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I'm seriously considering adding a sidecar - serious input appreciated


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I started a new thread because much of the info in previous threads had outdated links & info. Texas Sidecars out of business, other links 404.

 

Wow, this is an daunting task. I've been considering getting a 2nd bike with a hack, or adding a sidecar to my 2000 Yamaha Venture. I was considering a getting a used Ural, but they want a small fortune for an OLD used Ural and the reliability issues I've heard kinda steered me away from that.

I think I can add a new matched sidecar for less than the cost of a complete used "fairly new" rig. I like the idea of being able to disconnect the tub if I want and go back to 2 wheels. Plus only 1 bike to insure & maintain & garage makes $ sense to me. I've been reading the forums, checking out the websites, etc. - trying to do my homework. But the websites are not real user friendly & don't make it easy to compute costs of the finished rig.Trying to decide on which sidecar & which options to choose is a full-time job!

 

How in the world do you narrow the choices having never driven a bike with a sidecar? Do I select a model & options then get a quote for each one I like (meaning my wife likes)? Are there some dealers/manufacturers to avoid? Are some rigs more comfy for the passenger? Some handle better than others? Options I should definitely get? Some options not worth the $$? HELP?

Edited by Red1
added info & ?
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If you've never ridden one try and find someone who will let you try one out. They are an entirely different animal than two wheels.

 

I've only ever ridden a couple short distances and that was enough to know a hack isn't for me.

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Hi Red,

I sent you a pm

 

Sidecars are cooler than Spyders, no matter what Carl says :hurts: but he's right about one thing, most don't like the way they handle. Takes a lot of practice.

Edited by MJ44
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As I didn't answer your questions, here is my perspective from my limited experience.

I started a new thread because much of the info in previous threads had outdated links & info. Texas Sidecars out of business, other links 404.

 

I like the idea of being able to disconnect the tub if I want and go back to 2 wheels. While this sounds good in theory, it's not that simple. Also, you may end up switching out the triple trees (mine are at a 6 degree rake) for easier steering, making it unsafe for a 2-wheeled bike. Most folks keep a 2 wheel in case they want to travel like that.

Plus only 1 bike to insure.My insurance considers the hack an accessory, so I added more to cover. Trying to decide on which sidecar & which options to choose is a full-time job! The bike and sidecar need to match. The RSV is a heavy bike, so you go with a heavier sidecar. For example, a Velorex would probably be considered too light.

 

http://www.dmcsidecars.com/ and http://www.freedomsidecars.com/ have their own sidecars and install all brands.

How in the world do you narrow the choices having never driven a bike with a sidecar? It takes a lot of parking lot practice to get the hang of it. Do I select a model & options then get a quote for each one I like (meaning my wife likes? As a driver - get the bike you like. As a passenger, pay attention to how you enter the sidecar. Some you crawl over, others open up. Also, if you are tall (I'm 5'11") some may not have as much leg room. Are there some dealers/manufacturers to avoid? Just avoid anything that says "universal mounts" Are some rigs more comfy for the passenger? Passengers have it made! A cup holder would be nice, but not necessary :) Some handle better than others? This all depends on proper set-up, you can spend a fortune, but if it's not set-up correctly, it won't handle. Options I should definitely get? I like the steering change, you'll see it listed as a Steer Lite or Easy Steer or other such name. Expensive, but takes a lot of the effort away from steering. When I was doing research, this was the one option no one regretted. Some options not worth the $$? Most everything else is owner preference. Sidecar brake (I don't have one) Reverse (don't have it, gravity is my friend) electric lean, have had it , don't miss it HELP? Remember these are just my opinions. Everyone's experience is different.

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Guest Jamsie

a sidecar outfit handles like no other machine on the road.

in usa you drive on the wrong side of the road , so the chair will be on the right.

you accelerate around the sidecar wheel for right hand turns, and throttle off for left hand turns, the sidecar has its own momentum and will turn around the bike . you may also notice the outfit pulling to the right on acceleration and to the left on deceleration.

some will shake at low speeds but you can drive through it till it smooths out.

be careful on right turns as you can lift the sidecar wheel and potentially flip over ,

DSCF2554.jpg

also heavy braking , you can lift the rear wheel and dig into the ground.

