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| Yeow-w-w-w-w-w!!!! First ride.|
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|The previous post had no message. I got so excited I hit something to post just the subject line. I'll try again. Almost like my evening started. You may remember, that I haddecided to take up sidecars, I ran across a 1986 Suzuki Cavalcade with what I believe is a Friendship sidecar (California Sidecar) The previous owner was 85 when it was put together in 86. He passed on when the bike had 1800 miles, which is what is on it now. The son and later the grandson kept it all these years. Someone did a fair amount of dismantling (fairing pieces, wiring, pulled the carbs, etc.) and it had taken since late May to revive it. My mechanic took a couple weeks getting it to the bench, but it was a trying ordeal for both him and me. Carbs and wiring incredibly screwed up. He got sick of me stopping to see the progress. Well after much gestation it was ready tonite. A kid that works for him roared off and came back and it was a joy to behold. I've never been a fan of the big tanks, but I gotta admit this is nice! |
After a month and a half reading, dreaming, nightmares, reading some more, this was the moment of truth. I don't think I've ever been so scared (I'm 59) of anything in my life. I promptly puttered, weaving side to side, out his drive, did a loop on the highway (no trafffic) and endied up on the shoulder pointing at the ditch. I've never been so humbled. I knew everything I did wrong, but I could not help it...i just couldn't HELP IT! A lifetime of two wheelers had ruined me. So this young kid put me in the car and we took off for a spin. He did it so easily, I was ashamed. So we agreed to take it to a vacant parking lot of what was once a Kmart. And parked it. I went home for a while to lick my wounds (figure of speech). Then I went back by myself and with the benefit of being anonymous, proceeded to do almost everything right. What a relief! I drove around the lot, then to a park with windy roads, back to the lot, then though town to home. I was truly amazed by how loosy-goosy everything was, not helped by the big Suzooks rubber steering. Sorry to bore you with what everybody may have experienced to some extent. "Six weeks ago I couldn't ever spell Sidecarist...now I ARE one!"
Location: Fairfield, VA
|Hi Photo, |
I was just getting ready to ask if you would like to clarify that first message when the second one popped up. What a hoot to hear from someone who just experienced their first attempt with a sidecar. It is exaccerbating when some kid makes something look so simple and us "old" folks so inept. Ah, but now that you've gotten your feet wet, I bet you want to dive on in! Have fun!!!
|Hi Photo45, |
It was really nice to read your experience this morning. We are both in the same age group. My Sidecar is going through a major overhaul (it has not been used for a lot of years and has just been sitting outside in the elements). Hopefully the SideCar should be on my GoldWing in a month or so. I wish that I would be "JUST" as excited as you were with your first trip. Only time will tell. Congratulations on you first adventure!!!
Location: Port Angeles, Washington, USA
|my first out-of-the-driveway sidecar experience was deceptively uneventful. i don't know what i was expecting but aside from the violently shaking handlebars and the excruciating pull toward the ditch (later corrected with proper alignment of the rig), everything was pretty tame. i pulled out of the driveway, onto highway 101 and headed north to open 'er up and see what she'd do. |
after the first couple of miles at 50mph i started thinking, "hey, this is easy! this is GREAT!" i had just started to relax and decided it was time to turn around and go back and pay the fellow for the rig. therefore, my first "HOLY COW!" moment caught me completely unaware when i went to make a simple right-hand turn into a parking lot.
up came the car, of course. i panicked and reflexively grabbed the brakes (which only makes it worse, as your momentum continues to bring the car up and over) and desperately corrected to the left, onto the sidewalk. sat there for a bit, mulling things over, listening to my pulse there in the relative quiet of my helmet. figured out what had gone wrong but wasn't sure what to do to avoid it in the future short of going reeeeeally reeeeeally slow around those right-hand turns. it wasn't till later that i learned about ballast and moving your center of gravity to the right and all those other tricks you learn to keep your car on the ground.
but it was LUV at first sight and i went back to the guy who was selling the rig, happily wrote out the check without a second thought and rode it about three hundred miles home. best purchase i ever made.
i'm glad that i had a nice little panic so early in the learning process. made me respect the rig a bit more and really drove home the fact that THIS IS NOT A MOTORCYCLE. made me check my assumptions and probably saved me from a spill further down the road.
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