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Thread: Virgin Sidecarist

  1. #1
    Mega Tosser Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Virgin Sidecarist

    Well, not after yesterday, but...

    I've bought an Outfit. It's a 55 plate W650 Kawasaki with an old Watsonian single seat chair. Jumping in at the deep end, I had a short test ride demo by the owner, paid up and set off for Tamworth from Camarthen. Solo but a couple of bags of gravel and a 20 ltr container of water in the chair.The fact that I'm writing this is testament to my skills ( Dumb Luck, more like) but I NEED Pointers.
    The Outfit is very tidy, MOT'd and has been used by the seller. It has the Std Telescopic Front Forks and rear shocks and a Hagon shock on the chair that is a heavy duty job as he had an 18 st Mate that he took around. Square section tyre on the front.
    Gentle acceleration is fine and I cruised along the M4/M5 without drama. Trying to accelerate robustly has the bars shaking wildly but more speed pulls it past the wobbles. The wobbles return on slowing for traffic or junctions.
    Any advice will be Welcome and if it means getting an expert to check the set up, any suggestions ? Thanks in advance.
    "HEY,GOO'N PLAY DOWN YER OWN END ! "

  2. #2
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    Firstly check the fixings of the chair to the bike are all secure and there is no movement on solid points and also that the head bearings are not too loose

    I had this with a customers bike many years ago

    What I remember is that ...

    Centre of the Sidecar wheel should be approx 9 inches in front of the rear wheel centre

    On level ground the put a level across the top rails of the bike frame it should lie away from the chair its hazy now but 15 degrees springs to mind and the sidecar frame should be parallel to the ground

    There should be a few degrees of toe in between the chair and the bike wheel tracks

    and of course to tighten all sidecar mounts

    Good luck they are great fun when set up right

    P.S. Always split the braking fairly evenly between the front and rear to keep things steady
    Were you using the back brake at all ?
    Oh Great and Wise Deity, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

    Courage to change the things I can! And the wisdom to know the difference!

  3. #3
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    That sounds lovely, I really like the W650's and bet it makes a great outfit ~ Post a piccie

    You'll probably get loads of advice but FWIW..............

    Good idea to keep some weight in the chair for now. In reality it won't do loads but will make the outfit a bit more planted and make you feel beeter.

    Wobbles ~ A well set up outfit will hardly wobble but it's rare to ride one that doesn't at all. Typically you'll get a bit of a wobble at 20ish and maybe 40ish. As you say, just ride through it. I can't really comment on yours as I'd have to ride it to see what's going on. Probably worth gettting it checked over though.............

    Steering ~ you use the throttle and engine braking/brakes to steer. Gentle acceleration to help you around left handers and gentle deceleration to help you around right handers. You can progress to sliding the back on right handers and lifting the chair on left handers later........

    Front end ~ Common wisdom is to fit leading links. These change the trail to make the steering a bit lighter. They should also flex less than teles.
    Andres wisdom is they are shite. The main drawback is, like a C90, they lift the front end when you brake and unload the front tyre as they do it. Not great for hard braking. They also give less feedback/feel than teles. A well set up outfit with teles always gets my vote.

    Square front tyre (Speedmaster/Triple Duty?) ~ I hate them. No feel and no grip. They are a hangover form the old man mentality of having to get a zillion miles from a tyre. Bung on a normal tyre and change it when it wears out

    That's the basics I think but fire away with any specific questions
    Andres
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    Tarka ... Courtesy phone please!

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    Ta, all.
    "HEY,GOO'N PLAY DOWN YER OWN END ! "

  6. #6
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    Previous owner says that the chair is a Mk1 Monaco.
    "HEY,GOO'N PLAY DOWN YER OWN END ! "

  7. #7
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    If it only wobbles when you accelerate hard it's easy solved

    Once you've checked out everything else that's been suggested have a look at the shock or linkage bushes if present on the chair because that part of it often gets neglected though that usually shows up at higher speeds as a kind of rocking motion from side to side.

  8. #8
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    A bit of wobble at a set speed does occur with some outfits and the amount they are loaded. You get used to powering and slowing through it.
    It occurs on mine when more heavily loaded and around 20mph so its no biggie.
    Its also varied with how far forward the chair sits.
    Since I move the chair back a bit with the wife is on the back its worse, the trade off being that it steers much better.

    On the Front I changed the 1150GS's 19" front to an RT 17" alloy then fitted a 130/80/17 Mitas E08 rear tyre works well and gives a flatter profile than the 110. Better than an antique flat section tyre IMHO.

    Its usuallly about 500-800 quid for the likes of watsoninan or WASP to check the set up but to be honest if you look online you get the generally range of adjustments but each set up is unique, you can then play with the settings.

    Have a play with it and see what works, if its a monaco same as mine that seems a big chair for a W650 would have said a squire ST2 or similar would be a better fit.

    I'm on iteration 6 (i think) on the set up where ive tweeked and changed things I'm not that far from you, perhaps meet halfway some time and swap rides for a bit?

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