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Thinking about a Side Car

Discussion in 'Projects' started by Soupy, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Soupy

    Soupy Member

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    My wife has M.S. . This means that her balance and stamina are compromised, creating all sorts of complications when talking about riding with me on my motorcycle.

    So I'm wondering about a side car. This would ease the pressure on her bum, eliminating any vibration issues with her body that I won't go into here, and would allow her to sit without the concern for balance during turns.

    I have seen a couple videos about side car installations, and I imagine that there are a few companies out there that make them and sell them. If I was twenty again, I might even consider doing a DIY project, but not THESE days.

    Anyone in here who has some experience with the installation of a side car kit, or the operatoin of a bike WITH a side car? I realize that the "leaning" factor goes away and the driver is "steering" in this particular scenario. I also hear that cornering can be a bear.

    Raises a couple of additional questions in my mind:

    a. because of the location of the side car (right side) to the pipes, I wonder if any additional heat shield
    protection might be prudent for the rider or the side car itself (paint job/brake lines).

    b. Can we talk about safety concerns for the driver and passenger. Laws concerning side cars, etc..

    -Soupy
  2. Fatboy128

    Fatboy128 Well-Known Member

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    I owned a Velorex Jawa sidecar when my first son was born. I mounted it on a 78 Goldwing. There used to be a National Sidecar Organization you might want to google it and see what is still out there. It was a blast. My wife would hold my son on her lap. We started taking him when he was 1 1/2 . I had to order a special helmet for him. Steering was a bear. Right turns were tough with the car empty. Left turns were better than an MG. Snow was no problem and there tripod wheel set up made the snow riding very stable and controlable. Mounting was easy following the provided instructions but the adjustments like toe in and sidecar tire lean were tougher to get right. A lot of trial and error. a sterring damper was a must (st least for the Gwing). There are many qualtity hacks out there. Mine was a cheap low budget one. This past Americade I noticed than sidehacks are becoming popular again.
  3. Soupy

    Soupy Member

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    Fatboy128: thanks. I would imagine it would be pretty easy to lift that side car up off the ground on a left hand turn, yes? Can you describe the difficulties in handling a bit more in detail? I'd like to understand a bit better how a right hand turn difficulty manifests itself.

    I doubt I'd be riding in Winter here in New England, but that's not to say that I WOULDN'T, given the extra wheel in the equasion. I'll have to reconsider that one!

    Talk a bit more, (if you like) about a "Steering Damper." What is it doing? What's the reason it is needed?

    "Toe in" and "side car lean" I presume to be like "Alignment" issues on a car or truck, yes? How well do the fine tuning of these things hold? Is it "hit a rut" dependent, like with cars?

    -soupy
  4. Fatboy128

    Fatboy128 Well-Known Member

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    With no weight in the hack right turns are slow or you'll lift the hack. With a person in it not a problem. The alignment is performed with the struts that mount the hack, Usually there are at least four struts. They clamp to the bike frame and have threaded (think turnbuckle) endes with lock nuts. Once proper adjustment is found it holds true. Adjustment is done roughly with long straight edges or string. Then riding will give a better idea of fine tuning. If the adjustments are out you'll feel torquing in one direction or the other. The hack suspension and bikes should be adjusted as closely as possible for bumps and handling. There will be a good chance of getting a wobble in the handlebars. A steering damper rids it. Also, I found a fork brace to be a required addition due to the torquing steering puts on the forks (twisting them slightly which will shoten the life of the seals.) The hacks weight wants to pull the bike to the right. By properly adjusting toe in of the hacks wheel that pull is eliminated while cruising. Of course when accelerating from a stop there is no eliminating the pull. Truthfully, I loved the hack. My wife did also. aaaIf you have loud pipes, she ain't going to like it since shes closer to them Heat wasn't an issue.
    GO on line, should be a wealth of info there.
    http://sidecar.com/
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  5. badinfluence63

    badinfluence63 Well-Known Member

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    image.jpg I had a hd sidecar. The selling point of that was the sidecar floated on leaf springs great for the side car passenger. I kept it 5-6 years put 15-20000 miles on it then sold it because i was worried i may inadvertantly harm a grand child. Sidecars are a different beast. Its best if the passenger assists in to corners by leaning appropriately. The sidecar impacts the motorcycle and while you're trying to turn the sidecar is trying to push the motorcycle straight.

    Other then straigh-a-ways you really have to be on the ball when driving a sidecar bike. Throw every thing you know about a motorcycle out the window. Its totally different.

    Other sidecar manufacturers offer different ammenities.

    Have you considered a trike?
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  6. badinfluence63

    badinfluence63 Well-Known Member

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