USCA Sidecar Forum

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I'd love your help

Hey everyone!

My name is Paul and I live in Connecticut and own a 2003 Anniversary Harley Heritage Classic. I am recently divorced and  couple of years before that, my wife and I rescued a golden retriever mix who I have because we bonded right away. He is now 3 1/2 years old and since I take him out at least 5 days a week after work for walks, runs, swimming, etc.  I do not do much riding anymore because I feel bad about leaving him home. When the weather turned nice this year I was on my way to the beach on the bike and all I could think about was him being alone on such a nice day and how he has never been to the ocean yet. Well, I turned around and grabbed him and the car and off we went. Ever since I have been thinking about getting a sidecar but I've been doing work on the home all summer so now I am ready to begin my research. Just the other day I came across the documentary  Sit, Stay, Ride and watched it twice already. I am sold 120% that this is what I need to do for both of us. I have been planning to start traveling to other countries next year but that would mean leaving Ranger for vacations. Now, I am planning for him and I to travel this country together on the bike because I know he is here with me for just a short time and I want to give him the best life I possibly can. But, there's some selfishness involved here because I will get the gratification of knowing I gave him the best life experience I could.

In my research so far it seems that if I want a new sidecar I may be looking at about $7000 which is way more than I want to spend because I still have projects around the house that need to get done in preparation for retirement. I am 57 but I am trying to get things done asap so we can start traveling on my vacations instead of doing work. My other thought was if I were going to spend that much I may as well get a used BMW or something with a sidecar already on it but the thing is I know everything about my bike mechanically. On top of that my engine was totally rebuild through the Harley rebuild program only 4 years ago so the engine only has about 5000 miles on it since. The bike is in great condition plus if I spent that much it would take me a couple of years to save it. I am not racking up any debt because I am currently debt free and am keeping it that way.

Ideally I would like to pay no more than 2-$3000 for a sidecar. If I can get a decent one new for that it would be great but a used one in good condition is perfectly fine.

I would love any insight and suggestions on this since I have absolutely no idea what would be best for my bike. I just saw a listing for a 1995 BMW K75 with a sidecar. It has 45000 on it and the clutch is slipping.He is asking 2500 for it. Again, I know my bike and I do not mind altering it with the sidecar because it will be mainly used for Ranger and I but if there is something else I can get instead that would be just as dependable that's cool too.

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks guys!

Paul

Uploaded files:
  • 22528347_10214419805638898_1030719738467263393_n.jpg
  • 2003-Anniversary-Heritage.jpg

Hello Paul,

on your bike I have not much to say...personally if you are a handy wrencher, I would take the K75 and fix it up myself with probably 1000$ at most in matetrials. (new plates and harder springs) That way you save your beauty HD as solo.

On the dog. 4 of our dogs were rig lovers, out of which 2 were Golden (bread). They loved it and on top loved to run beside it too. 20-23mph for 2-3 miles. As bigger the dog as more trouble they have to stay inside, because the inertia in the bends becomes too big. So a short solid leash attached firmly to the inside edge of the seat angle and at the chest to a heafty harness are mandatory for such a big dog.

Beware of:

  • injected molded hooks, they break without warning => better use inox carabiner (ex. from sailing supply)
  • if you attach the dog to a neclace you might break the dogs neck, or throw it out of the sidecar. (Happened to Golden bread Nana in a simple 90º bend around the church, she just got slapped like a whip)
  • If the leash is just a bit to long, you might throw out the dog in an emergency sway. (Labrador bread Negra once was thrown over bord, when a car invaded my lane, and was able to keep her snout only 1" above asphalt for 50 yards before I was able to stop.)  The dog may only get to the door without possibility to go above it.
  • For the safety belt a drop loose buckle like you find in airplanes is the best choice as you are able to undo the belt in a second. Normal hip/2 point car belt buckles are too sturdy to open in case of emergency.
  • Eyes are prone to dry out and get hurt by dust and insects, so doggles/goggles are a good way to go.

You will enjoy the time with your dog and might be amazed how much you get into contact with people due to the combination rig-dog.

More smiles per miles. + More smells per minute.

Go for it.

