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Sidecar build for HAITI - builders please chime in


I had forgotten about the square tube rubber torsion suspension swing arms.
I built one of those years ago to try it out It does work and would be the simplest way for a simple machine.
Get the unit that is for 250 pounds, the 500 or larger would be too stiff.
DO NOT weld on the square tube near where the rubber is. That will destroy the rubber.
These things come with a flat plate on them for bolting it on. design your frame to use this feature.


Here is the axle stub I would recommend
In case that didn't work it is part number 224222 torsion arm

Btw here is the hub for that unit

The lug pattern is for a standard 4 bolt hub trailer wheel available almost every where.

Great info. Thank you to both of you. So can I ask some very basic questions so I make sure I'm on the right track?

1. In Haiti, there are "couchmen" everywhere. They are tire guys. They fix tires. When I tell you that Haiti roads are on par with Iraq, I'm not kidding. The good thing is you can find a "couchman" EVERYWHERE at any time of day or night. So even though it adds more weight, it would make sense to have a regular car rim with car tire on it. A specialized wheel with special tire would be a pain. However, I imagine that a sidecar rim and tire with a tube would be something that's reasonable repaired. Can you suggest a source or recommend a wheel/tire?

2. The torsion axle suspension unit you recommended looks great but I'm wondering if a leaf spring system wouldn't be easier. Again, more weight but going back to the original purpose, it ois something familiar, and repairable there. Any thought on that?

3. I know that round tubing has more flex that square tubing, but is it a marked difference? I can get and use round no problem. We would just need to get a mechanical bender there.

4. What is the best balance between weight and strength for frame tubing? My Velorex looks like its 1 1/2" tube. Do you have any idea what guage it is?

Right now, between the three of us, we are working hard to come up with a plan. If we can gather info we need, and get the PARTS, we'll try a mockup as soon as we can.

I will be in Haiti Feb 18-25 and would like to be armed with info so as to see what items are available, what are not, find people with the right skilss, etc

Thanks for any help!!!!

PS Attached are photos of some typical Haitian Roads (these are PRE-earthquake)

Attached files

What power unit did you decide on?
Is it a complete bike or just a power unit?
The tire to go with the parts I listed is an ordinary trailer tire, 4.00 X 12 For your purposes get the 6ply, it is a lot tougher.

BTW I just ordered a pair of those stub axle rubber units and a hub from Northern. I will be building a light weight simple unit for a TW200 Yamaha.
This one. It will require that I build an extensive subframe to attach to. I will be using heim joints at the attachment points. This will be a slow project as I don't expect the parts to arrive for about 4 weeks.
It is something I have been thinking about doing for about 2 months now.

welcome to Costa Rica, our roads are quite similar.
Yesterday again I passed through the eartquake area 2 years now ago and everything is still in bad shape. But this time I passed through the NEW gravel road. You barely can slide down the hillswith an solo Enduro.It becomes time to marry the new work horse to a enduro sidecar as soon the engine becames smooth.

The rubber suspension lasts longer without any maintenance then any spring or leaf spring set up and has damping too by itsself.
I use them in machinery for chain tensioneers and no other set up lasts as long.

Many people get cars with RESERVE wheels and trade them away against real wheels. that would be a good and cheap tire source.
Phenolius mentioned the right name for the joints I ment. Heim joints 0 spearical bull eys.

Indutrial tubing is not at all comparable to the tubing used by Velorex as well as the flat steel sold in Europe is much stiffer then ours. Square tubing is much more resistant and easy to cut and weld. Bending with hand tools is nasty and inaccurate.

Is Your contact in Haiti technically prepared and could import parts?
I still own 6 sets of mirrors and 1 prepared frame for solar cookers of the parabolic style. together with the design I could send them if he is interested.
Once I built 28 and as a matter of curiosity all of them work fine, but aren't used by the people we donated them for....only very few were sold. Even my own is used very few times a year.
Just a thought.

Sorry but I was away the last two days. Thanks for your input guys 🙂
Sven, funny you should mention parabolic solar cookers. I am working on a stove project in conjunction with the Haitian and Madagascar governments. We ruled them out for several reasons, the most evident being cultural....people just can't get used to them. But that's a subject for another day.
Gracias para todo su ayuda. Espero que un dia podemos encontrar. Y no, no soy latino. Soy griego. Aprendi espanol en los calles de la Habana y otros viajes a latino america:) Suerte hermano!

Haiti doesnt seem to be far away from Costa Rica:
Yesterday I stepped into the technical college internat. 2 years absence and new foolish teachers left their result: out of 18 lathes none in working order! Machines partially dismantled, many parts broken and worse lost. Beside shorts as soon you switch on. My work since 1998 has vanished. I do not even have an idea how the other shops look like. My hand was shaking because of frustration.

My buddy from Athen, Greece who should have become my best man 20 years ago, had had an motocycle accident 2-3 days before he was about to enter the air plane. My wife is from Athen ,CR....while his engagement vanished and I could not become his best man neither.

Wellcome in the club of hopeless idealists....