The Sand Shocker Buggy
The latest buggy out of the Sand-Yeti Stable is the Sand Shocker, so called because my buggying is a shock to the desert sands.
You will probably recognise some of the features that I have taken from my experience of previously built buggies.
In principle it has to be very strong to withstand the rigours of desert buggying:
1) Bigfoot light in the front, which sits just that little bit deeper in the sand compared to the rear tyres to ensure the back breaks away first when buggying.
2) Sturdy forks based on previously successful buggies
3) 15 mm dia. stainless steel front axle
4) Standard straight downtube as C of G has to be optimised to be able to clear dune ridges. It is clamped to the side rails with 4 X M8 Stainless Bolts
5) 50 X 25 mm mild steel rectangular tube side rails that give better resistance to bending compared to round tube.
6) Rear axle is 1.47m long and is a very light composite construction with alu. 20mm tapping blocks thanks to my good buggying friend Giorgio.
7) 20mm rear axle bolts with locknuts against the axle
8) Wide rear offset BF’s for good floatation on the sand.
9) 1.65 m front to rear wheel centres.
10) Backrest is adjustable and is also there to enhance the structural integrity of the buggy.
11) Footpeg rubber cut from old bigfoot tyre.
12) Footstraps cut from heavy duty webbing that had been used for pulling up window blinds. These are Velcroed in place for safety reasons.
13) Side rail & backrest cushioning from pipe insulating foam.
14) Home made side rail & backrest covers made on my own sewing machine.
15) Seat from Buggybags (Ultra high quality).
16) Bag from buggybags with bottom & side stiffeners cut from carbon plate (courtesy of Giorgio).
17) GPS holder from Popeyethewelder.
I assembled the buggy in the comfort of my kitchen last Thursday to avoid the outside summer heat.
I didn’t use it yesterday as I haven’t figured out how I’m going to carry it on my trailer yet. I used the Death Buggy & racked up 106 kms.
I’m looking forward to next weekend & assuming I have good winds should be able to give it a good workout.
I’m confident that it will ride well because the geometry is similar to other buggies I have built for running the dunes.
Just sitting in it feels good as the seat is very comfortable.
“how come you never went with front and rear suspension S.Y.????? but she looks rock hard !!!”
My buggies are of modular design, which allows me to interchange parts. I have a sprung rear steel suspension,which fits on this buggy but it is very heavy. If I go with a front suspension it will be the Carkeek front fork concept. I’ll be talking to PTW about that.
A rigid buggy is obviously not so comfy as one with suspension but my old bones can handle the jarring I get with my rigid buggies like last Friday when I clocked up 106 kms and much of that was over very rough terrain. Sure I was tired at the end of that ride but that was mainly due to the heat, which was around 45º C. Maybe when I get very, very old I’ll make more effort to be comfy. Keep in mind that suspension units soak some of the kite’s energy, which otherwise gets transmitted to the wheels.
Giorgio’s Mistral has an extremely light composite rear axle that actually flexes and provides a greater degree of comfort than what I have. It was a bit scary to watch it flexing in the beginning as it looked like it might snap. However, he has beaten the hell out of it for quite some time now and it still looks like new, Giorgio is very confident that it will stay in one piece. Apparently, composite materials aren’t prone to fatigue cracking like steel.