USCA Sidecar Forum

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Lowering Project

Well folks the project begins soon. Parts came in and I have plenty of steel and such to make new mounts. Our rig will ne lowered about 3 inches in the next few weeks. Here is the first parts to arrive , the wheel and hub assembly. Welll , photos are being an issue. I will retake pictures and try again later

Doug "Rain Man" Plotner 2nd Thief M/M chapter coordinator Eastern Panhandle WV USCA #8789 01 883C Sportster /Velorex combo 95 Ultra Classic Electra Glide /California Friendship combo Iron Butt Association member

So I am curious, why are you lowering your rig. are you just lowering the sidecar to better match the bike or are you lowering the whole outfit.

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

I would like to throw my 2c worth of reply to Ace's question. 30 years ago I had an early Motorvation Spyder with 5 link suspension on it rather than today's trailing link type. It was hooked first to a '76 Gold Wing, then to my '83 Kawasaki Voyager. The Gold Wing had a fairly low COG, but it still felt heavy in turns. I cut my fork springs 1-3/4" which dropped my front end 2", and I replaced the rear coil-overs with some that were 2" shorter with the same spring rate. I also replaced the spring on my hack's coil-over to lower it 2", too. Just that 2" made a huge difference in how "heavy" the rig felt when cornering. The Voyager is known as being a very top-heavy bike, so it got the same treatment.

So are you saying that lowering the whole rig makes it handle turns better. Not sure I understand how that would work. I am VERY new to sidecars so I am asking out of pure curiosity as I want and need to learn as much as I can about them.

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

It's just a long understood fact of vehicular road performance that lowering the COG will improve the handling of almost any vehicle. In this case, motorcycles were intended to lean over in turns, so when they can't due to the sidecar, they don't handle well. Sidecars also tend to sit rather high for some reason, so when it can be lowered, it will contribute stability to the whole rig. Just look at how low they build road-racing hacks! Barely knee high to the top of the rig!

The best analogy I can give of how stability is affected by a lower COG, just imagine a coffee cup 2" in diameter and 12' tall. Then imagine a coffee cup 12" in diameter and 2" tall. Which one will tip over soonest if both are sitting on the dash of a car going around a turn?

It's really quite easy to lower almost any bike, and most sidecars are not too hard to lower either. Both usually have lots of tire clearance to begin with.

For much more info on sidecar handling, you might want to ask Jay (jaydmc) at DMC Sidecars. He deals with so many varieties of the creatures day in and day out.

When I originaly bought my bike it was lowered about 3" and I liked it. When I bought the sidecar I swapped the forks and shocks with my wifes standard height Sportster.. I have since sold her bike to a buddy who hates the lowered ride and says he cant turn it very well. Part 3 is I am tired of spending $140 on a tire for the sidecar and I am converting it to a 12" trailer rim for less than the cost of a tire. Part 4 is I just like it lowered, its not like I have to worry about scraping the pegs in the corners.
I have to try a different camera , pictures still not working proerly, not the website its my computer wont open or read them.

Doug "Rain Man" Plotner 2nd Thief M/M chapter coordinator Eastern Panhandle WV USCA #8789 01 883C Sportster /Velorex combo 95 Ultra Classic Electra Glide /California Friendship combo Iron Butt Association member

I see, it's a preferred ride and $$ thing. I get the tire cost part, that is why I went double dark side on my wing. I will follow your mod and would be interested in knowing your starting height and them final height when done. Yes get another camera and get some before and after shots

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

Definately going to get photos . I ususally dont think of doing before and after shots but this time I did. I have pictures in the thread "Aidens growing fast" fo him the day we picked up the sidecar and last summer when we had some more patches put on his vest. I plan to do measurements and pics with Aiden to show the ride height differences.
Bad thing about my Sporty is I cant go to the dark side, no car tires that small.

Doug "Rain Man" Plotner 2nd Thief M/M chapter coordinator Eastern Panhandle WV USCA #8789 01 883C Sportster /Velorex combo 95 Ultra Classic Electra Glide /California Friendship combo Iron Butt Association member

I have had 2 bike tires fail right after a long trip 2 up with camper, but I won't get into that. so I went to the darkside and never looked back
I'll be keeping an eye on your project here

97 1500 SE Motorvation II sidecar USCA # 8913 Double Dark Side # 1522 Goodyear Fuel max 175/60 R16 PILOT ACTIV 130/70 18

used Road Glide air shocks on Road King got almost 2" shocks are 11.5 if memory works