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New build

Well after having surgery to remove a large tumor from inside my spinal cord I could no longer ride. So after a year of physical therapy I’m to the point where I can walk with a cane. My left leg is totally numb from the hip down and my legs don’t always go exactly where I tell them to. So I started looking for a sidecar for my Electra glide. Couldn’t find anything in my price range that was suitable for the big pig. So I figured screw it I’ll build my own. So hers my designe using a swingarm off a 08 GSXR 750

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Doesn't look like the surgery affected your welding ability 🙂 pretty slick looking.

Thank you. I was an industrial millwright for 20years working in powertplants and steel mills. I had a hard time with some of the weld. Workbench too small and had to stand for long periods of time so that’s still hard on my back and legs. But overall I’m pleased with the build. I’m still waiting on a plate for on top of the frame. Then figure what seat to use and build a body. I don’t really care if the seat and body aren’t on for a while. I just want to be able to ride the thing.

a) Nice! Looks way overbuilt, I think you were probably a GOOD millwright. 🙂 You won't have my anemic frame problems, that's for sure.
b) You don't need a plate for the top of the frame. (Unless you just want one.) Most just use a mount similar to an engine mount, and you're done, bolt the tub on.
c) Be careful of the weight without the tub, but it looks pretty beefy, not sure if it will matter much. Harleys IIRC have steel tubs, so the weight is considerable compared to some tiny crappy fiberglass tub (like mine).
d) You can sometimes find used tubs without frames for sale. I actually found 2 or 3 times as many of those as I did cars with frames. No telling what kind or condition though, from how your work looks, it might be best just to build your own anyhow.
e) Jay (DMC) is the man. If anyone can answer a question about your build, consider him the Oracle at Olympus. 🙂

Awesome. Thank you so much for the advice. Just test ride it and the sidecar wheel floats way to easy. So I figured 3/16 plate for 8sqft weighs about 55 pounds so I had a spare wheel and tire for an f150 sitting here that I just strapped to the frame for ballast. So far it’s helped a lot. Now to fine tune toe and lean out.

Since you have such a stout foundation, consider building a flatbed in addition to a tub. That way you can easily reconfigure for times when you want to haul cargo instead of passengers. A roll-on flatbed can even be used to take a wheelchair passenger out for an experience that is otherwise closed off to them.

Played around with toe and lean out today. It’s Getting better but still have some small bugs to work out. Rig does straight down the road at 30mph. Right turns feel good. It’s still requires considerably more force to turn left. So I’m figuring I need a little more lean out with the bike or a little more toe in with the sidecar. Not sure which one to go with. Maybe a little of one and if that’s not better try a little more of the other. Any advice is appreciated.

It seems to me, the leanout is more to counteract the road conditions, and the steering probably should be tow. I'm no expert though, do whatever Jay says if he comments. If it's going straight, though, that might not make sense... I mean, it's straight at pretty much any speed, or did you only do 30? I'm not real sure you should mess too much with it if it's running all right but hard to steer. Your frame is monstrous, it might just be big enough to make it hard to steer. Also- realize you probably will have to go through it all over again. Adding the tub and other mods you plan on might change things enough.

The 'convertible' cargo hack idea is fantastic. I've been thinking about making mine do something like that. In the design stages like you're in, you can actually use QD pins like you find at Tractor Supply. However- again, your weights will be different. Putting a tool box on instead of a passenger tub might not be too different, but whatever you do now, and change when you install the tub, will be pretty much exactly what happens when you go to an 'empty' cargo hauler. Again no expert, not real sure how different. But I've been toying with the idea of making a convertible like that. Even thought of mounting a jet ski there, but that's more of a stupid novelty idea than realistic. The biggest drawback I see is wiring and other connections. Honestly, as an electrician, I could do it. QD wire harnesses, and such. I'd have a lot of stuff in a real decent passenger tub, though. It would have USB ports, maybe a radio or heater, all the options DMC throws in. And if you make it like the frame- it's gonna be damn heavy. I'd be worried about how to lift it, where to put it, and how to not scratch the paint. It might actually be easier to build two frames with QD hardware with different stuff on each frame. Shrug. Love the idea, though, it's just practicality is a bit lacking... Something that of course we all worship as sidecar fanatics, right? LMAO

I think set up is going to be a big compromise for me being here in PA. I ride all sorts of different road conditions all the time. Flat highway, twisty, heavily crowned mountain roads, high speed sweepers. We have it all and ride them all frequently. So setting up for the style of road I ride most, well I don’t have one of those. Right now I’m at 7/8” toe in and 1/8” lean out with me on the bike. Having a slight pull to the right on most roads so I’m going to try a little more lean out and see how that goes.

Finally got the diamond plate in and welded. Pretty much turning out how i has it in my head lol. I’m thinking of having it sprayed in bed liner. Haven’t decided yet. It got a little crusty from the long gravel driveway.

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