Posted 10/29/2016 11:11 PM (#91260) Subject: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
on buying a sidecar to attach to my R1100RT. I've picked out a DMC car and I have a few questions...
Tires - I see there are various opinions on bike vs. car tires. I've thought about going to the dark side before, but never really pursued the idea because I heard that finding a car tire to fit my bike (front or back) is not easy. It takes a 160/60 zr 18 on the back and a 120/70zr17 on the front. The car I've picked out has a 16 inch wheel. The bike is due for new shoes anyway, so I thought I'd ask.
On the same subject sorta - how do you change the tires/wheels? I don't think I'll be able to use the center stand anymore and my moto lift is a bit narrow, so how do you do it?
Nextly - I need to change the fluids, especially in the tranny. I have the feeling that once the car is attached, that job will be a real headache. The final drive drain/filler is also on the right. Will I need to develop double-jointedness?
I'm getting really excited about this, but now I'm thinking about all the things that are going to be harder.
Posted 10/29/2016 11:23 PM (#91263 - in reply to #91260) Subject: RE: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Regards tires and wheels... The front tire you have will probably do just fine for the present. IF you decide on going to an auto tire for the rear [and it is a good idea], I'd suggest buying a rear wheel designed for it. I did this on The R1100RT that I had and was very happy. The current owner is pleased as well. I bought mine from "Stroker" on the ADV Rider forum. Not cheap but excellent quality. It was a bolt on item.
You lift the rig with a scissor jack. You can buy one from Harbor Freight or you can go to your local breaker's yard and buy a used one from a compact car. Don't forget to pick up the handle at the same time. Yes, service on some things will be a pain but it will be worth it!
Posted 10/30/2016 12:19 PM (#91267 - in reply to #91260) Subject: Re: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
Thanks for the response. I'm a little confused about the jack. A scissors jack to lift the whole thing? Or just the bike or the car? We have several floor jacks here - would they do for home? Do you carry a jack with you on your travels?
Maybe this will be more obvious when I actually have the rig constructed.
Posted 10/30/2016 3:05 PM (#91270 - in reply to #91267) Subject: Re: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The idea is that it's just like a car... you pick one wheel at a time. Sure, your floor jack will work fine in the shop. As a matter of fact, I don't carry a jack but I know folks who do. One guy I know has a bottle jack bolted to the frame of his sidecar. Flat tires aren't the issue that they were when I was growing up, I haven't had one in a couple of years. If you're the type who wants to be able to patch a flat on a tube tire "on the road", you need to carry a jack. If you run tubeless and are more likely to use a plug kit, you can skip the lifter.
For maintenance those floor jacks you talked about work just fine. I occasionally put all three wheels in the air using jack stands but when you do be very careful as the stands tend to tip when you try to take it up to full height all at once. I've seen one guy use a car ramp and motorcycle lift in combination for service. He positions the ramp beside the lift at an appropriate distance to receive the sidecar wheel. The he drive the rig on to the lift so the sidecar wheel goes on the ramp and the rig is at a pretty extreme angle but it doesn't tip. Then he raises the lift to level things out. Not the safest but it seems to work. If you try it you're on your own.
Either way, I hope you are planning to come to one or more of the sidecar rallies next summer. Sidecars in the Smokies April 28-30 at Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort in Robbinsville, NC, BMWRA [with a large sidecar presence] July 6-9 in Petoskey, MI and USCA National in Corning, NY July, 27-30. That's just three, there will be many more published in The Sidecarist.
Posted 10/30/2016 6:01 PM (#91278 - in reply to #91270) Subject: Re: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
I carry a screw jack in the sidecar trunk. It takes up less room than a scissor jack.
It is all mechanical, no fluid to worry about. I made sure it would pick up each wheel.
I consider it as functional ballast. I also catty a tubeless tire plug kit and a can of
gorilla snot [ tire inflater ].
Posted 10/31/2016 10:47 AM (#91293 - in reply to #91260) Subject: Re: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
Location: Rapid City, SD
I now own the rig that Al referenced and the wheel is 15". It takes a 165R15 tire. You can source the tires through Coker, Lukas or Universal online. It is worth the added expense as the tires last soooo much longer than the stock motorcycle tire and are not any more expensive and in some brands are cheaper.
Posted 10/31/2016 11:23 AM (#91294 - in reply to #91260) Subject: Re: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
We offer an automotive rear wheel for your bike $1295, as we use an adapter that then allows us to bolt on an off the shelve stock automotive wheel it makes things a bit easier once it comes time to replace the tire. With a custom wheel you now have a wheel that motorcycle shops do not want to mount up as they do not like to do automotive tires and a automotive tire shops do not want to work with motorcycle wheels. With our wheel unbolt the wheel from the bike which takes 5 lug bolts. The brake rotor and ABS tone ring unlike the stock wheel stay on the bike so you need not like with the stock wheel remove the brake caliper. You then take the wheel to an automotive tire dealer and have them mount a 165 15 automotive tire on the wheel. Do not even tell them about the motorcycle, they need not know. Also if you go with one of our sidecars that runs a 15 inch wheel should you be on the road and find that the rear tire on the bike is a bit thin on tread, chances are the sidecars tire is still in good order, swap them as they are the same wheel.
The mounts really do not interfere much with maintenance on the bike and the sidecar will come on or off in about 10 minutes should it be in your way.
Posted 11/2/2016 3:05 PM (#91320 - in reply to #91260) Subject: Re: Getting ready to pull the trigger....
Location: Tacoma, WA, USA
On servicing the right side, I'm getting used to draping myself over the seat and working upside down. If that doesn't work, it's really not too hard to detach the car and re-attach it. Just four bolts. Big honking bolts, but only four. As long as you don't mess with anything, the car will bolt right up again with no change in setup. Sometimes takes a little muscle to get that last bolt in, but it's do-able. I usually figger 15 minutes to disconnect the rig, and 30 minutes to re-attach. Use a floor jack on the left side of the sidecar to keep it stable, and make sure your bike's sidestand is DOWN before you start.
Since you are just starting to put it together, make sure to use electrical connectors between the bike and the car so you can simply unplug the electrical lines when you need to. And use a quick disconnect coupling for the brake line if your car is going to have brakes. Here's a pic of my DMC car and you can see the brass-colored brake coupling, and above it zip tied to the rear upper strut is the electrical line with the connector at the top of the strut.