Leading links or Triple Trees?


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Sidcar
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Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »



I've now done about 500 miles on my Wing outfit. I celebrated by changing the oil and filter, only 500 mls but the oil was black, and the rear hub oil. Fourth time I've changed that and it's now coming out clean.
The Wing now runs well (pleeeeeenty of power!) but I do need to do something about the handlebar wobble and heavy (as lead) steering.
The choice seem to be either leading link forks or new (EZ-Steer) or modified triple trees. I would hope either would cure the "wobble" because I can't see how to fit a damper without removing the trim around the front wheel. The chances of a set of used links or t/trees coming along seems very slim and I'd like to ride, and enjoy riding, the rig now so does anyone have a preference or any experience of the above. Personaly I'm leaning towards EZ-Steer:
1. Even with shipping charges they're about £400 cheaper than leading links.
2. They don't alter the look of the bike, which I like very much.
3. The front tyre is only 500 miles old so I'd like to keep it.

All opinions welcome.

Sid



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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by vtxcandyred »

Sidcar wrote:I've now done about 500 miles on my Wing outfit. I celebrated by changing the oil and filter, only 500 mls but the oil was black, and the rear hub oil. Fourth time I've changed that and it's now coming out clean.
The Wing now runs well (pleeeeeenty of power!) but I do need to do something about the handlebar wobble and heavy (as lead) steering.
The choice seem to be either leading link forks or new (EZ-Steer) or modified triple trees. I would hope either would cure the "wobble" because I can't see how to fit a damper without removing the trim around the front wheel. The chances of a set of used links or t/trees coming along seems very slim and I'd like to ride, and enjoy riding, the rig now so does anyone have a preference or any experience of the above. Personaly I'm leaning towards EZ-Steer:
1. Even with shipping charges they're about £400 cheaper than leading links.
2. They don't alter the look of the bike, which I like very much.
3. The front tyre is only 500 miles old so I'd like to keep it.

All opinions welcome.

Sid
My 85 Aspy had a wobble to it oo. All I did was grab the bars a bit firmer and that was it. The guy I sold it to complained about it too. I showed him how I just grab a hold of the grips and boss the bike. It may be more than that in your case but not so much with mine. Two pennies.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

That's what I'm doing at the moment but the wobble is so strong I daren't take a hand off the grip even to wave to someone and it's doing my arthritis no good at all.

Sid

As for who's boss? it could go either way.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by trike lady »

You may want to go with a 4.5 degree rake that is also used on trikes.
Your bike retains all the original front end parts.
I.M.B.B.A. Technician II Certified

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

Thankls for the comment. Is the EZ Steer rake adjustable or is there a choice when you buy it?

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by WingAdmin »

I believe they have two different versions with different (non-adjustable) rake angles on them.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by feetup »

The easy steer looks like a quality made item.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by redial »

My experience with a sidecar is very old (back in the sixties), but even then I had to learn to live with the violent handlebar action. If I took the sidecar off, the wobble disappeared. There is obviously something to do with the weight distribution being placed on the sidecar wheel, and taking it off the frong wheel, which makes it lighter (a bit like a shopping trolley at the supermarkets). You get a trolley and it works perfectly, but put a load of groceries in, and it takes a mind of its own. You often seen those trolleys with wheels go everyway but forward, and I think that it is because the balance is not distributed evenly over the wheels. Perhaps someone with a better background in engineering could add to this.

The cure? I never found one, but my forearm and bicep muscles certainly grew :D . Not sure if you see this as a way of bashing through your arthritis. It might mean a trip to a sidecar manufacturer to see how they overcome this problem, as I believe it is common. Do not suggest an answer, but use your ears and mouth in that ratio, and you could learn how to overcome the problem, with the least amount of pocket lightening. I would not be jumping into the triple trees or other solution, until some others have addressed the problem.
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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

Of course there is another way of tackling this problem, cure the arthritis and who cares if the bars wobble or the steerings's heavy.
The medical profession don't seem to offer much hope (loose weight, I'm only 135 lbs now, and eat healthy) and I've tried most of the "snake oil" options (including Emu oil, Redial).
Triple trees is probably the simpler more reliable solution.
Got to do something, on the main roads and Motorways (boring) it's ok but down your average English country lane it's a real, shoulder renching handful.

