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Folks I've talked myself into trying a sidecar rig for my camping adventures.

With the help of Floyd Goff (aka Sonny) I'm picking up a 1979 Velorex car tomorrow. D. Bachtel has been kind enough to take me under his wing with LOTS of pictures and info.

Also....Barb a well known hacker laughing herself has been talking me through some of it too. Actually I have Don, Shaun, Bryan, and Barb to blame. laughing

I wanted to start this thread so anybody interested can join along on this build/set up.

I know VERY little about sidecars. I'm learning but I'm still in the dark about a lot of set up stuff. Not to mention that I have never ridden/drove one so we'll have to go through that too. My long range plan is to build a "car specific" unit single out of the many I have to choose from here in the shop. But short range plans are to attach the Velorex to my 1967 B44VR.

Now, there's no need to start bashing the BSA unit single for a side car tug. That part is going to happen one way or the other and I'm going to deal with it. I KNOW there are better suited bikes out there...but the unit single is what I'm going to use...period.

I have some pictures of a beautiful B50 rig on my camping thread. I have that option too but for now, it's the B44VR.

I'll start posting pictures soon and welcome ANY and ALL help, suggestions, comments you have.

I'm hoping that through this thread we'll (bb.com) have some side car tech that people can use in the future.

First on the list of things to do is designing and building a subframe (something I had never heard of until a couple of weeks ago).

I'm also looking at moving the B44VRs exhaust to the left side, something I would rather NOT do but might have to anyway.

Okay enought for now. I'll post some pictures tomorrow once I have the car back to it's new home...and sitting next to it's new tug.

Take care...."Are three wheels better than two?" Gordon Gray in NC, USA

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 02/28/10 7:35 pm.

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The TR25W had a left side high level exhaust setup, think is was for 70 only or it could have been the 70 US only Starfire, could be a basis for your change of side for exhaust.

There is a very cute looking OIF single with a sidecar for sale in UK, will post the pictures if I can find it.

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I have a couple of the "left side" head pipes...but hope I don''t have to use them.

I have had ED V make up a head pipe before....If I have to go with moving it to the left I'll see if he can help.

One of the things I REALLY like about the VR is the low level exhaust....oh and those lovely plastic tank badges.

I'm hoping that when I get the car set up beside the bike it'll come to me how to make it work....but I'm not going to hold my breath.

I'd love to see as many photo's as I can get of a unit single being used as a tug. smile

Thanks for taking the time to reply :bigt....now back to Hockey...Gordon Gray in NC, USA

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 02/28/10 10:06 pm.

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Gordon , I have some pics of a 250 shooting star with a sidecar , I'll take a look and post them if I can find them. That rig was piloted by a Scottish couple that I ran into at a CVMG rally about ten years ago . I was impressed with the way that machine got down the road , I doubt you will have any trouble dialing in the B-44. A couple of points I would mention that we didn't talk about might be gearing . I found that stock gearing didn't get it when I had a sidecar , I ended up gearing lower. This helps you to control the combo better with engine speed , you will want to keep it on the cam a bit when you are going into turns . I don't have much experience with the unit singles but if it is geared for the road you might wanna look into it , all a matter of tatse and riding style I suppose . One other thing might be the exhaust . I didn't have any complaints with the A-65 but if you get a lot of noise in the car you should be able to just add an extensionto put the exhaust behind the chair , or are you planning to switch sides for mounting issues?


FWIW-BONZO

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Bonzo, I was thinking I might have an interference issue with the exhaust.....but...you got me to thinking...if you didn't have a problem with a twin...and were'nt using a 2 into 1, then I might not have a problem.

I have no intention of having anybody ride in the chair...just camping gear so noise isn't an issue.

Sorry for having to get off the phone, my wife's (and you know how womwn can be) was expecting a call from her mom.

I'd LOVE to see those pictures if and when you get a chance.

I leave tomorrow early to pick the car up....I'm excited and thank you for the advise you shared.

