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Home Forums Sidecars Sidecar Builds Another R80 sidecar build

This topic contains 21 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Box.a.Bits 1 year, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 22 total)
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  • #14306

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    So bike bought and picked up. Time to start thinking about a chair.
    The bike is a 91 BMW R80S, and is in pretty reasonable nick. Good runner & a new WoF.
    As some of you have already been this route, any advice gratefully received. Thinking about a Military style chair from Kurt at Sidecars New Zealand, or possibly a used Velorex available here in Taranaki.
    First step though will be the subframe/s for the bike.
    Pics to follow as I get the time.

    #14307

    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
    • Rank: 1200cc Rider

    I put a Velorex 562 onto a R80 which @stephen-clark now owns. The Velorex 562 is pretty light and I thought it needed a bit more weight to match the R80 as it lifted very easily. I used to put about 10kg in the boot and that made a bigt difference.

    #14308

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    Comes down to what you want to use the sidecar for. I have Eddies old R80 & Velorex 562 sidecar. It’s great for gravel roads & moderate off road, with lightness being a major advantage.

    But put a heavier passenger in it, & run it on the seal exclusively, & it starts getting to be hard work, & the sidecar frame becomes a little flexi.

    The R80 is a mono (ex R80TIC police bike, now sans fairing), repowered with an R100GS engine, but running an R65 final drive.

    The mono front end has loads of trail – which makes it a heavy steerer in sidecar applications. I have a revised top triple clamp to assist with this – but it’s still a lot of work, especially if you want to go quick. You’ll also need to revise the suspension – easy enough to do.

    I’ve modified the Velorex chair with a much heavier axle (stock is 15mm, which is way too light), & cast wheel. The stock spoked Velorex wheel is reputed to be strong enough, but the chair came to me with a GN125 or 250 wheel, which wasn’t.

    The Ural (& clone) chairs are heavier, & more robust, & easier for the passengers to embark & disembark from. But I think my wife actually prefers the more enclosed feel of the Velorex.

    I run the Velorex un-ballasted, but wouldn’t let an inexperienced person ride it without this – Eddie is right in terms of it’s tendency to fly the chair. I am used to this, & use it as part of a suite of skills in riding.

    Re the subframe, have a look at the design of some of the commercially available ones. The R80 main frame isn’t robust enough for a sidecar, so the subframes primary role is to supplement this.

    These things are a huge amount of fun once you get used to them & the way they (don’t) handle. People also react well to them – they are seen as being cool – I’ve had people hanging out of cars on the motorway so they could take a photo.

    #14310

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Thanks for the comments both. I am looking to develop the bike as time progresses, so a 1000cc upgrade kit looks likely at some point. There are a couple of changes I can see straight away which I will have to make. Wider bars, and losing the headlamp fairing being the first ones. I have been told that I would enjoy some leading link forks too, but will wait until I can judge for myself first.
    The ease of access to the chair may push me down the Ural clone route, but that’s still up for discussion with She Who Will Be Obeyed.
    I’ve not had much luck finding commercially available sub-frames – is there somewhere you can suggest?
    Cheers

    #14311

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    There seems to be a dearth of left hand sidecar subframe builders who also advertise on the web. It may be a case of doing google image searches & then taking a drawing into your local engineer (or making it yourself if you have the skills).

    #16470

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    So a good older Velorex 700 bought as my first chair.
    Sub-frames being made for the R80S, and some new tyres required before the first outing on the road.
    Any suggestions for best fitments for use on road and the unsealed back roads of Taranaki?
    Cheers

    #16474

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    I saw you’d got that…

    My tyre choices are weighted towards the gravel end of the spectrum

    I use TW 18 100/90 x 18 fronts – these were going cheap ($30 – $40 ea) as farmers were buying DR200s with road legal tyres & replacing them with more aggressive tyres. The TWs have good grip. I’ve salted a few away as they were too good a price to miss. You would need to check that they don’t interfere with your hard brake lines if you have twin disc though – I’ve replaced those & routed them elsewhere

    On the rear I use Heidenau K60 Scouts in 120/90 x 18. More spending, but wear well & have a flatter profile which works well for sidecar use. Bit more spendy at $160 – you’ll go thru rears in 6k kms.

    For the tub I look for cast offs from GN125 Sakura 350 x 16 – once again farmers were buying these bikes & the rears were going cheap ($25/tyre). Last well, & it doesn’t matter what is on the tub as long as its round & black, & more importantly – slides. You don’t want a grippy tub tyre.

    #16487

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Thanks for the info B.a.B.
    I guess you won’t want to sell on one of those TW 18 100/90 x 18 fronts? I don’t think I would if I got them at that price.

    The tub has a good looking tyre on it currently, but both of the tugs tyres will have to go. There’s a real shortage of choice in those sizes – particularly the front. I have heard of people running rear tyres reversed on the front of combos, any experience or info here?
    Cheers

    #16495

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    I look for non directional tyres. The TW18 falls into this category, as does the Shinko SR244. Colemans in Akld (& a vendor in the Wairarapa – but he’s moved on) were selling the TW18’s – might be worth a call.

    Both the TW18 & SR244 are technically rear tyres.

    I also tried a Golden Boy SR244 clone – but I prefer the TW18s as they have wet weather more grip (the Golden Boys were ‘interesting’ in the wet). Dry weather & off road there didn’t seem to be anything in it

    A less aggressive (front only) tyre which I have used before (& that was recommended to me by others in the sidecar community) is the Mitas H06. That’s circa $100 – 120.

    I also given a a Metzler 18×400 Block K Sidecar tyre to try. That was too tall for the brake line & front guard set up that I had at the time. The square section dedicated sidecar tyres are supposed to improve / reduce steering effort but note that I was given the tyre because the prior owner didn’t like grip level though, & preferred the Mitas H06.

    #16497

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Thanks for the advice and info. I’ll keep looking for a deal.

    #16498

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    Should also say that these tyres are all tube type (just in case you hadn’t picked that)

    #16515

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    In case you hadn’t seen this

    #16519

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Awesome thanks.
    One on order now. Just the rear to sort.
    That must have gone up today.

    #16899

    saltyseal
    Participant
    • Location: New Plymouth
    • Bike: 91 BMW R80S Mono
    • Rank: 80cc Rider

    Finally all put together.
    Still got to remove the fairing, fit new bars, fit new tyres (bought & ready to fit), improve the brakes (maybe twin up the discs), fit a steering damper and adjust the lean/toe-in to make it a little more stable. First ride was “interesting”.

    #16902

    Box.a.Bits
    Participant
    • Location: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW Supertanker, R80 & Velorex Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    • Rank: 1000cc Rider

    My guess is that you found it very heavy to steer, & frightened yourself when you turned left & the chair got light? And the Velorex is very light.

    The heavy steering is a function of trail – the monos had a lot more of that than the earlier twin shocks. You will need to find some way to reduce that eventually. You can live with it in its current set up – there is another owner in Wgtn with a heavier R80 / Sabastian rig with no steering mods & he gets along fine.

    You might want to put some ballast in the chair for a while – say 20 Kgs of builders mix from Bunnings in a dry bag (cause the mix makes a mess if a lighter bag splits, eh Eddie).

    Oh and find a carpark & practice round some cones. Accelerate left, throttle off or braking right.

    I’ve got twin discs, & find the brake good.

    You may be able to find wide bars & still keep the fairing.

    Looks a very pretty combo.

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