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Terry's Ariel Plunger Leaner Sidecar Project

"I am looking at designing and building my own tilting sidecar attached to a special I am building that has two JAP 600 cc SV engines set in tandem in a stretched Ariel plunger frame. Attached are a couple of pictures of the bike in its early stages. I will be able to experiment with the firing order to get it to sound like a parallel twin or V twin with different angles between the cylinders. The best power delivery and sound combination will decide the settings. Can you tell me the size of the Rod End bearings that are normally used? The threads look about 20 mm diameter in the pictures with the BMW outfit. Thanks Terry."

Terrys Ariel Plunger Frame Terrys Ariel Plunger Frame
Hi Terry,
Unlike motorcycles, it is difficult to locate specifications on the Internet when it concerns sidecars.
Most Ariel motorcycles provide little frame to attach to. Likewise the BMW on the Kalich Leaner website has little frame to attach to. Using Google Translate, the website states a sub frame is custom made for each motorcycle:

“The subframe is exactly adapted each type of motorcycle and different in appearance and dimensions.”

The other examples on ADVRider website, also have no frame to attach to and a Shadow Frame was also fitted:

Therefore, it seems you will have to fabricate a strong Pivit Bracket (Shadow Frame) in order to attach the Pivits.

The Kalich Schwenker Website: http://kalich.de/html/schwenker.html states the following:

"What technique is this necessary? Under the bike a subframe is attached. Front and rear of this are backlash-free ball joints that lead to the sidecar chassis. Because of the different height of the bearing points of the side car when cornering draws passively."

Example ball joints (up to 30mm) can be seen here:

I am not an engineer, however, while consulting two engineers concerning our wheelchair accessible leaner sidecar project; both had concerns that this ball joint has a weakness due to being press fit. Also that a ball joint is not necessary as the motorcycle will only rotate on one axis. Therefore, the advice given was that a bush is all that is required. But your Leaner will be lighter because our sidecar weighs 140 kgs, the wheelchair 110 kgs and the occupant 55 kgs. Even if you did choose the bush option, you still need a thread to adjust Tow In.

As it is not possible to determine the size from a photo, if I were you, I would either contact a manufacturer for specifications or just go for the 30mm to give maximum strength. Like me, you probably cannot speak German, so I would try the Canadian company that have built Leaner Sidecars:
http://www.trans-moto.com/contact-en.html or ask the guys on the ADVRider Forum.

Hope your sidecar project goes smoothly, Cheers Dave

I am sorry to hear that your family needs a wheelchair.
Sidecars can certainly be a lot of fun. You are correct in saying bushes are only required for a tilting sidecar however the rod end bearings eliminate misalignment. I have had a couple of rigid sidecars in the past. The best was a 1930's Brough Superior 1150 outfit. It took me many years to restore it. The chassis acted as an auxiliary fuel tank holding 1 1/2 gallons. You had to be stationary and use a rubber hose plus a tyre pump to pressurise the fuel. I sold the outfit to a guy in Florida and it has won many shows in the US.

The bike is a 1934 Brough Superior Model 1150 with a 60 degree 1100 cc side valve JAP engine. The sidecar is a 1938 Brough Superior Grand Alpine Sports with the Cruiser body. It was a pure Art Deco design. As previously mentioned the sidecar chassis acts as an auxiliary fuel tank holding 1 1/2 gallons. The sidecar wheel was fitted with a brake that operated in conjunction with the rear brake of the bike. It won many best of shows in NSW and now in the US it has won numerous best of show. Regards Terry
Terrys Brough

Terrys Brough

Terrys Brough

Dave attached are the pictures I mentioned. They came from the BS Club archives.
The first shows an 1150 Brough Superior motorcycle like mine with a period Garrad sidecar plus a Garrard caravan. The caravan or motorcycle van looks like very light weight construction however it is immense and must have caught the wind.  This was on the road in the UK for many years and probably driven to death as it no longer exists according to the BS Club register. The owners used it on trips all over the UK and took their numerous pets with them including cats, a cocker spaniel and a ferret all together on trips of up to 200 miles. Only the English !
The second group of pictures shows a double adult sidecar attached again to an 1150 Brough Superior like mine. The sidecar is bigger than the bike. Apparently the four passengers enjoyed numerous holidays together. This outfit no longer exists either and was probably driven to death. I can't imagine riding four up the weight would have been just too much for safe motoring. Cheers Terry

                            SuperiorBrough Superior
I looked at some rod end bearings recently in a bearing suppliers. I was surprised to see there is end float within the bearings. The supplier explained that is normal and there must be a certain amount in all of them for normal operation. A bit too much movement for me. With two of them basically in line the sidecar would tend to pull back on acceleration and push forward during braking.
I guess brass bushes are the way to go and would be in keeping with the age of my bike. When you think about it mounting a sidecar rigidly to a bike is the worst thing you could do to a bike frame.
I had been thinking independently about a banking sidecar for years and figured two pivots below axle height was the way to go. Having the front pivot higher than the rear as mentioned in your web page is an improvement.
Regards Terry

Hi Terry,
Nice to hear from you.
I agree. I love the way the sidecar wheel is steered rather than scrubbed as it turns the corner. Thanks to the higher front mount. I would so love a leaner.
This video is my favourite.

Hey imagine if the leaner sidecar was a motorcycle.
The passenger could have some "non operational" handlebars. Don't think it's been done yet. Would be handy for a motorcycle instructor and student.

I'll put the feedback about the Pivot Mounts on your webpage.
Maybe they are a bit light for the type of work they will be doing.
Take Care

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See Photos and a Detailed History of the Brough Superior and Sidecars. Click Here
Terry's project updates will be added when we recieve them.

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