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by WingAdmin »

I know it's a case of curing the symptom rather than the cause, but if you can't figure another way of doing it, perhaps a hydraulic steering dampener might add enough resonant resistance to the steering system so as to stop the problem.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

Thanks for the comment Wingman (and thanks for the EXCELLENT website, don't know how you find the time to do it but as far as I'm concerned it's time very well spent).
This L/link v Triple Trees is just about doing my head in. Each has it's pros and cons. Links are stronger and more versatile (I could fit a car wheel and tyre) but oh aren't they ugly. T/trees are cheaper (£400 is not a sum to be sniffed at) and I get to keep the good looks of my Wing.
Perhaps I'll put two names in a hat and go with the one I draw out, or maybe run a pole on this website and see which gets the most votes.

Regards

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

Well the bullet has been bitten and I've ordered an EZ-Steer kit from DMC Sidecars so hopefully Tendonitis will soon be a thing of the past. I'll do the fork seals at the same time.
Can't wait.

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by dnehasert »

Anothertrick is to tighten the steering head bearings 20% tighter than the factory specs. That will not damage them but the increased friction will reduce the oscillation. Have you checked out the sidecar sites ? In US we have www.sidecar.com and http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/SCT/. Also the UK sidecar club is great. Doug

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

At the moment I'm still waiting for my EZ-Steer kit to arrive, 2 weeks and counting so far. While I'm waiting I'm fitting new seals in the fork legs.
I've got 2 posts running on the USCA website and had some useful advice.
Hopefully extra torque on the head bearings won't be needed but I'll keep it in mind.

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by sparrowhawwk »

Sid You will love the power steering afforded by the triple clamp change but you can fix the shake with proper toe-in adjustment. The only bike model I have trouble with is the stock GL1200. I built an 84 standard and used a set of Unit forks with great success. No damper and no shake. Assuming everything else is tight, no play and wheel lead is correct toe-in will solve it. One other thing I find when putting a sidecar on a new (used) bike is that some two wheelers wear the front tire so that if you run your hand over the tread it feels lumpy. The only fix for this is a new tire. Adjusting the steering head bearings for sidecar use is different than two wheels. Put the bike up on the center stand or jack with the front wheel off the ground. Tighten the steering bearings until you feel a slight drag on the steering. Usually about 10 to 15 ft lbs more than stock. I know it can be hard with the Watsonian sidecars but wheel lead should be 10-15% of the wheel base axle to axle or as close as you can get it. The Champion escort and Daytona work great with a six inch lead. I have hundreds of thousands of miles on GL1500's with sidecars and they are a great tug.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

Trees arrived and fitted, what a difference!
Steering lovely and light, no wobble whatsoever.
Customs and Excise stung me with fees and import duty, bless them, but the results are worth it.

Rain or shine,it's forecast rain, I'm out on it tomorrow.

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by sparrowhawwk »

Sidcar wrote:Trees arrived and fitted, what a difference!
Steering lovely and light, no wobble whatsoever.
Customs and Excise stung me with fees and import duty, bless them, but the results are worth it.

Rain or shine,it's forecast rain, I'm out on it tomorrow.

Sid

Steering will seem quick at first. Key is to relax on the bars and not over correct. Have a great ride.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Sidcar »

Did about 50 miles yesterday and given the amount of flood water we had to ride through or divert round we were lucky to do that. If it doesn't stop raining soon this island's going to sink. The bike's a real pleasure to ride feather light steering, no wobble and my new heated grips worked a treat as well. Too well in fact, on the top setting my hands were being roasted, I had to turn the heat down two stops.
In fact so good is it too ride I've been riding it too and from work and sod the rain.

