USCA Sidecar Forum

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Motorvation Engineering Sidecar

I'm in the same position as you.  It's been a year already and I was told last week that I can't even expect it by spring.

When I ordered the sidecar a year ago I also was told about 6-8 month production time and made plans to go on a few trips with my two kids this summer...  well that never happened.   I'm more disappointed than anything.  I made a bad choice obviously.

Update:  I canceled my order and requested my money back.  My bank is on my side and we're working to get a full refund for failure to deliver on the contract.

Any luck getting your money back?

Yes, I was able to get a refund.  My bank investigated and determined they had breached the contract by not acting in good faith.

I wound up having an hour long phone conversation with Mary.  The short story is the business is not healthy and they’re broke.

 

I really hate to hear that about the company, I hope someone or some company can step in and if needed buy the company and bring it back to life

it's a shame to see our small marker keep getting smaller.

Interrobang, I'm glad to here you were able to get your money back

 

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

I visited Motorvation a few days ago and can confirm they are still in business and sidecars are being assembled and installed. They are also supplying parts and doing repairs on sidecars. They've been hit hard by the loss of many suppliers and price increases as well as the tight labor market in the area. They are working to improve cash flow by selling off excess inventory and a couple of their demo sidecars are for sale if anyone wants a sidecar quickly. The business is also available for sale, but the financial sector has no interest in anything related to motorcycles since the bankruptcies of Excelsior-Henderson, EBR, and others but I'm sure owner Mary Sontag will consider offers.

Had the same experience others described.  Was told the same 6-8 months production time and it took 18 months to finally get my side car. I still had to install part of the wiring myself.  Like the product and Gary was great but if I had know the truth about completion time I would not have purchased from them.

Yeah, that’s the common experience. Sad thing is that they are still taking orders, still telling people 6-8 months, and still stringing them along with no communication for thrice that time.  At some point, probably not too far off, they will make their final sidecar and the remaining 40+ customers who made down payments will be s.o.l.

I found Mary to be very nice, but when you’re hearing the same excuses and sad stories that other people have been relating for a decade or more you have to acknowledge it’s become an unethical operation.

I’m either going to get a used sidecar, a Ural, or a Cozy.  I don’t have the time left to order one from DMC and get it by spring.  I’m not giving up another season of riding with my kids.

IIRC Motorvation has been telling customers to expect a year or more wait for some time. Truth is, I don't think anyone can supply a decent sidecar by spring and year and more waits are pretty common for custom ordered sidecars, trucks, etc.. As for Motorvation's ethics, they've been honest about the production schedule for decades. And unlike many other businesses, they also supply reasonably priced parts and service for sidecars they built decades ago. And if anyone wants a sidecar quick, buy a used one and Motorvation and several of our other great sidecar makers and mounters can often make any repairs and mount the sidecars in much less time than it takes to make them. For example, Motorvation has a couple near new demo sidecars and trailers for sale and probably over $100,000 in parts and tooling in stock to make more parts if anyone needs repairs or mounting by spring.

While I know this post is about Motorvation we were mentioned. Our lead times are about 5 months right now, we have come close to doubling our production since this time last year, we are working on adding a second shift and are making additional molds for our more popular sidecars so that we can build more then one at a time. I have come out of retirement in order to run things, We have added more and better equipment in order to do more in house and better control quality and lead times. This week we start molding our own windshields in house as this has been a hold up in the past and in the next several weeks as there is a learning curve we will have moved powder coat in house. We have also purchased 2 CNC milling machines that we hope to have up and going over the next several months.

We will also be building a sidecar for one of the made in the USA motorcycles that will be a factory option. We intend to run a dedicated assembly crew and area for these and plan on building about 250 a year. The hard part in all of this is hiring. Finding people that want to work and have even the most basic skill set, things like the ability to read a tape measure and do complex math like what is 3/4 minus 1/2 😉  We offer a very good wage with full benefits  and yet as we are in an area that is essentially at zero percent unemployment and are out in the county a ways we get few people to apply. If we can hire, our goal is to get lead times to under 6 weeks. Our lead times have never been more then 7 months on average, ok so once in a while due to paint or some very custom work we may have gone over this but in general we try not to. If lead time are much more then this I take it as a sign that I need to up production and have always done so.

We do have in stock the last 2 dozen or so Sputnik sidecars left any where in the world, We modify these with a stronger axle and a made in the USA wheel and provide them with proper bike specific mounting hardware usually in about 3-4 weeks lead time. While fit and finish on Sputnik sidecars is not the best, and while these are NOS sidecars built about 15 years ago, they are  a great value in a robust sidecar that uses a proper mounting system not a bunch of struts with "universal" clamps.

BTW, Champion sidecars is up for sale, they stopped taking orders months ago so that they could have all of the orders filled by the end of last year. If the economics of production no longer work for a company this is the ethical way to close down after first filling all orders. This is also what the previous owner of Texas sidecars did as did Liberty sidecars.

Jay G
DMC sidecars

http://www.dmcsidecars.com

866-638-1793

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