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| Curious about side cars|
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|Hey my name is Chris but everyone calls me Belfie. I have a variety of motorcycles in my garage but not one with a side car. I am curious about getting a bike with a side car or putting a side car on one of my current bikes. I have never ridden with a side car and would like the opportunity to experience it before i dive into an expensive venture. I am located in Northern NJ by Lake Hopatcong. Thanks for your time. |
Shiny side up!
Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
|Welcome to the slightly off-center world of sidecars, Belfie! |
What kind of riding would you like to do? Off-road? Around town grocery get'n? Highway mile eat'n? Moto Camp'n? Do you have 1, 2 or even 3 passengers (human and/or other) that want to come along or are your interests in hauling cargo?
As Dave said, an inexpensive "trainer" that you sell after a while has a lot of merit, just in case the sidecar bug doesn't bite.
Lots of options!
|I don't go cheap i want to experience a real ride. Possible side car capable i have a 04 Honda ST1300 and a 83 Suzuki GS650GL. Other bikes in the garage owned by me are a 82 yamaha seca 400, 95 honda vfr 750, 91 honda vfr 400, 00 suzuki bandit 600 and hopefully soon a late model honda magna 750. I have three main reasons for being interested in a sidecar. I have never owned one before. I like to ride all year round and though it might be a bit more stable in the winter with the gravel on the jersey roads. The g/f (who rides her own bike) and I want to do more distance oriented trips and we can only ask the friends to watch the dog so many times a year lol. That and we would love to be able to bring him along. I have thought about the dog trailer route so that i don't lose a two wheeled machine but i'm not sure i like the idea of towing a member of the family. He is a 65 lb dog and can't fit in the saddle bags lol. I have seen some very nice ST1300 setups with Hannigan sidecars and some of the ST1100 with the leaner side cars. Not sure that's the way i want to go but i'm keeping all my options open. If i do like the ride of a side car but choose not to use it on long trips i would most likely be getting a smaller sized sidecar for the GS650 for around town, this way when we bring him places in the summer we don't need to take the car all the time.|
|I actually saw an ST with a Hanni car already installed for sale. The price was pretty good too. I don't know if it's still available but it was a great option to buy a completed kit and then sell my ST. Is it better to buy a professionally installed rig with the bike or is it better to build from scratch??|
Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
|IMHO, an inexperienced driver combined with an inexperienced builder is asking for trouble. I know this first hand! |
You'd be wised to find a turnkey rig and spend your time learning to drive it.
|Being a certified motorcycle mechanic and machinist whilst going to school for mechanical engineering....I would only attempt to add a simpler car to my old GS, I would NOT dare to attempt to add a car to my ST lol.|
|Good thing I'm in my early 30's... Still young enough to make dumb decisions, yet old enough to realize they are dumb before acting on them :-D lol|
|So I would like to clarify a statement I made earlier. I have realized in rereading it that it was not written correctly. |
Is it better to buy a bike+ car already professionally installed with some miles on it or is it better for me to buy a car to fit one of my bikes and have it professionally installed.
belfie - Is it better to buy a bike+ car already professionally installed with some miles on it or is it better for me to buy a car to fit one of my bikes and have it professionally installed.
Better is very subjective. It will always cost less to buy a rig already set up as opposed the having one built for you.
When looking at existing rigs, ask who set it up? How long have they had it? How many miles have they personally put on it? Too few miles can be a sign something might be wrong or off with the rig.
While there is science to sidecar set up, it is still an art, due to the multitude of variables in rider weight, skills, age of bike, how and where the connections where made, what type of connectors were used, weight in sidecar, etc, etc, etc.
Driving a sidecar, yes, it is driving, requires more upper body strength than riding two wheels. You are young so that should not be a problem. However, the pushing and pulling required to steer a sidecar is a new skill to be learned, as does learning how the road and sidecar interact. A good analogy is, on two wheels it is you and the bike as one against the road. On three wheels, it is the road and the sidecar as one against you. A new experience and very enjoyable as you learn the required skill sets to safely pilot a sidecar rig.
Most of us started with a used rig already set up. Like you, we weren't sure we would like it. As we gained experience and knowledge, we move on to rigs that are more to our type of riding. A road runner, a local cruiser, long distance iron butt rides and off road adventures. We sold the first used rig for close to what we paid for it and bought newer or bigger. Those who didn't like sidecars, moved on without tying up a huge investment.
So my advice is to first find out if sidecars are for you. If so, then move up to a more expensive rig that will do what you ask of it.
|If you have reasonable mechanical skills and order a sidecar with proper bike specific mounts for a reputable company rather then a pile of "universal" type frame clamps from companies that say "fit Honda" or "Fit Suzuki" You should be fine. We have shipped thousands of sidecars to people who have done their own installations. |
Why not before you set up a rig take a sidecar class. Bikes are provided http://evergreenmotorcycletraining.org/sidecar-training/step-nation...
Then why not set up a lower cost rig like one of our Sputniks $2995 mounts included (problem there is while you have a lot of bikes, they are not popular sidecar bikes so while we make hundreds of bike specific mounting kits, we have none for your bikes) Then use it, enjoy it, see what you like about sidecars, what you do not like, what you like about this sidecar and what you do not and then in a year or two, build the rig you want long term.
Two bikes I like to recommend for doing this depending on the look and useage you are after are the Triumph Bonneville and the Kawasaki KLR 650. Both are fairly cheap, either you should be able to sell for about what you paid for them when done and both are easy to add a sidecar to.
Edited by jaydmc 8/5/2016 10:49 AM
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