Vintage vespa with sidecar
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:17 am quote
My thoughts...

I’d be wary of creating a stress riser. Creating a rigid tail without connection to the primary strength of the frame (the tunnel) will focus the new stressors at your connection point. Which is just pressed 1mm steel somewhere through the back of the tower, across the top of the wheel well. Could fold your tail... Or tear it off.

The strength of the frame ends at the engine mount. Fork tunnel at the front... frame tunnel to engine mount. The leg shield and floor add significant strength as well by completing the tunnel making it an arched tube - but mostly just the middle bit across the tunnel. The rest is just creature comforts.

What about above the engine mounts? Could you find a mounting point there - perhaps above the kick start? You’d want to connect both sides of the frame - an engine mount bolt with solid tube inside might work. Or weld.

Just my thoughts... minimal experience as you know.
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:06 am quote
Method to the madness
Pheas' - seams appropriate you should make the first post of page 23 - aka - first page any talk of sidecar design actually is being discussed.
Plan has me tied right in to the rear engine mount for all your stated reasons.
Motor side horizontal brace is the one you see in my lay out picture on prior post - running at angle. Hub side horizontal is truly horizontal and runs back to motor mount.

When Ginch threw out the idea of a leaner - my initial thoughts were - you have to be kidding - how the hell would I ever do that?
I don't even know how to ride a scooter (some may recall - I posted a question about the "ignition" switch...)
Then I spent 6 months grinding/modifying/welding/bending/and dremeling every part that I installed - and that was just the new off the shelf stuff.

Leaner set ups put the sidecar frame really close to the ground so the motor doesn't hit the side car frame when it leans "in" toward the side car.
With a scooter - due to the wide floor board that would interfere with the sidecar frame even worse when leaned in - I figured it wouldn't work at all. See pic of bike leaning into sidecar below.
That might explain why I have not been able to find a single leaner vespa set up.

Then I stumbled across some subset of the leaner subset - with this animation. check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2y6rdJqD4k
Vs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_OhuL3BKmg
The concept is: by lifting the front pivot above the back pivot - it causes the sidecar to steer left and right as the bike leans (leaner sidecar 3 above).
So... If I connected my front pivot point above the floor board - say to the tunnel - and my back all the way behind the tail of the scoot - then maybe it would work!

Maybe.

Anyway - that's why I wanted to create a tail pivot point - subtle enough that if it doesn't work - no one will really know it's even there - and the weight penalty would be very small - and centered around the back wheel.

Above may also explain why I have been thinking about how to stiffen the tunnel up by the curve from floor board to leg shield.

Let the arrows fly.

sauer-leaner-dog-pet-sidecar.png
Ginch's leaner inspiration

kalich-leaner-sidecar.jpg
The lean "in" issue. With a scooter - the floorboard would worsen - side car frame would have to be basically on the ground to allow.l

Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 8.41.19 AM.png
The concept - will it work? I have no idea. Perhaps I can make it lock as well - so it could be driven as rigid or leaner set up - also - that would let me park it without it falling over!

Molto Verboso
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:44 am quote
You never cease to amaze me CM.

Me personally - never rode in or driven a setup with a sidecar, but love watching them race with a monkey using weight and leaning to keep it in the corners.

I'd like a solid rig so I could ride on two wheels and lift the sidecar up - just for the fun of it. I've also never ran a car up on two wheels like the Dukes of Hazard, but think it's cool. Come to think of it, if I did have a sidecar rig, that's probably what I'd like to do most with it - get the sidecar off the ground.

Yes, good way to trash on the ride, but hey, it'd be fun while it lasted! OK, I commented and had no constructive input whatsoever.

I'm excited to see when you get to run it down the road.....
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:10 pm quote
charlieman22 wrote:
The concept is: by lifting the front pivot above the back pivot - it causes the sidecar to steer left and right as the bike leans (leaner sidecar 3 above).
So... If I connected my front pivot point above the floor board - say to the tunnel - and my back all the way behind the tail of the scoot - then maybe it would work!
Do you need a wide mount because of the mounting from the sidecar? Because wider mounting points will lessen this effect. And creates a lot of unknowns for an unknown benefit for torsional strength otherwise.

You could make a bracket that sits between the swing arm and inner aspect of the engine mounting points. U-shaped, with body below the swing-arm. The connection to the sidecar from the apex of that bracket. Would be fully removable. May not even need to cut the swing arm down - there is a small gap anyway.
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:23 pm quote
You should make the sidecar lean for top marks...

