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Sidecar turns
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soupy1957
Posted 11/24/2017 5:48 AM (#95709)
Subject: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
When entering a right hand turn, with an American motorcycle/sidecar setup, (sidecar on the right side)is it safer to drop down early into the turn, following the inside track of the turn, or to swing wide initially, and cut down into the turn, later?? (Assuming a slow to moderate speed in the approach). Which way will yield the safest results without “flying the car?”

Edited by soupy1957 11/24/2017 7:09 AM
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AJ1200
Posted 11/24/2017 7:19 AM (#95710 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Veteran

Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
for me I have found that on right turns I go in wide and drop down then throttle out just like I did on 2 wheels in most cases. once you get comfortable and get some seat time you can use the throttle to help keep the car down on those right handers
best advise is to take it easy on right turns until you really know your rig, and practice in a parking lot, learn how to lift the car and how to not panic when it does.
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soupy1957
Posted 11/24/2017 7:57 AM (#95712 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: RE: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
I have heard a few times now, from different individuals, that you should learn how to lift your side car. Why is that important? Wouldn’t I want to avoid that at all costs?
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AJ1200
Posted 11/24/2017 11:27 AM (#95714 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Veteran

Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
I know it sounds counter intuitive but you avoid lifting or flying the car by learning how to lift the car. it is critical for you to learn how to lift the car and control it and get it back down safely and calmly
if your going around a sharp turn, lets say just exiting a store and you turn hard and the car fly's up, if you don't have some practice in what to do you might make a couple bad common mistakes
1 put your foot down to try to stop it from going over, this can likely break your ankle or leg and then your weight is now on the wrong side and the rig is going to go on over
2 panic and try to grab the front brake, this will most certainly make it go over as the wheel will just keep turning under the bike
3 turn hard left to force the car down, this will work but could at the same time throw you off the rig or at least enough that when it slams back down you will have minimal control if it

learning how to lean and make slow controlled movements when the car is up or going up is a must. it's easy to learn in a parking lot at slow speeds and it will transfer to normal driving conditions

I'm still kind of new to sidecars but I have learned so much by taking advise offered here and applying it to my set up

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jwshort
Posted 11/24/2017 1:34 PM (#95716 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns


Elite Veteran

Posts: 859
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Location: Rapid City, SD
Hi:
My 2 cents worth on learning how to handle a sidecar. I had no lessons until my first USCA rally in MO. I took lessons there and one of the things that we had to do was to learn how to fly the car.
We were on a large (chigger ridden) piece of grass. We drove in an ever tightening right hand circle until the car came up. We then had to mentally revert to our 2-wheel skills. You can hold it up with practice or you can steer left and let the car it down. If you steer left too hard and fast the car crashes to the ground. Not Good!! When this happens on the highway you pray that no one is coming at you in the oncoming lane because you may swerve into that lane.
I have ridden three rigs and I have about 100,000 miles accumulated and I have only had the car come up 3 or 4 times. The ones I remember best are when I dipped the car wheel of the inside of the turn and when I came out of the turn the sidecar wheel hit something that acted as a ramp and shot the car wheel into the air.
My first rig was an R90/6 with a Watsonian GP. It was close to what you have. I had to take care to not hit the right turns too fast. My second rig was a K1100RT with a Motorvation Formula. The car was so heavy that in order to do the training exercise I had to empty the car and really work to get the wheel up. That is the rig I remember lofting the sidecar 2 times. I have never lifted the wheel on my R1100RT/Hannigan rig but I am also older and wiser now.
One technique is to slide off the seat toward the car while in the turn. That is what you will see Dave Hough do in the pictures in the "Yellow Book" - I think it is called The Sidecar Training Manual. I think it is available from the USCA bookstore on this forum. It is a good resource - until you get a chance to take the training. Until then - be careful. Find a large empty parking lot to practice in.
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jwshort
Posted 11/24/2017 1:46 PM (#95717 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns


Elite Veteran

Posts: 859
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Location: Rapid City, SD
I looked and the Yellow Book doesn't seem to be available at the USCA Store - but if you go to the Reference and Educational Links and Materials section in this Forum. You can download Hal Kendall's comprehensive treatise on sidecars including the earlier training material that was updated by Dave Hough. I printed it off, 3-hole punched it and put it in a 3-ring binder. There are other resources in this thread also.
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Peter Pan
Posted 11/24/2017 2:22 PM (#95718 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Expert

Posts: 1914
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Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
Didn't read the answers yet.
BUT WANT TO NOTE:
SLOW DOWN AND SHIFT YOUR WEIGHT BEFORE THE BEND. NOT IN THE BEND!
Better look like over cautious and spleeny monkey, then react too late and make things worse due to the law of "conservation of momentum".
Sven
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jwshort
Posted 11/24/2017 4:36 PM (#95720 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns


Elite Veteran

Posts: 859
5001001001002525
Location: Rapid City, SD
This is what I was looking for. I found it by doing an online search. It is titled Driving a Sidecar Outfit by David Hough. The picture on the front shows Dave negotiating a right hander with the sidecar wheel in the air. It is available at some pretty ridiculous prices - up to $150. Jay Giese has them for $34.95.

