Posted 5/25/2004 10:33 PM (#3591) Subject: Jumping into a sidecar big time
Due to new development of Parkinson's Disease, which affects balance, I have decided to take up a sidecar. I sold two motocycles, but kept a 550 Yamaha Vision. While it is racy looking, it would handle a rig, I am sure. While shopping for a sidecar, lo and behold I find five blocks from my house a guy that wants to sell a complete rig that his grandfather owned, and has been stored since he died. It is a 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade (yes THAT behemoth). With a matching California sidecar (It says Suzuki on it, was it sold by them?) Get this, it has 1800 miles! New Old Stock almost. I bought it for $2500. It seemed like destiny, being so close to me, and a right price. I never had a bike that big, but only because I was afraid of the bulk and weight. With three wheels this seems to not matter. It is at my mechanics, being worked over for carbs, fluids, etc. But I don't seem to find much written for a new sidecar driver. For example will I head for the ditch trying to countersteer? How much difference does a load in the car make? How about a hard right turn, does the whole thing want to fall over to the non-sidecar side? Give me some guidance before the carbs get rebuilt. By nature, I am a cautious driver, though one of the bikes I sold was a Turbo Yamaha...go figure. Hope this post is ok.
Posted 5/26/2004 1:11 AM (#3592 - in reply to #3591) Subject: RE: Jumping into a sidecar big time
Location: Fairfield, VA
Hi Vince, Since no one else has answered your post, I'll take a stab at it! If the bike runs good, it sounds like you got a real deal. I found that the larger the bike, the easier it is to handle with a sidecar. I may just be a sissy, but weight in the sidecar will definitely make it easier to handle. I carry close to 100 lbs. in mine. Without the weight, a right hand turn will pick the sidecar up and push the bike left. I'm sure different rigs vary in the way they handle, but any of them will "fly," if you don't know how to handle that, then you don't want to "fly." I have a 1500 Goldwing with a California sidecar. Do you know what model yours is? I had it on a 1200 first, believe me, it's much easier with the 1500. There are sidecar training classes (kind of like the beginning motorcycle classes offered by community colleges in VA). I bet that if you check, you'll find one in your area. Otherwise, it's sort of trial and error learning (that's how I did it). But, I didn't know anyone else who had a sidecar. I only recently found this Association, 8 yrs. after I started riding with a sidecar. Don't know about anyone else, but wind is the thing that I hate most with the sidecar. Well, I don't know if I helped at all, but I do wish you the best of luck sidehacking!!! (By the way, I do know the guy who teaches that class in VA, if you'd like, I could see if I can get in touch with him. He might know about classes in your area). I still want to take the class myself.
Posted 5/26/2004 5:19 AM (#3596 - in reply to #3591) Subject: RE: Jumping into a sidecar big time
Location: St. Joseph,MO
Vince, be sure to check out the great online manuals found on this site. On the home page click on Links and Books. Hal Kendal wrote these instructions and they should help you sort this out. Sounds like you got a super good deal. Just read the books, take your time and soon you will be smiling like the rest of us. Maybe you will be ready for a trip by September so check out the Flint Hills Rally in Council Grove KS.
Posted 5/27/2004 7:23 AM (#3612 - in reply to #3591) Subject: RE: Jumping into a sidecar big time
Hello Vince. Welcome to the wonderful/whacky world of sidecars. Joyce was spot on with the reading material. You pointed out countersteering. Naught. Everything you learned about solo riding goes out the window other then common sense safty considerations. Find yourself a very large, and as empty parking lot a practice with the rig. Starting with figure 8's until you get the feel of the limits of your skills when learning to fly the chair. By reading those manuals you will understand your relationship & skills you will need to master for safe use of your setup. It is a fun thing but totally different then solo riding. I know from experence in my youthfull days in California. My partner lent me his pristine/antique prewar rig. Being a hotshot motor officer I thought no problem. Wrong. Lucky the ditch was grassy and my partner a somewhat forgiving sort. So back to Practice, Practice. If you can find any local hackers around they will more then likely lend you a hand in the move from solo to sidecaring. Good Luck. Terry
Posted 6/6/2004 5:22 PM (#3753 - in reply to #3591) Subject: RE: Jumping into a sidecar big time
Location: Yreka, CA
Welcome to sidecarring! You will love it ... from someone who has been at it for two whole weeks. Bought a Wing 1500 with Champion Escort car because of the wife's PD. She was trouble getting on and off the two wheeler as well as just setting behind me for any length of time. She loves the car ride. I've got a lot to learn but the book on Driving a Sidecar Outfit and a large parking lot have been a great help. If you would like specific info on how we are managing with the PD and riding you can get me at email@example.com. Jerry
Posted 6/6/2004 11:18 PM (#3756 - in reply to #3591) Subject: RE: Jumping into a sidecar big time
Thanks so much for the different posts. They are helpful. Am looking for information from Jerry off-list about the Parkinson's.
Am very anxious with my mechanic. As of Friday he and his crew had just moved it in and out daily. Hadn't touched the carbs. That and all the fluids are the main things. But the former owner dissasembled it far more than necessary to get to the carbs and battery. I'm nervous until it gets back together that all the parts are there. The Cavalcade is hard to find parts for. I will keep the group up to date.