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Sidecar Newbie
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cycleman
Posted 8/1/2017 8:48 AM (#94399)
Subject: Sidecar Newbie


Member

Posts: 26
25
Just purchased a 1995 BMW R100RT with a Kenna single sidecar. Both are color matched in two tone grey. Sidecar was professional installed and bike has a leading link front end. Rear end is out of a R80 so the lower gearing helps. The unit was originally from the US and imported into Canada a few years ago. It has been owned by a few of us around this area, and for some strange reason we keep trading stuff amongst ourselves.

I've been riding 2 wheeled bikes for 50 + yrs but in the last few years I've had a hankering to try sidecars, so this is my first plunge. Rode it home but had to really think the steer not lean thing. No courses anywhere near me, and being a former MSF Instructor, I know the value of training so will get one of our long term sidecar fellows to give me some help & tips and I'll spend some time in a parking lot and go slow for awhile. Rig even empty handles pretty well, just need to make some of the things automatic instead of having to think.

So if you get some dumb questions from me, be patient. I'll post some pictures when I figured out how.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 8/1/2017 10:01 AM (#94400 - in reply to #94399)
Subject: Re: Sidecar Newbie



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 415
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Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
Welcome to the slightly off-center world of sidecars, Cycleman!

There is plenty of help here, both through forum posts and documents http://www.sidecar.com/links.asp You are spot on when you say that training is a must have. Parking lot experience will do you well also. Take it slow, give yourself plenty of room for stops, take turns slowly, particularly right-handers. Add some ballast to the car as you learn. As you gain confidence, take some ballast out. You'll soon develop the "butt sensors" you will need to know when you are getting into trouble. Better to do that in a parking lot rather than the mean streets where traffic is as unforgiving as an off-camber road surface!

A couple of thoughts on ballast:
1- humans and pets make for poor ballast while learning
2- never refer to your wife as ballast

One of the statements I often tell drivers new to rigs that have a deep history with 2 wheels is that, on 2 wheels, it's you and your bike against the world. With sidecars, your bike has changed sides. It's not a nasty thing, it's just a new beast that needs conquered.

Edited by OldSchool_IsCool 8/1/2017 10:04 AM
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ncdave
Posted 8/1/2017 10:58 AM (#94404 - in reply to #94399)
Subject: Re: Sidecar Newbie


Welcome!!!
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cycleman
Posted 8/1/2017 8:05 PM (#94422 - in reply to #94399)
Subject: Re: Sidecar Newbie


Member

Posts: 26
25
Yes spent a couple of hours today, doing some slow speed work with lots of turns, stops, and then worked up to a highway stint of about 75 miles. A bit of a wind today ( nothing new in this part of the world ) so stayed in the 55-60 mph area max. A couple of things I've noticed so far is riding with one hand ( so you can adjust visor etc,) will take some getting used to and the decal push to the left when you cut the power. I had about 60 lbs of weight in the sidecar, half behind the seat and half far forward of the seat. Will put both of them on the seat and strap in with the seatbelt. Unlike a 2 wheeled unit, small corrections only at speed, a 2 wheel bike is much more forgiveable in this area. Also truck washes with side winds, much more noticeable on the sidecar rig.

The learning process begins. I hope to take the unit to a BMW rally in the middle of August, so I need to put about 1000 miles on this unit, for me to be comfortable. I won't be riding my 2 wheel bike anytime soon.
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redsimp
Posted 8/2/2017 9:57 PM (#94425 - in reply to #94399)
Subject: Re: Sidecar Newbie


Member

Posts: 36
25
Welcome aboard. I also just got my first sidecar rig this year. There is a learning curve for sure, I have yet to fly the chair ( not sure I want to, really) but I've gotten over 1000 km on my Ural and I feel like I'm getting the hang of it. And my dog is getting the hang of it, too.





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bentleyssq
Posted 8/3/2017 7:35 PM (#94431 - in reply to #94399)
Subject: Re: Sidecar Newbie



Member

Posts: 49
25
Location: Englewood. Florida
Welcome from South Florida.
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