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Steering Dampers

 
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:56 pm    Post subject: Steering Dampers Reply with quote

Do you suppose that it is possible to set up a rig so that a steering damper is unnecessary? From time to time I have seen posts from people who say that they don't have one and do not have either low or high speed wobble.
eI tried removing my steering damper in my long driveway and noticed a low speed wobble so I reattached it. I don't understand why some rigs require one and some rigs don't? Since most steering dampers add some effort to steering, steering would be easier [require less effort] if none were necessary. Can every rig be set up so than a steering damper is not necessary?
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Sidecarmaniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Dampers Reply with quote

legalr wrote:
Do you suppose that it is possible to set up a rig so that a steering damper is unnecessary? From time to time I have seen posts from people who say that they don't have one and do not have either low or high speed wobble.
eI tried removing my steering damper in my long driveway and noticed a low speed wobble so I reattached it. I don't understand why some rigs require one and some rigs don't? Since most steering dampers add some effort to steering, steering would be easier [require less effort] if none were necessary. Can every rig be set up so than a steering damper is not necessary?
My GTS-MegaComete is the first and so far the only outfit that I had that needs no steeringdamper. All other were tried to ride without damper but after getting wet underwear I quikly mounted the damper again. The outfits behave like bulls on a rodeo. I guess it's starting from the soft tire walls and trying to correct the "horizontal wave" makes it worse.
So with the low profile tires and the multi adjustable settings of our outfits maybe there is an optimum. Don't know if the steering sidecar wheel or its caster, camber has something to do with it. Btw the FJ1200 with Comete do have originally a steering damper. There are mounting points for a damper on my sidecar frame. Frame is not changed by SideBike since the Comete as far as I know. Hey check this out my High Performance MZ oldtimer rig has an adjustable steering damper !!
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RG



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Dampers Reply with quote

legalr wrote:
Do you suppose that it is possible to set up a rig so that a steering damper is unnecessary? From time to time I have seen posts from people who say that they don't have one and do not have either low or high speed wobble.
eI tried removing my steering damper in my long driveway and noticed a low speed wobble so I reattached it. I don't understand why some rigs require one and some rigs don't? Since most steering dampers add some effort to steering, steering would be easier [require less effort] if none were necessary. Can every rig be set up so than a steering damper is not necessary?


I have found that on leading link forks, a lot of trail is what causes the problem. I've built several L/L forks and found that 1 inch of trail is max . My own outfit is set up with 1/4 inch trail, 24° steering head angle and I can take my hands off the bars with no wobble. Also, accelerating and braking have little effect on steering.---RG
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:57 pm    Post subject: Steering Dampers and Trail Reply with quote

Quote:
My own outfit is set up with 1/4 inch trail, 24° steering head angle and I can take my hands off the bars with no wobble. Also, accelerating and braking have little effect on steering.


1/4" of trail is just about 6.35 mm if my math is correct? What kind of bike and sidecar do you have? Do you have an LLF? My own experience with 16 mm trail and an LLF was exceptionally quick steering that was super-sensative to road surfaces and required 100% concentration and a firm grip on the bars to maintain control, especially at highway speeds over 60 mph. Eventually I changed my trail to 41.4 mm for a much more relaxing ride at high speeds and over rougher roads. I have a steering damper on the rig but no noticeable low or high speed wobble. Quick steering was nice but I would not change back for the reasons stated.


Last edited by legalr on Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:59 pm    Post subject: Steering Dampers and Trail Reply with quote

Quote:
My GTS-MegaComete is the first and so far the only outfit that I had that needs no steeringdamper., says Sidecarmaniac.


I'm wondering how much trail you have on your GTS/MegaComete?
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RG



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legair ,
The BMW at the bottom of page-- http://hpsidecars.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7&start=15 --RG
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:32 pm    Post subject: Steering Dampers and Trail Reply with quote

Quote:
The BMW at the bottom of page--


Yes, I found that after I posted. Interesting looking rig and I see that you have a LLF too. With only 6.35 mm trail it must be super quick steering.
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sidebike



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Posts: 161
Location: Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My own outfit is set up with 1/4 inch trail, 24° steering head angle and I can take my hands off the bars with no wobble. Also, accelerating and braking have little effect on steering.