A Step by Step manual on learning to drive a motorcycle/sidecar combination These skills will also translate to Trike drivers too! A must have for any 3rd Wheel rider/driver
This manual was created and published by volunteers from the USCA Sidecar Safety Program about driving a motorcycle/sidecar combination. When it was originally published, this manual was intended to serve as a complete do-it-yourself training guide, in the absence of a three-wheeler training course.
Written by David L. Hough, under the direction of Ed Johnson, with production assistance by Hal Kendall, Ph.D.

Only $34.95! From:
DMC Sidecars and Motorcycle Accessories
2328 Roosevelt Ave
Enumclaw, WA 98022
(866) 638-1793 | (360) 825-4610
info@dmcsidecars.com
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Peter Pan
Posted 11/24/2017 10:18 PM (#95721 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Expert

Posts: 1914
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Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
In the link section there are good books. Then there is floating a around in internet a manual called "How to ride a Ural" which is pretty well made putting attention on the riding and safety awareness while riding a rig. (I can send you a PDF via email because the links to this book disappears once and again. Someone seems to boikot the public exposure of this PDF)
Steve you read Spanish? Addititonal to the above on the Spanish forum we collected a step by step collection of training excercises for a new rider.
http://foro.foroural.es/index.php?topic=121.0
Myself I learned by try and error together with the original of the Book from BMVD "Gespannfahrerleitfaden" Guide to ride a rig in the download section.
Hope this helps.
Sven

Edited by Peter Pan 11/24/2017 10:20 PM
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soupy1957
Posted 11/25/2017 3:12 AM (#95722 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
Great stuff gang!! Thanks!!

I’m making a list (I’m s “Quality Assurance” person, by trade) to go over, when I’m there this morning, to pick up the rig.

Things like:

Choke? Why? It’s got an EFI System.
Full tank of gas?
Tire pressure?
Obvious flaws to have corrected?
Windshield (sidecar) status? (Had to be ordered seperately)
Kick start experiment
Parking lot test run
Spoke(s) tension
Chain tension
Loose nuts-n-bolts and parts
Plate transfer
Paperwork
Free T-shirt (RE of course)
Look over their RE “stuff” (like Leathers)

Then.................off I go!!!!

Considering I did an even trade, that gives me some wiggle room for buying some “crap” while I’m there (lol). After my 18 mike ride home (supposed to be 54 degrees and sunny today) I’ll park it, hook it up to the battery tender, and run the lawn tractor over the leaves.

Looks like “Sunday” should be a reasonable weather day, so some parking lot time will be possible.

I’ve heard that when you shift down to “first gear” on the RE, it doesn’t give you a definitive “stop” feel. Anyone care to comment on that, and how to best know that you are all the way back to first, other than watching for the “Neutral” indicator, as I pass by it, or feeling the motor tug?




Edited by soupy1957 11/25/2017 5:21 AM
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jwshort
Posted 11/25/2017 12:26 PM (#95723 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns


Elite Veteran

Posts: 859
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Location: Rapid City, SD
Give us a report on how it went.
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soupy1957
Posted 11/26/2017 7:58 AM (#95726 - in reply to #95723)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
jwshort - 11/25/2017 12:26 PM

Give us a report on how it went.


A Tax snaffu has delayed bringing it home. My former Town that I used to live in, for some reason never reported to the DMV when I paid my taxes for the motorcycle in that town. So naturally it made me look delinquent in the database, and the dealership could not complete the registration for the bike.

Naturally it would be a holiday, and a weekend, and the DMV will not be open until Tuesday.

So my wife has graciously consented to going to the Town Hall to the tax office, to straighten that mess out, and maybe, if I’m lucky, by Tuesday I’ll be able to go up and finish the paperwork process, and bring the damn thing home.

Meanwhile I was able to inspect the rig, and point out things that needed correction. For example, there usually is a battery tender pigtail attached to the battery on the new RE bikes that come in, and in this case that component was missing, so I pointed that out and they put it on there right away.

