It's getting more comfortable with each ride, but I doubt I'll ever be fast. I did discover that my wheel cover is a big parachute! The airflow gets underneath the frame and blows the cover out like a big drag chute! I guess it has to go, unless I cut a large air vent in the middle!



The thing certainly attracts a decent share of attention. I guess it is a bit on the unusual side. And a rarety in these parts.



I actually took a mate for a run in the chair as well. He noted a few things, and so did I. He said it was a bit breezy and cold (he wasn't really dressed for it) and pretty noisy (the exhaust may need to be muffled a bit more by putting the can back on). Overall, he was pretty impressed with the ride, and if he tucked his arms in the thing was very aerodynamic and quiet. It's a small tub, and he is a big bloke, so I guess that's fair.

What I noticed was the large increase in effort required going from a 22 kg dog to a 100 kg person! Major difference. Left turns were easier, but overall effort was much increased. It also wallowed a lot more, but suspension is still set fairly soft. It definitely gave me more ideas on what to play with for next ride, so thanks for being my ballast Garry!

I think I'll be right with the weight aspect as my gear is mostly on the bike already. Just a tent and sleeping swag to go, and that's well under 30 kg, so I'll be a long way short of my passenger (by half) and still have some suspension settings to work on.

I'm not sure that there is more scientific approach to all this with individual rigs, but I am slowly seeing how you can extrapolate one finding into the next move that needs to be made. All interesting stuff. Anyway - One last look until I get out again in a week or so. Unfortunately I have a funeral to attend before Christmas, so the outfit will remain shed-bound for a week or so.



Kind of grows on you, doesn't it?
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:35 PM   #20
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nice report
looks like you had fun
thanks to GARRY...
YES, it DOES kind of grow on you

can't wait to read and see the next installment
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:16 PM   #21
BeeMaa
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Love the look of your rig.
The way the paint matches and the angle of the "GS" lines up...awesome.
Cool looking monkey too.

Take care and be safe.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
Love the look of your rig.
The way the paint matches and the angle of the "GS" lines up...awesome.
Cool looking monkey too. Take care and be safe.
Cheers Eric. Last time I called my boy a 'monkey' he bit my leg off! I now walk lopsided.

As for the decals - They are a quality HumVee product. I spent a long time checking the angle and lining the side decal up with the tank. Bits of tape to hold it while I tested varius locations and angles, then more strips of tape to get the angle bracketed so it would be perfect. Then I stuck it on. Perfect. Lovely. Great job. Pat on the back.

A few hours later I walked through the shed and admired the outfit. The damned decal was crooked and leaning away at the top! How'd that happen! Then I walked past the outfit and the decal was leaning the other way! WTF!

As it turns out, the decal is only 'perfect' at one side view over a very small range of viewing angle. Move left and the decal appears to slope away. Move right, and it appears to slope the other way. I didn't think of that! Anyway - I'm happy overall, and the decal is not coming off.

And if you use a flash a lot in your photos, don't buy the 'reflective' decals from HumVee as they 'light-up' with the flash and the colours won't match the tank decal when the photos are printed. Just get the plain colours. I wanted reflective decals for night visibility, but didn't consider the photo effects. See below.



Cheers, Mick.

MIXR screwed with this post 12-15-2011 at 05:45 PM Reason: Added photo
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIXR View Post
As for the decals - They are a quality HumVee product. I spent a long time checking the angle and lining the side decal up with the tank. Bits of tape to hold it while I tested varius locations and angles, then more strips of tape to get the angle bracketed so it would be perfect. Then I stuck it on. Perfect. Lovely. Great job. Pat on the back.

A few hours later I walked through the shed and admired the outfit. The damned decal was crooked and leaning away at the top! How'd that happen! Then I walked past the outfit and the decal was leaning the other way! WTF!

As it turns out, the decal is only 'perfect' at one side view over a very small range of viewing angle. Move left and the decal appears to slope away. Move right, and it appears to slope the other way. I didn't think of that! Anyway - I'm happy overall, and the decal is not coming off.
I've got the same decals and try to get the decals lined up when I'm taking pics just so some bastid doesn't post up, "Hey, your decals are crooked!" It is weird though as you walk past the rig and watch the decal go from leaning forward, to perfect, to leaning back.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:43 PM   #24
DRONE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIXR View Post
I actually took a mate for a run in the chair as well. He noted a few things, and so did I. He said it was a bit breezy and cold (he wasn't really dressed for it) and pretty noisy (the exhaust may need to be muffled a bit more by putting the can back on). Overall, he was pretty impressed with the ride, and if he tucked his arms in the thing was very aerodynamic and quiet. It's a small tub, and he is a big bloke, so I guess that's fair.

What I noticed was the large increase in effort required going from a 22 kg dog to a 100 kg person! Major difference. Left turns were easier, but overall effort was much increased. It also wallowed a lot more, but suspension is still set fairly soft. It definitely gave me more ideas on what to play with for next ride, so thanks for being my ballast Garry!
Ah, that's interesting, because with my 1150/DMC rig, which is pretty easy on the arms even with 12-hour days, it gets even easier to drive when I have a full grown passenger, and wallowing is reduced! I'd carry a passenger full-time if it wasn't for the backtalk and harping. But even when empty, I toss in 50 lbs of ballast (on top of the tools and crap I carry) just because it rides so nice with the weight.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:31 AM   #25
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Will be wanting feedback

Well now Drone - The opposite effect?

