Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Sidecars => Topic started by: GRAVELTRAVEL on June 21, 2015, 05:41:04 pm

Title: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on June 21, 2015, 05:41:04 pm
I started a new topic more than 1 year ago about my idea to build my own sidecar. Sadly , I have not posted the progress of this project due to all sorts of reasons. However , to the great surprise of my family and a few other people, myself included, the project is now almost completed.

As mentioned previously , the design is based on some ideas from the net , some of my own and the R80G/S suspension that I used.

In a lot of cases , I had to scrap and start again when my "design" did not work out. In any event , I started with the frame and the  suspension attachment.

Once that was completed , I had to fabricate a sub frame that bolts to the bike and then get the frame attached to that. This was probably the most difficult part and had to be re done 3 or four times before it worked.

Once I got the attachments completed I had to figure out what the tub will look like. I eventually decided to go for a stainless steel frame with aluminium covering. The only remaining body part outstanding is the mudguard

It actually worked out ok. I am still trying to figure out a paint scheme of some kind. Perhaps leave the stainless parts unpainted and the aluminium the same colour as the pigs tank.

I hope to finally attach the rig within the next month or two by the latest. Then I still need to figure out how to ride/drive this thing!
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on June 21, 2015, 05:42:55 pm
some more pics
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Crab on June 21, 2015, 06:10:55 pm
That looks really nice.
Once you start to ride it you will quickly learn that to take a left hand corner you brake before the corner and then accelerate through the corner, but with a right hander you come in fast and grab a handfull of front brake as you go through the corner. This is to take advantage of the mass of the sidecar in corners. Periodically check your spokes as the lateral cornering forces are not what those wheels were designed for and spokes can work loose with hard riding. I see some people fit a pressed steel rim to the rear with a car tyre fitted.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: woody1 on June 21, 2015, 06:19:25 pm
Handige man. Well done  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on June 21, 2015, 07:14:27 pm
Well done.   :thumleft:  :thumleft:

Once the rig is ready the riding will come naturally.  Maybe a mishap here and there.   :eek7:   :biggrin: 

We just got back from a Nam trip a few weeks ago.  See the rr here. 

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=174260.0 (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=174260.0)

Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: MegaPix on June 22, 2015, 07:08:55 pm
 :sip:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Mev Vis Arend on June 23, 2015, 07:07:39 am
 :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: DirtRebell on June 23, 2015, 07:28:51 am
Hats off and well done!

A question - seem the rear bracket is in line with you left peg, maybe the pic shows a funny angle but how is your position for you left foot working out?
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on June 23, 2015, 09:58:07 am
 It does look a bit odd I admit. It was one of those " design" or "ergonomic" errors which I did not notice until it was too late. Fortunately there is enough room to get the toe of my boot under the gear lever. Have not ridden it yet but in a stationary position it seems to be working ok.

I still need to fit the brake pedal for the sidecar wheel just adjacent to the left footpeg

Something like the attached pic
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: HB 9 on June 23, 2015, 10:03:29 am
 :sip:  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Crab on June 23, 2015, 02:34:21 pm
So your sidecar will brake independently of the bikes brakes? That is very neat!
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: DUSTRIDERS on June 23, 2015, 03:01:21 pm
Daai hond lyk reg vir inklim en ry!! :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on June 23, 2015, 05:13:38 pm
Yep! From what I have read on the net it is better to have an independent brake as it helps with the turning. In this case especially to the left. and to the right using the bike's rear brake.Almost like the turning brakes on a tractor. Cant wait to try it out.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Humfree on July 08, 2015, 08:26:56 am
Hi Graveltravel, welcome to the dark art of sidecarring and well done with all the work you have put in. Don't worry about the riding but just take it slow in the beginning. If you want a riding manual please send me a pm and I can mail it to you no problem and FOC.

Be extremely careful of having the sidecar brake separate from the motorcycle brakes - on paper this looks like a good idea but in reality I have found it extremely dangerous as it gives too much response and if you ended up in an emergency braking situation it is virtually impossible to stop the rig under control and you will most certainly pull or push the one brake harder than the other and end up veering either left or right...

The throttle and throttle control is ample help for cornering and you do not need a separate brake lever for the sidecar but rather a brake operated together, either with the front or back brakes from the motorcycle. Ideally the sidecar brake mechanism should be able to be adjusted independently to allow for the rig to stop in a straight line...