There is a .250 Diameter mounting hole on the top of the fender which covers the tire on the sidecar, that is there for an accessory tail light, should I have chosen to buy one. I didn’t. So I asked him to plug the hole because I thought it was ugly to see an open hole on the fender, and so they plugged it.

I was surprised to see that although they told me that the “windshield had to be ordered” for the sidecar, they actually had the frame for the windshield already in place. That was a plus!

The salesman didn’t know that there was a storage compartment behind the backseat cushion of the sidecar, so I showed him where it was and how to open it.

The salesman didn’t know how to check the spokes to make sure that they were all properly tightened, so I showed him how to do that. Not necessarily his job of course, but I figured while I was educating him, I might as will teach him that too. I only know enough to be dangerous. I listen for the ringing sound that properly tightened spokes will give out, versus the “thunk” sound that you get when they’re not.

The mounting system, including the stabilizer bar, were all installed properly (I watched a few videos on the parts involved and how they are installed, so I was already aware of that type of stuff, so that I could look at it with an educated eye. I’m certainly no expert though) and securely. They did note, that if I were to brake hard suddenly, and the nose were to dive down too far, part of the fork housing could come in contact with the stabilizer bar, during the sudden and exaggerated stop. (Apparently there’s no way to lower the stabilizer bar on the fork beyond where it already is), and so it simply means that I’ll have to make sure that all my braking is modestly done, and hope I never have to “emergency stop” the bike, for fear of damaging the stabilizer bar.

They presented me with my free “Royal Enfield“ T-shirt, some spare parts as a result of the sidecar install, (like the rear pegs, for example) and I have a spare set of keys. (Whoopie!!)

I was able to get the signing of SOME of the paperwork done, but I hadn’t been able to get through the DMV Registration part, obviously.

I attempted to kick start the bike but I’m inexperienced at doing so, and so I’m sure that I just simply didn’t kick it hard enough. It’s a learning curve and I’ll figure it out. I knew I had to bring it to the top of the stroke and I attempted to do that three or four times before I actually gave it a good solid kick. The bike however, DID start right away through the electronic startup system, and ran smoothly and responded well to the throttle.

I was anticipating driving it around the parking lot, to familiarize myself with the way it behaves, before I drove it home; but I got wrapped up in the paperwork before I had a chance to do that, so the next time I go back there, I will take it around the parking lot a few times before I leave to bring it home. Needless to say, the bike is not home yet.

The financial girl at the dealership incessantly calls me “sweetie,” and “honey,” and “darling!” I hate that! It’s so condescending!! Besides, I prefer that only my significant other uses those terms of endearment.

The salesman talks fast and like he has marbles in his mouth. I frequently have to slow him down and say, “OK; let’s talk about this again; carefully.

The bike has a full tank of gas, and “1” mile on the odometer. Those two things, I EXPECTED to be that way.

I can tell you that I sat on it, and the Salesman attached The DMV plate that I was transferring over; although........it’s possible that after this Tax snafu, a “new” DMV License Plate will likely be done, to avoid any friggin confusion in the future!

There’s a button on the outside of the left hand grip housing, for flashing my headlights. I didn’t know THAT existed until yesterday.

I saw no flaws in the paint job on either the sidecar or the bike. I looked it over very carefully for any cosmetic issues. That’s how I discovered the unused .250 diameter hole in the sidecar tire fender that I asked them to plug.

Naturally, my wife was with me, because she drove me up to the dealership. I had my leathers in the back of the car for the ride home. She DID get into the sidecar and said she had “plenty of room,” which was a great thing! They had the cover for the sidecar, for when a person is not riding in it, and so I asked them to put it on, which they did. The sidecar has some really comfortable armrest cushions, and a nice chromed-out luggage rack on the back.

I noticed that when the salesman checked the gas tank to confirm that there was a full tank of gas in there, that the latch cover on the top of the tank, was somewhat finicky and needed a special touch. I asked him to revisit that, to make sure that we were “OK” in that regard.

There is no trip meter, but there IS at least, an idiot light that comes on when the bike is down to its last gallon of gas. So, I will have to pay attention to the odometer, like “old school,” and get gas about every hundred miles.

I should also make note of a crash bar that is attached to the sidecar fender, to protect the wheel. I did not expect the existence of that component, and I am glad it is there!

There are two kick stands on the bike. The jiffy stand, and a center stand. Neither one of which I will need to use. It should be noted that there is a Kill Switch design to the jiffy stand, such that if the jiffy stand we’re down, the engine would not start. My Honda’s had that feature, as I recall. Of course that feature has no value to me, since the bike is not dependent on either one of those stands, because of its attachment to the sidecar.