Take care...your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray


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Can't seem to find the one I was looking but these maybe of interest.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

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Thanks K for sharing. I got my car home tonight and will start taking pictures tomorrow. It's going to be slow...since I'm CLUELESS, but I'm going to start the process and with the help of others...get it done. Hopefully it'll be useful to somebody else later on.

Those pictures you posted...are very nice. I REALLY like the C15...man that's sweet.

When I think about it, that's JUST the way I've looked at sidecar rigs in the past...stand back and admire the bike...go around to the other side and look the car over BUT...I've never paid attention to HOW they were attached.... confused


Well, I might not know everything there is to know about these things...but thank goodness, at least I know WHO to ask... laughing

Thanks again for taking the time to share....take care, Gordon Gray in NC, USA

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 03/02/10 4:04 am.

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Gordon: Your plan sounds like a great idea. The B44 will do the job just fine if it is geared correctly. A pal had a trials chair on a 68VS and it was a lot of fun in the dirt. The BSA forks are not too keen on a lot of sideways abuse but they would be fine for normal driving. Some kind of brace between the fork legs would help.

As I recall the upper front mount was put through the welded plates that strengthen the headstock area. Once you drill the correct size hole you will need a large tight spacer between the plates to prevent drawing them together as you tighten the mount.

Gordo


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Okay folks, the pictures and the set up starts. Let me say again that I've NEVER owned, ridden in or driven a sidecar rig so this is all new to me. I'm hoping with a LOT of help this will go well and maybe somebody else can use this information in the future. PLEASE at ANYTIME anybody out there that knows better, catches me making a mistake...with anything, PLEASE let me know ASAP and I'll correct it.

There's a lot of sidecar terms we'll be using but for now we'll just be dealing with "Chair","Frame","Subframe", "Wheel Lead" and "Struts"

Here are some shots I took this morning to get us started. I've removed the "chair" (the part you sit in) from the sidecar's "frame" (the black tubular bit you see beside the bike) and I have leveled it so I can cut some pcs to set under the frame so it'll stay level for the time being.

[Linked Image]

another view of the sidecar frame

[Linked Image]

This is a view of the "struts" on the sidecar frame (the bits that will attach the side car to the bike)and the section of the bike's frame that will except the sidecar. This is were I'll need to construct and connect the "subframe". Best I can tell, instead of attaching the struts directly to the bikes frame, you construct a subframe, attach it to the bikes frame, then attach the sidecar to that.

[Linked Image]


For now I'll work on the adjustable bits of the struts, cleaning and oiling and then I'll set them up close to where they need to go. (after figuring where the "wheel lead" needs to be set). Then I'll take a couple more pictures.

I already see something that's a puzzle..(see first photo)..when I level the sidecar's frame, (right/left, front/rear) the sidecar's wheel is almost 1/2" out of plumb from vertical. I'd like to hear some opinions as to which one is the most important? I'm guessing wheel?

I know this is going to be a long thread...I'll go back and edit out anything that I post that doesn't help...like updated pictures that explain things better.


I have pulled the engine back out so I'd be able to deal with the bikes frame easier. I got an empty engine I'll slip in there for mock up (kickstarter clearance, head pipe, exhaust, etc)


Oh...sorry for the messy shop...this ain't no Casa Carter laughing


More to follow.. smile..Gordon Gray in NC, USA







Last edited by Gordon Gray; 03/02/10 5:32 pm.

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Gordo...thanks and yes....it looks like the forward upper portion of the subframe will attach to the point on the bike's frame, just like you said and the atachment point will take a spacer. :bigt

Take care....your friend in NC, another Gordo


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I,m not a s/car man but its usual for the s/c wheel to lean out .Information on U Tube, setting out sidecar.

Last edited by norton bob; 03/02/10 5:53 pm.
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Congratulations, Gordon!

Hey, I recognize that frame! When you get to that point, I have a sidecar rear sprocket for a B44 if you want to go that way. I haven't counted the teeth, but it's huge, and would obviate changing gear clusters or anything like that.