Good luck with the final stage of your project and if you need any help or advice feel free to contact me and I can share all I know...     
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on July 08, 2015, 09:58:59 am
Thanks for the assistance! I am currently finalizing the mudguard and the seat. After that it will be painting etc. One thing I have not sorted yet is the rear wheel on the bike. Ideally I would want a suitable tyre that I can fit straight on the existing GS rim but I doubt if that is available. alternatively I would want a plan on how to fit a suitable car rim and tyre onto the rear. Any suggestions??
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on July 08, 2015, 11:28:09 am
In terms of connecting the brake on the side car to one of the brakes on the bike. the bike has hydraulic operated brakes and the sidecar a mechanical one. Any suggestions on how I can tie the two together?
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Gerrard on July 10, 2015, 12:58:38 pm
Thanks for the assistance! I am currently finalizing the mudguard and the seat. After that it will be painting etc. One thing I have not sorted yet is the rear wheel on the bike. Ideally I would want a suitable tyre that I can fit straight on the existing GS rim but I doubt if that is available. alternatively I would want a plan on how to fit a suitable car rim and tyre onto the rear. Any suggestions??

Chat to Vis Arend. he had it done on his 1200GSA.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on July 10, 2015, 01:30:35 pm
Thanks for the assistance! I am currently finalizing the mudguard and the seat. After that it will be painting etc. One thing I have not sorted yet is the rear wheel on the bike. Ideally I would want a suitable tyre that I can fit straight on the existing GS rim but I doubt if that is available. alternatively I would want a plan on how to fit a suitable car rim and tyre onto the rear. Any suggestions??

In terms of connecting the brake on the side car to one of the brakes on the bike. the bike has hydraulic operated brakes and the sidecar a mechanical one. Any suggestions on how I can tie the two together?

Talk to Peter Teague.  He is an engineer based in KZN.  He did the conversions on our rigs.  He will be able to give you sound advice on both topics.  You can tell him I, Louis, refered you to him.  (He is not a WD, but very helpfull)
07two 63six 575four.   :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Humfree on July 14, 2015, 03:13:46 pm
In terms of connecting the brake on the side car to one of the brakes on the bike. the bike has hydraulic operated brakes and the sidecar a mechanical one. Any suggestions on how I can tie the two together?

That is a bit of a problem if the brake on the sidecar is not hydraulic. To try and marry the two is virtually impossible as you need a lot of travel on your brake pedal for the mechanical one and less for the hydraulic one. To change the sidecar brake to hydraulic is not impossible but will be costly as you need to change the wheel for one with a disc, probably the axle and then make fittings to accommodate the caliper etc etc ... there is always a lot more to doing something simple than one expects.

Maybe the two brake option but be careful...
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Black_Hawk on July 14, 2015, 03:20:14 pm
Looking good... can't wait to see the end result  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Sláinte Mhaith on July 14, 2015, 03:23:12 pm
 :peepwall:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 18, 2015, 03:11:57 pm
Ok , I am back again.
 It has been slow going but at least I have managed to get an independent brake going on the sidecar. Took a bit of "kopkrap" and a few  stops n starts but it seems to work.

I have also completed the mudguard. That was not easy as I do not have access to an "English Wheel' as demonstrated by Fabman , neither do I have his kind of skills. I eventually took an aluminium profile and "lobsterbacked" it. It still needs some final sanding and then painting.

the frame and 'tub' are all complete. I started the painting and hope to have everything finally assembled by the weekend.

Then it will be ready for its maiden run. As per previous advice , I will take it painfully slow at first and hope to get it right for a trip to Solitaire at the beginning of September.

Will take some photos and post it soon.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: HB 9 on August 18, 2015, 03:27:26 pm
 :thumleft:   :sip:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: eberhard on August 18, 2015, 04:14:54 pm
Baie netjies wat jy doen. Baie interessant ook. Hou ons op hoogte.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: woody1 on August 18, 2015, 04:25:52 pm
Ek hou ook die dop.. :peepwall:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on August 18, 2015, 07:30:36 pm
Ok , I am back again.
 It has been slow going but at least I have managed to get an independent brake going on the sidecar. Took a bit of "kopkrap" and a few  stops n starts but it seems to work.

