USCA Sidecar Forum

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Are you having Fun?

I have been riding for 58 years, but have never been on nor in a sidecar rig.  I’m picking one up this weekend and would like to any and all experiences from those of you that have made the jump to a sidecar.  Are they fun?  I’m looking forward to it.

Sidecars are a blast to ride however they do take different skills. They steer "backwards" to how a two wheel bike steers in that you do not counter steer. I recommend if you can take a sidecar class. If you can not take a class then at least read and to the exercises in the book "driving a sidecar outfit" which can be purchased several places including our web site http://www.dmcsidecars.com

What kind of bike and sidecar are you getting?
Jay G
DMC sidecars

866-638-1793

http://www.dmcsidecars.com

Hi Lou:

Welcome to the slightly off center group of riders.

Yes - you will find sidecaring fun but be aware that when you let out the clutch on your rig the first time it is not going to act the same as a 2-wheeled motorcycle.  If properly set up it should go straight down the road but when you slow down the rig will steer itself to the left and when you speed up the sidecar is going to steer to the right.  You will get used to it in short order.  It may take a little longer to get used to answering questions every time you stop for gas.  That is part of the fun.  I seldom had to answer questions when I was riding on 2 wheels. Keep us posted on your experiences as a new 'pilot".

 

Will Short

Ex-President USCA

 

Lou, when you pick up your "new" sidecar rig try to locate an empty parking lot nearby.  Carefully ride the rig to the parking lot.  That is a good place to try out the handling of the rig.  If there are paint stripes on the lot, practice starting from a stop and then braking to a stop while staying on the paint stripe.   After mastering that, practice riding in a large figure 8 pattern while stopping, starting, shifting.  Depending on how heavy the bike and sidecar are, and how well matched the sidecar is to the bike you may notice that the rig has a different feel in right turns than in left turns.  If the bike is heavy compared to the sidecar weight and you make a right turn at speed you may think the rig is going to flop over to the left.  If you get that unstable feeling you may want to invest in a bag of softener salt or some other ballast to add weight and stability to the sidecar for the trip home.

Enjoy your new toy.

Hi Lou,

I never had any intention of going to a sidecar or any form of three wheels. My thought was always (a bit judgmental) that anyone who rides on three wheels does so because they can't handle two wheels. I'd ridden many thousands of miles with a good friend who was missing his right leg high up. He rode on two wheels. Many stories to tell there but not for now... Some 18 years ago, my wife (we'll celebrate our 50th next anniversary) decided to quit riding with me. She was no longer willing to accept the risk. We'd lost some friends to bike accidents. I thought perhaps she'd enjoy the ride in a sidecar being able to see more than the back of my helmet and settled down a bit more secure. I purchased a used Ural. Big surprise! It was a real hoot to ride. But Barb's mind was made up. She rode one long ride one day at a rally up in the Okanogan. But the Boxer I had back then really loved the sidecar. That plus the fact it was a new thrill for me lead to riding the Ural far more than the Harley for a couple years. By then I knew there was no going back. Sold the Ural, my Kwik Kamp trailer and an old parts tractor and ordered the Liberty for the Harley. Archie died in 2010 leaving a big hole in my heart. Then there was Henry. Now Petey rides with me and loves to ride as much as Archie did. All are rescues from the pound. The adventure continues. This was Archie in the Ural...

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Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

We got a sidecar, not because I can't ride a 2-wheeler, but because my wife can't. We ride pretty much everywhere together, but when she had both knees replaced she din't feel comfortable climbing on the back of our bike. Add to it she is a candidate for both hips to be replaced, as well as bulging discs at L4 and L5 the seating position on the back of a bike just doesn't work for her. We were faced with the options of either me riding alone, or not riding at all.

If we wanted to keep riding together a sidecar was the ONLY answer. We started with a Ural and we BOTH loved it - one of the most fun vehicles on the road! She could sit in decent comfort and we had that bike for about 6 years. Finally we decided we wanted the ability to take longer rides so we sold the Ural and got our current ride: a 1994 Goldwing GL1500SE with a California Sidecar. I replaced the seat in the sidecar with one made for a Jeep CJ5, with plenty of padding for her and we have no problem with day-long rides now!

Sidecars definitely take some getting used to, but once you're comfortable piloting one you can actually use the handling characteristics to help you get through the twisties.

I'm curious to know how many sidecar riders have a sidecar rig because the passenger can no longer ride sitting behind the rider on a 2-wheeler or trike.  That is certainly the case with my wife and me, and I know another couple who recently bought a sidecar rig because the wife could no longer tolerate the pain from sitting behind her husband on their trike.

Enjoy riding together.  It is a lot more fun than looking at the rig just setting in the garage.

The Dr told my wife no more motorcycles. That was 30yrs and 3 rigs ago along with countless miles and smiles.

fly

A few years ago my wife admitted she did not feel safe on or enjoyed riding behind me so sidecar it was. Bought a name brand used hack and the necessary hardware to attach it to my cruiser. We just finished our second major trip. This one was 12 day 2800 miles from Arkansas to western Oregon via South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho. This is a picture of my monkey in the cold and light snow as we went through Yellowstone. I ask, does this look like someone not having fun? We are both mid 70's

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