1/4" of trail is just about 6.35 mm if my math is correct? What kind of bike and sidecar do you have? Do you have an LLF? My own experience with 16 mm trail and an LLF was exceptionally quick steering that was super-sensative to road surfaces and required 100% concentration and a firm grip on the bars to maintain control, especially at highway speeds over 60 mph. Eventually I changed my trail to 41.4 mm for a much more relaxing ride at high speeds and over rougher roads. I have a steering damper on the rig but no noticeable low or high speed wobble. Quick steering was nice but I would not change back for the reasons stated.


legair

I agree with you 1/4" of trail will have you all over the road.
!/4" of trail may work on an off road dirt rig.
I heard some motocross sidecars use 0 or even neg. trail.
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sidebike



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Posts: 161
Location: Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:04 am    Post subject: How to test a rig to see if you need a steering damper Reply with quote

How to test a rig to see if you need a steering damper.

When my rig was converted to TCHS I removed my steering damper. No wobble at any speed, so I thought I did not need one.

To test your rig take it up to 30 mph., back off and induce a wobble by shaking the handle bars back and forth. If your rig straightens out by itself you may not need a damper, to make sure repeat the test with a passenger in the sidecar. This is were mine failed. Next, put a passenger in the sidecar and one on the back of the bike and repeat the test.
If you pass this one you probably don't need a damper.
But what happens when you hit a pot hole at 80 mph. Question
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Last edited by sidebike on Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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legalr



Joined: 30 Jan 2005
Posts: 163
Location: Wallingford, Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:16 am    Post subject: How to test a rig to see if you need a steering damper. Reply with quote

Interesting stuff to know. Someday I will try it, but just wondering what might happen at speed when I hit that "pothole" will probably keep me honest and keep my steering damper in place. Sad Sad Sad

Incidentally, for what it's worth, I just looked in Das neue Handbuch fur Gespannfahrer and found a reference to "modernen Motorradern" which says the general range of trail values is between 10 mm and 50 mm.


Last edited by legalr on Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RG



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sidebike,

Every rig is different. I just know what works for me. ---RG
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bmcsheehy



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Posts: 981
Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RG,
I would like to commend you on you rig. You are a very talented craftsman.
It's amazing. Do you ride it on the street or on the track?
I just did some calculations on the trail on my bike and it is about 1-3/4” (44mm). Very comfortable to me at both high and low speeds. I imagine what ever your comfortable with is what is best for you. Have you experimented with various amounts of trail? What’s your opinion on trail?
I think that less trail steers quicker and reduces the need for a steering damper while increased trail increases the need for a steering damper and steering is a little slower, and harder too. That’s my 2-1/2 cents.
Buddies
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High Performance Sidecaring... ...There is nothing "HACKED" about it.
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Sidecarmaniac



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 13
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Steering Dampers and Trail Reply with quote

legalr wrote:
Quote:
My GTS-MegaComete is the first and so far the only outfit that I had that needs no steeringdamper., says Sidecarmaniac.

I'm wondering how much trail you have on your GTS/MegaComete?

Me to!
I don't know how to meassure the trail of the front wheel or sidecar wheel on my outfit in a correct way. Below are the numbers from a Dutch magazine that tested the outfit in 1993 or 1994.

GTS1000-SideBike MegaComete:
track width: 1345 mm 529.5''
wheelbae: 1540 mm 606.3''
Caster frontwheel (trail) adjustable between 0-40 mm 0-1.575''
Caster sidecarwheel (trail) adjustable (sorry no numbers)
Lead sidecarwheel 445 mm 175.2''
Camber sidecar and front wheel adjustable
Toe-in sidecar wheel adjustable
left steering effect 5 degrees
right steering effect 10 degrees but the steering effect is adjustable
Compleet turn left: 9500 mm 3740''
Compleet turn right: 6400 mm 2520''
Weight ready to take off: 445 kg 981 lb
Max weight: 750 kg 1653 lb
wheels: 14 inch
Swaybar mounted between sidecar wheel and rear wheel swingarm
No steering damper, but there are mountingpoints for a steeringdamper, I guess the sidecarframe of the Comete and MegaComete are the same. The Comete was originally deliverd with damper.
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