I have also completed the mudguard. That was not easy as I do not have access to an "English Wheel' as demonstrated by Fabman , neither do I have his kind of skills. I eventually took an aluminium profile and "lobsterbacked" it. It still needs some final sanding and then painting.

the frame and 'tub' are all complete. I started the painting and hope to have everything finally assembled by the weekend.

Then it will be ready for its maiden run. As per previous advice , I will take it painfully slow at first and hope to get it right for a trip to Solitaire at the beginning of September.
Will take some photos and post it soon.

Can't wait to see this one.   :thumleft:

We enjoyed the Nam gravel tremendously with the rig.    :deal:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Salty on August 25, 2015, 04:53:14 pm
So GT, ready for Solitaire next week?
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 27, 2015, 12:10:57 am
I will try my best to join. At present I am still busy assembling the sidecar after final touches and painting. I still need to fabricate the final bits and pieces to make the sidecar brake work. Completed the shaft running from the wheel side to a position next to my left footpeg.

Completed the brake pedal and painted it and will finally adjust and attach as soon as I have completed the mechanism from the wheel hub to the wheel end of the shaft. When I got the R80 suspension and wheel it was minus the whole brake mechanism so this has to be laboriously fabricated which is a bit of a schlep but has to be done.

I am trying to complete everything by the weekend and finally attach it to the bike. Problem is that I have never even ridden a bike/sidecar rig so would need at least a day to ride it around the town to get familiar with a totally different style of riding before attempting the road to Sesriem! Probably not the best way of doing this but sometimes you have to take the opportunity as it comes. Will also still have to see if I can complete some urgent stuff at work in order to take the few days off.

The next worry is also if the whole fabrication will hold together and not fall off in bits and pieces along the way! Everything was "designed"(if you can call it that) from ideas of what other people did in the past with my own flavour thrown in the mix. Also , no non destructive testing was done on any of my welds yet and there might be some unknown stresses and strains  in the structure which I have no clue about. Anyway will have to wait and see.

At least Road Hog said he will join me on the trip which will give some peace of mind.

For the benefit of the rest of the community , Salty and myself used to be in the SAN together and the last time I saw him was probably about 15 years ago when the term DS bike was not even in existence!. This get together should be of epic proportions! Really looking forward to it!

Will shortly post some pics of the partially completed rig


Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on August 27, 2015, 04:24:01 am
Good luck.   :thumleft:

Thye best way to learn is to hit the road.  When I got mine we had to return home with the rig, a distance of 600km.  Part of that was on the busy N2.   :eek7:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Laban on August 27, 2015, 06:13:48 am


…best of luck to you GT…now for the lean-to and the toe-in…enjoy… :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Salty on August 28, 2015, 11:09:07 am
Hi GT, hope you can make it, and with the side car! Sterkte, leaving for Namaqualand later today and on north. Ping you on the weekend.

I have rum!
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Humfree on August 29, 2015, 08:38:02 am
Pictures picture pictures..... :sip:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: westfrogger on August 29, 2015, 09:47:05 am
I like Namibia and I like sidecars, so ... er ... subscribe.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 10:45:40 am
Ok, I think it is clear that I will not get this project completed by Sunday. all sorts of issues at work to sort out. (even on a Saturday). Busy with a large project where all sorts of things can pop up at no notice and cannot wait until I had my fun!

So Salty, it looks like I am not going to make it to Sesriem unfortunately. Perhaps I can twist your arm to make your way to Walvisbay? I have asked before but will accept if the answer is negative.

In any event herewith some pictures of the preparation and painting of all the bits and pieces. Unfortunately taken with a cell phone so please excuse the quality. Will flash up the GO Pro later and get some decent pics taken.

As mentioned before , 99% of the framework as well as the frame of the tub was made in Stainless 316L. This is one of the hazards of Walvisbay that even the gold fillings in your teeth will corrode if you are not careful!

I decided to paint the supporting framework to hopefully match the bike's frame and to paint the aluminium panelling with something close to the colour of the bikes tank. It turns out that this is a fairly complicated process to match the colour and type exactly. As this project is a bit of a prototype , everything is not exactly show room condition. I therefore decided that the paint will be a matt finish which will hopefully hide some of my mistakes and reworks.

