USCA Sidecar Forum

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Integration of the bikes brakes with a sidecar?

I searched but cannot find the answer to this question: Do sidecars equipped with brakes, integrate into the bikes braking system (Mine is ABS) or is the hacks brake just a parking brake?

If the hacks brakes do indeed hook up to the bikes braking system, it obviously has to be proportioned but will it work with the factory ABS on my Triumph Rocket?


Sam 🙂

My sidecar brake is hooked up to the front brake of the bike. Bike is a 2001 Harley Roadglide with a California 3 sidecar.

Brake integration varies from rig to rig. Sometimes it is simply plumbed in with the bike's brake system (with or without a proportioning valve) and sometimes a separate pedal is mounted beside or behind the bike's brake pedal. At the end of the day the choice is up to you.

My gl1800 non ABS with a Daytona 2+2 is tied into the rear brake. If you can it would probably be easier to tie into the rear brake cylinder on the Rocket also. Just not sure how much the ABS will like it. My .02

We hook up brakes many different ways depending on the bike. On some bikes if there is enough volume with the master we will tie onto either the front or the rear brake again depending on the bike. Most BMW's and a few other bikes we run a separate brake master worked off of the rear brake of the bike. We offer separate brake pedals as an option for a few bikes. We make our own brake rotors in order to get the diameter we want in order to not need a proportioning valve. If we are matching the bikes wheel to the sidecar as there may not be enough clearance for a smaller diameter rotor we might use a proportioning valve. It all depends. On the rocket we tie on to either the front or rear, owners choice. If ABS engages on the bike it will not effect the sidecar as we usually hook up at the master rather then after the ABS pump although again it can be done differently if the owner prefers in any event, not having ABS on the sidecar is really not an issue as nothing spectacular happens should the sidecar wheel skid. Using the sidecars brake as a parking brake is not really a good idea as most of the mass of the rig is over on the bike side of things and as such if you were to park on a hill with the sidecars wheel as the brake the bike could rotate around it. We feel that a brake on the sidecar is a good idea to have and use as if it keeps you out of the emergency room even once it is worth all of the effort. We also believe as taught in the S/tep class and in the "yellow book" "Driving a sidecar outfit" by David Hough ($34.95) you should always use all of your brakes every time as in an emergency situation you tend to not be able to decide to do differently then what you practice meaning that if you think that it is "OK" to use just one brake most of the time as you can always in an emergency go ahead and use all of the brakes chances are you will not as you do what you practice.
Jay G
DMC sidecars