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riding a sidecar rig
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ferdrobert
Posted 3/18/2017 1:42 PM (#92784)
Subject: riding a sidecar rig


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i have ridden bikes for 30+ years am 70 years old am i too old to learn to a side car rig .is ther any place in so calif to try one out thank
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Al Olme
Posted 3/18/2017 5:32 PM (#92788 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: RE: riding a sidecar rig


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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The one thing that may be negative is that sidecars require more upper body strength than motorcycles because you actually need to steer sidecar rigs as opposed leaning or counter-steering to turn. Don't worry too much about this, it's well within the ability of most people. It's just something you need to know about.

You've probably already heard about the solo bike habits you have to unlearn but that comes with safe practice.

If you want to take a class, which is a VERY GOOD IDEA, take a look at the Evergreen Safety Council site.

http://evergreenmotorcycletraining.org/

It is a least a good place to start.

Good luck.

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Big Tom
Posted 3/18/2017 6:23 PM (#92789 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: RE: riding a sidecar rig


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ferdrobert - 3/18/2017 10:42 AM

i have ridden bikes for 30+ years am 70 years old am i too old to learn to a side car rig .is ther any place in so calif to try one out thank


I also have ridden bikes for almost 40 years. Believe me that you CAN learn to handle a sidecar rig. The question is will you enjoy doing it. I bought one and learned to ride it, however I have decided that It is not for me and I would much rather stay on two wheels.. So I will now pass it on to someone else..
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RichardMc4
Posted 3/18/2017 7:30 PM (#92790 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig



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I am 74, one leg and it has a bad knee. I ride 3 or 4 times a week.
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tinboatcapt
Posted 3/18/2017 10:25 PM (#92795 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig



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Posts: 120
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Location: Lakeville, Minnesota
I have been on bikes since '66. I bought a rig two years ago. It's a heavy outfit that I thought I would use to replace the 2 wheels on long trips. What I found was a bit unexpected.
1. As mentioned above, the steering force is heavy but I'm not a big guy and it is manageable.
2. If you do your own maintenance, the car adds another level of wrenching required just to get to the regular maintenance. It is often easier to take the car off than work around it. There is more to this, but best left for a separate time.
3. I discovered I liked the rig more for the around town riding and errands than touring. And, most importantly, It is a joy to drive it. My wife does not ride with me any more, but she will ride the side car the hour over to our favorite ice cream shop along the river.

Jim
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Valkrider
Posted 3/19/2017 1:21 AM (#92797 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Posts: 111
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
I'm coming up on 71 and just purchased a used sidecar and mounted to my Valkyrie. not sure if simply trying one out would be effective. It takes quite a bit of time to become accustomed. It's typical for new hack drivers who install or have isomeone install a sidecar on their bike to believe they have just ruined a perfectly good bike. After time they learn to love having a hack. I'm currently at the I may have ruined a good motorcycle point after some parking lot practice and a 100 miles or so of road use. At 71 I do appreciate the stability of 3 wheels and being able to stop without having to balance the bike. I don't like the drop in gas mileage on an already low mpg bike. Probably expect at least 30% or more drop in mpg's and range. Setup and alignment is frustratingly nebulous with no existing "these are the settings you need" information. Every rig is different. I found installation hard work as well as making adjustments to alignment to improve handling. I had no assistance (other than online which is sometimes contradictory and confusing). A knowledgable person helping personally during install/setup would be fabulous if it's available to you. Just a few thoughts for you. Good luck with the decision. Oh, if you don't like lots of attention from strangers during stops you won't want a hack ??
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Reardan Tom
Posted 3/19/2017 11:04 AM (#92800 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig



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Some good information here. My two bits worth- I agree that "trying one out" won't tell you much. And I disagree with the thought that adding a sidecar "ruins a good bike." That's the advantage of a sidecar over a trike. Your motorcycle is still a motorcycle 100%. Not half motorcycle and half car. But since you no longer lean through the corners, you have to steer a sidecar rig and there in lays the need to learn new skills. Your old two wheel skills no longer apply. Nor does the narrow escape route in an unforeseen situation in traffic. My personal experience was to buy a used Ural leaving the Harley untouched. My reason at the time wasn't to see if I'd enjoy riding a sidecar rig, it was totally to see if my wife would continue to ride with me if she could sit in the sidecar. After many years, many miles, and many bikes, she'd decided she no longer wanted to ride. At the time, I was sure I wouldn't like three wheels. Well, my wife's mind was made up. She was no longer willing to accept the risk. But to my surprise, I found riding the Ural to be a whole new thrill. And coupled with the fact my Boxer, Archie, loved the sidecar, there was no going back. For a couple years, I rode the Ural while the Harley mostly sat. It didn't take long to know that my thinking about three wheels had been wrong. I'd always thought the only reason one would ride on three wheels was because they couldn't handle two wheels. I sold the Ural, my Kwik Kamp trailer and an old parts tractor and ordered the Liberty. It's been my main ride now for 15 years. A couple years back, I bought Lonnie's '03 FXDWG/Spalding and now have options. Petey is my third sidecar sidekick and the adventure continues. I turn 70 next month but sure don't expect that to slow me down...
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ferdrobert
Posted 3/19/2017 11:35 AM (#92801 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Posts: 8
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thank you all for the great advice i will be looking foe a resonable priced rig
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Valkrider
Posted 3/19/2017 12:09 PM (#92802 - in reply to #92801)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Posts: 111
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
ferdrobert - 3/19/2017 10:35 AM

