Posted 10/1/2003 6:04 PM (#1005) Subject: What is a good combo
It seems that the rule of thumb is to not have a side car that is going to weigh less than a third of your bike weight (in ballast).
But what about engine size???? For decades 45" engines (and less) were the norm and apparently folks got along just fine chugging along.
What is the minimum bike needed today for the family that wants to be able to go on the interstate - with confidence??? Could a person put a Velo on a Yamaha Vstar 650 and not cause premature self destruction to the bike by asking it to do more than it is capable of???? Would Velo and a 883 Sportster be strong enough to take the family cross country???
I'm leaning to a RoadStar and a Spyder but part of me sez that it way more than a person needs?
Posted 10/1/2003 11:37 PM (#1008 - in reply to #1005) Subject: RE: What is a good combo
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Some may disagree but I feel that you can never have too much power with a sidecar rig. If the choice to be made is between more or less power the decision should be for more power. If you have it and don't use it too often fine...but if you don't have it you cannot use it.
Edited by claude #3563 10/1/2003 11:39 PM
Posted 10/1/2003 11:51 PM (#1009 - in reply to #1008) Subject: RE: What is a good combo
I agree with Claude. I very seldom carry a passenger or any appreciable amount of gear in the sidecar, usually just a lawn chair, a small backpack or bag, and my laptop computer. In the last 2 years I've had my Dnepr sidecar mounted to two different XS850 Yamaha's, an XS1100, and a Valkyrie. The Valkyrie is the first bike that I feel truly comfortable with at Interstate speeds. The others were fine cruising around town or the State Highways, but as the Valkyrie guys like to say "There is no Replacement for Displacement". I know the Dnepr started it's life on a 35 HP 650cc flat Twin, but it still feels much better on the Dragon.
Posted 10/2/2003 3:46 PM (#1023 - in reply to #1005) Subject: RE: What is a good combo
Location: Boise, Idaho
For a family on the Superslab, big is better. There are a lot of 650s with well over 100 horsepower, but for a long fast haul a large rig is a lot more manageable and comfortable. The smaller outfits are fun on short hops, but are usually limited on power, range, comfort, and load capacity. The Roadstar/ Spyder combo will get three people down the road as quick as you'd probably wish to travel. I recently sold my Turbocharged Roadking/HD Spyder outfit and it was nice to be able to just twist my right wrist when I wanted more power. (While my fellow riders were busy shifting gears). One doesn't usually need excessive power but it's nice to have at your fingertips, just in case. In my case, it came in very handy more than once.
Edited by Hack'n 11/5/2003 10:30 AM
Posted 10/18/2003 11:09 PM (#1204 - in reply to #1005) Subject: RE: What is a good combo
For around town, you can get away with say, 65 rear wheel HP. But for cruising the superslabs in today's aggressive traffic, I suggest a minimum of 80 HP, and preferably an engine with a broad torque curve (so you don't have to keep pedaling the shift lever to stay in the powerband) The most economical sidecar puller with good power, broad torque curve, and a double cradle frame is the Suzuki 1200 Bandit. Shaft drive is nice--if you can change the final drive ratio. But chain drive allows you to change final drive ratio just by going to different sprockets.
If you convert the rig to a proper three-wheeler, with smaller wheels and auto tires, leading link, etc. etc. simply changing to smaller OD tires will spin the engine proportionately faster for the same road speed. That means you can use a shaft drive machine with the stock final drive ratio.
A big part of the enjoyment comes from having a good handling rig. If you simply attach a sidecar without also making the necessary changes to the bike, the outfit might be a handful. For instance, with stock steering geometry, an outfit will have very heavy steering that will quickly wear you down.
So, it's not just choosing a motorcycle you like (as a two wheeler), but choosing a machine that has features that allow it to be converted easily and economically to a three wheeler. Likewise the sidecar. Choose a well engineered sidecar kit, and you're more likely to enjoy the experience than if you just find some unknown sidecar at a swap meet, and bolt it up.
Posted 10/18/2003 11:50 PM (#1205 - in reply to #1204) Subject: RE: What is a good combo
Location: Middleburg, Pa
Jim origionally wrote:
>>Would Velo and a 883 Sportster be strong enough to take the family cross country???
I'm leaning to a RoadStar and a Spyder but part of me sez that
it way more than a person needs<<
I had first responded with :
>>I feel that you can never have too much power with a sidecar rig.<<
I do feel this way and do agree with Dave that for the money a 1200 Bandit is a very nice way to go. But if You are thinking of the large Roadstar you should end up with a rig that does a decnt job for you. Maybe the style of the Bandit does not appeal to you and you want the 'cruiser' look? There are some fairly 'hot' cruisers out there on the market today.
As far as the heavy steering goes.. Dave is correct in saying that a leading link will make it much easier. There are, however, alternatives. Wide bars,for instance, give more leverage to ease steering. One of the EZ Steer type triple tree modifications or the leading legs mod may be an alternative to the link front end if you want to reduce trail and ease steering. These are somewhat less expensive too. There are some other options such as a smaller rolling dismeter front wheel and/or moving the forks up through the triple trees. Both of these mods will reduce trail somewhat. How much of a benefit will they be? This will vary depending upon the bike's origional geometry.
Personally I feel if you are set on the Roadstar it should serve you well. I would not want you to get the impression that you must fork out oodles of dollars to construct a dedicated sidecar rig with car tires, leading link or center hub steering, and so on to enjoy the sport. Sure many of us think of having such a rig someday but to be honest with you there are many more rigs out there that are closer to stock that to a true HPS outfit with all the correct up to date stuff.
You mentioned that something inside of you said that the Roadstar may be way more than a person needs...well the best advice is to go with the best and most powerful machine you can afford that looks the way you want it to look. Get a chair that is not too light for it. Then go from there.
When shopping for a bike you may also want to check on availability of some of the performance bells and whistles that are out there for the bike you are contemplating buying.
Sorry for rambling..and welcome aboard!
Oh..be warned that sidecars have a way of becomming adictive.
Claude UCA #3563
Founder:Internet Sidecar Owners Klub AT Yahoo groups SCT.
Posted 11/4/2003 10:38 PM (#1433 - in reply to #1005) Subject: RE: What is a good combo
Location: Warwick NY
PMDAVE AND CLAUDE MAKE GREAT POINTS AND I AGREE BIGGER IS BETTER. ESP.IF YOU EVENTUALLY PLAN TO TRAVEL MAJOR HIGHWAYS AN SUPERSLABS.
A BIGGER ENGINE WILL LEAVE YOU WITH UNLIMITED ROADS TO TRAVEL AND YOU CONTROL THE THROTTLE(THEREFORE YOU CONTROL THE POWER OF THE RIG).
I HAVE TWO SIDECARS ONE FOR LOCAL ROADS/AROUND TOWN DRIVING AND THE OTHER FOR WHATEVER AND WHEREVER I WANT TO GO.
IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF YOUR SIDECAR !!