USCA Sidecar Forum

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new to sidecars, need alittle help

Hi I am new to, not sure what I am doing. Anyway I just bought a '83 honda cb1000 custom with side car. Problem is the mounting bolts are missing, it has 4 mounting point 2 are male/female and bolt slides through, the other 2 are balls that looks like they slide into a tapered cone but no way of fastening. I have looked at the dauntless website. I dont really know what I am looking for and not everything is pictured. Any help finding the mounting bolts would be appreciated . Thank you Brian.

Brian,Congratulations on the new rig! You'll find that by and large, sidecarists are a friendly and helpful bunch.Collet and ball mounts are common. What sidecar do you have? We need pictures to tell which parts you are missing but it sounds like all that's missing is the leaves (or jaws if you will) that hold the balls and the plate and bolt that fixes them. What part of Iowa are you in? Maybe we have a memebr who is close by and can help.

A couple of low definition digital pix of the car and whatever mountings you have, posted in the album section, would be a great help.

Hello again I posted a few pics in an album called blueblack4444 brian's sidecar. I live in Manchester Ia about 45 min. west of dubuque. I dont know what kind of sidecar it is, if anyone could tell that would be great. If the pics are not good enough I can try again later. thank you for any info and replies to my post. Brian

Brian,You appear to have a California Friendship Sidecar, probably an earlier one. There are other sidecars that look similar so I'm not certain. It also appears that the pieces you are missing are the ones I speculated about earlier, the collets or leaves that hold on to the balls and the plate and screw that fixes them. I understand that some folks are not happy with that mount system using the small balls but I HAVE NO DIRECT EXPERIENCE WITH IT. You may find that California has discontinued their ball mounts but they will surely have a substitute. You can contact California Sidecar at or 434/263-8866. Despite the name, they are located in Coleen, VA. You'll find that they are very nice folks. they have been supportive of the USCA and most California owners say that the factory is very service oriented. Good Luck!

Here's what the missing parts will look like. These are off of my Dnepr so I doubt they would fit, but you are welcome to them if you give me a mailing address. Unfortunately I only have enough to make one connection.

Attached files

You definitely want to upgrade to the rod end (heim joint) lower mounts even if you find the "flowers" and the small 5/16" sae bolts that were used on the early FS 1 sidecars along with a marble sized ball. A few of these parted company with the motorcycle in the past. They bolts and extruded flower were easily stripped from overtightening. The new type lower connectors just slip in to the existing slip-tubes. The upper strut mounts are OK as is. 4 bike clamps and you should be home free unless you need a damper to control head shake, but they have those too.
It looks like you may have the electric "lean" also. They should have the controls for that too.

The "ball/jaw" clamps have been used successfully for years on vintage sidecars in Europe, Asia, etc. However, it is essential the jaw parts are forged steel, not flimsy aluminum. Some North American sidecar companies used aluminum parts to mimic the European bits, and many of these failed. As a result, ball/jaw clamps got a bad reputation in the USA. The clamps from Russia and the Ukraine are crude but very strong.
The current trend in North America is to use large spherical rod ends ("heim joints") captured in a clevis with a through bolt. These are shockingly expensive, but very strong. The advantage of any main attachment fitting that can move around is that this allows easier sidecar alignment.

Thank you to everyone who answered my post I appreciate all the help. Brian