Author Topic: Sidecar Counterweights  (Read 5871 times)

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Barry L

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on: November 28, 2017, 07:50:11 am
Hi,
I thought I'd share some images with you of two counterweights I have put on my sidecar with the help of a local engineer. I'm sure there are many solutions but I thought I'd share mine with you. The first counterweight is attached to the sidecar footplate and weighs approx 5 Kg the second counterweight is attached to the sidecar frame and sits out towards the sidecar wheel it weighs approximately 7.5 Kg, so combined weight is 12.5 Kg. After a test ride around my neighbourhood I found that the handling had improved considerably and the tendency for the sidecar to lift in left hand turns, remember I'm in Australia has been significantly reduced. Hope this helps!


heloego

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Reply #1 on: November 28, 2017, 02:22:03 pm
   Works out to just under 28lbs U.S. (12.5kg)
   I haven't received my car yet, and had considered a couple of 5 gal jugs as counter weights (about 60lbs/27kg), but I like your suggestion, too.It would free up interior space, and eliminate the need to remove the jugs for the missus. :)
   Thanks for the pics, and welcome to the forums!

   Which make and style of car do you have?
   Is your car mounted on an RE?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 02:27:08 pm by heloego »
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Grant Borden

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Reply #2 on: November 29, 2017, 12:36:10 am
I added counterweights to my sidecar by placing several tools, new chain, new sprockets, small bottle jack in the trunk, I be will fitting a 3l Jerry Fuel Can with fuel to the car between the bike and sidecar later this week.

Grant
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2014 Royal Enfield C5 With Cozy Euro Sidecar


Kevin Mahoney

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Reply #3 on: November 30, 2017, 04:03:58 pm
Nice to see some good customers here!! Counterweights are a good idea
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tooseevee

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Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 04:53:18 pm
   Works out to just under 28lbs U.S. (12.5kg)
   I haven't received my car yet, and had considered a couple of 5 gal jugs as counter weights (about 60lbs/27kg), but I like your suggestion, too.It would free up interior space, and eliminate the need to remove the jugs for the missus. :)
 

          Wouldn't your 5 gallon jugs be closer to 40 pounds each?
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Narada

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Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 03:06:49 am
Those weights are interesting...  ::) and a cable brake! Very clean installation.  Does having them low to the ground increase thier effect?

When riding solo I use 3 cases of bottled water in the interior, (I was told they're 20 lbs each) and a solid steel 35 lbs curling dumbell in the trunk, with two canvas bags of tools, and scissor jack!  :P Unexpected sidecar flying...not a problem! :o
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heloego

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Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 02:10:50 pm
tooseevee:
   You are correct. At 8.34lbs/gallon it works out to closer to 83.5lbs for a couple of 5gal containers.
   Brain fart on my part using Jet-A weight/gallon (6.8lbs). Bad habit.  :-[

   Re-thinking the counterweights (and inadvertantly prompted by a post above) the tools I normally carry and maybe just one 5gal jug should work fine.

   Today's the day to be delivered! YAY!  ;D
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Grant Borden

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Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 03:49:28 pm
The only time I find counter weights may be needed is when my super mean 36 pound Suzy decides to play with the neighbor dogs instead of riding, which is very rare. At those times she thinks she is a dog instead of a human with short fingers, long nails all around and extremely furry all over the body.

Grant
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Karl Childers

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Reply #8 on: July 12, 2021, 01:31:51 pm
Digging up an old thread here but having owned several sidecar rigs there is a counterpoint to counterweights. With my first one I was scared silly when the chair came up so I put a fifty pound weight in it to keep that from happening. That rig got sold and I custom built another one and decided to go weightless and learn to fly the chair. It took a few Sunday mornings of practice in an empty shopping center parking lot of doing tight figure eights until the wheel came off the ground and I could then do a whole figure eight without it touching. From there I could pretty much bring the chair up when I wanted with sharp inputs to the steering, even fly it in a straight line as far I felt like going. While this sounds like grand standing the point is you are much safer knowing what to do when the wheel leaves the ground as it can happen at times even with a weighted rig. Drivers of rigs have lost their lives when the chair came up unexpectedly and when it came down the rig shot into the left oncoming lane with fatal results because they lacked the nesscassary skills. Had they been familiar with wheel up handling that could have been avoided. Learning to truly drive your rig is a valuable asset.


chuychacon

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Reply #9 on: July 14, 2021, 01:55:24 am
novice here, but I agree , its like adding 1000lbs to a Hemi Cuda so it wont go so fast :D
why add 100lbs more to a 500 cc  motor , just because you dont want to learn how to drive a  sidecar :o
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AzCal Retred

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Reply #10 on: July 14, 2021, 06:33:44 pm
A sidecar is intended to carry additional freight or passenger weight, so it's a rather false argument to criticize someone for not wanting to drive an empty chair. If you wanted speed & acceleration, you wouldn't bolt on a chair in the first place. Hack racers always have a "monkey", nobody races with an empty chair.
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Karl Childers

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Reply #11 on: July 14, 2021, 08:53:33 pm
A sidecar is intended to carry additional freight or passenger weight, so it's a rather false argument to criticize someone for not wanting to drive an empty chair. If you wanted speed & acceleration, you wouldn't bolt on a chair in the first place. Hack racers always have a "monkey", nobody races with an empty chair.

