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sidecar on port or starboard question
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Huey
Posted 12/18/2004 11:14 AM (#5693)
Subject: sidecar on port or starboard question



Veteran

Posts: 105
100
Location: Arlington, Texas
You see the tub mounted both ways these days, even in the here in the states. I was wondering what gives the real preferance to which side to mount the tub on for most people? Do they mount it one particular way only because that is what most others do here or do they have a specific reason for their choice? Are there different potential problems with the tub mounted on either side? For example, does the pusher tire get more wear one way or another? What are the pros and cons of mounting on each side? How do the driving characteristics differ? Any big reason to not mount on port side, as frequently done in UK? Instead of chopping off someone's head with a mail box, you can push them into oncomming traffic????
Huey
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Hack'n
Posted 12/18/2004 11:31 AM (#5694 - in reply to #5693)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
A couple of drawbacks here with the lefties are:
1- The passenger is in harms way when the driver moves left to overtake another vehicle or just to see if there is a clear roadway ahead.
2- If loading or unloading passengers or cargo from the hack, one (or more) persons may be in a lane of traffic on a two lane road also putting them in harms way.

A couple of advantages are:
1- The passenger may be on the side of the bike opposite of the exhaust system thus avoiding the racket and perhaps some fumes.
2- If the bike has a kick starter it is usable with tangling ones foot/leg in the sidecar attachments and causing much pain. (Been there, done that).
3- On some bikes with a sight oil guage one can check the engine oil level without lying on the ground and peering under the sidecar.

Other than that it's pretty much of a mirror image situation as far as mounting and aligning the rig.
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Huey
Posted 12/18/2004 12:09 PM (#5695 - in reply to #5693)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Veteran

Posts: 105
100
Location: Arlington, Texas
Does the frame for the tug have to be changed in order to mount to either side. I know you have to redo a fender or have a spare, but I mean, can you actually have a sidecar that can be set up either way, should you decide later you favor one way vs another? Or is cost or the adaptability to do so too great to do that with? Ambidextrious (probably misspelled) sidecar rig, huh?

On #1 above, just a thought. Can't you also put the passenger/monkey at risk anyway with a right mounted tug whenever you move around another vehicle to pass? What I mean by that is that if you miscalculate just how far to move out from the other vehicle or if he happens to crowd you, then you could in theory scrape the tug into the vehicle you are attempting to pass. Probably not any great risk of doing so, but I'll bet someone out there has done it or nearly done it in the past. Since your overall width is the same, regardless of which mounting you use, it seems it could be a potential problem either way.

Thanks,
Huey

Edited by Huey 12/18/2004 12:18 PM
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retro-rig
Posted 12/18/2004 2:23 PM (#5696 - in reply to #5693)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question


Member

Posts: 21
0
Location: New York
Here in the U.S. Canada and other countries using left hand drive vehicles except Mexico there are advantages to a right hand set up.

If the car is on the right (starboard) side of the rig the passenger is nearer the curb side of the road and better protected from some road debris.

The vehicle operator is in a common position to view the road for safe passing.

Reasons to mount the car on the left side.

If you do mount the rig on the left side of the bike it gives you practical reason to apply for a letter carriers position with the postal service. You are already near the mail boxes.

You've got a sadistic streak and enjoy scaring the behesus out of your passesngers while passing traffic.

Commonly right side mountings are incompliance with normal rightside of the roadway vehicle operating procedures. Left hand mounting would apply to India, Japan, and many former Commonwealth Nations of the UK.

Operating a bike with the side car opposite of normal conventions where you normally ride is almost asking for an accident to occur. If you've ever driven a right hand drive vehicle in a left hand drive region there are safety issues to deal with visiblity chief among them as well as lane placement.

But as towards preferance of mounting either left or right side that depends upon the vehicle operator and the way the traffic laws for his/hers juridiction are worded.
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Hack'n
Posted 12/18/2004 4:20 PM (#5699 - in reply to #5695)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Expert

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Location: Boise, Idaho
I sold a Swallow sidecar a few years back that I had purchased from a former Canadian Triumph dealer. This particular unit had a frame and chassis that was designed so that it could be inverted for left side mount. The body was also designed so that the wheel well opening could be on either side but it had been cut out for a right side mounting as it had been previously mounted.

I know that some of the hits and near misses in Australia are caused by road weary or inattentive drivers from the states who, when suddenly confronted by another vehicle appearing from the other direction, automatically swerved to the right due to reflexes and muscle memory. Old habits are hard to break, especially if one is day dreaming when an emergency occurs.

I know of no statutes in Canada or the US regarding which side a sidecar can be mounted.

