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Old 12-18-2011, 04:25 AM   #31
BeeMaa
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You are gonna have to talk to Santa about that new shock.
Maybe he knows someone at Ohlins or Wilbers who can give you a hand.
Until then, enjoy the ride the best you can.
You can hook an anti-sway bar up for the rear of the car to help with stiffening up the ride.
The downfall of this is you loose some articulation/travel in the suspension when off-road.
Good luck.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:29 AM   #32
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Found some photos of the rear shock.
I have blown out the rear preload O ring once ,but it was still under warranty .
Very nice shock.





Cheers Ian
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:36 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pops View Post
Found some photos of the rear shock.
I have blown out the rear preload O ring once ,but it was still under warranty .
Very nice shock.
Cheers Ian
Ian,

How did you blow out the preload O-ring?
Going crazy off-road or just normal riding stuff?
Did Wilbers give you any grief for bringing back a broken shock?
Good customer support?
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:37 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pops View Post
Hi Mick.

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

Have you checked out his GSA outfit .Very nice

Cheers Ian
Hi Ian.

Took the daughter away in the sidecar for an overnighter this weekend, 400 odd kilometres and enjoyed the trip. That Wilbers shock made a HUGE difference to the front end, i'm really glad I decided to take it off your hands.

Now all I need to do is work out how to get your trailer.








Hi MIXR,

Sensational looking outfit there mate.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:22 AM   #35
pops
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMaa View Post
Ian,

How did you blow out the preload O-ring?
Going crazy off-road or just normal riding stuff?
Did Wilbers give you any grief for bringing back a broken shock?
Good customer support?
Hi BeeMaa
I was dozing off a bit on the way back from Pooncarie.
I hit a wash out in a creek a wee bit to fast and that was that Must have been all the BMW spares i was carrying.

Wilbers were great . I sent the shock over .And a few days later he gave me a ring to see what the go was with
the shock. He rang again after a few days telling me what he had done and the price for the service.Too easy
I have had very good service with him .

Hi Nev i am glad you like the shock . Huge change from stock.

The trailer is easy Nev . It is yours.




You can tow it to the off center rally ride for us

Cheers Ian
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:35 AM   #36
BeeMaa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pops View Post
Hi BeeMaa
I was dozing off a bit on the way back from Pooncarie.
I hit a wash out in a creek a wee bit to fast and that was that Must have been all the BMW spares i was carrying.

Wilbers were great . I sent the shock over .And a few days later he gave me a ring to see what the go was with
the shock. He rang again after a few days telling me what he had done and the price for the service.Too easy
I have had very good service with him .

Cheers Ian
Thanks Ian.
We will be looking to upgrade our suspension soon and this has really helped.
Glad to hear you had good service from Wilbers.
More coffee...less dozing.
Cheers.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:02 PM   #37
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Holy Shockers Batman!

Geez - You have a few hours sleep and the thread fills with 'shocking' posts!

Great info and discussion guys. I used to play with sway bars back in my sports car days. Not sure that's the answer for me, particularly a it would require a fair degree of engineering and the addition of new attachment points. I'm trying not to turn this into a 'project', and don't have the home workshop that would allow any significant fabrication to be done.

I'm happy with the front end. The rear is the problem. Nothing worse than a saggy rear-end! I'm pretty sure the rig will be far more user-friendly with a stiffer back end, so that's first on my shopping list. The chair is set very light (lowest setting of three) and runs a very easy (progressive) spring, so it's good. We have a motorcycle suspension guy here who does good work, so I'll have a chat with him after Christmas about the rear end of the bike.

I have already noted that I can improve things by running the bike light. Two side panniers and a topbox are 30 kg, and if they are left off the rear seems to work much better. So that's where I'm heading first. Anything else might be an improvement, but won't be a neccessity.

Thanks for the input. I appreciate the fact that some of you have well and truly been down this path already, so your experiences and opinions are valued.

Cheers, Mick.

