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Anyone try a Ridley conversion?
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persona non grata
Posted 3/30/2008 2:38 AM (#34423)
Subject: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


Wonder if anyone has added a sidecar to a Ridley.

I hate to be a bother, but I haven't found any conversions while searching online. With 738cc it looks like a strong bike for a sidecar, 3850 RPM @ 80 MPH is better then a Ural Wolf (for comparison).
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Photos/2008_Ridley_Standard.jpg

Edited by persona non grata 3/30/2008 5:28 PM
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tkpinsc
Posted 3/30/2008 9:07 AM (#34429 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


First welcome to sidecar.com and hope this is your first of many posts.

First I have no personal experience with a Ridley. I'm sure it can be done, far stranger combinations have been completed. You will probably need a subframe custom made to adapt the sidecar to the bike. I'd think you will want to look at sidecars on the smaller/lighter end of the spectrum. One concern I'd have about the Ridley is the durability of the CV transmission withe the additional load of the sidecar, it may not be an issue but I'd talk to the Ridley dealer first.

Do you already own a Ridley?

Edited by tkpinsc 3/30/2008 9:08 AM
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persona non grata
Posted 3/30/2008 1:58 PM (#34439 - in reply to #34429)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


The main problem with Ridley's is their relative obscurity compared to HD's and Ural's. The owner's forum has about 10 posts, I'm sure they've never heard of a sidecar either.

I don't own a motorcycle yet, but intend on getting one in the next year or two, when I graduate from university. I'm primarily interested in a sidecar outfit, preferably one that can do 70mph in regular operating speed. I know that a Ural is an obvious choice, but it does have its shortcomings, so I'm looking around at other 'bike donors'. This lead me to a Ridley, primarily because of their automatic transmission.
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tkpinsc
Posted 3/30/2008 3:54 PM (#34445 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


If you don't already own the Ridley I'd prbably be looking at other options. This is not meant to be a knock on the Ridley. The Ridley is relatively untested as a sidecar tug and you will have to engineer from scratch the sidecar mounting system, possibly a method to re-gear the bike for more low end power, and a method to reduce front trail for better driveability as a sidecar rig. I'm not saying all this couldn't be done to a Ridley but first time custom designed work is expensive. Most of the advantages of the Ridley to my knowledge are its smaller size, lower seat and CV transmission. On a sidecar rig size and seat height become unimportant and I would have reservations about the additional load on the CV transmission unless the manufacturer states it will not over stress the design. I'd also prefer to have the transmission braking available with a standard transmission. If manual shifting is a problem for some physical reason there are electric shift kits available.

The Ural rigs have many virtues but crusing at 70 mph on the interstate is not one they are known for. If your talking about 70 kph an Ural should work out OK. If you are atracted to the smaller size of the Ridley you should check out BMW twin rigs, Japanese inline 4 rigs, Harley Sportsters, and mid size Japanese cruiser twin based rigs. You will find standard mounting system available from several vendors for these options for most sidecars. If size is not an option BMW K bikes, Goldwings and Harleys all are popular most with standard mounting systems available.

Edited by tkpinsc 3/30/2008 3:59 PM
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punkozuna
Posted 3/30/2008 4:27 PM (#34446 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


If a 70 mph automatic is what you want, 650 burgman and 600 silverwing scooters do well with velorex sized sidecars (texassidecars.com has a few pictures with their sidecar on them
http://texassidecars.com/images/Burgman%20650%20021.jpg

http://texassidecars.com/silver_wing.htm

). In the next year or so, Kymco will have a 700cc scooter on the market. If it appeals to you, Kymco is very good brand. A Ridley with loaded sidecar will likely be pushing it to maintain 70mph if it will do it at all.

A burgie or silverwing will be cheaper than a ridley too. They just don't look like small harleys.

Edited by punkozuna 3/30/2008 4:30 PM
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persona non grata
Posted 3/30/2008 5:14 PM (#34449 - in reply to #34445)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


Originally written by tkpinsc on 3/30/2008 3:54 PM

If manual shifting is a problem for some physical reason there are electric shift kits available.

I've heard about these. How exactly do they work? It's a manual/automatic hybrid to the best of my knowledge.

Thank you guys for being so informative. I didn't realize a scooter could go that fast! I'm still primarily interested in something that at least looks like a motorcycle (hence the appeal of Ridley).

The only other vechicle I found is the CFMoto V5/Qlink Legacy 250:

http://www.cfmoto.cn/product/moto/v5/770/4.JPG

However they don't have a dealer network in Canada and it tops out @ 65mph solo.

Edited by persona non grata 3/30/2008 5:38 PM
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Hack'n
Posted 3/30/2008 6:05 PM (#34453 - in reply to #34449)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?



Expert

Posts: 4833
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Location: Boise, Idaho
I'd like to take a strong look at what framing is under the bodywork before even considering a Chinese 250 motorcycle.
I have mounted Velorex 562's to Honda Helix and Reflex 250 Scooters with good results. They're both hand controlled automatics also.

Lonnie
Northwest Sidecars
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persona non grata
Posted 3/31/2008 2:23 AM (#34462 - in reply to #34453)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


After a day of research it appears that scooters are the way to go, unless one wants to pay a fortune for an automatic motorcycle.

I guess we're really fortunate up here in Canada as most manufacturers aim at the US market with your 80mph expressways. Add a sidecar, the top speed/performance drops, but its still just fine for our 110km/h Saskatchewan roads. I'm only aware of higher 120km/h speeds on certain South Ontario HWY's here in Canada.