Sid

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by mustangbtr »

I had a 1986 gold wing 1200 and I built my own trike kit for this bike. I put several thousand miles on the kit I built. In the beginning this bike also had a serious from and wobble mainly when I hit bumps. I was told by a friend who had a Kawasaki dealership to re-torque that had bearings to about 5 pounds beyond factory recommendation. I tried this and it seemed to help a great deal at higher speeds. I still had the wobble at lower speeds but it was definitely manageable. I now have a 2000 GL 1500 and which I also put a trike get on and I had to go with easy steer front and it wasn't so much that it had the wobble it was more that it was hard to corner. I'm not sure if this is helpful but I thought I would let you know what I found

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by newday777 »

First off did you reply to the original poster? Did you look at the date?

As to your wobble issue mustangbtr, the way to end the wobble is to replace the round ball bearings with new tapered bearings, properly torqued with a special socket and a torque wrench.
Just re-torque will not get rid of the wobble as you found, as the round ball bearings will dent the race and you'll never get even torque out of the dent and the undented race areas.
Tapered bearings are the only fix for the low speed wobble that happens in deceleration below 45 mph.
Ez-steer tree sets come with new tapered bearings from All Balls (brand).
mustangbtr wrote:I had a 1986 gold wing 1200 and I built my own trike kit for this bike. I put several thousand miles on the kit I built. In the beginning this bike also had a serious from and wobble mainly when I hit bumps. I was told by a friend who had a Kawasaki dealership to re-torque that had bearings to about 5 pounds beyond factory recommendation. I tried this and it seemed to help a great deal at higher speeds. I still had the wobble at lower speeds but it was definitely manageable. I now have a 2000 GL 1500 and which I also put a trike get on and I had to go with easy steer front and it wasn't so much that it had the wobble it was more that it was hard to corner. I'm not sure if this is helpful but I thought I would let you know what I found

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by iron duck »

vtxcandyred wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:29 pm
Sidcar wrote:I've now done about 500 miles on my Wing outfit. I celebrated by changing the oil and filter, only 500 mls but the oil was black, and the rear hub oil. Fourth time I've changed that and it's now coming out clean.
The Wing now runs well (pleeeeeenty of power!) but I do need to do something about the handlebar wobble and heavy (as lead) steering.
The choice seem to be either leading link forks or new (EZ-Steer) or modified triple trees. I would hope either would cure the "wobble" because I can't see how to fit a damper without removing the trim around the front wheel. The chances of a set of used links or t/trees coming along seems very slim and I'd like to ride, and enjoy riding, the rig now so does anyone have a preference or any experience of the above. Personaly I'm leaning towards EZ-Steer:
1. Even with shipping charges they're about £400 cheaper than leading links.
2. They don't alter the look of the bike, which I like very much.
3. The front tyre is only 500 miles old so I'd like to keep it.

All opinions welcome.

Sid
My 85 Aspy had a wobble to it oo. All I did was grab the bars a bit firmer and that was it. The guy I sold it to complained about it too. I showed him how I just grab a hold of the grips and boss the bike. It may be more than that in your case but not so much with mine. Two pennies.
Sid
I have a 2002 wing which I had tried rode a few without EZ steer made my mind ip right there EZ steer only way to go it is about a 7degree rake you might have to have seat shaved to get that warm feeling back Will seal like it is pushing you up on controls not bad but you will notice. My initial ride as a trike was from Il to FL it still rode like a wing love my converson i chose Champion with independent suspension

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by iron duck »

Sidcar wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:55 pm
That's what I'm doing at the moment but the wobble is so strong I daren't take a hand off the grip even to wave to someone and it's doing my arthritis no good at all.

Sid

As for who's boss? it could go either way.
go for the EZ steer had a 2002 wing conveerted to Champion trike with independent suspention rode great had seat shaved to compensate for 7 degree rake. also bought a more squared off tire no need for rounded edges since leaning is no longer a option. Hope this helped

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by sparrowhawwk »

Champion triple clamps have a 6 degree rake. Either trees or leading links work well. Links also ad lateral strength that is not really needed on this bike but also are a good anti dive on braking device. lol This rig should not be shaking. Toe in is not right. Check and set to 7/8". Also slightly tightening the steering head bearings can help some. With front wheel off the ground and gripping the front of the tire you should just feel a slight drag on the steering. Just enough to keep the front end from flopping to the side.