The so-called “choke,” mounted on the left-hand grip housing, is really nothing more than a spring-tensioned throttle assist, which advances the throttle feed slightly, while you’re holding the lever. It’s snaps back in the place when you release it; unlike a old fashioned manual choke, that you could set at various levels at will, remaining that way, until you changed it.

Was that report extensive enough so far?
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CCjon
Posted 11/26/2017 8:25 AM (#95727 - in reply to #95726)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 348
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Location: NWHouston
A Progress Report.. thank you!

Your attention to detail will help others when they take delivery of their new rig.

Hope you get the tax issue resolved quickly... so you can enjoy your new rig.

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Peter Pan
Posted 11/26/2017 8:53 AM (#95728 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Expert

Posts: 1914
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Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
Kick start EFI-RE without touching gas in summer and in winter with choke. Not that much needed to look for OT as close as with older bikes. If you do approach too close she will not start by the kick. Apparently spark gets lost then. Just get the ratchet lever to the right height and then kick through smooth. My son's RE comes even in spring at low temps on 1st-2nd kick. With me, not with him.
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soupy1957
Posted 11/26/2017 9:49 AM (#95729 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
P.S.: for the record, I found an online source for the Royal Enfield leather motorcycle jackets, showing a price of approximately $189 American. The dealership in Connecticut wants $300 for the same jacket! Talk about Mark up?! I’m not paying that kind of money! I’ve got plenty of good leathers already!!
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Bone
Posted 11/26/2017 11:24 AM (#95732 - in reply to #95729)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 36
25
Location: SW Washington state
soupy1957 - 11/26/2017 6:49 AM

P.S.: for the record, I found an online source for the Royal Enfield leather motorcycle jackets, showing a price of approximately $189 American. The dealership in Connecticut wants $300 for the same jacket! Talk about Mark up?! I’m not paying that kind of money! I’ve got plenty of good leathers already!!


That's why they are called stealers.......
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soupy1957
Posted 11/26/2017 11:44 AM (#95733 - in reply to #95732)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
..........That's why they are called stealers.......


The thought strikes me, that when you compare the price of a brand new Ural, to the price that I paid for a brand new Royal Enfield with a sidecar, the Royal Enfield rig is $5000 less then the Ural rig. For Royal Enfield to have a Price tag of $5700 or so in the United States, for just the bike alone, that’s not a bad price!

Of course I understand “business“ and “mark up.” I went to work for an employer some years ago, who told me that everything we bought was to be marked up 100%. So if the dealer where I bought my motorcycle, wants to sell Royal Enfield leather jackets for $300.00, they have every right to! But a savvy consumer, will do their homework first, and pay $189 online!!



Edited by soupy1957 11/26/2017 11:46 AM
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KAmes
Posted 11/26/2017 11:07 PM (#95736 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns


Member

Posts: 14
0
As another recent Royal Enfield buyer, I agree it's a great value for money. I'm having a blast with mine. I haven't really noticed the 1st gear stop thing, I think it shifts better than my Honda Rebel. I bought the steering damper too but never installed it, mine doesn't seem to need it. I have bottomed out the fork on hard stops, I'm 190 pounds, if the damper gives you interference problems don't hesitate to try without it. I bought an Inder sidecar similar size to your Cozy, I can get the wheel up but it really seems to want to stay planted, not much of an issue for me. It's quirky feeling but you get used to it fast, it's part of the deal. Have fun, it's gonna be great!
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StephanB
Posted 11/27/2017 11:43 AM (#95740 - in reply to #95736)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



New User

Posts: 3
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Location: Near GWB in Manhattan
Agree with Royal Enfield comments - its a great value. However, unlike the Ural, it won't quite hold interstate speeds, which is a problem when it comes to getting from here to there, but its fine once you get there. This is my fourth sidecar rig, and it is the only one where I have never had a problem with lofting the sidecar wheel. I think because its so light, that even a slight shift of rider weight makes a big difference.
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soupy1957
Posted 11/27/2017 6:00 PM (#95743 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
I have to admit, that once I saw the sidecar attached to the motorcycle that I bought, I thought it smaller than I imagined. I have not intentionally flown the chair yet, and imagine that the first time I do, it will be quite accidental. The first ride I took was 37 miles, in a cold crisp wind, in 40° temperatures, with a maximum speed of 50 miles an hour, in stop and go traffic on secondary roads. I finally learned firsthand, the force required by my arms, to steer the bike.
I found that leaving from a complete stop, Requires a bit of finesse, as you turn the throttle to gain momentum, you also have to push with that same hand while you’re pulling with your left, to keep the bike going in a straight line.