15606209-08F4-4B87-995E-AD2783F871F7.png

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Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:25 pm quote
And e-motor with arduino controlled throttle adjustment for cornering...
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:45 pm quote
Something like this...

694028DB-71A3-4CF9-B28D-2C66A15AA4F9.jpeg

Molto Verboso
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 3:33 pm quote
pheasant plucker wrote:
And e-motor with arduino controlled throttle adjustment for cornering...
Lol! Here you go with your awesome custom electronics again! I'd love to see that.
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Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:12 pm quote
https://youtu.be/c6si8Xp8P-M
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Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:06 pm quote
The welding has started
And some of it is really not pretty.
Moved to MIG from flux core - what a difference.
On metals 1/8" plus - things looking good.
So much easier to do nice tack welds with MIG.

Practiced until I could weld thick to thing without burn through.
But once I moved to bike - could not angle gun properly in tight spaces - and managed to blow through on a number of spots.
Though not all.

Any insights on repairing burn through - I'd welcome!

Does one "tin" them with something?
Turn down welder and weld then grind?
Take bike to body shop and have them fix?

Have been working from the inside of the rear fender to attache my inno-skeleton concoction. See pics below.

IMG_2821.JPG
paint stripped back where indoskeleton will go. Red arrow shows new hole drilled for running brake wire down center of tube.

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Tubes being placed for fit

IMG_2832.JPG
Tubes now welded in - don't dare show more - there is some ugliness to those welds. Nothing a bit of "linishing back" cant help. For you Binky Project watchers - note the boxed in left side connection between cross member and horizontal strut.

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Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:35 pm quote
Haha... “indoskeleton”!!!

Great name for it... double meaning at least.
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Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:30 pm quote
Has this ever happened to you?
Quote:
I'd like a solid rig so I could ride on two wheels and lift the sidecar up - just for the fun of it
Agreed!
I like the rigid side car - its fun.
Was just getting decent at wheeling it around.
But it was hell on the chassis.

The grand plan is to have the ability to ride leaner or lock out the sidecar and go rigid.
Rigid around town - then pull out the lock mechanism for riding in the twisties.
I still have no (I mean zero) idea if I can actually make it all work.
All my geometry is different than what motorcycles do.
But the reinforcement should pay dividends either way.
I didn't really think I was going to tackle the sidecar design.
Then this happened:
There I was - having rebuilt the motor - and bench (ramp) started it.
Great! But I looked over at the scoot sitting there ready to receive the motor and thought - I really have never been a fan of the silver.
Maybe I should just get rid of it - while the bike is mostly taken apart anyway.
If I just removed a few bits and bobs - I could have that silver sprayed white in no time!
Cool - new motor - new styling. This is gonna be great. What could possibly go wrong?!
And you know what? Since I am going to spray the center - I should put that subframe in I have been thinking about - you know - cause I don't want to ruin new paint with weld burn. That should be quick.
Little cut here, little weld there. I can figure this out.
Shouldn't set me back more than a week.

And then the next thing I knew - I ended up here...

IMG_0300.JPG

Molto Verboso
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:15 am quote
Maybe you meant next Christmas.

The pin for tilt or not tilt sounds like the coolest thing ever. I have a feeling it might be more difficult than it would seem.
Molto Verboso
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:15 am quote
Moving along. If you get burn through's they are easy to fix, don't turn the voltage down just clean the weld you just put and angle the gun back , way back and quickly zap it , and keep zapping it building a bridge and finally fill the hole. The old metal and our heavy handed grinders weaken the metal. Hopefully you have a sheet of brass shim to hold behind the hole. I simply hold the brass with one hand while holding gun with the other. I use a a couple different style die grinders for cutting down the built up weld , I use the 3 inch cutting disc on its edge to bring it down flat then a right angle die grinder with 3 inch disc's to flatten out.
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 9:51 am quote
You're really falling down the rabbit hole now charlieman22! This is always the fun part to me. I can do this small thing while I have it apart..... 6 months later, finally finished all the 75 extra small things and being thouroughly satisfied because you finally accompished all those things you've been wanting to do. Atleast until you think of the next thing.