Please take note I stated that in certain situations the chair can still come up when weighted like a sharp unexpected right in the road with a pronounced bump in it , etc.. If you don't know what your doing you can be SOL in a hurry I don't care if it is a semi truck or a skate board. You need to know how to handle it within all parameters  not "just sort of". The same is true for a solo motorcycle. As far racing side hacks go they are about as far from a regular street going rig as my wife's Subaru is from a Ferrari. I went to the national sidecar rally a few years back and I would say a good 70% of the people there knew how to handle their rigs, the other 30% should have cut the roof off their Honda civic and come in that instead, they would have been a lot safer and so would the people around them. Putting a shit ton of weight in your chair does not make you a good sidecar driver it just hedges your bets a little more. Any sport demands you learn the basics to become proficient in it. In this case you if you don't you end up just being a guy in a three wheel shopping cart going very slow with it full of groceries to weigh it down.  You don't need to be a racer but good skills include being able to fly the chair and land it successfully in any situation. Even old guys like me can do it! it just take some care, patience and practice. A person needs to creep up on it slowly but the end result will be you and your passenger being much safer.

I'm a third generation hack driver, my grandfather in the early part of the last century never owned an automobile until he was well into his 70's, up until then he drove summer and winter in New England exclusively in a sidecar. Gramps drove it empty and with the family packed in so weight and no weight, his skills saw him through.


AzCal Retred

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Reply #12 on: July 15, 2021, 04:10:03 pm
   There is the "comfort level" aspect to this as well. Most motorcycle folks are not be comfortable doing "stoppies" or "2-wheel drifts" on asphalt, but these are none the less valuable skills. But - moving along a public motorway can be achieved in many ways. The good sailor "Avoids the storm he cannot weather and weathers the storm he cannot avoid." Most of us geezers here plan our routes & trip times to conform with our skill/comfort levels. We knowingly try to increase the probability of successful outcomes to ourselves by our prescribed behavior.
   To be proficient with the hardware you use depends on your interest, physical ability & situation. There are always going to be conditions beyond our ability to respond properly, the only option is to anticipate & attempt to avoid those. Reflexes, eyesight, balance & coordination all decrease with age. Eyeglasses, hearing aids, really good tires & brakes, specialized training, all are ways we can minimize risk. You don't have to be a "young tiger" to make it point to point over the public road, just pick battles you can win.
   Your point of learning to "fly the chair" is well taken, and a good skill to possess. Adding a bit of weight to the chair is an attempt to "standardize" the response of the hardware, the mass is then relatively constant and thus it's response more predictable. Physics tells you that the empty hack response vs. loaded is necessarily going to be different. There's no harm in skewing the odds in your favor by standardizing the hardware response. There is also no argument against consciously & deliberately training yourself to "stretch the operating envelop" of your hack skills by learning the "flying response" of the chair in a variety of controlled situations, as well as the braking response. That's how you grow your skills, by deliberate, focused practice, not in the middle of a random, full-on-panic situation.
   As far as losing speed by adding chair weight, this is a hobby activity, so speed is irrelevant. It's all personal preference, there are no points to be awarded or lost...Except at the race track...which the public roads are not. Your primary job is to get your hardware over the road, the best way you know how, with your skin intact & not causing a problem for those around you. "Looking Good!" is entirely optional... ;D
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Narada

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Reply #13 on: July 18, 2021, 07:35:16 am
Fwiw, right now, my wife and I are in the middle of a 2,000 mile Pacific Coast sidecar ride from Seattle Washinton, to Northern California and back (for my 60th birthday).  :)

Upon arrival in Crecent City California, my wife declared that she wanted to spend one of the two days we were staying there, at the beach, and suggested I go for a ride alone.  ::)

The next morning, I immediately looked around and grabbed two nice fat river rocks from the B&B rockery (where we were staying) and put them in the tub.  ;)

That, with my tools and other supplies in the trunk of my Dauntless (with Triumph Bonneville), kept the chair on the ground throughout 360 spirited miles in the Siskiyou mountains.  :)

I can guarantee you that a good deal of the cornering I did would make most folks crap themselves.  :o Those two random rocks I found just sitting next to my rig (I put them back that night) made all the difference. My ride would've been unthinkable without them, (or maybe some other heavy thing that may have been laying around).

Yesterday I rested up at the beach, and today, did a couple hundred more leisurely miles with wife in tub.  8)

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2015 Triumph T-100 Orange/Black, TTP Stage-2 induction
2012 Triumph Scrambler / Dauntless M-72D Sidecar


Karl Childers

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Reply #14 on: July 18, 2021, 02:43:20 pm
  :)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 02:47:37 pm by Karl Childers »