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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,


(My goldwing (1995 GL1500) has a California sidecar attached).


I have a disability, missing my right leg (above the knee). Which means pressing the brake pedal is not a thing I can do.
I ride two wheelers, and use just the front brakes, but with dual disk up front (and weighing like 700 pounds less) that has always been enough.



Currently the right hand brake is plumbed to the right front caliper and the disc brake on the California sidecar. It is inadequate to stop that monster machine ( 1200-ish pounds before passengers, dog and camping gear). I find that if I apply the front brake And downshift like a madman, engine braking helps ... a lot. But this is not a winning long term strategy. Downshifting quickly is difficult and risky in a panic stop situation. The rear tire is a car tire. So if I downshift hard/fast enough I can actual lock up the rear tire. Yup we slow down quickly, but this is asking to break something. Something expensive.


So: Options ...

Activate the brake pedal master cylinder with left foot.

I am not a master fabricator. Most of my **** works for a while, but out in the wild, under harsh conditions ... not so much ...

Fabricating a foot pedal on the left side to activate the rear brake caliper, that can withstand the abuse of stopping and especially in a panic stop ... my **** would probably break :-( (A man has got to know his limitations (Dirty Harry )). So before I pay sparky $75 / hour to fabricate me a pedal ...



This I could do:

If I plumb the right hand brake lever to activate both front wheel calipers will that be better? (No anti lock brakes on this old girl) It is a sidecar, so if I lock up the front wheel, it is not a fatal event ... just a flat spot on the tire. My cunning plan is to swap the sidecar brake and the left front caliper master cylinder sources. So hand brake activates both front calipers, and the foot brake activates both the rear tire and the sidecar brake. If ever I manage to create a pedal with which I can activate the rear master cylinder, I will gain the stopping power of those two other tires, but in the meanwhile, I get the full stopping power of the front tire.



I know the bike (Sidecar) will tend to want to veer left on braking. This can be compensated with brute force input by the pilot into the handlebars. I have the upper body strength to manage that. I have had other sidecars with no sidecar brake, so previous experience is my proof for that premise ...


Finally we get to the question:

Is the front brake Master cylinder up to the task ? Or will I have to pump the brake ? ( Pumping the front brake seems like the wrong approach, especially in a panic situation ) I understand pressure is equal regardless of the size of master cylinder size.

The question is 'Will Stock Master cylinder to move enough fluid to drive two calipers (slave cylinders) with one squeeze ?

Or do I need to move to a larger master cylinder that is made to move enough fluid to drive two slave cylinders ?



I love my Goldwing, with a sidecar and I want to be safe. I would be grateful for any thoughts /comments / suggestions ?



Thanks !
John
 

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You might get away with plumbing both front brakes to the front MC if you used braided lines but normally I doubt the original MC would do it with rubber lines, maybe not even with braided lines. The MC John provided a link to would be the best solution. Even with it you would probably want to unlink the brakes & make the front and rear/sidecar separate.
 

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Its an idea that's way over my capability, but, , , use Stainless steel brake lines for the front brake and insert a "T" to "link" the front brakes. I'm uncertain whether that front master cylinder will handle it but the "experts" should have an answer.


I'd consider SS brake lines to the rear caliper, and "link" it to the sidecar disc brake. The pedal for the rear brakes could be activated under the left "heel", similar to the set-up for a "heel-toe" shifter configuration. I would think that master cylinder can deal with both brakes here.



I'm sure others will have better ideas, , ,i'm just thinking out loud here
 

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Claude at freedomsidecars.com might be able to advise you on this.

Middleburg, Pa.
Phone (570) 837-5120
email us: [email protected]
formerly C. Stanley Motorsports Corporation
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"There is a special hand brake that has two levers for it, allows Front, and Rear brake controls...
I will try to find it..........
found it
https://www.disabledmotorcyclerider.com/klever.html
"



Thank you for looking that up ... I have looked into that and it is really expensive North of $2000 !
Hoping for a cheaper solution :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is the front brake Master cylinder up to the task ? Or will I have to pump the brake ? ( Pumping the front brake seems like the wrong approach, especially in a panic situation ) I understand pressure is equal regardless of the size of master cylinder size.