The external stainless framework of the tub will be left completely unpainted which first of all should not corrode and second give a bit of contrast otherwise the whole picture would have looked really dull and boring.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 10:51:37 am
Start with an etch primer
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 10:52:43 am
Struggling to post the pictures!!
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: NoRush on August 29, 2015, 11:19:30 am
Well done, looks great. Following your build.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 06:37:57 pm
Lets try again with the pictures. I have managed to assemble almost everything today. All that remains now is the luggage rack and then to fit it to the bike.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 06:39:35 pm
And some more
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 06:41:28 pm
These were taken earlier today after I completed the assembly
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on August 29, 2015, 06:44:15 pm
Don't look too closely at the state of my workshop. Its been hectic and my "assistant" has not been here for a while. (handy excuse)
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on September 01, 2015, 12:09:51 pm
 I have been to the local Natis to find out how the attachment of the sidecar will affect my licence as it clearly states "motorcycle without sidecar". Seems like I will have to almost completely re register the whole vehicle with police clearances , weighbridge certificates etc. The fact that I built it myself does not help either!!

I am also told that it will have to have a taillight as well as an indicator.

Is this the same in RSA? Anybody had this experience before? Any advice on how the rules work will be appreciated.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on September 01, 2015, 03:20:32 pm

Is this the same in RSA? Anybody had this experience before? Any advice on how the rules work will be appreciated.

Some has it easy, others, like me, struggle their asses of.    I eventually got mine done.   :biggrin:   
It seems to differ from Province to Province.

I think the best info would be from Humfree.
 
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Laban on September 01, 2015, 05:14:41 pm


...taillight as well as an indicator....yes that's a must have... ;)
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete) attached at least!
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on September 13, 2015, 09:16:07 pm
At last! I have managed to attach the sidecar to the bike! took it for its maiden ride/drive? Just 50 m down the road. I must admit that was scary! I always thought that the whole rig might be too heavy. However , it actually felt like the bike wanted to tip over and that the sidecar is too light! I filled two twenty litre cans with water and put that in as ballast. That made things a little bit easier but still really weird!

I have not done the final proper measurements regarding heel and toe in yet, but at a glance it seems to be ok. During the trial fit I measured/marked everything carefully and put it back on in the same position this time so it should actually be relatively close.

The plan is to ride it to work tomorrow. hope I get there in one piece! I can see this is going to be a steep learning curve before I will feel comfortable.

Will post some pics tomorrow. Was a little too dark to take proper pics.

Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on September 14, 2015, 04:54:59 am
Great news.   :thumleft:

It is indeed a scary experience at the beginning.    My first day was a nightmare.  I thought I made the biggest mistake in my life by buying the rig.  The second day took a mere 10 minutes and I had the neck of it.  From there on it just became better and better, to such a point that it became addicted.   :deal:
 
All of the best for todays ride to work.   :thumleft:
 
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Wooly Bugger on September 14, 2015, 05:02:28 am
 :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: woody1 on September 14, 2015, 07:01:07 am
I had the same feeling when Visarend allowed me to test drive his Karretjie. I thought this will NEVER work for me.
500 meters down the road I got the FEELING... came back smiling.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on September 14, 2015, 08:34:45 am
 Ok , I had the first proper ride this morning and I must admit after about 500m I thought that I had made a big mistake in doing this! I was so uncomfortable to a point where I wanted to stop and walk! But I assume I will have to check all the various alignments and measurements and keep on trying until it becomes comfortable.

About half way to work , my ABS alarm came on. I assume I will have to switch the ABS off? Any comments on this will be appreciated. I assume the "scrub" is causing havoc with the ABS brain!

Anyway , herewith some pics before the maiden ride. Road Hog was the first one to test the seat. even with his 130kg everything stayed in one piece!
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: GRAVELTRAVEL on September 14, 2015, 08:38:45 am
and some more
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: Vis Arend on September 14, 2015, 09:07:18 am
Hang in there, you will get the feeling of the ride soon enough. 
Try playing with the throttle gently to stay in a straight line.   Open throttle to go left, close throttle to go right. 

ABS light should not come on.  Do proper measurements, toe in enc, if that is horrible out it might have a effect.  I only switch the ABS off when on the gravel, only reason for that is to play a bit (read broadsiding).   :biggrin:       
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: BlueBull2007 on September 21, 2015, 04:41:58 pm
Lekker man! :thumleft:

Hope you get it sorted.
Title: Re: 1st Namibian Sidecar (almost complete)
Post by: DirtRebell on September 22, 2015, 09:41:49 am
:thumleft: :thumleft:

Dit lyk goed!