Subframe? Subframe? We don't need no steenking subframe! (On a '77 XS650, that is....) If I move the chair to an R80 I picked up, I'll be picking everyone's brains about subframes. Oh, and when you are cobbling up the connecting bits, don't forget the lean-out and toe-in.

Wow! Sonny wasn't lyin' when he said he wore out that tire, was he!!

So. Welcome to the wonderful world of three wheels, Gordon. I bet you love it!


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bob...I gota feeling that this is going to be like a lot of other things vintage/British. There's going to be more than one train of thought.


Folks, keep in mind (I'm going back and editing my first post on this thread for a better intro) this is a 1979 Velorex sidecar going on (for now) a 1967 B44 Victor Roadster.


Every sidecar will have it's own type struts/frame/car and such but the set up "should" still be close to the same????


Here's a Velorex diagram we'll be using for the set up. Sorry for the quality.

[Linked Image]

Take note of the sidecar wheel......isn't it plumb vertically?? The bike is "leaned out".

Then there is "toe in" where the sidecar's wheel is turned a little in towards the front of the bike.

Toe in and lean out we'll deal with after the subframe.

This diagram also shows what I called "wheel lead" and it calls it "wheel offset". I will be setting that up and taking pictures today.

Thanks for taking the time to share....Gordon Gray in NC, USA

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 03/02/10 7:05 pm.

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Barb...yea I'd say ole Sonny got the good out of that tire.

[Linked Image]

This car's in great shape and I'm as happy as a clam.

What's your best guess at gearing??? The VR came stock with 18/47 (sweet for the street) and the VS was 17/49. Lucky enough with playing around with BSA trials, I got plenty of smaller countershaft sprockets and larger wheel sprockets. But if I find I need it, thanks for the offer.

OH....and it started snowing it arse off an hour ago....and guess what????.................I DON'T CARE!!!! laughing

Take care.....your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 03/02/10 7:07 pm.

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Gordon: You did not say which way the wheel was leaning but it does look like it is out at the top.

With suspension on the sidecar you need to figure out where the wheel will be with weight on the frame as this movement will change the "level" position. Just putting the body back on will compress the suspension and then with "stuff" in the chair it will compress even more. As well you need to see where the bike suspension will be with a full engine and a rider to weigh it down. Does the wheel track up and down at 90 degrees to the frame or is it on an angle to somehow compensate for load?

Gordo


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This is my beast.

51 golden flash, dusting sidecar.

Good fun.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


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Originally Posted by Gordo in Comox
Gordon: You did not say which way the wheel was leaning but it does look like it is out at the top....snip.... Does the wheel track up and down at 90 degrees to the frame or is it on an angle to somehow compensate for load?

Gordo


Gordo....Don asked that as well and I will check it out (see the last photo)....but I don't think the wheel is square to the frame but it's the next thing I'm going to take a close look at.

I got the car's frame pretty close to where it needs to be, 12" away from the bike's frame (at the swingarm), 8" of wheel lead (wheel offset). The bikes wheel base is 53" and the track width right now is 44" (distance between center line of bike wheels and sidecar's wheel).

[Linked Image]

That wheel lead (wheel offset) is or can be.....confussing. Terms like, Trail intersection point, rolling radius, differential rise, contact point, resultant steering arc, lineal offset, lateral/longitudinal center of gravity, vertical center of gravity....geeze....what's a man to do????????????????????

I went with 15% of wheel base and it came out to around 8"...for now that's what I'll work with but will adjust if need be.

Here's a side shot of where I "think" the sidecar frame should go. With the struts where they would have to go. The subframe will connect these four points to the frame ( I hope!!)

[Linked Image]

That's enough for one day....it's snowing and I'll have all day tomorrow to play with it.

Here's a shot of the wheel and shock tower....I don't see (yet) any way to shim this and would worry about trying to tweak it. I'll ask around and see if like Gordo asked...it's set up with a little lean out (yes Gordo it leans out at the top)

[Linked Image]

Take care....your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray

OH!!!!!! pooch...thanks for sharing that picture of your rig....really nice indeed. :bigt





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Looks like the mock up is going well Gordon.