MIXR screwed with this post 12-18-2011 at 04:11 PM Reason: typo
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:58 PM   #38
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Keep us up to date on how it all turns out.
Enjoy your holiday.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:20 PM   #39
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Look what Santa got me!

I decided to have a chat with Laurie from Suspension Smith here in town. He specialises in bike shocks, forks and springs. He was keen to see the outfit, and said he could probably assist in sorting it out, but only if I brought the thing in for him to have a look at the issues. So I did. No problem. The stock shocks are reasonable quality, and he had the ability to do a rebuild on the rear that would do everything a much more expensive shock would do.

So I went 'purple'. The stock shock was pulled out, a new 1,000 lb spring fitted, and some re-valving of the damper and new seals went in. What a change! The stock shock spring (?) is a 13, and the new one is 17.9 (whatever that means for those numbers). Laurie did start to tell me about that stuff, but .................................. I was more interested in the overall effect. Fantastic! He set it up fairly hard for the expected load, but I'm running a much lower preload now than I was with the original item (almosed maxed that out), and have actually backed the new one off three more clicks as I felt it was just a bit too hard. Lots of scope for heavier adjustment. Wonderful!



Laurie also had a play with the sidecar shock and dropped it back to the lowest setting and played with the damper as well. I should only need to 'up' the setting one notch (of three) if I carry a person. Not sure about that, as the handling was a bit flatter and more precise with the stiffer sidecar setting, but at the cost of road comfort. Maybe it's a compromise I need to live with.



Overall, I'm pretty happy that my rear end no longer sags, and the rig sits much flatter at speed on sweeping bends. My confidence is way up now, as the soft wallow with the stock rear shock was very disconcerting. Anyway, all seems good, and the cost was a small $400 all-up. Gotta be pleased with that!

The rear tyre is starting to show signs of being 'used', so I guess I'll be playing with tyre types and tyre pressures in the new year. A mate wants me to joing him on a fairly exacting day-ride into the mountains (lots of rough dirt), so that will now be a good overall test of the changes.



For now, I'll wish you a great Christmas and Happy New Year. See you in 2012. Mick.

PS - I've realised I'm starting to push the limits on this thing, so maybe It won't be that slow after all! The really slow sub-50 kph turns are still a problem, but are not the big deal they once were. Also, the change in attitude of the bike now that the rear doesn't squat down has meant that it's not as nice at highway speeds. More steering effort required. Maybe I need to start looking at some other adjustments (now that's a scary thought!).

MIXR screwed with this post 12-23-2011 at 05:24 PM Reason: Added info
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Old 12-26-2011, 12:36 AM   #40
hunter_greyghost
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Often do rides out this way & further north, be good to have an outfit along for trip, had a couple in the past but tow a trailer now [when needed!],
keep an eye on 'ACT & Surrounds' thread on Aussie page
Cheers
Baza
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:54 PM   #41
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The new rear end and first adjustments

Anytime Baza - Let me know if you are in the vicinity.

Now ................................ About the new rear spring ................................................

LOVE IT.

I've wound the pre-load off by 6 clicks from Laurie's setting, so I now have it set about half way. It was a bit too firm, and I decided to make some changes to my load carrying system. I now have a large plastic picnic hamper tucked away behind the rear seat. It carries all my heavy stuff like tools, jack, compressor etc. A lot was in my panniers, and for most trips I won't even need to fit them. I also refitted the muffler as Garry commented that it might be a bit noisy with my can-less pipe for Kipper on a long run. Anyway, the overall effect is to shift weight from the bike to the sidecar.

The bike is sitting higher with the new rear shock, and that has shifted the lean angle of the bike inwards (that's to the left and towards the sidecar here in Aus). The slight lean angle, plus any road camber, has meant that the bike's steering went quite firm at highway speeds. It now requires effort to hold it at centre, and that's tiring. It was also harder to steer right and easier to steer left, but the lack of a neutral position was a real problem yesterday.

