USCA Sidecar Forum

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Check (Bounce) Strap

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The saga continues getting my hack connected and complete. Right now the hold-up is the sidecar brake. What started out as "all you have to do is connect and bleed the brake line" has turned into a new rear master cylinder on the bike and new back plate. To top it off, the first cylinder delivery was an empty box stamped that it had been "damaged" by the postal service. It was a genuine Lockheed-Warner!! So, now the second one (repop this time) is coming along with a new back plate from V-Twin. While I wait, I noticed that there is no check (bounce) strap on the sidecar frame. It is a drum brake frame with a LE body. The seller says it isn't needed for a modern frame and never had one. My question is to ask for confirmation from someone experienced, noting that I'd rather decide in favor of safety. If I bounce Blondie out of the sidecar, I'll be in big trouble! I got tattoos but I'm not brave enough to tangle with her.... especially in a full body cast! L&W has 'em with strap and spring but then comes the long buying process working with them. So, do I really need this item?? Thanks! - AZP

My rig Harley 02 Ultra with a 06 standard sidecar does not have a check strap. Does not show one in my manual so I am guessing this is something they use to use.

I see the springs and straps on ebay now and then, they were used on the older model sidecars. I would like to dampen the bounce on my TLE sidecar but I have not decided how to do it yet. Some people have used shock absorbers but you should be able to put together a strap and spring for yours, look at ebay and maybe you won't have to wait on L&W.

How bad does yours bounce? Mine does not seem to bounce that bad to me. Every one that has rode in it says it rides great.

I see the strap as something not part of regular ride quality. It is something "in case." My old straight axle Corvette has two of them! I searched on the net and found several discussions (and pictures) including new and old hacks (including a TLE). As usual, there doesn't seem to be any consensus but "leans" towards having one. My frame is apparently in between eras, probably from the 1990's or earlier. Meanwhile, the Harley parts book of that era lists it as a standard item. To tell you the truth, we dove into configuring the sidecar before I got a chance to ride the bike. I was going to ride it after the brake was connected and we haven't gotten that far yet. I had no idea that everything would take this long to work out with parts and such still coming, L&W's 40's customer service model withstanding. I thought I saw one at AAOK but checked today and couldn't find it. I got a fender trim from them last week. This has been a rush job with mid-April as a deadline. So far, it won't be all done. More opinions?? Please! - AZP

azpaul50 - 3/18/2014 7:40 PM The saga continues getting my hack connected and complete. Right now the hold-up is the sidecar brake. What started out as "all you have to do is connect and bleed the brake line" has turned into a new rear master cylinder on the bike and new back plate. To top it off, the first cylinder delivery was an empty box stamped that it had been "damaged" by the postal service. It was a genuine Lockheed-Warner!! So, now the second one (repop this time) is coming along with a new back plate from V-Twin. While I wait, I noticed that there is no check (bounce) strap on the sidecar frame. It is a drum brake frame with a LE body. The seller says it isn't needed for a modern frame and never had one. My question is to ask for confirmation from someone experienced, noting that I'd rather decide in favor of safety. If I bounce Blondie out of the sidecar, I'll be in big trouble! I got tattoos but I'm not brave enough to tangle with her.... especially in a full body cast! L&W has 'em with strap and spring but then comes the long buying process working with them. So, do I really need this item?? Thanks! - AZP

Try running the hack with out the check strap, when empty they do tend to bounce a bit but with a person in the sidecar they are pretty stable.

I ran mine with out a check strap and a sidecar brake BUT YOU have to learn and get use to the sidecar rig, then make your decisions from there

I have seen them in really old books like 20s and 30s. I made sure I had everything on my bike before putting the hack on being it is my only transportation I did not have the luxury of having it down more then a day.

not knowing, just what i remember seeing - the strap was from the rigid frame era.. the early shovel sidecar mount connects the rear of the sidecar to the swing arm so if the rear wheel hits a pothole the sidecar frame hits a pothole. so i "thought" those had the bounce strap too. basically the sidecar rode mostly on the rear bike wheel rather than adding weight to the bike frame...

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I finally decided in favor of the strap simply because it is supposed to be there according to the parts book. Looking over web discussions on this subject, there was really no concensus like here. Meanwhile, one comment referred to "correctness" rather than any technical aspect so that was the "sign" I was waiting for. It is definitely listed in the parts book as a standard item for what I have. I'm waiting for an invoice to begin the tedious process with the supplier but progress has been slow anyway. Thanks to everyone for their input! - AZP

Watch that word "Correctness" AZP in the world of classic, vintage and antique motorcycles you will find yourself looking for the correct hardware to mount it to the sidecar. A carefully trained eye will spot the wrong finish on the hardware.

Example, The factory has been known to use a parkerised bolt and nut with specfic size heads and thickness with a cadium plated washer of specific size and thickness.........You'r not going to run down to the hardware store for some plated bolts and nuts to mount the strap to the frame.......are you? LOL

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