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    Discussion in 'Pop in and say hello!' started by DecoDesign, May 24, 2011.

    1. DecoDesign

      DecoDesign New Member

      May 2011
      Likes Received:
      Hello everyone,

      My name is JD and I am the Chief Engineer for a small scientific instrument company in Northern California. I spent most of my career working on spyplanes as an RF Systems Engineer. My early exposure to mechanical design was via waveguide filters and assorted microwave and antenna components. My passionate motorcycling hobby steadily progressed into fabrication and design. My pet project for the last dozen years is a Cafe Racer styled custom sidecar:

      Recently, I've gained proficiency with Solid Works and absolutely love it. If I could reset my career, I'd go straight into mechanical design. I'm currently setting up a small hobby foundry to cast aluminum parts.

      Designwise, I am looking for ideas on a dynamic steering trim system for my sidecar. Rigid mounted sidecars require constant steering effort. You literally have to steer to go straight. Toe-in and lean-out can be adjusted to provide neutral steering for one specific set of conditions (load, road crown, road speed, etc.) However, relative airspeed vectors cannot be accounted for and my road speeds of 75 to 80 MPH are higher than average. Velocity squared means traditional alignment practices require radical lean-out resulting in unacceptable tire wear patterns and... it just doesn't look right going down the road. My workaround has been to attach several heavy bungee cords to the left front fork tube when I take my 1,000 mile weekend rides. It works, but I am looking to develop a system that allows me to fine tune the counter force while I'm riding.

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