I experienced periodically, The wobble that sometimes can develop. It was never severe, and it was easy to live with. I used the EFI starting system, rather than attempt to kick start it, because time was of the essence, and I figured it might take me a little while to get used to the kickstart procedure.

I arrived home safely from my 37 mile journey, and immediately put the bike in the garage, and hooked up the battery tender, thinking the first thing I might do is get rid of the stock battery, and put a maintenance free battery in its place.

More later.....
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jwshort
Posted 11/27/2017 6:13 PM (#95744 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns


Elite Veteran

Posts: 859
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Location: Rapid City, SD
Hi Again Steve:
The wobble thing - That can sometimes be reduced or eliminated without the steering damper. Jack up the rig so the front wheel is just off the ground. Tighten the steering head bearings until the front end falls gently, slowly to the side. This works better if the steering head bearings are tapered bearings but I believe it will work for ball bearings too. I have used this method on my rigs. I have found that the steering damper only adds to the effort required to steer - which is already too much.
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VLAD
Posted 11/28/2017 10:37 AM (#95750 - in reply to #95733)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 420
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Location: DENVER, COLORADO
soupy1957 - 11/26/2017 9:44 AM

.......... So if the dealer where I bought my motorcycle, wants to sell Royal Enfield leather jackets for $300.00, they have every right to! But a savvy consumer, will do their homework first, and pay $189 online!!



You do not know dealer where you bought your motorcycle has to pay for showroom where you bought motorcycle, insurance,lights, heating and cooling, advertising, tax for inventory and many other payments and taxes you
do not want to know.
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Peter Pan
Posted 11/28/2017 1:05 PM (#95751 - in reply to #95709)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Expert

Posts: 1914
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Location: San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
Low speed wobble is a physical effect that will always happen. Dampeners only help to shade its severity.
go slower or faster, DO NOT STICK TO THAT WOBBLE SPEED.

And never take off the hand at wobble speed. I kicked my wrist once that bad it took 3-4 days to get back to normal.

Wobble speed changes with loading and up or down driving. On very steep downhill any concrete speed *bum*p will cause strong shakes. (I mean with steep terrains slopes where many of you will not even walk.)
Sven


PS: Sorry sirs of server's spelling autocorrection. Today my limit of autocorrection ran over...lost hours of work earlier in the day. That automatic elimination of the word *bum*p* and others is distracting and disturbs. Specially nasty, when in one writing you need to mix languages.
Excuse me, but I needed to bleed off my quote of pressure and incomprehension of modern programmers thinking ( aimed to Apple)

Edited by Peter Pan 11/28/2017 1:14 PM
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soupy1957
Posted 11/28/2017 6:20 PM (#95757 - in reply to #95750)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Member

Posts: 39
25
Location: CT
All I’m saying is, I won’t pay his prices; no matter HOW much I may sympathize with how tough it is on private businesses these days. Heck, I just spent $10,000.00 for a brand new bike from him! He should GIVE me a leather jacket!!
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claude #3563
Posted 11/28/2017 7:42 PM (#95760 - in reply to #95710)
Subject: Re: Sidecar turns



Expert

Posts: 2480
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Location: Middleburg, Pa
Your Post#1:
When entering a right hand turn, with an American motorcycle/sidecar setup, (sidecar on the right side)is it safer to drop down early into the turn, following the inside track of the turn, or to swing wide initially, and cut down into the turn, later?? (Assuming a slow to moderate speed in the approach). Which way will yield the safest results without “flying the car?”

Response to #1:
The best way to enter a right hand turn is to do your braking before the turn. Enter the turn at a spped you are comfortable with according to your present skill level.
Enter the turn up high by the centerline.
Go for a late apex (this means you enter high and exit low)
Once you 'turn in' you are done braking and can gradually pick up the throttle.
If you practice this technique you will find that in time your speed will magically increase as your experience grows and you become more 'one with the machine'.
The high entry allows you to see farther through the turn which is a good thing. You can better detect whether it is a consistant sweeper or a turn with a decreasing radius. A good view also may tip you off of any other hazards that would not be seen if you entered low.
Entering high and shooting for a late apex also gives you more 'wiggle room' on exit which can be benifical.
Entering low and all of a sudden finding you are in a decreasing radius turn or there is a tree laying in the road or a huge rock is in your path can create some pucker moments or worse that do nothing for your fun meter an can potentially be a disaster.

Do not worry about speed at first ...if you practice good technique you will find, in time, that your speed will increase . However, with that being said, it is impossible to increase one's skill envelope if they do not practice (IN A SAFE PLACE) a little at a time above their current comfort zone.

I will address the so called 'flying the chair' question in a following response hang tight lol.

Edited by claude #3563 11/28/2017 8:04 PM
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