You may want to consider Leading link forks , these reduce steering force and you can go with a wider tyre, also flat profile car tyres, avoid tyres with straight grooves as this makes the front tyre track the road

 

http://simplysidecars.co.uk/ridingtips.html

link is for tips on left hand mounted outfits , just reverse for right hand outfits

How to corner a sidecar ( i am gonna miss ian )

http://www.merlinsidecars.co.uk

 

we could also use this method to cut the grass at freebirds for next MD

Edited by Jamsie
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Thanks for taking the time to go thru the Q's, MJ. Thoughtful answers based on experience - exactly what I was looking for. I found an '84 Suzuki 1100 w/ a sidecar for $4K (asking). I may pick up some rig like that before I spend a bunch of $$$$ on a new(er) sidecar and installation. I could learn to ride a rig and learn for myself what features I want/need before I shop for a sidecar or buy one that isn't right for my bike. THEN, if I like it, drop the cash on a matching car for my bike and sell the old rig w/o taking a big hit.Thanks again.:beer:

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Good info, Jamsie - I've seen some rigs with car tires on the rear - wondered about that. Makes sense. We might drive on the wrong side, but at least we know how to spel TIRE. :buttkick:

Thanks!

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I run a car tire on the rear. Sometimes hard to find the right size without modifications and it takes a lot of air to make it seal, scary amount. http://mcdarksiders.forumotion.com/ Don't forget ballast in the rear of the sidecar. Usually 75 pounds or so. I have a bag of play sand in the trunk. If I take a passenger I will take it out. Good luck!

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Guest Jamsie

in the queens english it is Tyre.

the guy who wrote the american dictionary couln`t spell to save his life, and while we are at it , its spell not spel

Edited by Jamsie
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I have found a couple in my area & I hope you folks can help. How do I identify the model and year on a Velorex? Is there an ID plate on the car and where would it be located?

The first one is just the car & supposed to be a 700 model from 2005. I have a 2000 Venture – do you need "bike specific" attachments? Are they available for older cars? How much would they cost? (ballpark) Would this sidecar be a good match for my bike? Also – the brake is not working and he said there is no cable – are parts available to fix that? He’s asking $2800 – is that a decent price? I have included a picture if that might help. What do I look for so I don't get screwed? And what price could I buy it and break even if I had to sell it? He has the convertible top, too.

Velorex1.jpg

 

The second one is mounted on a 1984 Suzuki GS1100. The seller knows nothing about the car – not age, model, etc and there are very few pics of the car. I attached a pic of that rig – can you tell what year or model the car is? He's asking $4K for the rig, the bike has about 35K miles on it & value is about $1800 form the bike alone (Kelley). My thought was to buy this one as a "trainer" and see if I can learn to drive it. And if I even like it before I throw a bunch of money into getting a sidecar on my bike. Then, if I don't kill myself in the process - I could re-sell the 'Zuki and put the car on my Venture.

Velorex2.jpg Velorex3.jpg

 

Alternate plan -- If I bought BOTH at a good price - I could fix the brake and get the car all gussied up while I learned to drive a sidecar rig w/ the 1100. If I like it - attach the car to the Venture, then sell the '84 Suzuki as a complete rig. And if I don't like the sidecar thing - sell them both.

 

Thoughts?

And it's way easier to post here w/ pics than on the sidecar forum!:banana:

Edited by Red1
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Guest Jamsie

i dont know what new prices are for velorex sidecars in USA , but in the Uk it would be around 2500 gbp, this includes the 5 point fitting kit. except for triumph bonnie they do not make a bike specific kit , but are adjustable to suit any bike. you may need to fabricate some standoffs , eg where you need to make room around controls etc

the way to find out if its an old model is to measure the wheel spindle , also check that the frame has strengthening plates .

old models , designed for the jawa bikes have a 15mm axle new velorex models have 20mm axles

Edited by Jamsie
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Guest Jamsie

another thing you may want to consider , is a sidecar will show up any weakness you have in your steering bearings, swing arm bearings and rear shock.

overhaul your bearings and if you have the upgraded aftermarket rear shock , get some stiffer springs for the rear , front you can add a little more preload.