Edited by Hack'n 12/18/2004 4:31 PM
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claude #3563
Posted 12/18/2004 5:44 PM (#5700 - in reply to #5699)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
If the sidecar is on the left then it would be getting light in left handers and not right handers. So we are in the right lane going into a left turn...the road may not be banked but have a crown on it. This would create an off camber turn in a left hander. Probably not the best scenario. With a right side mounted chair the right hand turns are either banked or have a crown,,both of which act to our advantage. Not saying the above is the same in every turn but it would be more common than not.

Overtaking a car could be a hazadous deal with or without a passenger due to lack of being able to see ahead very good.Of course a rear view mirror could be mounted to the far left side of the sidecar with a mirror pointed to the front right behind it so when you looked in the 'rear view' mirror you could really look ahead of the sidecar...uh...vibration could be a factor.

With a left hand mounted sidecar most all of the stuff related to setup and handling on these discussion boards would have to be reversed.

Oh ..about those oil check sight windows on the right side of a bike? One of those little mirrors on a rod work good for seeing down there.

To mount a right hand sidecar on the left? Simple, just turn it around backwards. That way the passenger could not see the oncoming truck you have just stuck the sidecar into the path of. ..Uh..unless they looked into the rear view mirrow that was pointing to the front because it would really be to their rear which is really front. WOW

Signed,
anonymous


Edited by claude #3563 12/18/2004 5:48 PM
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Hack'n
Posted 12/19/2004 4:00 PM (#5706 - in reply to #5700)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
Dear Anonymous,
Am taking your advice on the left hand mount for my '03 FXDL.
For the rear (Front now) strut I'm attaching a muffler hanger from a 1963 GMC pickup to the left fork leg just below the lower triple tree clamp. For proper triangulation on the upper front strut (rear now), would you recommend attaching it to the sissy bar or the luggage rack? (I'd use the rear fender strut but the saddle bag seems to be in the way).
The lower mounts are: Rear (front now) attached to the left engine guard commonly referred to as a crash bar, and the Front (rear now) is firmly welded to the swing-arm just in front of the shock mount. I used a 3/4" turnbuckle here that I purchased from Cenex farm supply. That way I have infinite adjustment for fine tuning the rig.
I suppose the lean-in (this is left side, remember) and sidecar wheel trail will have to be worked out, or do you have a formula for this?

Oh yeah, I tried the mirror and rod thing but the oil on my hands made the mirror slip out of them and I broke it before I could stick the rod into the filler hole to check the oil level. I think a rubber handle would be better. Just a thought, no offense.

Cheers,

Lonnie
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claude #3563
Posted 12/19/2004 4:19 PM (#5707 - in reply to #5706)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Expert

Posts: 2471
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
Lonnie,
cONGRATUALTION, It is good to see someone work so hard to become a headline in the news. Be sure to get yerself a camera and have yer buds foller ya when ya ride. It will only be a matter of time before the Kodak moment comes. If'n ya have one of them there movie VCR things you might reelly be able to turn this deal into some cash on that tee vee show. Lookin forward to hearin frum ya..or at least readin about ya.
Have a nice day (while ya can..lol)
Anonymous
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Hack'n
Posted 12/20/2004 1:48 PM (#5717 - in reply to #5707)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question



Expert

Posts: 4833
2000200050010010010025
Location: Boise, Idaho
Anonymous,
Judging from this seasons TV line-up there may be room for another (Ho-Hum) reality show for folks like us. How does "Goofy Factor" sound for the name of our new series? I'll keep workin' on the rig if you can get us insured for cheap.
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retro-rig
Posted 1/1/2005 9:18 AM (#5794 - in reply to #5693)
Subject: RE: sidecar on port or starboard question


Member

Posts: 21
0
Location: New York
Having the side car on the right side of the bike poses a problem not for checking oil but for adjusting the valves.

I've an older set up where the bike has a dipstick for checking oil level. however the exhaust valve needs adjustment about every 400 miles or so.
Since the bike is a 500 single (yep a thumper) there is an access cover on the right side of the case. Making access is quick but the easiest way of going in to adjust the push rods is blocked by the nose of the side car.

Geometry being everything and having no desire to relocate the tub each time I go to let some space in the system (Loud Valves Save Lives) I usually end up laying over the fuel tank and looking at the valve adjusters from a inverted perspective. (Upside down)

Now if I changed the side car to the left side of the bike, I would be obstructing the rear brake rod (Mechanical drum brakes, did I say the bike is a British designed thumper?) Points cover and rear brake lamp switch and fuse (Right down to the Lucas electrics) as well as the drive chain which needs regular oilings.

So as for which side to mount the side car; consider the mechanical set up of the basic bike when it comes to servicing parts. Primary covers. Altenators, electronic control boxes and final drive (except for shaft driven bikes)are generally on the left side of the bike. If you need to make adjustments the right side mount often means fewer contortions for basic maintenance.

So there are a few practical applications for right side mounting of the car in addition to common road rules here in North America.
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