I know that this bike is a bit different to the normal thanks to the GS frame (as you well understand). Mine is using a 5-point link to the bike, with three upper mounts and two lower mounts. They all seem strong enough to prevent any flex, so I think it's all in the suspension. Some of the mounts are interconnected on a common mounting plate on the bike side.

I will be seeking some expert opinion on the 'symptoms' I write about. This is a big learning curve for me. I'm happy enough to play with things, but want to do it more scientifically that just 'trial and error'. As an aviation mechanical engineer by background, I prefer a more exact methodology. Besides, what's the fun if it's all too easy?

I've really started from scratch with this one. The new unladen mass is around 340 kg (@ 2.2 lb to a kg). That's what's listed for the road transport authority engineering report anyway. That means the chair is not really all that heavy. I only carry another 50 kg with the dog and his stuff, and camping gear. All-up, lets say an even 400 kg, plus two panniers and top box (loaded) at another 30 kg total and you are pushing 430 kg. Add a rider and gear at 110 kg (diet time!) and it hits 540 kg.

That's still 'light' by some outfits I've seen. Now, I'm running absolutely stock R1150GSA suspension. The rear is set almost full hard, and the front is at full soft. The sidecar is at full soft, and seems to work well in the rough. I know that next ride I need to harden the front. That's positive. The rear is seriously affected by a heavy passenger (my mate Garry). I think that's what threw the handling and steering effort out, more so than the soft front suspension.

So next ride it's a full dog load and harder front end. I suspect that I will need a harder rear end sooner rather than later. The GSA is too soft and too long-travel for this game. At least that's what I think at this stage. I was prepared for a rear shock cost addition. Pity they are so expensive here.

So we will play the set-up game. And I will happily accept any and all constructive opinion on what I find versus what others have found. I already know that you cannot directly translate the behaviour of another GSA with a different sidecar and set-up to what mine does. That's half the fun. Spot the difference!

I'm looking forward to the next test ride. And please come back here often and check up on me. I'll welcome your experiences (and all the others with R1150GSA outfits like Andrew2, Pops etc). Cheers, Mick.
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Old 12-16-2011, 01:31 AM   #26
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Mick,

Nice rig, and lucky dog!

Have you done anything about trail reduction, to lessen the steering effort?

Watch the lefts,

John
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:14 AM   #27
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The steering effort quandry

John - Steering effort with Kipper on board seems to be ok (for me). It was only when lard-arse climbed in that I noticed a surprising difference to the heavy side of effort at all speeds. It may be due to the change in geometry with the chair settling under load as it's lightly sprung and set on minimum pre-load. That's the stuff I'm playing with next.

As for left turns - Tight left and downhill turns will kill me one day! I really need to work on finding the left turn limits in a safe environment. I already know you MUST have power on, or at least be on a low trailing throttle. Any attempt to power off means Goliath goes straight on!

More practice needed. Not sure I'll need trail reduction for my work and load, and I was trying to avoid that. Time will tell.

Cheers, Mick.

MIXR screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 12:52 AM Reason: typos
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:41 AM   #28
BeeMaa
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Suspension preload vs spring rate

I was reading about your suspension set up and the changes you are thinking of making.
I am sure you are already aware, but I didn't want to assume you know the difference between preload and spring rate before you buy anything.
Buying a shock/spring that is in your adjustment range will make a huge difference in how a rig handles.
Thing is, as you have already experienced, handeling will change as your load does.
Set it up for the load you normally ride with and the roads you are normally on.
What works for one person, may not for another.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:10 AM   #29
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Springs and things

Understood Eric. The existing GSA stuff is problematic. Front and rear have soft, long-travel shocks. Springs rates are fine with 'normal' loads and no chair. For me anyway. The spring rate is insufficient for handling a heavily loaded chair, particularly on the rear.

Preload on the front has a marked effect on how harsh the bike is when it responds to inputs from either the road, or from the chair trying to steer the bike. I can live with the front end. There is no damping adjustment.

Preload on the rear does very little in reality. I know the shock is being overpowered by the chair. Preload can be wound full hard and the rear remains saggy under power and the lack of spring becomes very pronounced on dips and holes. It lessens the movement of the bike under braking and somewhat under cornering. Damping adjustment is ok, but damping seems to run a poor third behind spring preload and spring rate.

I know I need a rear shock with a higher spring rate. Then I can use preload to give me some load adjustment. At the moment, I'm using almost all the preload to artificially compensate for the lack of strength in the spring. It is not a good solution. My saving grace is the light load.

Yep - A new rear shock is on the shopping list.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:18 AM   #30
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Hi Mick.
When we had the original forks on ours The shock for the front was a wilbers it was 100% over stock shock.




Next to the gsa shock.



The rear is a wibers as well. I will have to find some info on it for you .

I would still like to try a sway bar it should make the rear stronger?

Bloke in Melborne sells them and has been servicing ours .If you want his name i can PM it to you

Nev would know all about a front wilbers on a gsa rig .

Have you checked out his GSA outfit .Very nice

Cheers Ian
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