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by Ravyn »

All you guys keep calling the 6 or 7 degree triple trees raking your front end. They have nothing to do with rake ! They simply reduce your bikes trail and that is what makes it steer easier. Read this.......

First off, we are NOT raking the front end! What we are doing is changing the angle of the forks in relationship to the steering head angle of the bike. This looks exactly like we "raked" the bike but in fact that rake has not been changed. Companies and people that tell you that the tree's are raking the front end either do not understand what they are doing or do not care as such I recommend staying away from any company that tells you they are raking the front end with tree's as they clearly do not understand the basics of what they are doing or they do not credit you with enough smarts to understand what they are doing.

By changing the angle of the forks in relationship to the steering head we are reducing trail. Reducing trail lowers the steering effort by taking some of the stability out of the front end. We can get away with this as we have added the stability that a third wheel has to offer. When you turn the handle bars you are swinging the front wheel through an arc, lower the trail and the arc is shortened as such you end up moving the sidecar (and or trike rear wheels) less when you move the bars.

To change the rake on the front of a bike the angle of the steering head needs to be changed. This can be done many ways including changing the ride height at the rear of the bike, lower the rear and the rake angle increases. Raise the rear end and it decreases. You can cut the frame and weld the steering neck at a different angle or there are companies that have special steering stem bearings that allow the steering stem's angle to be changed in relationship to the head stock on the bike. This does change the rake but does little to change the trail but people try these bearings anyways as they are fairly cheap and they think wrongly that it will help lower the steering effort as a three wheeler.

In an ideal world we would have less rake on the front end for sidecar use as the more rake, the more you are causing the front of the bike to raise and drop when you move the bars.

I have people often ask me about putting sidecars on cruiser type bikes as they figure that they usually have a lot of rake on the front end that they should steer better with the sidecar. Again people are confusing rake and trail. Rake is often all about creating a certain "look" But when manufactures set the rake, they also adjust the trail to where it needs to be.

"Chopper" type bikes often have a lot of rake to give the look they are after, I would venture a guess the most of the companies building chopper type bikes do not have a clue about trail, looks are far more important then function. These bike seldom are ridden far and there is pleanty more about them that makes them cornner poorly, often stop poorly, ride poorly and in general really not work all that well. Again, looks are more important then how it works. I suspect in your youth, how it looked was more important then how it worked and more then likely your standards of "safe" where not what they are today.

One nice thing today is we have lots more options for triple tree's that reduce trail due to the current fad of stupidly larger diameter front wheels that require a change in at the tree's in order to end up with the proper trail on the front end. When you change to a larger diameter front wheel you are increasing trail making it necessary to reduce trail with the triple tree's. And before any one jumps in and tells me that the larger wheel is not "stupid" I suggest doing a quick study of gyroscopic progression and its effects on handling.

Of course another way to reduce trail would be to put a smaller wheel on the front which we some times do with smaller diameter automotive wheels, but this also brings up another set of issues.

If you reduce trail on the front of the bike for easier steering, if you then ride it with out the sidecar you will find that it does not really want to turn. Turning takes more effort to get the bike to lean, once leaned you must maintain pressure on the handle bars to keep turning as if you let up pressure the bike will stand up and go straight. With stock trail once you start a turn if throttle positions stayed the same you could let go of the bars and the bike would continue going in a circle.

So in short. We are NOT raking the front end for sidecar use!

Jay G
DMC sidecars
http://www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793

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Re: Leading links or Triple Trees?

Post by sparrowhawwk »

I gave up a long time ago on worrying about the use of the "rake" term. People like to use it and it really does not matter a damn what they call it. That is why I used it in my reply. The angle is not adjustable. I find that the 4 deg. change is "almost" getting the best result. The 6deg also allows you to reduce the toe in slightly if you want to. It does however take a little getting used to the quickness of the steering however.



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