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older sidecar to newer bike
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negpos
Posted 4/26/2015 7:28 PM (#84102)
Subject: older sidecar to newer bike


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Posts: 11
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Need help installing an older Harley sidecar to newer bike. I bought a 1966 Harley with a sidecar three years ago and I fell in love with ride so much that I bought another 1970s sidecar to put on my 1997 softail custom. However I can’t tell if it will work by using the original three point attachment. I did notice that I may have to relocate the lower mount for the gas tanks in order to use upper mount. Can someone with sidecar experience help by letting me know if combining older car with newer bike possible? I know of dealers who install sidecars but they don’t seem like they want to provide any help unless there doing it. I wouldn’t mind having them do it but none re in my area. Any help would be appreciated.
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Al Olme
Posted 4/26/2015 9:46 PM (#84103 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: RE: older sidecar to newer bike


Expert

Posts: 1736
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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Since you didn't put a location in your profile we can't make any suggestions regarding resources that might be local for you. Then, maybe you don't want help, just advice.
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negpos
Posted 4/26/2015 10:37 PM (#84104 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike


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Posts: 11
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Sorry im in South Texas 5 miles away from mexican border Brownsville TX
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Al Olme
Posted 4/27/2015 7:35 PM (#84142 - in reply to #84104)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike


Expert

Posts: 1736
100050010010025
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Darn Texas is BIG. It's over 500 mile to the nearest professional help.

BUT, there's going to be a ton of sidecar folks in Milam, TX at the Holly Park Marina this weekend. I know that still an 8 hour drive for you but you'll have more opinions about how you should do things than you can imagine. You could also see a lot of other rigs and get some ideas>
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davet
Posted 4/28/2015 7:10 AM (#84150 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike



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Posts: 220
100100
Location: Rochester, Michigan
There is a guy over on the HD forums who put a TLE sidecar on his softail. If you look over there for posts by Fuzzybeard, you may get some useful information. The TLE mounts used on the newer bikes are different but the older bike side mounts may work on your softail with some modification. Good luck. http://www.hdforums.com/forum/hacked-conversions-and-trailering/878... (edit-Fuzzybeard has also posted on this forum)

Edited by davet 4/28/2015 6:48 PM
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Fuzzybeard
Posted 4/28/2015 11:45 PM (#84166 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike



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Posts: 22
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Location: Northern Illinois
He found me on HD Forums and has been in contact. Like I told him, my experience is limited to my bike and I am glad to share my bike-side connections. I have no idea if the TLE connections are similar to his 70's sidecar, was that a CLE? Anyway....maybe my mounting points can give him a start. Weird how these old posts can rise up from the past and give you a tweak....but in a good way!
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davet
Posted 4/29/2015 6:45 AM (#84168 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike



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Posts: 220
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Location: Rochester, Michigan
Fuzzybeard, glad you can share the information. When I see a question about mounting a Harley sidecar on a softail, you are the only one I can think of who has done it and posted about it.
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snoshovlhead
Posted 5/5/2015 4:35 PM (#84247 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: RE: older sidecar to newer bike


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Louie,
Not that it can't be done ... I'm doing something similar with my "76FXE ... but mating this hack to that bike will require some serious engineering, welding and fabrication by the proverbial "Qualified Expert". This is more than a dealer installing a sidecar. I would seriously consider selling the '70s sidecar and buying a later rig since the 4 speed HD motorcycle frame and sidecar frame (1970s and earlier 3 point mount) are very different from the later stuff you would use on your '97 softail frame (4 point mount).
If we did get a solid place to clamp the "S" bar from the '70s sidecar frame to the '97 frame under the front of the gas tank at the correct height and we're able to clamp the front lower mount tightly to the frame in the right place then we'd need to cut off the existing rear swivel-ball mount and the tube it's attached to. I'd make the cut through the casting, flush to the outside (motorcycle side) of the fore and aft sidecar frame rail and re-weld it on in a more foreword position at the right height to accept the later (early '80s) lower rear HD sidecar mount which bolts on in place of/in conjunction with the right passenger foot peg mount (if it'll fit your '97 foot peg mount). If your two front mounts went on relatively easy as planned then you'd need to set/weld the rear mount so the hack frame is level-level and has "some kind of adjustment" for toe-in. Generally speaking the sidecar should have 1/2" or 5/8ths" toe in in the length of the wheelbase of the bike and about 1/2" (2 or 3 degrees) lean away from the hack (start with and see how it works). The lean is adjusted with the "S" bar clamps under the front of the sidecar, see how macho they are? You'd have to devise some equally macho-strong way to have toe-in adjustment at the rear mount. I've welded a 3" x 1&1/2" diameter bolt to the opposite end of the 1&1/2" tube which carries the swivel ball and, with locknuts, it goes through a threaded hole in a 1/2" steel plate welded to the sidecar frame.

hope this helps, Ricky
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Fuzzybeard
Posted 5/9/2015 2:57 PM (#84294 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike



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Posts: 22
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Location: Northern Illinois
I just added some pictures of my mounts in a new post. Hope that helps!

http://www.sidecar.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=13518&post...
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negpos
Posted 5/10/2015 1:13 PM (#84303 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: RE: older sidecar to newer bike


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Posts: 11
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Folks I want to thank all of you for responding to my post. Through pictures and info gained from responses I’m going to try to tackle the install. I have a good chisel and hammers lying around in the garage. What I did due that I should have done from the get go was ordered a Harley manual. It appears the hack that I have is a CLE with (early '80s) lower rear HD sidecar mount. I am not sure if this will make it any easier to install. I really wish I owned the model Fuzzybeard owns with the later attachments. I would feel real comfortable fabricating those attachments. Look out for more questions to come.
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davet
Posted 5/10/2015 1:34 PM (#84305 - in reply to #84102)
Subject: Re: older sidecar to newer bike



Veteran

Posts: 220
100100
Location: Rochester, Michigan
I haven't tried so this is just a guess, but maybe you can convert your sidecar frame to the newer rod end type attachments. The manual is a good idea too.
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