USCA Sidecar Forum

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motorvation form II

I've built 4 rigs now (Triumph T-Bird, KLR, GL1200, Harley XR1200) and every one of them needed a steering damper due to a 25-30mph wobble. Slower, no problem. Faster, no problem. With the steering damper (Motorvations is the best, albeit rather pricey) no problem at any speed. Another advantage of the damper is that on high speed corners with bumps in the middle, the damper keeps the forks/wheel from responding to the bumps by trying to turn.

You might want to list your setup numbers; others may be able to help; but I could never get the slow speed wobble you describe to go away without the damper; not from lack of trying. On the Valkyrie I'm using 53" track (outside bike tire to outside hack tire), 9" lead, and 1/2" toe-in. These numbers worked well on the GL1200.

Have a an F2 on GL1200 for about 4 years, maybe 30,000 miles. Great hack. So good, that I'm upgrading the tug to a Valkyrie, and am fitting another F2 to it.

One thing REALLY important - be sure you are setting the rig up on level ground. Part of my shop patio has a 1.5" slope in about 6 feet for rainwater control. If you are in thus situation, you can get a couple pieces of 6-7' STRATGHT tube or flat members, and put them on the ground at hack wheel to pusher wheel, then hack wheel to front wheel. Then place spacers under the bike to get the two bike and hack wheels at exactly the same elevation. I ended up with a 3/8" piece of flat steel in front, and a 8" length of 2x4 with a couple shims for the back. You do not want the bile level fore-aft; let the bike float as it wants. Sounds like a pita, but it prolly took longer to type this than to do it...

Not to divert your thread, but did you pull the torsion bar to lube the bearing ends? I had to pull my adjuster yesterday in order to rotate the spline gear piece a couple notches; that part is easy. But my hack frame sat in a field for apparently several years, and the torsion bars bearing in the frame bosses are very tight. I don't know enough about the torsion bar to just go beating it out of the frame with a hammer. I'd HATE to get it clear of one side then hear a big TWANG.... like maybe the pre-load on the torsion bar being released? Is there a preload on the torsion bar?

While Gary at Motorvation is very helpful, cannot call him on a Sunday... Has anybody pulled the torsion bar from the frame to grease the pretty crude bearings?

I haven't done any measurements yet, I hope to get to that in the next day or 2 and get it adjusted and start riding it
I am a little unhappy that I will have to cut 3 separate panels for 3 of the mounts and the 4th I will have to cut the seat base under the cover to allow the seat to bolt back on
I'm tempted to buy 3 used panels and just paint them to match the bike and cut them instead of the ones on it, that way if I find this isn't for me I can put them back un undamaged
Yep I would not like the thought of a spring loaded torsion bar coming apart, I haven't greased anything yet but plan to take care of all that as well as check wheel bearings

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

AJ, I did purchase sacrificial panels for my 82. I wanted to be able to sell it as perfect as I can without the car if I ever decide to switch. No time soon.

I'm really hoping the car works out good for us.

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

Well, I got no timely answers to my torsion bar question, so went ahead and ...carefully...slowly tapped/hammered the torsion bar/swingarm assembly out of the bearings. No problems, no TWANGGGGGG.
Biggest problem was the bearing grease was hard as metal. had to wire wheel it off, followed by carb cleaner and steel wool. Cleaned it all up, threw a lite coat of grease on the bar (the original grease on the bar was in excellent shape), some more in the bearings, and re-assembled.

If you need to do it, it's a piece of cake. Be sure to check the side play as well. I believe it's supposed to be set with shims, and held in with a 0.25" roll pin on the outside of the plate that slides onto the splines - my other F2 hack had this. But this one had quite a bit of slop, held together with a rusty cotter pin...

Definitely check the wheel bearings; mine had a lot of play as well; should be easy to find at a decent bearing house.

Good luck on the rig. They can really be a lot of fun.

I rode the rig to work today so I could have it on level concrete and set it up. WOW even with it out of adjustment it rode great. I pumped up my front shocks to 6PSI and put my rear at about 70
that took that bad wobble out completely, it does have a slight shimmy at low speed and a vibration right at 53 MPH, could be tire balance
once on good level ground I can see it is leaned in a good bit, but it barely pulled
I was impressed with how smooth it rides, the side to side movement from road conditions took a minute to get used to but weren't unsettling
I did find the wind coming off the car windshield was a bit more than I expected, was hitting me right in my right shoulder and helmet, just enough to create bad wind noise inside the helmet
I'm hoping when I get the lean set up correctly it will reduce that
First impression,,, I like it 🙂

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

SO I have the first adjustments and alignment done, the vibration went from 53 MPH to 58 MPH and is now about half as noticeable. I now have a slight pull to the right when accel. and a slight pull left when braking,
what should I look at adjusting to correct that. I do plan to have a couple coworkers sit on bike and in car and recheck everything again today. I may have the lean out set too far out
the wobble at very slow speed got worse, but really only if I ease up on the bars when taking off, once I hit 3rd gear it's gone. is that what the damper corrects

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

If you have a rig set up right. It well pull toward the side car when accelerating and pull the other way when braking. The faster you go the more it well pull toward the car. "They all do that"

+1. What he said.
Yep, the damper takes care of exactly what you describe. Also, mine were worse if you are coasting down a hill slowing to a stop; again, the damper solved it.
The height of the windscreen also affects the wind blast onto the bike. Tall hack screen, lots of wind. Short screen, less wind. I cut my screen down to about 8": just enough to give the dog some eye protection. Could not get her to wear doggles, no matter what we did; must have been a Harley rider in a previous life...LOL.

thanks for the replies, it makes me feel better as the pull is very slight. I am curious though, I know if it was toed out it would shake like mad as the car and bike would fight each other, but how can you tell other than fast tire wear if it's toed in too much, is there some tell tell sign I can look for
mine is almost 1 1/2 inches now. I read the heavier cars could need up to 2 inches, is that correct
do you guys run a second battery in the car tied to the bike, I am considering putting a battery behind the seat to reduce the load on the bike from the extra lights. I already have a higher amp alternator but I have 55/65 W headlights so they really pull on their own, now I have added lights of the car and I do pull a camper and cargo trailers quite often

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18