 

as for the prices , the suzuki outfit the sidecar is about 600 usd less than a new sidecar. it looks quite new and if it is set up properly, could be used for learning how to handle an outfit. you can always transfer to your rsv later as the fittings are adjustable.

 

I bought my RSV with the intention of fitting a velorex sidecar (563 )as my wife had another stroke and couldnt get on my VFR800. she can get on the RSV quite easily but i still feel i might go down that road at some time as like all of us we are not getting any younger. low speed manouvers are a nightmare at times and i would feel more secure with a third wheel.

i would love a merlin sidecar but the price is about the same as a trike conversion( hannigan ), even though i have known the owner of the company many years i doubt i would get a big enough discount to make it worthwhile over a trike, so velorex is the cheapest option

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in the queens english it is Tyre.

the guy who wrote the american dictionary couln`t spell to save his life, and while we are at it , its spell not spel

Since we're at it, it's coulDn't, not couln 't. And it's American, not american. :buttkick::usa:

And thanks for the grins.

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another thing you may want to consider , is a sidecar will show up any weakness you have in your steering bearings, swing arm bearings and rear shock.

overhaul your bearings and if you have the upgraded aftermarket rear shock , get some stiffer springs for the rear , front you can add a little more preload.

 

Yes, I heard about adding a fork brace or steering damper or changing the triple tree. My rear is a upgraded replacement and I run 0 in the front shocks right now. I'm used to pulling a trailer, but checking out the bearings is likely a good idea.

 

as for the prices , the suzuki outfit the sidecar is about 600 usd less than a new sidecar. it looks quite new and if it is set up properly, could be used for learning how to handle an outfit. you can always transfer to your rsv later as the fittings are adjustable.

Good thought - take the hack off the suzuki & put it on the Venture.

I bought my RSV with the intention of fitting a velorex sidecar (563 )as my wife had another stroke and couldnt get on my VFR800. she can get on the RSV quite easily but i still feel i might go down that road at some time as like all of us we are not getting any younger. low speed manouvers are a nightmare at times and i would feel more secure with a third wheel.

 

Definitely agree with the " not getting any younger" - part of the reason I'm considering making this switch.

 

i would love a merlin sidecar but the price is about the same as a trike conversion( hannigan ), even though i have known the owner of the company many years i doubt i would get a big enough discount to make it worthwhile over a trike, so velorex is the cheapest option

 

I like the Velorex because they come with almost everything. By the time you add a convertible top, a cover, lights, etc, etc - you're up around $9K. Motorvation are nice cars, too. Lots to mull over, thanks again.

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I've been on KBB a lot lately & I did see that & got a value of about $900 - $1400 for the 2005 Velorex 700. $2800 is only $700 less than a new one, where I don't have to fix the brakes. So I think he's dreaming. Considering the brake needs fixing, $1200 would be the most I think I would :mo money:

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Not sure how that helps .............. but thanks for sharing.:think:

 

A used Miata would handle far better and be cheaper.

 

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

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Nice looking bike, not a bad price, but I still have to get a car body - which means more $$$ and time - both of which are in short supply. Thanks, tho -0 it's been so long since I've been on the forum, I didn't know we had section for all those things now!

 

Look under the classified here other bikes pm or call me if interested Honda VTX 1800 w/ Side Car frame.
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is my Royal star with sidecar in Australia, it is a very wide setup, but handles beautifully out on the open road, would be happy to answer any questions for you.

13043499_10209043288140618_5869239243872766227_n.jpg13419114_10209462183332736_1797476602253765395_n.jpg13428431_10209462183092730_5005281107780213407_n.jpg13177474_10209166879230318_6865010187051352252_n.jpg

12592367_10209087268560101_6719752055490771510_n.jpg

Edited by coffy
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