I did a 465 km test ride yesterday. I went on a blast with a mate and his wife. He's on a new Duke Multistrada, she's on a Honda Hornet 900. We did a lot of mostly rough, narrow and twisty mountain roads (Canberra to Nerriga, Nowra, Kangaroo Valley, Bundanoon, Windellema, Tarago, home). It was a big effort for me with all the tight stuff, but the rig went ok, and Kipper loved it! I have tired arms and aching muscles today from the effort required.

The rear spring is fantastic. The handling has become atrocious as I've lost the neutral feel I had. So this is what I've done, but have yet to test ride (drive):

I set the sidecar spring back to centre preload. The rig really leans down on the soft side when in right turns, so it needs it to be a bit tighter. I think the extra weight in the sidecar will make it ride ok. It will be a compromise between a supple ride for Kipper and a shaky ride, but safe handling is more important.

I looked hard at the lean angle of the bike and would out all three upper arms by two full turns. This will hopefully make the rig more neutral when it settles with my weight on board. The centre arm is probably for stregth, so I concentrated on the fore and aft arms first, and just let the centre one turn out until it lined up. Anyway - All three went two full turns and the bike is sitting much straighter, but is not upright (verticle) until I sit on it.

I do not like the SRK mounting system. I had to also undo the main arm chassis bolts to swing the arms out of the way so that I could turn the eye-ends. Bad system. I also found that the mounting block for the rear arm attachment has two bolts that are not long enough to fully engage the threaded plate! Crap engineering and poor tradesmanship again! And I also discovered that I cannot fold down my left pillion peg. No big deal, but this could have been useable with a bit more thought about strut placement.

I discovered some paint blistering on the sidecar guard, but that can just be added to my long list of 'half-a-job' items that will preclude any recommendation of SRK for sideacr build work. It's just not good enough.

Anyway - I'm really happy with the front end of the outfit with a stadard shock at half setting, and the rear end seems to be excellent with the new spring and valving, and I think the stiffer sidecar setting will also be a good move. Test ride tomorrow to confirm what else needs to be done.

I have done nothing to the two lower mounts that affect toe in/out. The handling was good and neutral at speed before the shock was done, so I think all my adjustments will be on the upper arms for lean angle. Time will tell.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers, Mick.
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:40 AM   #42
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G'day MIXR,

Is the sidecar attached to the bike via the BMW crash bars and the footpeg mounts? Or more substantial than that?

I recently saw a GS that had the front mounts clamped to the crash bars. I would not have thought the crash bars were designed to handle the load, nor would I think that the materials & construction / welding of crash bars is sufficient for the loads.

Once you've got it set up the way you like it, you'll probably never look back. One of the most problematic bits is having something to compare it to. In the years that I've been riding sidecars, I've probably only ridden about 7 or 8, and that includes the 4 that have been mine. Back to back comparisons would be useful. Having said that, you're correct in your earlier statement about none being directly comparable to another.

Sidecars are much 'softer' / 'better' / some appropriate word on unsealed roads. I suspect one significant reason is because the uneven loads can be relieved by the tyres sliding. Much more difficult on a grippy surface. Good reason to stay away from highways.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:59 PM   #43
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Crash bars and suspension

It's a yes and no answer to the crash bars as mounting points. The attachment system is 5 point. The crash bars are used as a part of the system for the upper 'lean' supports, but with brackets that also mount to other areas. The hiding the thing has copped in the last two rides this week (totalling over 1,000 kms) means I am confident it is strong enough.

The changes I made yesterday have worked a treat. Very happy. It's good on the highway, backroads and dirt. Did another 560 kms today (on top of the 465 two days ago) and it was fine. Quite rough roads in places, but a ton of fun. I'm blessed by having a good choice of roads to play with, so I did a back-road run to Wagga to meet a mate and go for a ride.



Some of the roads along the Murrumbidgee River are great for the outfit.



It wasn't all hard work. I stopped for a few photographic masterpieces along the way!



My mate Dee has an M109R. Beast of a thing. We had a breather at Gundagai on the way home, before we headed off to Cootamundra and Harden where we split up again and headed home.



