Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sidecar Rides

Photo1
This morning, my mom asked for a ride in the sidecar. We fitted her with riding gear and headed for the Farmers Market on College Road. She appeared to have a great time though it was a bit difficult to get in and out as there isn't a door opening. She is 87 years old and thought that this was one of the most exciting things that she's done in a while. This is the same person who just spent six months living in Singapore. She came with Bridget and I when we returned to Alaska after our trip.

She did mention that she felt more secure with my recent addition of a lap belt anchored to the floor. The bolts are trough multiple layers of sheet metal and is threaded into a heavy steel backing plate shaped to distribute load across a wide area of sheet metal. Even though I had ordered the seat belt and backing plates from Amazon over a month ago, I didn't get around to installing it until last night. As you may guess, there is a lot of discussion on the sidecar forums on whether seat belts should be used in a sidecar. No question if the riders are small kids but the jury is still out for adults.

I finally had time to balance the sidecar wheel as I thought it was causing the rather severe vibration in the fairing and windshield. Bad enough that I avoided going over about 50mph on my trip to Memorial Day trip to Talkeetna as I didn't want to damage the fairing. The sidecar wheel was way out of balance and took 5½ oz to get it balanced (22 ¼ oz weights!). Now I can actually use 5th gear as things have really smoothed out and there isn't even a hint of a vibration. Time for another trip!

13 comments:

Erik R said...

22 weights! Wow, I bet it does ride better. That was way out of balance.

Martha said...

Cute photos. I'm sure your mother is enjoying her stay! Nice that she has a son who does interesting things!

Trobairitz said...

That first picture of you and your mom is priceless. She looks like she was enjoying it already.

VStar Lady said...

Way to go Mom!

Martha said...

With your mom all geared up in that second shot, she reminds me a bit of The Stig from BBC show Top Gear!

Glad to hear that a good time was had by all!

RichardM said...

I was thinking that I should dismount and move the tire. U couldn't believe how many weights it took. And I was able to see the sidecar fender bouncing up and down at the same frequency the fairing was shaking. Now it's so much better.

RichardM said...

I hope she isn't getting too bored. With all of the brush fires in the area we aren't getting out much.

RichardM said...

It's sometimes hard to tell. And the helmet is old and drafty but Bridget's new one didn't fit. This one belongs to my youngest son.

RichardM said...

Now she needs a scooter....

RichardM said...

I'll let her know that she's a double for the Stig. I think she's seen the BBC show enough to recognize the name.

redlegsrides said...

Cool that you were able to give your mom a ride in the rig Richard!

Man, that took a whole bunch of weights to balance out that wheel....you sure its true? Or is it the tire? Anyways, glad you got it going smooth now. So, when are you riding down to Colorado? Bring Bridget along!

RichardM said...

I wouldn't be surprised if it was the tire but I checked several times as I couldn't believe that it took that many weights. After sticking them all on, I checked again and the area where I put all the weights was still slightly on the light side but just barely. And now there is no noticeable vibration. Quite a change from before.

I don't think Bridget would ever ride to Colorado in the sidecar.

Conchscooter said...

Even the neurotic british government doesn't require sidecar passengers to wear helmets , though oddly enough the motorcycle riders are still required to. By the way you'd better be ready for another 50 years of life. The mere thought exhausts me.