Hi! I've been riding with a sidecar for years but fortunately, each tug had wheels that matched the one on the sidecar. Recently, I recruited a friend to 3 wheeling and he got a great deal on a low mileage Sportster with factory mag wheels. We also found a Cozy which had never been installed but, it has a wire wheel. Does anyone know if a Sportster wheel could be made to fit the Cozy axle and if so, is there anyone on the USCA forum who does that kind of work? Thanks!
Posted 3/30/2016 11:17 PM (#88506 - in reply to #88492) Subject: RE: Sidecar Wheels
Location: Independence, MO.
From an engineering point of view, there are a couple of things to be considered. First, a motorcycle wheel isn't exposed to the same lateral loads as a sidecar wheel, NORMALLY, until it is put into tug use. Better sidecar wheels use tapered roller bearings as in automobiles, but a lot of them still use just deep-groove radial bearings.
ANYTHING can be adapted to fit, so it's just a matter of seeing if the axle will accept the bearings in the Sportster wheel, or if there are bearings that will adapt over easily. More a matter of having the wheel and axle in hand to take measurements and research online for different bearings. At worst, a new axle could be machined to work and added to the sidecar.
If he also wants a brake on the sidecar it adds more work to fit that correctly, too.
Bottom line, any wheel can be fitted if he is willing to accept the amount of work involved.
Posted 3/31/2016 12:26 AM (#88507 - in reply to #88492) Subject: RE: Sidecar Wheels
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
It has to be said that the Cozy sidecar was built for much lighter bikes with smaller engines than even the smaller Sportsters. The Cozy can certainly be made to fit but the pair isn't optimal. The Sportster can and should have at least a slightly larger and heavier sidecar. Even a Velorex would be better than the Cozy. The Cozy was originally designed in India to be mated to scooters of 250cc or less. As i said, it can be done but take great care and don't even consider using the mounting hardware that comes with the Cozy.
I know that sounds terrible and despite what I wrote we want to encourage folks to join our sport but we hope that they will do it safely.
Posted 3/31/2016 10:06 AM (#88511 - in reply to #88492) Subject: Re: Sidecar Wheels
Those are all great points and I'm inclined to agree. In examining the Cozy, it just doesn't appear to have the heft or the durability to withstand the force that a 1200 Sportster would place on it in turns, etc. I had never really looked at the frame or axle on the Coxy until now and when I compare it's construction to the tubs that I have had, it does look delicate. I think he may be better off putting the Cozy on the market and shopping for something more substantial. Thanks for the input!
Posted 4/27/2016 9:26 PM (#88860 - in reply to #88492) Subject: Re: Sidecar Wheels
when you don't show where you live sometimes suggestions + help can be less. a sidecar specialist like Claude of FreedomSidecars in Middleburg PA can do most anything + will give honest advice. there are many "handy" owners as well that wrench a little or a lot. basically anything can be done, but depending on your $$$ is it worth it to you
Posted 5/1/2016 5:51 AM (#88903 - in reply to #88492) Subject: Re: Sidecar Wheels
Location: Middleburg, Pa
We much prefer 1" axles. One manufacturer who used to use 3/4" on a popular sidecar model has swithched to 1". I know one couple who had one of the 3/4" axled models and had the axle break. Fortunately this happened in a parking lot! I called the manufacturer to see about a new axle for them and that is when I was told they now use 1". So, we ended up machining them a new 1" axle and all was well. They sourced a used 1" axle Harley wheel and all was well. Note that some Harley wheels can be switched from 3/4" to 1" bearings. Some can be machined to receive a steel insert that can house tapered roller bearing also but it Is hit and miss for me to know which ones. Axle length is also an issue of course. When we do a job that has a smaller diameter axle and or a very long axle we will do a double sided swingarm that has the outside portion of it made to bolt on. This makes up for a small and/ or long axle issue. If having an axle made it is best to use cold rolled material which is fine for being welded in. If one insists on using moly it is best to do a bolt in axle unless things are normalized after welding. We use cold rolled for almost every project and it has done very well. On two serate occasion we had sidecars that had crashed. One was forced into a concrete barrier on the interstate and the other had a major blooper when it was being loaded onto a trailer in the t it ran off the front side of the trailer and landed full force on the sidecar wheel from probably 3' up or more. Bothe bent their axles about 20 degrees but neither broke them.