The question is 'Will Stock Master cylinder to move enough fluid to drive two calipers (slave cylinders) with one squeeze ?

Or do I need to move to a larger master cylinder that is made to move enough fluid to drive two slave cylinders ?


There are GL1500 Trikes that have been converted for the right front brake lever (master cylinder) to apply both front brake calipers.

The GL1000 Gold Wing's (while not quite as heavy as your rig) were designed for the front brake lever (master cylinder) to apply both front brake calipers.

Your front brake master cylinder should handle applying both front calipers with no significant issues....!

Well of course ! This issue must have already been solved by the trike engineers. Thanks, that is a great place to carry on the search ... :) Sometimes it is just knowing where to start looking to find the answer ...

Cheers,
John
 

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One other idea might be to consider increasing the effectiveness of the rear brake by increasing disc diameter. A larger disc will increase the stopping power significantly. The only drawback might be that brake pad wear will increase as well. Also you might have to be careful that too much braking on the sidecar might make the bike pull to the right during hard braking. A brake proportioning valve between the bike and sidecar could fix that issue though.
 

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The GL1000 Gold Wing's (while not quite as heavy as your rig) were designed for the front brake lever (master cylinder) to apply both front brake calipers.
!
So do the 80-82 1100s but the master cylinder has a bigger bore than the ones with linked brakes. I worked on a 1500 side car rig that had both front brakes on the front MC but it had been bored out to 5/8".
 

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I split the brake system on my 94SE. I used a GL 1800 front master cylinder. Had braided SS lines built . Each caliper line up to the master.
On the rear I fabricated a new bracket for two calipers. One caliper run from the original rear line . The second caliper run from the front disc port (proportion valve)of the rear master.
I was happy with how this worked for me.

Brake Pedal on the left .... I'll have to looky at that and report any thoughts.
 

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Hydraulic fluid is not compressible. If properly bled, there is very little fluid used to activate the brake calipers. As noted, trike conversions will change hand lever to work both front calipers. Also the GL1500 Valkyrie has the hand lever connected to both front calipers. IMHO it's possible to activate all four brakes but you will need a proportional control valve. This however means no secondary system which is why a car has two reservoirs.

You could possibly make a new hand lever sorta like a shift lever on the right side of the bike. With that you would need to release your right grip which might not be a good idea.

Not to minimize or embarrass your condition but do you use a prosthetic leg? Is it possible to modify the brake pedal but keep it on the right side? I'm thinking something larger that you can reach and control.

Another idea is plumb everything into one standalone master cylinder from a car and connect it to the hand lever. Maybe use existing hand lever connected to a slave cylinder to activate the secondary single master cylinder. This unit could even utilize a power assist feature. You should have some space between the right cylinder head and the sidecar to install this setup.
 

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Sounds like all the options that involve kludging something together would end up costing close to what that dual-lever system costs - and it looks like it has already solved the engineering issues so it's pretty much a plug and play solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So do the 80-82 1100s but the master cylinder has a bigger bore than the ones with linked brakes. I worked on a 1500 side car rig that had both front brakes on the front MC but it had been bored out to 5/8".

Sorry , I don't understand bored out to 5/8"


Are you saying the shaft that the master cylinder plunger slides through is bored to be a larger diameter ? Then a larger plunger is placed in it. Thus for the same travel, more fluid is displaced ?



Thanks,
John
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sounds like all the options that involve kludging something together would end up costing close to what that dual-lever system costs - and it looks like it has already solved the engineering issues so it's pretty much a plug and play solution.

Agreed, there are some "science project-ty suggestions" which are fun to talk about and great at getting the though process going (can't thank y'all enough! ) But I am still hoping for a simple solution. That dual handle lever thing is really really expensive ...



