Posted 1/2/2016 9:20 PM (#87384) Subject: A new sidecarist
Hello I ride a Honda GL1800A and after riding from Edmonton AB to San Antonio via El Paso I came to realize that after a long day on the road trying to ride 2 up with a trailer in traffic is not fun. A friend had an older Hannigan Astro GT sidecar he was not using so he gave it to me. I have decided to try the sidecar route and ordered and installed the mounting system for the 1800. While the body is in getting painted I have installed the brackets on the bike and aligned the sidecar according to Hannigan's specs. The side car is equipped with an ECC. My wife likes to ride behind me so the sidecar will be used for stability and her shopping
My questions are;
1. Is ballast required in the sidecar and if so how heavy?
2. Hannigan says that there should be a 6 degree lean in the bike away from the side car. What position should the ECC be in when setting the degree?
Posted 1/2/2016 10:56 PM (#87385 - in reply to #87384) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
Location: Seattle-ish, WA
I'm also a noob but I think your plan of her riding pillion isn't the best option. The heaviest passenger should always ride in the tub not on the tug. Single passenger would be the heaviest. Everything I've seen and been taught an empty sidexar and 2 up will need lots of ballast. Nearly equal to your wife I would guess.
Posted 1/2/2016 11:06 PM (#87386 - in reply to #87384) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
Welcome to the world of hacks.
You're smart to be asking questions, too many people jump on a sidecar and head straight for the ditch.
I only ride solo so no personal experience, but everything I have read says carrying a passenger on the back of the bike with the sidecar empty is a major no-no. You need ballast (i.e. the SO) in the sidecar to level out the load on the rig even with no passenger on the back.
Normally ballast, ( sand bags, gallon of water, etc) are put in the sidecar when learning to properly drive it. The sensations of driving a sidecar are totally different from a motorcycle though it still looks like a motorcycle. Many remove the ballast as they get more proficient and others leave the ballast in when there is no monkey in the sidecar.
There is a great two day sidecar school in Lufkin, Tx the first weekend of every month. Not that far for you. Their contact information is in the monthly Sidecarist magazine.
Am sure others with passenger experience will chime in.
Posted 1/4/2016 1:00 AM (#87399 - in reply to #87384) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
Location: near Logan, Utah
I run a Hannigan Astro GT on a K1200GT BMW. That bike is close to 200lb lighter than the Wing. Running solo I definitely like some ballast in the car, usually a couple 40lb bags of water softener salt from the garage. I do NOT carry a passenger on the bike, ever--such practice is actually outlawed in parts of Europe when there is no passenger in the car. For certain, if you attempt to do so without adequate ballast right-handers could be...interesting. And, that ballast will be taking up "shopping" room. IMHO, better your wife should ride in the car and the shopping results go in the SC trunk or the top box on the bike.
On the ECC, I check lean out on mine with ECC in mid-position of it's travel with the SC loaded for normal travel. That seems to allow useful adjustment for wind or camber on either side. And I agree with Lonnie, 6 degrees seems a bit much.
The Hannigan makes a great touring rig once set up; my wife and I did 8k+ last summer in ours and enjoyed every minute. Good luck with your rig, and welcome to the world of three wheels in the right configuration!
Posted 1/7/2016 7:10 PM (#87447 - in reply to #87384) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
Location: central Pa
I have a goldwing with a Hannigan car and had to added lean out two times after the original setup in order to get neutral steering at interstate speeds. You can see and feel the lean but I can ride all day without getting tired arms. I have never tried to measure the lean out. There is a lot of wind drag on the Hannigan rig at high speeds, I loose about 8 mpg from 2 lane riding when I get on the interstate.
Posted 1/11/2016 6:43 PM (#87466 - in reply to #87384) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
Location: Spanaway, Wa.
I agree with the others about the passenger should be in the sidecar. Your wife might find how enjoyable it is. When I first introduced my wife to the ideal of three wheels she wasn't to excited about it. But after getting a ride in a hack she found out she loved it. She can read, needle point, play with the cell phone and more. We communicate via the intercom. You can get an extension for the passenger intercom cable.
When riding with no passenger I use two plastic collapsible 5 gallon water jugs for ballast. This works great and gives about 80 pounds of ballast. If I pick up a passenger the plastic jugs are easy to empty and store in the trunk. Plus, I don't get thirsty on a long ride.
Posted 1/15/2016 5:39 PM (#87511 - in reply to #87466) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
I have a Hannigan classic sidecar mounted on a Goldwing f6b. Still in a learning curve. I run about 50lbs. of ballast. After breaking sand bags and getting sand in the trunk, I put the play sand in some tough, small plastic garbage bags which I placed inside 2 inexpensive Harbor Freight tool bags. keeps sand out of the SC. It also makes it easy to add and subtract ballast. My goal is to get to driving the SC without ballast. I still take it easy on Rt. hand turns and otherwise run the rig hard. It has never disappointed me! Also run a car tire on the back and a rear tire mounted backward on the bike. If you want some real sound advice on set up and load, you may want to contact Claude Steiner at Freedom Sidecars. He and Dave one of his installers are two of the most knowledgable people I know. Both are very experienced sidecarists and worked for Hannigan before becoming independent installers. Ride safe!
Posted 1/16/2016 5:29 PM (#87518 - in reply to #87384) Subject: Re: A new sidecarist
Location: Spanaway, Wa.
One of the things I like about using plastic collapsible 5 gallon water jugs for ballast how easy it is to empty & store if picking up an expected passenger. One one of my rides around & through Mt Rainier Park I had stopped at one of the view pull outs and started talking to a two wheel motorcyclist visiting from Seattle. He had never been around Mt Rainier and never been close to a sidecar rig. He asked for a ride, if I would be returning this way. He would just leave his bike at the rest stop. No problem, I dumped the water jugs & stored them away in the trunk and off we rode. About eight hours later we returned and his bike was still there, along with his grin. He loved it. I don't know if he eventually went three wheels, but he sure liked the ride.
About leaving his bike at a rest stop all that time, he had the attitude I have. I have good insurance. When I go out to take pictures I like taking the bike. I have left the sidecar or prior Goldwings at trail heads or logging & forest roads while off on foot exploring, sometimes miles from where I left it. While it would be a inconvenience if something happen to my rig, I didn't buy it to sit in the garage, I want to enjoy it. I use to call my prior Goldwing my 900 pound dirt bike. Funny thing, when I went to three wheels I thought it would be easier on logging roads, but it isn't. When I find I have to turn around, the sidecar can take up too much room to turn. And now I am off topic, looking forward to another year of riding.