Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Exploratory Surgery

Today felt like a good day to start tearing Petunia apart to see exactly what would be required to install a car tire on her.  Looking it over the pig pen HAD to come off.  I was hoping that wouldn't be required.

This is the tire with only 1,200 miles that started this idea.

Next I had to remove the tour pack to expose the fender and I removed the chrome frame covers.  That allowed me to see that there is 8.5" between the frame rails.  The fender, however, is only 6.5" wide.  That 2" could be better used in tread width I think. 

 Space on right side between fender and frame.

Space on left side.  The chrome piece on each of these pictures is to hold the tour pack in place and I'm thinking they could be relocated to the outside.

Another issue I noticed is the long ass screws, LAS, they used throughout the bike to attach things. These, and several others, will be getting cut off to only the necessary length.  The nut and washer above the LAS is used as a spacer to connect the fender to the frame.  

This is the 1.5" drive belt which is really a 1.75" pulley that takes up a lot of space.  My first thought is go with a 1 1/8" pulley and a 1" drive belt, but as I was studying it using a chain drive popped into my feeble little brain.
Anyone have an opinion on using a chain?

My thoughts on using a chain are that older Harleys use them, race bikes are chain driven, and it will free up a ton of space that might be necessary.  

I also plan on replacing the swing arm bearings and bushings.  I read bad things about the pivot shaft freezing and being almost impossible to remove.  I am happy to report that mine, while rusted, turned with just a bit of effort and seems to move without much effort at all and I haven't even sprayed any penetrating oil on it yet.  

I now believe that while this won't be just a bolt in operation that with  a bit of effort and time it has the possibility of being successful.  That and it will be a lot cheaper than a new bike.  I keep trying to convince myself that is a good thing.


  1. You may want to give Jay of Dauntless Sidecars a ring and tell him what you want to do, he may have already done all the grunt work in terms of whether it can be done or not and what's required?

  2. fun stuff!

    you may also try to pick a brain at Arlens. they've run car tires since 1987 (for ref; see ferrari bike) using modified car rims.
    Sales 925-452-4817
    Service 925-452-6417

    i dont believe i know anyone there in tech anymore, or i'd give you a name.
    big hugs!

  3. Good thing you are handy with a wrench.

    Do you have poor road surfaces in Arizona?

    I know in Oregon we typically get less than average for mileage as they use a lot of seal coat and we have rough roads ins tea dog nice smooth tarmac.

  4. That is some incredibly low mileage on a bike tire. My last three sets have averaged over 25,000 km. I know I'm not riding the same type of bike and I don't ride it hard. I don't carry the weight of the side car, and yes I am obsessed with tire pressure - but that's a 14,000 'mile' difference. Fairly significant!
    I'm trying Pirellis (that's what they had in stock) for the first time so don't know how they will last.
    Good luck with your adjustments and adaptations. Lucky for you - you are handy.

  5. I bet you are enjoying every bit of it too for your next ride :)

  6. Charley6; I've seen Jay's posts on the sidecar forum and he said they don't make a tire that fits. That just means I have to fit a tire.

    Ms M; Fun stuff indeed. It sits almost apart as I decide what I'm going to do next. Not in any hurry, as I have time.

    Trobairitz; The roads are pretty good here. The tire is a Bastard brand that only cost $86 and is way to soft. In bike tires cheap isn't worth the effort. I got 12,000 miles out of a Michelin Commander and the last 2,000 of that was with the pig pen installed.

    VStar Lady; Handy or nuts, either way it give me something to do while I am in time-out.

    Katy Did; Indeed and counting the days.