I'm excited to see how this adjustable pivoting sidecard comes out. Seems like you've got a solid plan. Good luck!
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:16 am quote
Next project will be a Piaggio MP3 with a tilting sidecar?
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:29 am quote
Ape with spinning side car like the Zipper Carnival ride
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:39 pm quote
GeekLion wrote:
Ape with spinning side car like the Zipper Carnival ride
Molto Verboso
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Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:11 pm quote
This is insane now. Ha! You are courageous.
Molto Verboso
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Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:10 am quote
Re: Round tail VBB
charlieman22 wrote:
May have our answer - I found this from Eric - made my coffee taste a little better this morning. Some VBB1T had round tail for first half year 1962.

Getting started with my Allstate
This is good to know.
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Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:03 pm quote
Thanks for the laughs and the insights.
Making some progress.
To where exactly - is still an open question.
Welding has gone from ugly and dangerous - to just ugly.
I'll call it a win.
Sub frame is in from engine mounts to tail.
Worked on fabricating my heim joint mount today.
Dry fit motor and fork to determine a center line (used chalk line).
This is critical for the leaner effect - if my mounts are off center line of wheels - it will tilt one way and be hard to push the other.
I've got enough trouble already - so figured I should try and nail this.
Below a few shots of the "progress".

IMG_4850.JPG
Put the fork and engine back in to figure out where the center line is. Hint: no where near the center.

IMG_3152.JPG
Used a chalk line and snapped a line between the tires to mark the chassis - later I used this to identify center line all the way to back of bike.

IMG_0411.JPG
Bolted my parts together for welding (only some of them in this pic) so that everything was on center for my heim joint mount - tolerances for the bolt are intentionally tight

IMG_5671 2.JPG
All welded up - came out flat and square (this one any how...)

IMG_1463 2.JPG
Mount sitting on subframe base plate (not welded on yet).

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Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:24 pm quote
wow wow wow those welds look great!
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 03, 2020 7:24 pm quote
I agree the welds look good.
Molto Verboso
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Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:37 pm quote
All this measuring and quality welding is doing nothing for the cowboy rep.

Making that rear connection adjustable side to side might have helped with keeping the lean balanced as the tyres wear. Could be the last thing you're worried about though.
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Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:32 am quote
When we go mad max, can I be on your team?

What welder you using again? Them's some fine looking joints.
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Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:06 am quote
Trust me - there has been some horrifying welding.
My grinding skills however are through the roof.


The heim joint mount is nice thick metal - man what a pleasure to weld after working with the thin stuff.
I have a Lincoln 140.
What has made the difference (other than 100 bad welds of practice) is the addition of gas - making it MIG.
Wire is not as hot (I am told) and their is no slag to speak of.
Makes the work much neater.

Jack - my old rig had adjustable mounting points - and they constantly came loose. My plan is to weld this mount on - no faffing around.
Can use spacers on the hub to wheel or at the engine to frame mounts in the future if I find adjustment of center point a must.

Lynn B - looks like someone stitched a new rear seam on your chassis? If yes - my hat's off to them - talk about good welding - gracious.
(see pic below - left and right of the center rib)?

vespa_bodywork_7_15191.jpg

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Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:02 am quote
I did wonder if you had added gas. Can tell by the fact that your vice grips don’t have splatter all over them! Mine are all splattered now!
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Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:11 am quote
Jack221 wrote:
All this measuring and quality welding is doing nothing for the cowboy rep.

Making that rear connection adjustable side to side might have helped with keeping the lean balanced as the tyres wear. Could be the last thing you're worried about though.
Guessing the bolts would need to be massive and torqued down hard. Which would make adjusting them pretty difficult and annoying. Might be useful for ‘tuning’ it. I know I’d be wanting set-and-forget because I’d be too lazy to make those adjustments often (across the life of tires). But yeah - big fan of nuts and bolts because they allow some degree of adjustment and can be undone. Clamps everywhere on my build.

That and my welding sucks.
Molto Verboso
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Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:10 am quote
Yes welding thicker metal and with gas is sooo much nicer , just have to make sure you're getting good penetration.
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Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:29 pm quote
Quote:
just have to make sure you're getting good penetration.
Spot on. I can tell when I have it right - the metal discolors on the back side of what I am welding - showing that the weld has gone deep.
Quote:
I did wonder if you had added gas. Can tell by the fact that your vice grips don’t have splatter all over them! Mine are all splattered now!
Oh man- half the battle is just welding in a straight line. I'm all over the place - looks like some kinda serpentine path. Might be the fumes.

After posting/discussion on importance of centering properly - used a laser from the ceiling pointed down to align one more time - then welded the mount to the subframe. See below.

