The Xt400 side car (winter project)

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Huh I didnt even know we had a side car section.......

Well Its fall and I cant afford to build another bike this year so I am doing the next best thing. I am building a side car for my xt400 project. At least that is the plan. I am totally new to side cars so this could be interesting. I hope that with the help of some very knowledgeable DTT members I will be able to make this happen. My plan is to use parts I have laying around to build most of it. I would like to build a subframe that will bolt on my bike so the side car can be easily removed If I need to. I am planning on using the swing arm and front wheel off of an xs400 I have for the suspension. The front wheel is an 18 and it has a disc brake I would like to use for the car. It is also not as wide as the rear. From what I have seen/read narrow is better for the car, especially with small cc bikes. I turned down the rear axle on the lathe so it would work with the front wheel. I also had to make some wheel spacers. I still need to make a caliper mount for the swing arm. This project is in the very early stages so any motivation/inspiration is appreciated. Here is a picture of the bike and wheel. This is all I have so far. Ive done more goggling and reading than actual work so far.



 

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Cool video! I'm thinking something open enough to be sporty and fun, but still be safe enough to haul my son around in. I'm ready to start it, I just haven't had enough time to go get materials.
 

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Well, I finally got a chance to start working on the sub-frame for the car mounts. I am happy with how it came out. It should be plenty strong. I tied into both foot-peg mounts and the skid-plate mounting bolts. The frame is all one piece. It is mostly 1/4", with the exception of the front mount, that is 3/8" I will be attaching the the hinge points for the car on the flat plate. My plan is to make a big set of hinges out of heavy wall pipe. There will be 2 pieces on the bike and 3 on the car. They will fit together and then a big pin will go through the whole thing. I have a drawing I will post. It took me awhile to get this part figured out but things should roll right along now.

 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
Your going to need something to steering head and seat mounting to triangulate
I'm sure Erskine will post link to his build to give you some idea's ;D
 

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Yeah I still have a lot of work to do I have already started figuring out my other mounting points. Did you think I was done already? Hahah 8) I wish. I have started working on some struts like these. I am planning on only using two (not four)
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
I guessed you had more planned.
Sidecar suspension mount looks a bit scary on the MZ
 

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Yeah I didn't like the way he mounted both struts at the same point. It looked like it would create a lot of leverage. The hardware didn't look very heavy either. But i looked through the whole build and it gave me some ideas. I love looking at other peoples home built stuff!
 

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
Do you have any ideas for strut mounts? I dont have many good (strong) points to deal with. I dont have a close up side view of the bike but maybe this picture will help. Thanks


crazypj said:
Your going to need something to steering head and seat mounting to triangulate
I'm sure Erskine will post link to his build to give you some idea's ;D
 

timbutterfield

New Member
Cool project. My dad has a large bmw tourer with hannigan sidecar. Its got 6 struts on it.

It looks like this. But white.
http://www.motorcycletours.com/Dave&RuthAnne.jpg

I thought it was crazy what was done to the bike before he bought it. Bigger forks, longer rake. ABS brakes on the bike and sidecar. Sidecar has air suspension that is adjustable on the fly. It is how you adjust the alignment to compensate for weight or no weight in the sidecar. Cd player, intercom system. And ghetto air conditioning. A 5 gallon igloo cooler with coiled copper pipe run through it, connected to a fan. Put a bag of ice in the cooler and you have ac in the sidecar for an hour or two.

I envy your willingness to conquer a project like this. Anyone could build one, but it'll take skill to get it right. And some ingenuity to get it to handle well.

Good luck and keep us posted
 

timbutterfield

New Member
Almost forgot. Apparently sidecar riggers have determined the best tire combo for his specific rig, and many like it. He runs a rear tire in reverse on the front wheel. Has the best handling and tread life. Rear bike tire is a car tire on a special wheel. Sidecar has a trailer tire. His rig eats front tires, 3 fronts to one rear tire, and the sidecar (trailer) tire hasnt been changed and still looks brand new.
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
Not to hijack thread, that road chair looks pretty good,
Does it have a slider under nose?
I can empathise about front tyre wear, Yoshimura Kawasaki I had only got about 600 miles to a front (and 9~10mpg @130mph 8) )
It was an incredible amount of fun for the 6weeks I had it ( sold before I broke it or got banned ;D )
 

beachcomber

TJ - Beachcomber
DTT SUPPORTER
Just a question - is the lower side mounting angle drilled with holes so you can cleverly adjust the wheel lead [ experimentaion ], or was that just a piece you had lying around !!!!!!!!!

One obvious point for the rear diagonal is where the triangular alloy plate sits. Weld a steel plate in with a lug - maybe cover it back up with the alloy plate.

Brace front downtubes with a plate and again lugs off that. That's over simplified - as I think you might need another diagonal under the seat [ from the back ] down to the rear lower frame hoop
 

crazypj

Split personality, I fake being smart
MILLENNIUM FALCON said:
Do you have any ideas for strut mounts? I dont have many good (strong) points to deal with. I dont have a close up side view of the bike but maybe this picture will help. Thanks
You probably need two mounts at front, one to steering head, one just below engine mounting
Another mount to just above swing arm pivot (is there a cross tube between frame rails?)
apart from that, BC has given rear mount placement advice
 

Erskine

New Member
Hey, I've emailed you more stuff, I think your subframe solution is the top banana. This is what both Beachcomber and myself are having to address on our respective K100 projects. Getting good and solid up by the steering head is the next priority............. is there the opportunity to hide some additional bracing under the tank from the steering head to the main tube?
 

MILLENNIUM FALCON

Active Member
DTT BOTM WINNER
I wish I was that smart! :D The holes we already on the piece of steel. I like your ides for the rear mount the only thing is I am trying to do everything without welding to the frame.


beachcomber said:
Just a question - is the lower side mounting angle drilled with holes so you can cleverly adjust the wheel lead [ experimentaion ], or was that just a piece you had lying around !!!!!!!!!

One obvious point for the rear diagonal is where the triangular alloy plate sits. Weld a steel plate in with a lug - maybe cover it back up with the alloy plate.

Brace front downtubes with a plate and again lugs off that. That's over simplified - as I think you might need another diagonal under the seat [ from the back ] down to the rear lower frame hoop
 

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