homemade sidecar

Posted 12/14/2003 4:00 PM (#1764)
Subject: homemade sidecar

i live upstate ny. in sno country. a chopped 1974 sportyXLCH is our only transport. i am a widowered father living on a foodstamp budget, until my disability is approved. we cant afford a cage, we love the chop. i build choppers to maintain my sanity(?). i have a ton of old jappers a welder, am a master furniture builder, am a tinker been clean and sober over 7 years. i need to build a sidecar to give the old gal some stability this winter. i ride almost every day i have to. any advice direction sites plans part list anything would be appreciated. plz helpan old bro in sno country stay mobil
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Posted 12/20/2003 3:29 AM (#1802 - in reply to #1764)
Subject: Homemade sidecar....

Hey Bob;

Well Sir, I'm sympathetic with your current state....and impressed that you've still got your drive and the conviction that you can pretty much do what you set your mind to. A fellow can't help but respect and admire that. And being clean seven years indicates an unusual toughness as well, seems to me.

But to the question at hand. I've always believed in trying to do-it-myself insofar as possible. I figure my labor is worth about 35 cents an hour, unless the quality of television goes up a lot real soon....and good hard labor, uncomplaining labor, can go a long ways toward making up for a lack of money or equipment. Sure, a lathe will turn down metal quicker, but a file, used long enough, can pretty much do it too.

So here's what happened to me. I just started noticing sidecars; I noted how they're built, the materials used, the way they're attached to the bikes....and came to the conclusion that I could very readily build one if I felt the need (it happened that I managed to trade for a good enough sidecar, so I'm putting my energies into making it better, rather than building from scratch).

If you're a welder and cabinet-maker, I can't help but believe you to be fully capable of building a fine retro or nostalgic rig. It might take you a bit longer than some of the pros, but shucks, you can take that much more pleasure in the result, right? And I've always believed, and taught, that when you're doing something new, something you find exciting and interesting, to NEVER take shortcuts. Enjoy every aspect of the thing you're doing, all the good, the bad and the ugly. There's nothing quite like making something with your own hands and seeing it work just fine. To stand back and look at something like that is worth all the agony, labor and aggravation. Think about boat-builders, telescope makers, hot-rod restorers, artists, and so forth. All of them started out just the same way you're looking at sidecars. They figured they could do it themselves, and they did, and do.

There's lots of information and photos of sidecar outfits on the 'net, so you've got half your work done right there. Visit a sidecar dealer or factory and do some measuring and fiddling around, asking a question or two, and who knows? you might end up with a pretty good little money-making sideline going right there.

And finally, you can't find a better resource than the folks right here....I've never seen them stumped and never seen them act as if they considered questions to be impositions. Shucks, some of them might as well come out and say, "Its impossible to impose upon me, sidecar wise", and I'd believe 'em.

Now, all of the above is just my personal opinion based upon my own observations of folks with your kind of savvy and drive....good luck and we'll catch you later!


Edited by Sahagan 12/20/2003 3:36 AM
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Posted 12/27/2003 7:46 AM (#1850 - in reply to #1764)
Subject: RE: homemade sidecar

I built the frame for mine out of 1x3 box tubing. (mostly because I bought the rig without knowing what to look for) Seems the original frame was very undersized for a two seater. Point being, if you're looking to ad a 3rd wheel for stability in snow, a utility platform would be easier to build rather than a tub for hauling others.
Just my .02
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Posted 12/27/2003 9:45 AM (#1851 - in reply to #1764)
Subject: RE: homemade sidecar


Posts: 1348
1.5 to 2" square tube 11 gauge which is about 1/8 thick should be fine. If you have 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 sch. 10 0r 20 pipe should work also. When using the pipe,fishmouth(cope)the parts that will tie the the outside "frame rails" together just be sure that you have a tight fit when you weld it together,the outside corners cut at a 45 deg. angle the same goes for the square tube on the out side corners the nice thing when using the square tube,the internal parts all butt together nicely providing your saw cuts fairly square.Give me an idea what you have to use for frame material.
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Posted 12/27/2003 1:52 PM (#1853 - in reply to #1764)
Subject: RE: homemade sidecar

well i dont have anything yet but that square tubing sounds the best (easiest) to use i hope to get some money mon or tue and ride over to a scrapyard here in geneva ny
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claude #3563
Posted 12/28/2003 3:21 PM (#1856 - in reply to #1851)
Subject: RE: homemade sidecar


Posts: 2498
Location: Middleburg, Pa
2"x 2" / 1/8" wall minimum square frame members with 1 1/2" O.D. cross members works well also. The square members can be drilled with a holesaw to allow the 1 1/2" tubes to fit through the 2 x 2 frame. This gives a good solid joint and a lot of weldong surface as well.
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Posted 1/6/2004 9:58 PM (#1929 - in reply to #1764)
Subject: RE: homemade sidecar

Hello Bob, I own a Spirit Eagle sidecar which was made by Spirit Of America Manufacturing Company back in the 70's, my sidecar is a 1971 and I still have all the original paper work that came with it.
if it would help you out I would be willing to send you a copy of the mounting instructions and parts list, it might be enough to help you out,
please let me know.
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Posted 1/6/2004 10:09 PM (#1930 - in reply to #1764)
Subject: RE: homemade sidecar

please do and if you could would you also send me rough dimensions of tub my frame is gonna be 32"long by 34"wide you think that is big enough
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