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Thread: 1959 R60 With Sidecar......Need advice

  1. #1

    Arrow 1959 R60 With Sidecar......Need advice

    I recently (today) obtained this 1959 R60 with a Steib (sp) sidecar and I want to
    restore it. I do not know how far I can or want to take this restoration. The bike has been in my wife's family for many years and I have always wanted to do something with it. It has set in my mom-in-law's garage for about 20 years being ridden maybe once or twice a year...some years less than that. I have ridden the bike several times and can only tell you this: it is a real bit&* to get started and has developed a severe tendancy to go into semi violent "tank slapper" mode even at low speed when a small pot hole or sewer cover is hit. With this little bit of information can anyone give me any advice? #1 What do I need to do to get the "tank slapper" thing under control? #2 Where should I begin this project?
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  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    I think the bike is trying to shake off the green color! Just kidding... Sounds like a worthwhile project that is close to the family.

    #1 - First thing I'd check is the that the front Earles forks are in the right mounting holes for pulling a chair. There's a solo setting and one for a sidecar. Next, I'd make sure the steering stem bearings are adjusted properly. Most likely they're still the old ball bearings. At some point, and as part of the project, you should really change them out to tapered roller bearings. Another thing to check would be the rear swingarm bearings. Make sure they're also adjusted and there's no lateral play. Also check to be sure the tires have the correct pressure and/or are good rubber. Could also be that either of the front/rear shocks are shot.

    #2 - As a starter, you should change all fluids and get the carbs cleaned out. As for getting it started, it could be a problem with the carbs, but it could also very well be that you don't know what the bike needs to get started. The drill is a little different for each bike. You just have to figure it out.

    If it were me and of unknown history, I'd pull the wheel bearings and clean them or replace if you see something wrong. Also, there's the issue of the slingers. Depending on use and care, they will fill up with crud in the 30K miles range. If left too long, the slingers will block the oil passage to the main crank pin and destroy the lower end. You probably need to do a compression check and/or leakdown check to get a sense of the health of the top end. It might be wise to consider an overhaul there as well.

    I've read about the adage for costs of these things...$5k-$5K-$5K. $5K to purchase (not the situation here). Another $5K to do a mechanical restoration. And $5K for a ground-up show-bike restoration. With the way costs are going these days, those numbers are probably low...
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User ripperfarms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Central IL

    Sidecar set ups

    Here are some links to read on sidecar setups

    There are probably lots more links out there......................................

    Looks like a cool project.....................
    1966 R50/2 with Jawa/Velorex sidecar

  4. #4
    Looks like a cool project... I own an R50/2, and just love the bike. They are truly a piece of the past, and WELL worth doing.

    Regarding your tank slapper: I think that 20774 may have hit the nail squarely. My old eyes cannot really tell, but it looks from the photo that your leading link setup may be wrong for the sidecar...... Was the bike ridden without the car recently?

    There are two holes at the rear/bottom of the fork triangle, i.e. straight back from the front wheel axle. There will be a nut on each end, and a "spare" hole. For solo riding, the spindle should be in the rear hole. If that is indeed the case here, the FIRST thing to do is to move it to the FORWARD hole. This changes the steering geometry, and it is a bear to ride the bike solo with it in sidecar position, so it may be that the obverse is true as well!

    Moving it is a bit of a project: there is a spindle going through, with two bearings in there. These bearings are the subject of discussion, and need to be lubed if they are dried out.

    Looking at the two parts diagrams, you can see the swing-axle and how it goes through the tube and bearings. You will have to pull the axle out, and then re-insert it at the forward position. I have never done it, but have heard said that the axle SHOULD pull through relatively easily, like the wheel axles should. But, if there is any misalignment, bend in the axle, etc, it can be a b@#$. Just warning you!

    Regarding the starting, again, each of the bikes will have its own little "TLC ritual" that will make it start quite easily. The absolutely-critical component to easy starting is timing. Read up on timing, it involves basic magneto timing, and engine timing. It is all really simple, but somehow difficult to get just right.....Duane Ausherman's site is a treasure-trove!

    Good luck, and don't be shy about PM'ing if you have any questions or need any info... We who love our /2's are happy to share our addictions......

  5. #5


    Again, you should probably read up on the procedure..... There are bearings at each end of the axle, they are tapered roller bearings, and the axle itself has a double taper. The bearing "pre-load" is set by the torque of the nut on the left side, as I recall. Much like the wheel bearing preload is set by the axle nut on the right side of both front and rear axles....

    (edit) found the Ausherman link that will be "of interest" to you:

  6. #6
    I surely do appreciate all of the input I have received. I ordered a bunch of parts today that should get me started. The first thing I did notice after reading these posts is that the Earles fork is in the wrong hole for sidecar use. I will remedy that situation. Anyway I found another problem and need even more advice.
    At the rear of the transmission there is, what I can only call a "cover plate" it is the rear of the case that the side kick start goes through. Anyway, on the other side where the speedo cable goes in that case has a piece broken away that would make it impossible for the speedo cable retention screw to thread in. Is this something that can be welded up and re-tapped? Will I need to buy the whole rear transmission plate? The broken spot is just below where the speedo boot slips over the little raised circle and includes the rearward part where the threads are. Hmmm?

  7. #7

    Any cracks there and I'd worry not about the speedo cable but the area near the transmission output seal.

    Closer view:

    The seal surface is right about where the indentation for the boot clamp ends. Don't know if you can tell if there is damage there without pulling the cover.

    // marc

  8. #8
    It is just the little bit that you see circled here.
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  9. #9
    Glad to hear that your Earles axle is in the wrong place... betcha a beer that you will find a HUGE improvement with the axle correctly located.

    Regarding the tranny: that little bolt is a setscrew for the speedo drive. If you pull the bolt and then pull the speedo cable, you will see a groove there. The bolt goes "through" the groove so that the cable cannot be pulled out or be spun out. Very little mechanical stress on that bolt. You might try to clean it all up and re-attach with some JBWeld epoxy, or perhaps drill a small hole with a rollpin in it to keep it there.

    A weld repair would be a major undertaking, as you would have to remove the guts of the tranny to be able to withstand the heat generated. I don't think that it would be worth doing that!

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