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First Long trip thru the twisties. 🙂

This last weekend the motorcycle club that I belong to took a ride to go to a excellent pie place down near Watsonville Ca. We took some small two lane back roads and had lots of twisties. The roads were relatively free of cages, however the bikers where out in force throughout the first part. Had to slow way down and wait to pass them once in a while where everyone else could move over a bit and go by them.

There were about 30 bikes which we split up into two groups, the fast movers and the rest of us. I and Mr. Dawg (German Shepherd) was the only sidecar and rode as the last one in line with the sweep behind me. I was worried about being able to keep up, but they didn't leave me to often and I could catch up when the road straightened up. We have a great rode captain and she knows when to slow down so it doesn't get to crazy.

It took a while, but I slowly learned to gauge my speed going into the curves and found that I needed to break hard to slow way down and then go through the curve and then accelerate hard down the straights. I learned the feel of the bike when the sidecar would get a bit lite and was about to fly and slow down. I scared myself only once going into a curve and the sidecar came up and I started to drift toward the center line with traffic coming, but managed to keep it where it needed to be. It kind of surprised me as I didn't think it was that tight, but I believe my speed was a bit more than I thought it was.

I was kind of glad when the ride was over and it was time to head home on the slab as I could sit back and relax, well as much as you can relax in traffic anyway. However, I wasn't fighting the steering going through turns like I had been doing all day. The Dog was tired as he laid in the sidecar and slept on the way home. I woke up today and my shoulders are a bit sore.

In all it was a great ride.

Glad you & Mr. Dawg had a good ride.  Riding with a group of two-wheelers can be a daunting experience.  As for those right turns, I recommend a sidecar training class if available, where, among other things, you can learn the "trailing front brake" technique along with weight shifts to help manage those right turns.   Looking forward to more ride reports.

Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

Wish I had taken the time to rig my gopro onto the bike. I had planned to, but ran out of time.

Sounds like a great ride. Got any pictures to share?

Sounds like a good ride. glad that one right hander didn't get away from you.
I will be taking my new rig to the north Ga. mountains over the Thanksgiving weekend, first time in the twisties with the car for me too. I plan to just take my time as I'm still new
riding with a sidecar as well. At least I know the roads well as I have been riding them for a few years now on 2 wheels.

USCA # 8913

As Lee mentioned, training and time in the saddle will help a lot. I think you need a little more ballast than Mr. Dawg off the slab, and make your life easier with a set of triple trees. Just my .02. Above all have fun! Alan

A set of triple trees is probably in the works long term but, I kind of wanted to leave the Road King stock for the time being. I plan on going from Kalifornia to Kansas this next summer and will drop the sidecar off when I go. It will be late spring or early summer, so the potential of it being hot is a strong possibility and don't want to subject Mr. Dawg to it. He won't be happy as he always goes where I go.

Here are a couple of pics from that day.

Attached files

Thanks for the pic hdjoe. Mr. Dawg sure fills up his sidecar. Once you install a set of sidecar appropriate triple trees, I suspect the idea of dropping the sidecar will fade away - it did for me - the "ride" is that much improved.

Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

hdjoe - 11/13/2014 7:54 AM

Here are a couple of pics from that day.

I LOVE roads like that.

Hello Joe, just a few thoughts:
Ballast below or behind your pouch. Mount a solid anchor point, get for your sheperd a strong harness and mount the hook in the short as possible (as bigger the dog as worse for him/her to stay in equilibrium, centrifugal forces easily send them out the tub / use solid hooks, no fancy looking Zamack hook, those break in a finger snip)
Find "doggles" to protect his eyes.

Shift your weight AND go down with speed BEFORE the bend. You can accelerate when you come out.
How said Stirling Moss?:
"Go into the bend slow and come out fast.
Go into the bend fast and you might come out dead."

You described some important mistakes some people do when they ride with a groop, my suggestion:
The slowest vehicles go in the FRONT right behind the trace leader,
Better have in the middle another trace leader,
Fastest riders in the tail, (they will have to catch up anyway and enjoy racing to keep up)
at the end the fastest tracer has to collect the lost ones.
Mark somehow the ones who are the trace leaders clearly with a arm strap or or whatever... that helps for orientation and discipline.

