USCA Sidecar Forum

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added weight

Hey Folks, I've been riding for years but I'm new to this game. Got myself a 1995 Road King with matching sidecar with only 2,500 original miles on it so basically I got a new 21 year old rig. Well it sure is a different animal! I'm very apprehensive with my right hand turns to the point where i feel like I'm going ridiculously slow. I can't be the only person with this problem.What's the best way to add weight to the car and compensate for this? Sand bags take up too much room someone said you can get metal plates. I don't have passengers very often so I need something. a little advice would be welcomed. (or a lot )

Personally use two sand bags wrapped in plastic or a ten gallon water jug when riding without a monkey. With monkey, remove the extra ballast as not needed.

Also as you gain more experience driving hacks the ballast will be used less and less. But when first learning to handle the rig, ballast is essential. Then practice often in vacant parking lots. Schools on weekends and churches during the week make great practice sites.

Welcome to the off-centered three wheel community.

I have a military style ammunition can with lead in it. It weights in at 100#'s. The canister is the larger size about 7X&X6". I salvaged the lead from the backstops at the local gun club. They were happy to be rid of it. I have it strapped down to the floor using the seat mounting hardware and a ratchet strap. It fits tight against the seat and laying down on its sideon the floor, it's not in the way of the passenger.

2014 CB1100 Std, 2000 ST1100 with DMC Classic, 1981 CB650C

Place your ballast behind the seat and toward the sidecar wheel . With a fiberglass body you don't want hard or sharp edged ballast.
I used three bags (25#) of lead shot with my last few heavy Harley rigs.
I used to put wet spent sandblast abrasive in plastic milk jugs in customers rigs for their maiden voyage back home. They weighed about 20# each and no cost involved.


Good points on ballast. It is good to find a safe spot to practice. When you practice take out the ballast as it will allow you to learn more quicker at slower speeds.

Harley made an accessory weight which mounted on top of the right leaf spring. The part number is 88177-95. Google that number and you may be able to find one. I got mine from Tom's NOS parts in Ohio. It helped me feel more secure in right turns but it does make the ride a little rougher. It is not something you would want to put on and take off.

Attached files

I have been giving this ballast some thought. I have a light car, velorex and when I ride alone I put in 65# of ballast. Lately I have been wanting to ride it without the ballast to see how it feels.

Some say use it, some say learn to ride without ballast. I'm new to the sidecar game and a bit confused ..... will it be to my benefit to learn to run around without ballast???

When I started this learning thing, 11 years and still learning. I used a 5 GAL water jug that when empty folded up. This was 40 # and with the junk in the back another 40 or 50 #. The nice thing about the water jug was no mess and if I was out and pick up someone or something I just dumped it. One day I saw I had not re-field it and could not remember when I had. So no more.

Stan, I believe the consensus is to learn with ballast in the sidecar until you have enough experience to feel the car wheel unligthen ( or unweighting) slightly and how to control it. Every rig is different in when it will start to lift, until you know at what point that is with your rig, carry ballast. Flying the chair will happen too frequently and suddenly if riding without ballast. The lighter the chair (i.e. Velorex) the easier it is to fly.

That said, you will want to practice "flying the chair" as part of your learning, but in a controlled environment until you know how to control the rig for when the chair flies accidentally..

You are an MSF instructor, are there STEP classes in your area? Well worth the time and money at take this class.

I am scheduled for a step class next month, thanks for the reply