First: Photos of various EML tops I have seen; or otherwise gathered photos on. I may add more from time to time.
Following these photos will be found a section with photos of my own K1100LT-EML & its custom-made top, & some details of its construction. A considerable amount of effort was put into weatherproofing it.
Snowbum's K1100LT-EML GT-2
The highest grade of boat topping material, thread, etc., was used in this
See http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/EMLsidecar8.htm for the technical
details page for my
http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/ has a clickable place near the bottom for the Technical Articles LIST, which itself, near its bottom, has a sidecar section. Those articles have additional photos of the rig withOUT the top on, so you can see the support tube/bar, etc. LOTS of sidecar tech in that area of the website.....quite a few articles.
In designing and making this new custom top for the EML sidecar, quite a lot of thought went into it. Even after it was done, I could make improvements if I ever made another one. I DID make some changes later on to mine.
Standard easy to obtain snap fittings were utilized, which have little of them sticking up into the air & provide a nice appearance. The rear of the top, as it comes back to the rear portion of the lift/tilt top section of the EML body, has a forward & a rearward flap, described later in the photograph areas. I was concerned about oncoming wind & any 'lifting', trying to tear the top off the sidecar, so the rear area of the dual-flap of the top folds around the lift/tilt section rear area.....with full-width Velcro. That worry was totally unfounded, so this top fits the rear in an overkill manner! The part of the top that goes over the front of the windshield was lined with a silicon-rubber material, with cutouts for the snaps. This made the windshield where it meets the top totally waterproof, even in a serious downpour. Considerable similar effort of design and construction was done to try to ensure weather protection. The two side-curtain windows use #5 COIL plastic YKK zippers, so that the zippers have no problem going around the curves of the windows. The zipper pulls, two on each window, are all double types, so the windows can be unzipped from inside or outside the sidecar. The windows were specifically designed to not be accidentally removable in normal use. When the two zipper pulls of each window are pulled to the top, & inwards a bit towards each other, the windows can be rolled-up & a cloth hangar (with a snap place) to keep them rolled up was incorporated. Stress & strain reliefs were installed at all major (and some minor) attachment points for everything. Sewing was with a special thread & was at a minimum doubled...many places have far more stitching. The stitching pitch was a consideration. The top center seam has been sealed.
After this top was completed, installed & tested, I found that the expected
movement of the major portion of the top area did NOT
happen. I had ASSUMED that
airflow from the front would flow up the
windshield & produce a slight vacuum on the canvas
top. NOT SO; the
top would dish downwards a bit, & on some roads my wife was having the
top canvas flapping against her helmet. That was unexpected &
I made a double seamed flap, located INside the top,
going fore & aft at the very center, just
behind that center snap you see
in the photos. A stainless steel flat strap, with a slight
upwards bow, was installed in that flap, & it was made 'just' stiff enough & springy enough, to
keep the top SLIGHTLY bowed upwards. It worked perfectly at any speed.
The strap is not
very wide. It runs fully from front to rear on the top portion.
The top part that comes over the windshield and down the sides has special silicone rubber with lip material as a weather seal. The windows have #5 YKK coil zippers & dual-pulls. The windows ROLL UP; there is a hangar/snap unit to keep them up when desired.
This is an upside-down view of part of the front that snaps over the windshield. Note the snapbuttons, & particularly note that the snaps fit in holes made in the silicon-rubber strip-molding material....& that molding has a LIP, seen at right side appearing, falsely, to be almost touching the snap buttons, due to the camera angle. When this molding is against the front of the windshield, the lip on it acts as a water (as in RAIN!) barrier, sealing the top to the windshield. This sealing strip molding is fitted all the way across the windshield & down the sides too....all the way to the bottom of the windows.
The rear 'flaps' are really two sections/flaps. One is snap-mounted inside, not seen in this photo, but located under the photo-noted "forward rear flap". These snap onto the EML lift/tilt section. Another flap, with Velcro in two long strips, is REARWARD of the photo forward flap. This rearward flap fits into the lipped section of the EML lift/tilt section rear area, going around & underneath that rearmost section lip. The two long strips of Velcro thusly fit at 90° to each other are hidden, & provide a strong fastening of the top to the lift/tilt section. This was done to ensure that the top cannot fly off in the worst possible conditions of high speeds & winds......a worry that proved to be unfounded, & the second flap has proved to be mostly unneeded.
This photo shows the top laying on top of the stove in my kitchen for photos, with the vertical three snaps that fit up & down at the rear of the windshield. To left is one of the two removable windows, that either roll up & are kept up by a loop & snap at the top; or, can be totally unzipped & removed..
Some details of the vertical flap that wraps around the rear of the windshield, next to the removable or roll-up windows. It also shows a closeup of the windshield silicon rubber material with its lip.
Of the three side snaps, each has a snap both inside and outside the windshield. The center vertical silvery thing in the photo is the windshield plastic itself.
Small red lettering points to the
R1100S accessory handguard at the tug's handlebars.
For an article on them, click on
The top was made of the highest quality boat topping material. It is black. Only very highest quality special twisted thread was used, as was the backing material, type of seams, multiple sewing, snaps, etc. ALL stress areas are backed AND multiple-sewn.
01/31/2008: add my EML top photos and text
02/05/2008: update, add photos of more top details
10/06/2008: very minor updates
01/26/2010: Add information about the stainless steel strap added.
05/26/2011: remove link to for sale top; clean up article a bit for clarity
06/27/2011: Add more photos of details of the top I made
09/27/2012: Add QR code; add language button; update Google code.
2013 : Language button and code removed
02/18/2016: Increase font size. Update Metacodes. Justify everything to left. Clarifications. Wrap text around photos.
06/11/2016: Final updating of metacodes, H.L., layout, clarifications, spacing, scripts, etc.
© Copyright, 2014, R. Fleischer
Return to Technical Articles LIST Page
Return to HomePage
Last check/edit: Saturday, June 11, 2016