He said the bike sat well on the road. Nice and upright, but possibly a hint of crabbing to the left. That would explain the need to steer right at speeds over 90 kph. I need to play with the toe adjustment. I also need to figure out what I'm doing with that, just like I did with lean angle!

The rig is quite fast on the back roads, but uses a lot of fuel at speeds over 105 kph. I need to slow down. I was so comfortable at times that I almost forgot I was on an outfit ..................................... Until I hit a sharpish left sweeper. Oops!

Anyway, it's coming good. Lots of little things to fix, but rideability is getting better. Couldn't have asked for anything better with the suspension. It's working great, and even the stiffer setting on the chair is still good on rough roads, and so much better on the highway.

Ok - Off to do some reading and adjusting! Have a great New Year's Eve . Cheers, Mick.
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:02 AM   #44
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Looks like a nice practical outfit
Cheers
Baza
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:46 PM   #45
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Adjusting Goliath

Well, I think I have this beast figured out. I've seriously tried to avoid the 'trial and error' or 'guestimate' path to engineering excellence, and went with a lot of study of articles, posts on the subject, and the knowledge of others. Needless to say, there is no single solution to my rig because it's just that - My rig and there isn't another one like it!

So, I figured my second round of adjustments to correct the steering effort needed to be a two-pronged approach. Clearly, the bike was upright and in an almost 'neutral' position after my new rear spring adjustments. I know that some like them to lean out (away from the tub), but I wanted it neutral with a light load (pretty much just me) as I knew it would settle with panniers and give me some further lean.

I also knew it had too high a steering effort to the right, and drifted left at speed. Remember, my tub is on the left.

My other consideration is that the adjustment clevis system used by SRK is one full turn minimum. There are no half turns due to the design of the mounting points. And it's a coarse thread, so one turn is a decent distance (relatively speaking).

I tried the beam measurement along the wheels for toe angle, and then tried string-lines. Not really useful with a narrow front tyre and wide rear tyre, even when you subtract (or add) half the difference. So I went with my head and what the rig was doing on the road. It needed something, but not too much of it.

I figured I'd take the lower front djustment in a turn, and the lower rear adjustment out a turn. That would give me a noticeable effect on toe. However, the location of the upper rear adjustment also meant that I would need to adjust it out a further turn, lest I end up trying to 'twist' the bike. As it turned out, the upper rear adjustment pretty much dropped into place with little force, so it was a good thing to do.

The outfit now rides well, and steers quite well for a 'stock' bike. I did a lot of on-board experimenting to figure out what the entire rig was doing before I adjusted anything. I tried different loads in the tub to see what the effects were. I tried different loads on the bike to see what the effects were. I moved my bum back on the seat to what effect that had, and it was surprising (to me) to note that my high-speed handling improved as the bike settled down a bit in the rear. I now know that on a big trip with loaded panniers, the rig will handle fine, and not be tiring.

Is it perfect and simple to ride? Not a chance. There is little head shake at low speed, but not really that much now. Softer tyre pressures will have helped, as will the squaring off of the front tyre. There is a twitchiness in the steering at that cross-over speed where the tub goes from steering the bike one way (right) to trying to drag the bike the other way (left). Have you had a good look at that? For me, that 'neutral dynamics' speed is about 85 kph. That's rough dirt road speeds, or mountain hairpins. I like it there.

Anyway - What did I learn? I learned not to be afraid to try and figure it out yourself and that the adjustments are not a black majic art if you really think of them carefully. Consider the effect on the whole outfit, and not just on the single attachment point you are playing with. It really holds no fear for me anymore, and I have learned so much in such a short time.

There are lots I still do not like about my paid-for build quality, but now that I have spent the time to do some proper suspension and attachment sorting, I'm reasonably happy with the road manners of the beast. In fact, very happy compared to what I started with.

The one thing I really hate? I'm so sick of people wanting photos and pulling up alongside on the highway to get one with their mobile phone cameras!

Now to start planning some longer rides! Cheers all, Mick.
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