USCA Sidecar Forum

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Motorbike Suggestions Needed


Putting this here, in the hope it's the right spot.

Anyway I've spent some years restoring an old bike, and recently attached a sidecar I had for it, to it...and found out the sidecar was way to big and heavy for the bike (bike about 45 Nm torque, wide two-person sidecar over 100kg).


So I responded by finding a cheap FJR1300AS, bought it...and discovered it was about 15cm or so too wide (legal limit for motorcycle and sidecar 1850mm, no way the pair could be joined for less than 2000mm).


OK, getting past the fact that I'm a fucking idiot, I'm looking for a list of suggestions for suitable motorcycles to pull a heavy, wide sidecar. The bikes would need to be powerful (I think 100+ Nm torque), narrow-bodied (the sidecar's 1200mm wide from the middle--about where the riders pegs would be--and back. This leaves 600mm--two feet--for the bike below the waist. Above the waist, eg handle bars and mirrors, should be able to finesse) and as reliable as a brick.



How about some photos of the rig with emphasis on the mounting?  Where are you?  I know of no width limits here in US [outside of practicality].  It's hard to believe you can't make up 150mm by adjusting the mounting hardware.

Al Olme Minneapolis, Minnesota

1200mm was assuming the mounting hardware is completely removed and something made custom to fit the bike. From edge of mudguard to edge of gondola (that's what it's called, isn't it?), it measures 1130mm, and I rounded up to allow for some space for the hardware. To be honest, if I trimmed the mudguard lip even with the tyre (it's a thin tyre, not a car tyre), I could pick up another 30mm. It's got to be trimmed anyway, at the moment you can't remove the tyre without removing the mudguard first (not terribly convenient).


It's interesting that (as far as you know) no US state has hard limits on the overall width, but I'm not sure the New South Wales authorities will see any relevance in this fact.

While possibly I should have gone to an Australian site with this question, Google didn't find any Australian sidecar forums.


Edit : For anyone confused, I've just changed the displayed name to my User Name. Weird default. What's the point of having a User Name if it's not used?

Perhaps a Suzuki Bandit 1200 - particularly the models with the air/oil cooled engine (if you can find one for sale).

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

We ship many sidecars each year to Australia, Some rigs like the ones we build for Indian's are quite wide. The only issue we have ever had with regulations is that some states require a mechanical parking brake. As you are building a toy, find the bike that speaks to you, or as you have a bike that you have spent years with. Perhaps a smaller sidecar might be in order. If you do change bikes, unless you can fabricate the needed hardware your self make sure that you chose a bike that some one can supply mounts for. And, as when ever you add a sidecar to any bike you end up with heavy steering, chose a bike that some one makes steering modifications for. And last, if you are going to put a lot of miles on the bike, sidecars use up rear tires quickly. If you can go with a bike that a car tire will fit on the stock rear wheel or that an automotive rear wheel is made for. Bottom line, figure out what you please you the most.

Jay G
DMC sidecars


Jay G DMC sidecars 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30

Does anyone know anything about the Suzuki Intruder 1400? Is it reliable? How good is it with a sidecar?

Hi , need some advice from Jay at DMC .  In regard to the Tomahawk SE, which Indian Vintage headstem angle would be better suited : pre 2019 with the 29 degree ( increased rake )  or the 2020 with the 25 degree reduced rake. Does one rake angle lead itself to more stability ( 29) but increased effort , or it really doesn't matter ?  Thanks, Brett.

Asking because some good deals on 2019 Chief Vintage models second hand and also new from dealers.

Why not call Jay?  866-638-1793

This sounds like more of a discussion than a short answer.

Al Olme Minneapolis, Minnesota

Live on the other side of the Pacific ( Australia).