Sven

If you are going for a used sidecar, make sure that that sidecar is sized properly for the bike. Many smaller sidecars such as the Velorex, Cozy and its many variants just are not appropriate for a bike the size of yours. If the sidecar does not come with proper bike specific hardware you will need to figure hardware into your budget as in general "universal" mounts means that they fit nothing universally.  Feel free to contact me before you even look at  a particular used sidecar as I can tell you if it will be a safe match and what additional hardware may be needed. As to the BMW the same holds true on mounting hardware. Make sure it was mounted correctly. On the K75 as it has no lower frame more then likely it will have been mounted properly. I had a K75 until very recently with a Sputnik sidecar on it. Sold it to one of my management staff. Great bikes however you need to have fairly strong mechanical skills if you are going to do the clutch your self. If you are paying some one to do the clutch then I think you would be better off getting a sidecar for your bike. Chances are that the sidecar that is on  the K75 would not be a good match for your Harley if you are thinking of buying it and selling the  bike.  A good sidecar will more then likely be with you the rest of your life. Perhaps on many different bikes over the years. As such I always recommend buying the most sidecar you can possibly afford. A quality sidecar is like any thing else in life, buy high quality once, is always in the long run less money then low quality that gets replaced several times. While $7000 will get you into a good strong American made sidecar even color matched to your bike. You still may find that you may want a bit more expensive sidecar with more options keep in mind you are only 57. We are building a sidecar for a man right now who hopes it will not be his last sidecar. He is 96. The sidecar you buy now could be with you for a very long time.

Thursday we had a man show up at our shop. He is doing a round the world type trip on a Harley that a shop in Edmonton installed a Cozy on it. A Cozy should never have been put on a bike as large as his. While so far he has been to the artic ocean on it. It has been nothing but trouble for him, mounts keep moving making the alignment wrong causing a constant pull to the right. They had also installed the sidecar leaning in a bit as it was the only way with the hardware they were using that the front lower mount could attach. The upper rear mount  was a single 10mm eye bolt. One good pot hole and it would have sherd off.  He was ready to buy one of our more expensive sidecars as this is a once in a life time trip for him and he was tired of fighting a cheap poorly installed sidecar. There was no way we could have a sidecar ready to go for him while he waited. It just can not be done, even if we did not have a back log of work. We ended up making a lot of changes to his sidecar and mounting hardware. He spent about another $2000 on this and while it will never be as good as a sidecar that was designed to work better on his Harley. We feel that it is now strong enough to finish his trip with out causing him more grief. This is clearly a case of you get what you pay for.

Jay G

DMC sidecars

http://www.dmcsidecars.com

866-638-1793

Hi Paul:  Options might include something like this combination, although a long way from your home - an 883 geared down with a larger front pulley plus modified triple trees can be a really good tug for a sidecar: https://waco.craigslist.org/mcy/d/waco-2013-hd-sportster-with-sidecar/6971373216.html

 

Lee Summer Grove, LA R1100GS/CSM Sidecar, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L

If you are sure you want a sidecar, you might be better off with selling your bike and picking up a properly put together rig.  Or used HD sidecars are out there and you might get lucky enough to find one at a reasonable price, but the mounting hardware for a softail would be harder to find. The kicker in your plans is the dog.  Not all dogs like the sidecar, so there is some risk involved.

Not sure if you know anybody in your area that has a sidecar, but if possible it would be ideal if you could take it for a ride, parking lot or something similar, just to get a feel for the rig. You might find that you don't like the sidecar. They do take some getting used to and not everybody likes them.

Hey Guys!

 

Thank you for all of your advice! I ended up buying the BMW K75 and it has a Velorex 562 attached to a subframe. I do have to do some repair work on the clutch and have just set up shop to do just that in my heated shed now that it's getting colder. Hopefully it won't take me too long but at the very least I will have it ready for the spring, maybe sooner. I am also going to take the opportunity to go through the whole bike. The bike runs pretty smooth and so far I am happy with my choice as I paid cash and do not have a monthly payment. I have already trained the dog to jump in and just moved it a bit back and forth without the engine running so he gets used to it but I had to put the training on pause for now. I don't think there will be any problem with Ranger and riding in the sidecar which is awesome!!

The first thing I need to do is take off the sidecar and subframe to work on the bike so I am going to see if I can find some assembly instructions for the sidecar before I begin. I just want to take it off without disrupting any adjustments as much as possible.

 

 

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  • K75.jpg

if your working on K75 clutch lube splines.

dave