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added weight

I am new to the sidecar world. I had Johnny Sweet build and install his Classic sidecar on my Road Star. He added a 62lb. steel plate in the frame to help me with driving the rig. I think it was good for me because i don't have to worry if i have a rider or not. No problems with right turns. The whole sidecar weighs 225 lbs.

This is the 114lb steel weight that I keep in my hack unless have a passenger. It works great to keep my very heavy rig upright in right hand turns.

Attached files

Added weight ballast should be placed as far back as possible and to the outboard side for the best leverage. This will keep the sidecar from dipping it's nose into the road during a hard stop, especially during a downhill or left turn (Rt. side mount S/C).
Soft ballast or hard ballast that is well secured works best to avoid damage to the sidecar body in case it shifts around.


Lonnie, if you knew the layout of the Terraplane's rear trunk access (fairly typical, actually!), and it's corrugated floorboard, you would know why that weight is where it is. I certainly can't lift 114lbs at arms length to set it in the trunk, could you? And, it is as far toward the wheel as possible except for external mounting!
I am looking into designing a quick-release plate to fit under the car at the rear, but it's not on top of my priority list. This method has worked fine for a long time now. Simple, easy to load/unload and secure (except in a crash!).
114lbs works quite well with my Voyager 1300 bike, but I keep seeing reports of big Harley's running just 40-60lbs of ballast inside the car. Does that little weight really hold the car down in right handers? I tried two of my 25lb leather shot bags, but they just didn't do the job against my 960lb bike. This 114lb steel slug works quite well.
For those who want to custom make their own weights and actually be able to mold it into whatever shape they need, a good source of lead is a truck stop where they do lots of tire repairs. They strip off the weights and about half of them end up not usable again.

We use round bar-bell weights as needed in Avanell's Burgman/Cal. commuter rig. Cheap at re-sale type shops.
Tex. rep

I'm quite familiar with the layout of the Terraplanes. Personally I've never needed ballast with a Terraplane. They are quite a heavy sidecar.
However; I was making a general recommendation for the best placement of loose ballast.


I use the plastic water jugs for ballast. I use two 5 gallon collapsible water jugs that I secure in the sidecar seat with a seat belt, adds about 70 to 80 pounds. If I pick up a passenger I just empty the jugs, collapse them and store them in the trunk. Most of the time I have my wife with me so the jugs just remain in the garage, but when going for a solo ride of any distance then I put them in the rig. Having some weight makes the rig ride better too.

As an example of their use, one day I was taking a solo ride around & through Mt Rainier park. While stopped at a view point another motorcyclist started asking questions about the sidecar and commented that he would like a ride. I emptied the water jugs, stored them away while he secured his bike and away we rode. I returned him to his bike about 8 hours later. He really enjoyed it. Of course I didn't have any water to fill the jugs with, but I just adjust my riding style till I got home.