The Reflex looks nice:
http://www.sidecar.com/megabbs/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=98
But I feel it's a bit under-powered compared to the Silverwing. Best talk to its owner I guess.
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punkozuna
Posted 3/31/2008 9:08 AM (#34468 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


having ridden a 250cc auto scooter similar in performance to a reflex, I can' imagine having a sidecar on one. On the open road at least. In town it's probably OK.

If a Silverwing or 650 Burgman is too big, there are 400-500cc scooters available - Yamaha Majesty, Burgman 400, Kymco Xciting 500, Piaggio BV500 etc. The 500s have a claimed top speed of around 95-100mph. They might barely be adequate for a 70mph sidecar. One scooter that is pretty motorcycle like in apearance is the Aprilia Scarabeo 500.

http://www.bikez.com/motorcycles/aprilia_scarabeo_500_2005.php

The downside is that the Scarabeo and BV500 both use the same Piaggio drivetrain. The reputaion for reliability and parts availability is not as good as Yamaha, Kymco, Honda or Suzuki.


For a sidecar bike on the open road, I'm partial to the 650 Burgman. Just because I've sat on both the Burgman and the Silverwing and the suzuki fits me better.
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persona non grata
Posted 4/1/2008 5:20 PM (#34511 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


The Silverwing is nice, but insurance is going to kill me! Down here there's a major difference between 250cc and 750cc rates (even worse for 750cc+)$334.00 for 250cc vs. $1,074.00 for 251-750cc.I'm thinking it might be best to attach a light sidecar frame/body for stability so that top speed doesn't suffer too much.Interstingly even if one has 1cc insurance is still $307.00... Weird.
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punkozuna
Posted 4/1/2008 8:51 PM (#34522 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


don't know if it helps insurance wise but the silverwing is only 600cc (582cc according to Honda).

Sorry I re-read your post more carefully. Are you using the sidecar for stability or to carry a passenger or extra stuff? Also, do you desire an automatic because you don't want to shift or because you can't shift? The reason I ask is that there are a couple of 250cc motorcycles with pretty good performance (not much sidecar power but better than a 250 scooter). Check out Kawasaki Ninja 250 and Kymco Venox 250 for 2 different bikes with a 95mph+ top speed. Not very expensive and probably a better bet for real world (read freeway) use than a 250 scooter.

The Venox is a large bike for a 250 - good if you are tall.

Ninja 250s have been around forever and can be found used to save some money.

http://www.kawasaki.ca/model/ninja-250r/1096:en

http://www.kymco.ca/motorcycles.html

Edited by punkozuna 4/1/2008 9:11 PM
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tkpinsc
Posted 4/1/2008 9:08 PM (#34523 - in reply to #34511)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


Originally written by persona non grata on 4/1/2008 6:20 PM

The Silverwing is nice, but insurance is going to kill me! Down here there's a major difference between 250cc and 750cc rates (even worse for 750cc+)$334.00 for 250cc vs. $1,074.00 for 251-750cc.I'm thinking it might be best to attach a light sidecar frame/body for stability so that top speed doesn't suffer too much.Interstingly even if one has 1cc insurance is still $307.00... Weird.




Sidecar weight will effect acceleration and braking but will have little effect on top speed. Wind resistance will have more to do with limiting maximum top speed and decreasing mileage. It's a good idea to keep the sidecar roughly 1/3 of the weight of the rig. A smaller sleek sidecar body will help performance more then cutting back on the rigs weight. Another trick to maximizing stability of your rig while minimizing the rigs weight is to place the sidecar weight as far to the right as possible and keep it near or behind the sidecar tire.
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persona non grata
Posted 4/2/2008 12:41 AM (#34531 - in reply to #34522)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


Are you using the sidecar for stability or to carry a passenger or extra stuff?
Ideally for both, but mainly for stability, especially if the rider fits behind me (i.e. not a one-seat bike).
Also, do you desire an automatic because you don't want to shift or because you can't shift?
I don't like shifting. I know choices are great if one goes with a traditional manual, but I really don't want to do it, especially with so many nice maxi-scooters offering motorcycle-like performance with an automatic.I should add that speed isn't that big of a deal, it's 55mph on city HWY's, 60mph on HWY's, 70mph on split HWY's outside of town, so nothing like 80mph in the USA.Thus something like a Honda Reflex is adequate, Silver wing is better, but in my opinion it doesn't offer that much more over the Reflex for the added price and insurance costs.
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punkozuna
Posted 4/2/2008 8:08 AM (#34536 - in reply to #34423)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


I see. I suggest checking out a Kymco Bet and Win 250. It's $4900cd vs $7500cd for a Reflex. I had a Kymco People 250 (same drivetrain, not available in Canada). It was a dead reliable, great performing machine - 82mph indicated top speed (probly an actual 75mph) even with my 300 pound weight. There are 300cc kits available as well as pipes, carbs, a high output camshaft and "speed pulley variators" (probly not recommended for sidecar use). There is a Kymco dealer in Saskatchewan - not clear if they carry scooters though.
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tc0429
Posted 8/27/2017 8:22 AM (#94853 - in reply to #34453)
Subject: RE: Anyone try a Ridley conversion?


New User

Posts: 1
0
I see your post is on the old side. If you are still on here once and awhile, I have a question on Reflex hook up. I have a 2005 Reflex and a velorex hack I want to put together. Did you build a subframe? Use just the lower mounts? Any pictures? Thanks
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