For example, if this works: A used GL1200 caliper is probably only $100 or so, another couple hundred for some SS lines and we save $1700 over the klever lever ...



I am leaning that direction. A master cylinder that is designed to move enough fluid, in one pull, to move two slave cylinders is I think the simplest, most cost effective first stab at this ... If it does not work, not out too much, and can resell the master cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hydraulic fluid is not compressible. If properly bled, there is very little fluid used to activate the brake calipers. As noted, trike conversions will change hand lever to work both front calipers. Also the GL1500 Valkyrie has the hand lever connected to both front calipers. IMHO it's possible to activate all four brakes but you will need a proportional control valve. This however means no secondary system which is why a car has two reservoirs.

You could possibly make a new hand lever sorta like a shift lever on the right side of the bike. With that you would need to release your right grip which might not be a good idea.

Not to minimize or embarrass your condition but do you use a prosthetic leg? Is it possible to modify the brake pedal but keep it on the right side? I'm thinking something larger that you can reach and control.
You bring up a good point Andy.

I have actually not gone in and made absolutely sure the system is in top health. Perhaps the last guy did not get all the air out of the lines ?!?! That needs to be the very fist step; flush out old fluid and make Sure no air is stealing my stopping power !

No worries,
Yes, I do use a prosthetic leg. My residual limb is very short so I have cannot apply any power and have very little control. It is mostly just in the way while riding ...

As to the Hand lever. I have given that a some thought. Sidecars are sometime prone to a front end wobble. If you experience a wobble the remedy is push with both hands Hard. Holding on with one hand will likely lead to an out of control event IMHO.

Sidecars require a lot of manual input, with both arms ... letting one go, especially in a panic stop situation is not advised...
 

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I believe that some modern bikes use a servo to assist the brakes, would it be possible to fit something like this with a multi outlet master cylinder that will activate both front, the rear & the sidecar from the brake lever?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I believe that some modern bikes use a servo to assist the brakes, would it be possible to fit something like this with a multi outlet master cylinder that will activate both front, the rear & the sidecar from the brake lever?

Interesting idea, if it gave enough assistance, perhaps a thumb lever could control something more substantial ....I have never heard of this on a MC, only cars, where is it vacuum assisted. The vacuum could come from the engine, or a small vacuum pump ?



The good news is it is a big sidecar. So there is room to put stuff, where there was no stuff before :)
 

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Sorry , I don't understand bored out to 5/8"


Are you saying the shaft that the master cylinder plunger slides through is bored to be a larger diameter ? Then a larger plunger is placed in it. Thus for the same travel, more fluid is displaced ?



Thanks,
John
That's exactly right. It appeared to be a stock MC, had 1/2" molded into the body and I had ordered a kit for it but found it didn't fit. I used a kit I had for an 1100 which was the right bore size. I think the valkyre front MC is 5/8 since they don't have linked brakes.
 

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First off good on you for keeping on a bike. A average person would give it up. As you go down this path, don't forget the is a leverage ratio at work and master cylinder piston travel at work. It has to do with the diameter of the master cylinder piston and the diameter of the slave (caliper) piston. Honda uses different piston diameters to bias the brake, adjust the lever-pedal pressure and adjust the feel. For example if the diameter of the master cylinder is 16mm the surface area of the master cylinder piston is 2.01 Sq. centimeters. If the diameter if the slave is 37 mm the surface area of the piston is 10.75 Sq. centimeter. This makes an effective ratio of 10.75/2.01 or about 5 to 1. If you add a second slave to the same master the total surface of the slave will be 10.75 x 2 = 21.5. The effective ratio will be about 10 to 1. This will make the brake feel a lot more spongy. The other issue is to move the double slave cylinder, the master piston will need to move twice as far for the slave to move an equal amount. On modern bikes with huge rotors and four to six pot calipers, the ratio is turned way down to give the brake a hard, powerful brake. I would measure the piston diameters, total up the surface area of the slaves and try to keep the ratios close to stock. Just my 2¢
 
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