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New rider in Montana

Hi, I recently bought an Indian with a Motorvation sidecar and would like to hook up with more experienced riders to quicken the learning curve of riding with a sidecar.

You can contact me through this forum or email me at

Hi Walt:

Welcome to the slightly off-center group of sidecarists.  There are other riders in Montana but having traveled across the state repeatedly - that is a big state.  Unless you are in Brodus or some eastern Montana town I won't be able to help much other than to give advice.  As you might have guessed - the USCA has lots of people willing to give free advice.  

Having read your earlier email you have started well. My only other advice might be to find a large empty parking lot and just ride around it until you get the feel of the new forces at work with a sidecar hanging on the right side of a perfectly good motorcycle.  If it is set up right you should be able to go straight without much pressure on the handlebars. You will note that the sidecar tends to lag behind (dodge left) when you speed up and dart right when you slow down.  You learn to compensate for these tendencies with more practice. 

There is a book that is available written by David Hough (riding and related instructions).  There is other information on the tech menu option above.  It is downloadable if you prefer having a hard copy.  I like to print things like this off and 3-hole punch it and put it in a three ring binder.  

I noted that you have a Motorvation.  Does it have the adjustable suspension?  I rode a K1100 BMW with a Formula from Motorvation.  We literally rode it form coast to coast and border to border.  It had the adjustable torsion bar option and that took a lot of the pressure off the steering.  

Feel free to ask questions.  There will be lots of free advice.


Will Short

Ex-USCA President

Rapid City, SD

I found it! Your post I mean.

I've been riding my new rig quite a bit. Primarily on the back roads as there is less traffic and lots of turns and curves. There aren't too many large parking lots near me so the backroads are just fine. I would like to try the parking lot as I watched a video of a guy riding figure 8"s. I'm working at getting my sidecar up on the right turns but haven't been able to keep it up "through" the turns yet.

As for the Motorvation suspension, I am ignorant about most of the set-up, but I can say it has a "spring-loaded" shock abasorber and what appears to be a Steering Dampener attached to the front wheel.

I read and also was told thaat the bike should have a" left lean out" and the sidecar a slight "toe-in" and I believe it does but I would really like to find someone who could check out my rig to ensure it is set up right. 

It seems to ride well so I'll just keep riding.

Take care Will, and hope to see you sometime.