Won't belabor project Binky too much - but if you watch all 27 episodes - you will believe you know how to weld. Makes me laugh. When I ran into an issue with not being able to get the welding gun in to place - used their method of spot welding. Damned if it doesn't actually work! Who knew?

IMG_5675.JPG
Decent look at how far off center my center line is...

IMG_2988.JPG
Drilled holes in mounting plate so I could spot weld plate on to subframe

IMG_2990.JPG
Filled holes with weld - then burnished back to flat - holy cow - I love youtube.

IMG_2992.JPG
Added corner reinforcements to tie ti all in. If I had paid someone to weld this - I would have fired them. Its like the team doctor responsible for on-field stitching, got into the sauce - and now I have to live with it - but kinda proud of the scars

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Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:44 pm quote
Eccentric ride for the eccentric rider!

Out of interest (since mine will be about the same - I hope)... how does it ride without the sidecar?
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:16 am quote
Brilliantly I suspect.

If we had a contest where everyone had to show up in my garage and turn their scoots over and shoot with laser - guessing everyone would be surprised by what kind of whacky center lines they actually have.
I think we all naturally adjust.

Think about a 12 speed road bike - all the cogs and the derailleurs hang off one side.
One thing I came to understand while having the scoot flipped over - and tied down to a bench - was just how much weight is on the right side due to the motor offset. Perhaps a bit of wheel alignment opposing that is helpful.

I expect your build will be top notch for riding.

Editors note: if anyone does show up in my garage to flip their bike over and check alignment with laser - I hereby confirm I will supply the beer as long as you do the flipping. Don't mind hosting - but have my limits.
Molto Verboso
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:14 am quote
Just make sure to document it when it happens otherwise we won't believe you!
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:53 pm quote
pheasant plucker wrote:
Eccentric ride for the eccentric rider!

Out of interest (since mine will be about the same - I hope)... how does it ride without the sidecar?
I was wondering about that too. This thread has become one of my favorites keep it coming charlieman22.
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:15 pm quote
charlieman22 wrote:
Perhaps a bit of wheel alignment opposing that is helpful.
Except the misalignment is to the wrong side to help - makes the weight further from the (new) centre...

I figure it must be all good cause even standard they are right side heavy, and this mod isn’t uncommon.
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:27 pm quote
Can't wait to see what's on this thread next myself!


Pheas' - I honestly don't think you will be able to tell.
Tho I did't ride it much without the side car - there was no evidence of the center line being off center at all when I did.
Do wonder one thing tho - we both have same front fork and hub.
Seems like yours would also be aligned opposite side of the motor weight?
Veni, Vidi, Posti
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:57 pm quote
charlieman22 wrote:
Won't belabor project Binky too much - but if you watch all 27 episodes - you will believe you know how to weld. Makes me laugh. When I ran into an issue with not being able to get the welding gun in to place - used their method of spot welding. Damned if it doesn't actually work! Who knew?
It should be required viewing in schools!

Good to see you added lightness in those braces, did you use the step drill?
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Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:14 pm quote
did you use the step drill?
Step drill and punch for sheet metal are now std. tools.
Bought the triangular tabs at local metal supply house.
Came with the go fast holes already in them.
Just looked at that picture again.
That is some crazy Frankenstein welding I am doing.
Thing has zippers all over it.

images-2.jpeg
Considering this paint job for my helmet in honor of the bike

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Sun Jan 05, 2020 10:31 pm quote
charlieman22 wrote:
Can't wait to see what's on this thread next myself!


Pheas' - I honestly don't think you will be able to tell.
Tho I did't ride it much without the side car - there was no evidence of the center line being off center at all when I did.
Do wonder one thing tho - we both have same front fork and hub.
Seems like yours would also be aligned opposite side of the motor weight?
We are both offset left. PX disc setup on PK fork offsets left (as we established earlier) and my wide tyre conversion also offsets left - despite cutting 10mm from the right (so 4mm left instead of 14mm). Guessing your rear is offset left because of the wheel size?

If you could offset to the right then guessing the bike would feel more balanced as the weight of the motor would be closer to the centre as defined by the wheels. The further that motor is from those wheels = more torquing the bike to the right. I think the leftward offset is actually necessary to clear the clutch cover though (as I recall, you are all to well aware of that

Plus the P must weigh a hefty bit more than the original motor.

Seems like it will all be all right. Or is that left. Arghhh.
Molto Verboso
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Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:37 am quote
This is amazing to watch , almost like a good book.
I use the step drills in my garage quite a bit.
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