Update on my project.
Trigger warning: purists are not gonna like this.
Picture below is of me, in my back yard.
Why you might ask, is this guy posting this picture on a forum titled Retro Vespa With Side Car?
Answer: Pretty much everything you need to know about my approach to projects is evidenced here.
Explanation by way of background:
I live in sunny So. Cal.
The land of historic droughts and lousy water storage planning.
Conservation is a big, big, deal here.
How big a deal?
People will call the water police on their neighbors for misaligned sprinklers - not kidding - and the city will pay you actual cash to rip out your grass and replace it with astro turf - also - not kidding.
Perhaps all well intentioned - but outcome has been mixed.
Asside: I f*cking hate astro turf.
Its a huge heat sink ~ basically like putting your house in a boiling pot of water by surrounding it with this stuff.
It smells bad, it looks like carpet, and it goes in the land fill by the truck load after about a decade.
It also leaches shit into the ground and off gasses VOC's to the air.
Its basically awful to be around - but It does in fact save water.
Grass on the other hand feels cool between my toes,
Puts out a ton of oxygen in the air,
Is super good at sequestering carbon,
And is just plane nice to stand on.
The down side is - it can be a water hog.
Which brings us to the posted picture.
That machine is a vibratory plow. It’s made to bury cable and electrical lines.
It’s not a ditch witch, and its not a rototiller.
It took an act of god to find one in the heart of Los Angeles.
I modified it to be a riding machine, to turn over the top soil and bury irrigation drip line about 4”- 5” under the soil.
I had no idea what I was doing when I started - half of one when complete.
It was like riding around on a zamboni with a giant spool of drip line getting buried.
Solid for the experience alone - beer tasted extra good at end of those days.
I water and feed the grass now underground - with little drips right at the roots - from the buried tubes.
There is no run off, and no aerosol affect from sprinklers. Zero.
In combination - the system uses about 50% less water - feels great - looks nice - and I have grass.
How is this related to the sidecar project?
Thought you’d never ask.
This is what I've learned about side cars since first posting (thank you to all for the input to date).
1. They are unconscionably slow off the line.
2. Once you get them to speed - you can hardly slow them down.
3. They act like a pendulum - pulling right when you accelerate and pushing left when braking
4. It takes an act of god to get them out of a parking space pointed down hill
5. They wear the tires off your bike like an eraser.
6. Repeat points 1-5 - dude - seriously - why do you want one of these?!
7. They look cool.
The thing is, I wanted to make the ultimate grocery getter for an old guy that likes a little breeze in his face (and grass under his toes). Passion for the project has not waned.
So here is my current concept for sidecar project :
What if I provide power to both wheels - scooter and side car - to address the known short comings.
The only way to do that without some kinda rocket science degree is:
1. Use a single axle (host of style and technical reasons this is unappealing to me)
2. Use 2 electric motors that can be synchronized by a single throttle and two controllers. yup - ditch the 2 stroke and gear box.
No idea if it will work.
Might be impossible to get it to turn.
May pull and push violently.
Might just work.
That said - A little research on the internets shows electric scooters that can reach 40+ MPH that weigh 200lbs+, with a single 3000W motor. Surely 2 of them could match with a 250-300lb rig? (Std VBB weighs ~ 180s?)
The challenge with electric motors is battery power/weight/storage - where do you put them?
But in this case, if I can make a light/stiff sidecar frame/body, I can spend my weight budget on batteries.
The side car is the perfect place to store the extra battery power - allowing me to move some of the weight off the scooter side and get closer to a 60/40 split.
I can also keep it low and close to center to counter the dreaded right turn - providing some ballast.
The electric motors are way torquey - which should make the off the line performance much more pleasant/ improve drivability from that stand point - hack that does a wheel stand?
And… for an extra $10 of cost, I can add reverse - the piece de resistance for a side car rig - cause who wants to push their bike uphill to get out of a parking space on a hot day with their dog looking befuddled sitting in the sidecar.
I’m sure this is full of holes - if I could see them all, I wouldn’t be thinking about trying it.
Ton of stuff I haven’t figured out/ sorted through.
Putting this concept out there for full critique.
1. I am 100+ hours deep on youtube videos of rebuilds/case porting/improved clutch baskets & springs/ dremeling intakes/ shaping cylinder ports/ sanding rings/ flat crucifixes/ etc - and I kinda wanna go there...
2. First underground drip project failed miserably. Total catastrophe. Grass died in a week. Dug up the soil - realized it was too dense to transfer water (who knew?!), modified, replanted… That’s why they call it R&D.