USCA Sidecar Forum

For some extra information about navigating the forum you can go to Forum Tips

WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR GIFT CARDS. IF YOU RECEIVE AN EMAIL TO THAT EFFECT, IT DID NOT COME FROM THE USCA. IT IS A PHISHING SCAM. DO NOT REPLY!

You need to log in to create posts and topics.

New to Sidecar riding.

12

Hi, I'm Walt from Montana.

I am in the process of purchasing an Indian Vintage Chief with a Motorvation Spyder sidecar. I have been riding motorcycles (mostly Harleys) for over 50years, but this will be my FIRST attempt at riding with a sidecar.

I've talked with a couple of people that have given me suggestions on how to learn how to ride with a sidecar attached and to just forget about what I know about riding a two-wheeled motorcycle. So I'm looking for as much info as I can find before riding it over 900 miles home without any knowledge of what to expect. Or to just trailer it home first.

Does anyone know if there are any Training facilities in Montana, or the nearest one?

 

Walt, you said you live in Montana and that it is 900 miles from the present location of the sidecar rig to home.  Even if you are traveling through only sparsely populated areas I'd still be concerned about how quickly you can develop your sidecar riding skills.  If you have a day in which to acclimate yourself to the off-centered riding style before taking to the open road you might be ready to ride the rig home.  Have the seller or someone familiar with the locale take you to a nearby parking lot (perhaps at a school where the lot will be empty) where there are painted lines you can use to check your progress.  Practice starting and stopping until you can keep your bike wheels on the painted line.  Practice left and right turns.  Start out making slow turns and then go faster and turn tighter until you become adjusted to the "feel" of having an outrigger.  You'll find left turns to be less scary than right turns (most people think it should be the opposite).  You will feel the sidecar get light in right turns as you increase speed and/or tighten the radius of the turn.  I'd suggest you ballast the sidecar with some easily removable weight such as a couple bags of softener salt unless you have someone who trusts you enough to sit in the sidecar while you learn to safely operate it.

Practice shifting up and down and stopping in turns.  Practice rapid acceleration from a stop, and also practice near-panic stops until you know you have control over the weird physics of a sidecar rig.  Also practice using the turn signals, high/low headlight beam switch, horn and other controls while riding.  If you don't have time to spend a day learning to handle the sidecar rig before riding it home you'd better trailer it home and then do your practicing.

The Indian is a pretty hefty bike and the Spyder is a lighter sidecar than many roomier "luxury" touring sidecars.  If your Spyder is fitted with the Indian style valanced fenders and tail light and is color coordinated it is a beautiful unit.  I've seen some new combos at the Motorvation Engineering plant because the Indian  and Motorvation plants were only about 30 miles apart.

 You ask. Trailer

One you have no idea how well it is setup. That can have an effect on how it handles . Sidecar is a big learning curve. It shares little with years of two wheel experience. Trailer it home , give yourself time to grow into it and make it a great experience.

Stay in touch , let us know how it is going.

Thanks smitty. 

I had always thought people who trailered their bikes rather than riding them were pretenders, but after doing a little research and talking to a few knowledgeable folks and watching some videos of riding an mc w/sidecar, I realized I should definitely trailer it home and PRACTICE  with it (probably in my pasture first!), I had pretty much decided that was the best way to get it home safely.

Major thanks to Tax Man!  Your detailed reply was well received and although I have always been the first to jump before looking, I think I'll just practice, and then practice some more before going out into traffic with my new purchase.

Walt, welcome to the world of sidecars! I vote with the others- trailer it home since you have so far to get from point A to point B and no experience. Even little things like not being used to the third wheel being so far out from what you'd feel normal after riding on two wheels for so long can lead to problems. But worse than that, come into a right hand corner too fast and the sidecar wheel comes up in the air when your not expecting it. Surprised, you'd turn left to set it back down and if there's oncoming traffic, that can be real dangerous. Far more so than the wheel in the air. OK, that's not why I decided to chime in. The reason I decided to chime in is to suggest you give Ralph in Libby a call when you get it home. He's the Montana USCA rep and a heck of a good guy. If by any chance you're close and the two of you could link up, he could give you some good pointers in person. I don't know that I should put his phone number on this post but you'll find it on the website that got you to the forum here. https://www.sidecar.com

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

first day with a rig 145km 3 times straight into the pasture.

second day whacked out of the ground a road side plock.

3 weeks into riding 3/4 salto mortale in the left ditch...Bike standing on its number plate and I ... hanging down like the pig to slaughter, breathing 1 m deep  snow.

That was in Germany's and Norway's winter in December 1986.

If I would do it again? Yes for sure, but my nick name says it all.

Quote from Walt Easley on April 23, 2020, 8:02 pm

Thanks smitty. 

I had always thought people who trailered their bikes rather than riding them were pretenders, but after doing a little research and talking to a few knowledgeable folks and watching some videos of riding an mc w/sidecar, I realized I should definitely trailer it home and PRACTICE  with it (probably in my pasture first!), I had pretty much decided that was the best way to get it home safely.

 For almost 50 years rode every where . Trailer was for break downs. Always kept a basic cheap one around in case someone need it. Now with trying to get Payton to other parts of the country to ride some times it makes sense to trailer. Car will be there when needed. The trip is easy than with wife and I on the bike and Payton in the sidecar. Big problem trail some Rigs WIDTH.  It took me a while to narrow down the trailer that would fit our needs.  Low sides to clear wide enough and a ramp that was easy to ride up and down.

  When you get it home work with it . Don't give up and in time you will master it. The more you master it the more fun it will be.

20191204_120606[1]

 

 

Quote from Reardan Tom on April 23, 2020, 9:31 pm

Walt, welcome to the world of sidecars! I vote with the others- trailer it home since you have so far to get from point A to point B and no experience. Even little things like not being used to the third wheel being so far out from what you'd feel normal after riding on two wheels for so long can lead to problems. But worse than that, come into a right hand corner too fast and the sidecar wheel comes up in the air when your not expecting it. Surprised, you'd turn left to set it back down and if there's oncoming traffic, that can be real dangerous. Far more so than the wheel in the air. OK, that's not why I decided to chime in. The reason I decided to chime in is to suggest you give Ralph in Libby a call when you get it home. He's the Montana USCA rep and a heck of a good guy. If by any chance you're close and the two of you could link up, he could give you some good pointers in person. I don't know that I should put his phone number on this post but you'll find it on the website that got you to the forum here. https://www.sidecar.com

 

Thanks for your input Tom.

I am not a regular computer forum guy , so don't always know how to maneuver aroung them. I can't seem to find how to contact "Ralph, in Libby". Perhaps you could contact him and give him my number (406-360-2001).

On another subject, and please, anyone chime in, of all the bikes w/hack that I have viewed, I've chisled it down to either  an 2015 Indian Chief with a Spyder sidecar or a 2007 Ural with a Ural sidecar. Obviously, it is probably not exactly matching apples and oranges, but that is what I trying to find out. Both have very low milage.

Is there an advantage to having a bigger,and heavier and much more powerful bike or a smaller, lighter and less powerful bike? 

12