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All I remember about set up is…….I was given a range of settings. Wheel lead had something to do with that “nose diving” I’m not fond of. Even though my chair’s a 1970s model, Velorex is still around today and their set up instructions are still readily available. It all went hand and hand with the other set up
Instructions I was given. In my case very little adjustment was needed after the first run. I did swap Shocks several times until I finally got smart and contacted a manufacturer and ended up with something I was happy with.

I can’t imagine going blindly into setting up a chair just guessing how things need to be because “it doesn’t really matter?”

But that’s just me…….I’ve never been one of those folks that thought I was smarter than the engineer’s that put this stuff together.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 09/20/22 2:15 pm.

Gordon Gray in NC, USA........"STOP blaming the bike!!!!”
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Setting up a sidecar and bike is not rocket science, it's really easy. It's about as complex changing a headlight bulb.


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I disagree.
The set up for the three parameters--- toe-in, lean out and sidecar wheel lead are to some extent interdependent--- the extent depending on the detail of the links. So adjusting to get one parameter correct can impact on another parameter.
You can end up chasing your tail.
Just my two cents worth of course.

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One of the things Don drilled into my head was “triangulation” and the importance of it. That’s the main reason I have solid mounts for both of my upper mounts that fall outside of the frame. Because I created the points, I put them where I wanted them NOT just where the universal mounts would fit.

Tridentman IME is 100% correct. You need to pay attention when adjusting a strut because something else might be moving. Once set and tightened down, mine never changed but there’s a level hanging in the garage so I can keep an eye on things.

It wasn’t a hard task ( couldn’t have been if I did it) but you did have to pay attention
and I don’t want any light bulbs that take that kinda effort.

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 09/20/22 11:11 pm.

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Originally Posted by Tridentman
I disagree.
The set up for the three parameters--- toe-in, lean out and sidecar wheel lead are to some extent interdependent--- the extent depending on the detail of the links. So adjusting to get one parameter correct can impact on another parameter.
You can end up chasing your tail.
Just my two cents worth of course.


All that matters is that the outfit runs straight and true, without scrubbing tires, and without a steering wobble

Does anyone even care about the extent of the interdependent parameter detailed link impacts ?


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Care?-- no -- I dont care per se.
However these factors are interdependent and are real.
To be frank your posts give the impression that you can throw the chair alongside the bike, connect it up quickly and everything in the garden is rosy with a perfect handling outfit.
Well-- maybe I am unlucky but it has never happened like that for me.
There are four connections and adjusting one or more of these to achieve a certain value of for example lean in can easily alter another parameter so you have to adjust all of the parameters simultaneously.
It is not a 5 minute job in my experience and IMHO you do all future sidecar riders a big disservice by pretending that it is.
Just my two cents worth of course.

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IMHO you do all future sidecar drivers a big disservice by making it out to be complex when the exact opposite is the truth. Nothing could be easier.

Why are you trying to discourage future sidecar drivers?


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Not trying to discourage anyone.
Just adding a cold hard dose of reality.

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But it's not reality, nothing could be further from the truth.


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I rode a bike with a chair on the road for years. It's
where i found that riding one was a good buzz and
went on to start racing one at age 19/20.
The set up of an outfit will determine how well it is
able to change direction at speed, cope with wet weather,
and generally brake and cope with varying road conditions.
Setting one up to just go along a straight line on a road
that has no camber and no corners is a little optimistic.
BUT you obviously feel very strongly on the subject and
have greater knowledge and riding skill than any of us here
so farewell and hope i'll get to watch you go around a
roundabout one day, it should be amusing.

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Originally Posted by NickL
I rode a bike with a chair on the road for years. It's
where i found that riding one was a good buzz and
went on to start racing one at age 19/20.
The set up of an outfit will determine how well it is
able to change direction at speed, cope with wet weather,
and generally brake and cope with varying road conditions.
Setting one up to just go along a straight line on a road
that has no camber and no corners is a little optimistic.
BUT you obviously feel very strongly on the subject and
have greater knowledge and riding skill than any of us here
so farewell and hope i'll get to watch you go around a
roundabout one day, it should be amusing.


I connected my first sidecar to a motorcycle in England when I was 16 years old. It was a 650cc Ariel Huntsmaster, and I did it without any problems.

I now live in Saskatchewan where roundabouts don't exist, and the roads are flat, and straight as far as the eye can see.

You should get around more.

This would be absolutely perfect.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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Yes, 16 was when i started too, also in England. (A10 Super Rocket with Steib.)
Both as a standard bike and then with LL forks, 16 inch wheels etc.
Raced outfits for around 20 years on and off, Triumph BSA Norton etc Classic classes.
Both as sitters and kneelers here in Aus and back in the UK.
Still have a hand in preparing one now, both BSA engine and modified Featherbed frame.

I'm in Queensland Australia now, and i have also travelled quite extensively.
So as for 'getting around more' i feel that perhaps i have done that.
Richard, (Tridentman) is also an ex pat and travelled quite extensively on a road outfit.
Listening to other chaps riding outfits over the years and talking to some very professional
chassis builders enabled me to beat many far faster and more modern types by just getting
handling and brakes set up well. You can only do that by attention to detail and working with
the fundamentals of the sidecar outfit concept, moments of inertia etc.
Having an abrasive attitude to others opinions and experience limits learning you know.

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Originally Posted by NickL
Having an abrasive attitude to others opinions and experience limits learning you know.

Stop being abrasive then.


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Pureblood-- we obviously have entirely different views on setting up a sidecar outfit. and how to have a sensible exchange of views on a forum such as this.
I think the best thing is that we agree to disagree.
I will not be posting further to this thread.

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