USCA Sidecar Forum

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New to sidecars - tire question

Hello friends: Just acquired a 2008 Vulcan 1600 Classic with a 2008 Velorex Model 563 Cruiser car. The gentleman from whom I purchased it has a 40-year career riding. The rig looks to be in great shape. The unit only has 5,000 miles on it (bike and sidecar). The sidecar tire has cracks in the sidewall. The current tire is a 190/30/16 Mitas. Suggestions on a replacement tire? Also, when I have a new one mounted, what cautions are necessary in raising the car to remove the wheel? Carefully jack it up being mindful of stress on the frame. I intend to take the whole unit to a motorcycle shop for the tire change. As most of you likely know, the Velorex is a "universal" fit sidecar. Not the fanciest but seems like a good unit for me to get started. I am a long-time motorcyclist but just getting my toes wet in sidecars. Terrific fun so far! No training in my area (South Carolina) but I've read the material found on this site after joining (very helpful) along with David Hough's book. Thanks in advance. Mike

Can't see my initial post (waiting for administrator approval) so I'm not sure if I accurately cited my tire size. It is a 130/90/16. Just wanted to make sure I had that right. Thanks!

Greetingz Kelly, welcome to the slightly off-center world of sidecars!

Someone will be along soon to give you advice on a replacement tire. With only 5K miles on the tire, I'm curious as to why it's cracking. Maybe age? Tires often have a date stamp on them showing the year and week of manufacture. Something like 0517 or 052017 which would be the 5th week of 2017. So like late January or early February. Knowing the tire's age may help diagnose If there is maybe an alignment problem.

As for jacking 'er up, your rig will experience far greater stresses while on the road compared to the stresses of jacking. Try this, step on the left foot peg with your right foot. Grab the handlebars with both hands, swing your left foot out to the left and lean your body out. Have an assistant ready to shove a jack stand under the car frame once the hack wheel is off the ground.

NOTES: did the wheel rise up super easy? If yes, then the car is a bit light for the bike and driver's weight. When you are ready to ride again, You'll need to ballast the car enough so that lifting the wheel is difficult but doable. Were you unable to raise the wheel by yourself? You may be running the (empty) car a bit heavy.

You can save some $$$ by taking wheel of sidecar. It is light so you can lift it by yourself. Put a milk crate or something under the frame. It is only 1 nut(+ cotter pin) to take of wheel.
Any 130/90/16 tire will work.

Sure appreciate the advice. I scoped out the manual for the car and came to the same conclusion. Thanks for validating. Best, Mike

What part of SC are you in? We are in McCormick SC and ride every Tuesday morning and most Saturdays. The Tuesday ride starts on 221 just south of laurens, we call it the Social Security gang but the wife calls us the old something gang, I can't remember what the something is.

Great to hear from you. I'll fit right into the Social Security part! I'm in Columbia (actually Blythewood - just north of the city). I'm just getting started so I'll need a little time to get my hack legs under me. Best to contact ya'll through the forum or another way? Thanks for reaching out. Mike