Discipline to ride in "rubber band mode" makes for safe travels and still will be fun for all.

As show offs will never keep discipline but will put into danger others, I prefer to travel alone or very small groups of max 5 bikes where each one knows how the others will behave.
The biggest ride out I participated once upon the time (Hamburg, D, MC religious service, 1985) was 18.000 bikes for 145km. No thanks!
While the biggest rig ride out (Hessen, D, 1987) was about 140 rigs, 30 solos for 90km with strict organisation, was safe and fond for all. (the only single show off got bathed later in beer and clay)

I wish you a lucky learning curve and enjoy every single moment: its a gift.

There are dozen of old threads with excellent comments here in the forum, search them, and with just a reply you have it activated again...We love to ride with our dogs, and they enjoy it even more.

I was riding with the slow group, the fast movers had their own group with road captain and sweep. Our road captain does a good job of setting a safe pace as we usually have riders with little pack riding experience and those of us who no longer need to feel the force of gravity acting on us as we fly through the curves, getting to old for that. When I do want to do that I go out riding by myself or with a close buddy that I know. I wanted to be last as I didn't want to hold up the pack if I had to slow way down and couldn't keep up. The guy running sweep and I talked and if I was having any problems, I would wave him by and I knew of a couple of escape routes over to the major highways and would just wait for them at the pie place. My bike has plenty of power so when accelerating out of the curves and over the straight aways, I could close the gap with the back of the pack. My biggest problem was with a couple of bicyclists I had to slow way down for, so I could safely pass them since the road was narrow and there was oncoming traffic.

Our riding club only allows 10-12 bikes in a pack and three rules that are strictly enforced, is no hot dogging and no passing once we are moving and to keep your space between you and the rider in front of you. This takes care of most issues and very seldom does one of us have to take a rider to the side and talk to them.

I love those Georgia mountains. I like to ride down highway 11 through South Carolina and go across North Georgia on U.S. 76. Beautiful ride!

We rode the Tail of the Dragon this summer on the way to the National USCA Rally. There were other roads nearly as twisty and fun to ride in the national forest between Maryville, TN and Blue Ridge, GA.

CHILI, the wonder monkey, & i got to spend a day doing the 3-TWISTED SISTERS, down in the Texas Hill Country, back in April

we have a cue as to how much fun you had!

had some riding behind us, some in front of us and 1-bunch way ahead of us

being strung out like that made for more efficient fuel stops

and the speed demons had the fire going when the rest of us got back to camp

all in all, it was a good trip

sw & CHILI, the wonder monkey

Swoody, good for you. We have a ride on Saturday, but don't know what the weather has in store for it. We are currently having a lot of rain, which is good since we are in a drought here in California. We were going to Fairfield where a JellyBelly factory is and take a tour. We will have to see. I will probably take the Fatboy and I have some christmas tree lights that I will string on the bike and they plug into the accessory plug.


Excuse me for waking up this topic in its slumber.   We did our annual HTTA (Honda Twisted Twins Association 40 year old CX500/GL500/GL650s) ride.    Road my '83 GL650.      I attached the route, which you can see is on both sides of the Mississippi River in Minnesota and WIsconsin.  I put on 300 miles that day.      I've taken my Royal Enfield Interceptor '21 650cc for the pre-ride in the past before I put the sidecar on last fall.  Couldn't this time with the sidecar because we were on an Amtrak trip to Chicago.   We saw some of most beautiful valleys and bluffs along the Mississippi River.
Even on the two wheeler, I go slower in the turns than the folks ahead of me and catch up in the straights. Still got 55 mpg while throttle happy.  The Interceptor and car will get better than that on a trip.   The rig weighs about 645lbs empty.  Can hit 85mph, which I rarely need to do.

Reading here, it sounds like the best choice in a group ride would be to take the Tail End Charlie position.  And probably, leave my Akita Momo at home.
We use Cardo BT, Slim and Bold and that has enough range to keep the leader in touch with the tail.  The organizer always makes the route available for your phone or Garmin, so there is no chance of losing the group.

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