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Long time biker, curious about hacks
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Posted 11/10/2004 10:26 PM (#5293)
Subject: Long time biker, curious about hacks

I've been on bikes for many years and have always been intrigued by sidecars.

Now that we've moved to a more snowy state and since I really enjoy riding in the winter, I'm considering putting a sidecar on one of my bikes; probably the Harley FXSTI.

At the moment, I'm more interested in a frame or cargo type sidecar rather than a passenger one. A third wheel for snow/ice riding. My wife has her own bike and the kids are grown and gone.

I've just started learning how to weld so I considered modifying some welding plans for trailers in to a third wheel frame that I could bolt a box to. Looking at the frame of a previously posted sidecar makes me believe it's possible and maybe even sort of simple. It seems that the complexity is more in creating an ergonomic passenger area.

All this lets me get in to this slowly and reasonably inexpensivly.

I've looked at the for sale area and see a couple of possibilities and will be posting in the wanted section in a bit.

Does any one know if there is a basic plan site if I wanted to gin up my own hack? I am working on building my own bike so doing the work isn't a problem. More learning is good

Thanks for any tips and advice.

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Posted 11/11/2004 9:19 PM (#5305 - in reply to #5293)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks

I don't know that this will help as much as some simplified plans would, but these are some areas that may be useful in some manner. First, don't overlook Ebay or such sites and the possible purchase of a sidecar frame that is alreday constructed. Going to specific side car installers web sites can be useful in some ways. For example: The Wark Shop at can give some good tips on installation, although not actual plans for the frame. Another site to check out is You may also check out pics at as well. may be of some help in viewing sidecar installation. The sidecar site of is a large site where you can scroll through it and locate various sites that may show an example of what it is that you want. Lastly, there is a book that can be downloaded for free on the internet. The book is written by Hal Kendall and may have some good tips for you towards the end where he addresses sidecar design.
Good luck in finding out what you need. I think the picture archives here may have something helpful, as I seem to recall some of the guys who posted there were building stuff too. Check it out for yourself. Don't ovelook the fellows here who install sideacars as well.

Edited by Huey 11/11/2004 9:29 PM
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Posted 11/12/2004 12:43 AM (#5307 - in reply to #5305)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks

I did scan e-bay but I think I'll have to keep an eye on it for a while.

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.

I've been to the pashnit site. I've been using some of his ideas to mod one of my bikes. I also scrolled through the sidecar page but haven't studied it.

I was avoiding the dealers and such to keep the prices low and the sidecar more to my liking. That's one of the reasons I was looking for plans although a broken down/old sidecar would do the job. If I could find someone who could build one closer to my range, I'd consider it. That's one of the reasons I'm reading the forums here.

Thanks again for the links and advice.

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Posted 11/12/2004 7:04 AM (#5309 - in reply to #5293)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks

If you go to the Ural website you could check the archives and speak to Rich Maund. He has adapted several bikes in the manner you are looking for, I believe. There are several others at this site who have adapted BMW's or such as well. They have posted many pics in the past.

Personally, I would suggest that you not stay away from the installers. They are not like sleazy salesmen at a used car lot. They actually offer help quite frequently and many post here as well. I have dealt with many of them for ideas or questions I have had and none so far have plagued me with a come on to purchase from them or such. They can be a very helpful resource.
Good luck on her,

Edited by Huey 11/12/2004 7:49 PM
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Posted 11/25/2004 9:07 PM (#5440 - in reply to #5293)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks


Posts: 60
Location: Grand Marais, MN

I've been in the purchase a used sidecar market for about a year, as a consumer, and recently I made a purchase (complete rig). During that time, I have seen sidecars alone (no mule), in the $600 to $800 range. An internet search for "sidecar" can get you to a number of for sale sites. Internet BMW Riders has a sidecar section, with sidecars alone sometimes listed. IMO, it's pretty hard to find the pieces and weld them up and fabricate the specialized parts you need for under $600.

I have had some great help from two of the fabricators. They may be able to help you find what you want, and not at too high a cost. None of them are at all like a car salesman, even including the folks I talked to at the new sidecar producers, like Motorvation or Hannigan.

Best of luck with your project. I'm really enjoying my rig, and I use it a whole lot more than I anticipated.

Mike Senty
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Posted 12/25/2004 5:13 PM (#5752 - in reply to #5293)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks

I haven't checked in with this site for a month or so, so I just saw your thread, and I will add that a talk with Doug Bingham at (818)780-1587 would be worthwhile. He was enormously helpful to me as I was getting into hacks. He sold a kit for building a sidecar frame although I think he discontinued that for some reason. He may still sell plans for it tho.
Good luck,
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Posted 12/28/2004 11:18 AM (#5763 - in reply to #5293)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks

I've been riding for over 34 years now and have owned - well I lost count - a lot a motorcycles... I just found this site and I, too, am interested in getting into sidecars.

I live in Western Kentucky. If anyone is near me and has a good Velorex for sale, or whatever. Let me know. ALSO, I need some advice and learning how to SAFELY operate a sidecar rig.

I am, currently, building a 1973 GT-750 Suzuki (Waterbuffalo) and have a crazy thought that I would like to make it a side car bike. It should have plenty of power - near 70 horses - so that should be a problem. It's water cooled with a fan. So that shouldn't be an issue. What do you think?

This is my first post.

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claude #3563
Posted 12/28/2004 8:21 PM (#5766 - in reply to #5763)
Subject: RE: Long time biker, curious about hacks


Posts: 2498
Location: Middleburg, Pa
I think you have been bitten by a bug that is terminal. The bug carries sidecar fever of which there is no known cure. In fact the symptoms usually get more and more evident the more you learn of the 'disease'. So..welcome to the madness!!
You can download some great books regarding sidecars right here at These were written by Hal Kendall, co-founder of the USCA, and go into a lot of detail on setup and opertion of sidecars. Go to the homepage and you will be able to find them. Hal has offered them free of charge.
Hal is also very active and is a moderator at the site of the Intertnet Sidecar Owners Klub , SCT. The address is below.
Yes, that bike should make a decent sidecar power unit. A Velorex, although a light sidecar, should do okay on it with the rigth setup and maybe some ballast.
Feel free to post here often and also come join us at SCT.

Edited by claude #3563 12/28/2004 8:24 PM
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