I know the lower rear mount of the sidecar is welded in place but if it could be cut and moved back I think you would have more of a stable base.

Spread out the load a bit... wider would be better.

Sonnys front mount with the welded on offset could be cut back. Straight shots to the frame if possible.

Don in Nipomo

Last edited by D.Bachtel; 03/03/10 2:10 am.

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Hey Gordon,

Don is right--Sonny didn't have to worry about a kickstarter clearing the lower mount. Moving the rear lower mount back will be more stable and give you the ability to start your rig.....fairly high on the priority list.

My only other suggestion at this point would be to have a new tire on that wheel before you set the sidecar frame up level, as it will change with a new tire. When I put the new sidecar tire on mine it made quite a difference.

It's sure going to be a neat rig. I found a couple of sidecars locally---I might have to pop one on a BSA, just to be in an exclusive club.... :bigt


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Bella the '69 T120
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Don and Barb...well, I'm still head and butt scratching right now. I don't feel warm and fuzzy about any of it yet.

I'll wait until I get a new tire (won't be here for a month unless I can find another dealer....still looking) before any welding on the subframe happens.

I understand about the rear lower strut....but look at it again (I'll have a photo later with engine, kickstarter, muffler mocked up) I'd have to move it back almost 8" to completely clear the lever and heel....if I do that, look how far away from the bike's frame I'll be. So far, I'm not likeing that. The B44VR still had the 5/8" kicker...and it's lever is shorter than later models. I "think" the strut will work where it is...and will show that in my next photos. I do like the idea of changing the front lower, velorex used a curved strut there...guess to try to get back closer to the bike's frame...I'm still looking at that one.

I've sort of slowed down for now, don't want to get in to big of a hurry and have to back up.

Thanks for all the help, take care, your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 03/03/10 6:53 pm.

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I think the lean out is to compensate for road camber.

It gets a chore riding leaning to the kerb all the time.

Adjust the lean when fully loaded with camping gear and you on bike.


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It's looking great so far G . A lotta great tips to consider so far. One thing I would mention would be to make sure you have adjustment in either direction when you mock it up to the recomended specs as you will no doubt have to make a few adjustments to suit your particular machine and riding style . Another thing I'm sure you have read about but I didn't notice mentioned would be tire selection . You will wanna go with a squarish profile on all 3 wheels , the combo will wear the rounded profile tires wear prematurely .

keep up the good work.

FWIW-BONZO

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pooch,
yea I'm going to leave it alone and take a look at it once I, replace the tire, set it up and have it and the bike loaded.

Bonzo, I will have all the adjustments I need for toe-in and lean-out....but changing wheel lead will be another story. Got my fingers crossed I guessed right on that one.

I've sorta ground to a hault for now, I need to get some welding done to re-do those lower struts. I'm going to take it to the welders tomorrow...might take a day or so.

Thanks again for the help...your friend in NC, USA Gordon Gray


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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
Now, there's no need to start bashing the BSA unit single for a side car tug. That part is going to happen one way or the other and I'm going to deal with it. I KNOW there are better suited bikes out there...but the unit single is what I'm going to use...period.

No argument here, and it's really no one's business but yours what bike you choose, so go for it!

I have an R27 BMW that I set up for a side car many years ago, and got all kinds of grief over that. Just tell the critics to shut up and go build their own.

The R27 was a bit of a challenge, with gearing options being limited by the shaft drive, but I approached that by building a very light chair. It's actually wood, with an ultra light frame, and I drove it for many years. It's a real treat, and so light that flying the chair is great fun!

Post pictures and have fun!

Jim

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Britbikes were fitted with s/c on the primary side in Brit so you are always going to be up against it with the s/c on the kicker side,serves you right for being awkward cusses driving on the wrong side of the road! Even the Japs know which is right side to drive on, cant forgive them for mixing up the controls though.Do you have a selection of fittings for the frame connections?.

Last edited by norton bob; 03/04/10 3:14 pm.
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