thank you all for the great advice i will be looking foe a resonable priced rig
All in all I think buying a turnkey rig is probably the best option for a novice. Wish I had done it. Proceed cautiously and with help if available.
Another online source of information is at http://advrider.com/index.php?forums/hacks.56/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/motorcyclesidecar/?ref=bookmarks
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jwshort
Posted 3/19/2017 3:52 PM (#92803 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Location: Rapid City, SD
Hi Chris:
I will say a big yes to all of the responses above. I will give you the benefit of my experience. I don't feel comfortable on 2 wheels anymore. I crashed a Yamaha 305 trying to get to Alaska for a summer job in 1967. I got back on two wheels when I got back to South Dakota at the end of the summer. Eventually I traded the small Jap bikes for a '63 R60/2 which I rode for years. I began to feel uneasy on 2 wheels and attributed the uneasiness to the crash.
I had looked at sidecars for a long time when I found a rig for sale - being sold by someone who didn't know it's value -and I bought it and never rode (very far) on 2 wheels. The specter of that 1967 crash went
away. I am on my 4th rig and will never go back to 2. It is somewhat like what happens when riders are injured and can't ride 2 wheels anymore - but my injury is in my psyche.
That being said - in the words of the old Life cereal add - "Try it! You will like it!"
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Al Olme
Posted 3/19/2017 4:31 PM (#92804 - in reply to #92803)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Switching to a hack if you feel more secure or if your needs have changed and a third wheel is required are certainly valid reasons but not all of us became hack drivers because we had to. When TLMaryann and I started thinking about buying a bike, we did some shopping and realized when she rode pillion, she couldn't see anything. The first solution was two bikes but then my natural contrary nature kicked in and I started thinking about the tiniest niche in the motorcycle world and we started looking at sidecar rigs.

I love having something different and making TLMaryann happy doesn't hurt.

Now after about 20 years on three wheels I wouldn't ever go back.
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Valkrider
Posted 3/19/2017 4:51 PM (#92806 - in reply to #92803)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Posts: 111
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
jwshort - 3/19/2017 2:52 PM

Hi Chris:
. I crashed a Yamaha 305 trying to get to Alaska for a summer job in 1967. I

Hey Will, where was your accident? same here a couple of years later along the BC/Yukon border on a new Honda CB350
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jwshort
Posted 3/19/2017 5:07 PM (#92807 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Posts: 859
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Location: Rapid City, SD
I barely made it out of South Dakota. Brodus, MT. It is very windy in that area and I got blown into the ditch. I woke up 3 days later in a Belle Fourche, SD hospital. The cheapy soup-bowl helmet did its job and I will forever be grateful.
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MrMike
Posted 3/29/2017 12:11 AM (#92932 - in reply to #92784)
Subject: RE: riding a sidecar rig



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Posts: 206
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Location: Richton, MS
I'm 72 / 5'6" /and 130 lbs. Didn't think I would ever get back into riding. A couple of years ago got ahold of a sidecar rig and love it. Now have three rigs from 500 cc to 1100 cc. Ride whenever I can and leave the pickup sitting. Stability is a big factor but you do have to pay attention to what you are doing. I would say "go for it". Worst case, you can always sell it and get most of your money back.
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Valkrider
Posted 3/29/2017 2:35 PM (#92949 - in reply to #92807)
Subject: Re: riding a sidecar rig


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Posts: 111
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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
jwshort - 3/19/2017 4:07 PM

I barely made it out of South Dakota. Brodus, MT. It is very windy in that area and I got blown into the ditch. I woke up 3 days later in a Belle Fourche, SD hospital. The cheapy soup-bowl helmet did its job and I will forever be grateful.
I remember well the swirling winds of Montana. Quite an experience leaning into the wind only to have it suddenly stop or shift direction almost causing the bike to fall. I blamed the hilly geography for the shifting patterns.
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