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New to the sidecar world......

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Hello All! Just picked up an 88 Goldwing GL1500 with a California Sidecar. This is my first rig and have a few questions. First of all I do not know what model or year the California sidecar that is on it. Any help with this? The tag with the serial number is still there. Also have no manual to go with the sidecar.

I get a nasty wobble at low speeds if I ride with one hand. I can keep it under control with 2 hands but it is still there. Would the best option to get rid of it be adding a steering damper?   I know.... I know.... Keep 2 hands on the bars.

I've always wanted a Goldwing and have alway admired sidecars, now I have both! A friend of mine bought it last year and was thinking of selling it. I told him to keep me in mind. A few weeks later he asked me about my Buell S1 and wanted to work out a deal. Long story short... he is now a Buell owner and I have the Wing with a hack. The S1 was just hanging around the garage so it was a no brainer for me. Plus my kids were psyched to see the new rig so that made it easier to get rid of the S1. The challenge of riding a rig with a sidecar is pretty interesting. Something I am looking to get really good at and add to my riding experience.

Adding a few pictures of my new to me ride, also my small collection of bikes. The picture of me and my daughter was of the first ride we went on together. As you can tell she hated it......

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My experience with steering dampers is that they stiffen the steering.  I have learned that if you snug up the bearings in the steering head you achieve the desired effect without the added steering stiffness.

Jack up the bike so that the front wheel is just off the ground/floor and tighten the nut that holds the triple clamp to the bike.  Properly tightened the front wheel/forks should fall slowly to one side or the other.  Don't get too aggressive as you will create flat spots on the bearings and that is not good.

Will Short

Ex-President USCA

 

While you're at it, check the pressure in the front tire.  Many of us run a bit more than the recommended pressure.  Low pressure often induces a wobble.

 

Al Olme

Al Olme Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote from Damnut on October 12, 2019, 8:27 pm

...an 88 Goldwing GL1500 with a California Sidecar. This is my first rig....

...wobble at low speeds....

...picture of me and my daughter was of the first ride we went on together. As you can tell....

Congrats on the new rig.  I concur with adjusting the steering head bearings before trying a steering damper.  Also, should family continue to enjoy the rig, I further suggest investing in a modified triple tree for sidecars/trike (presuming you do not already have such).  Appropriate triple trees not only make the steering easier and the ride much more enjoyable, in my experience it also helps reduce the wobble.

 

Lee Summer Grove, LA R1100GS/CSM Sidecar, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L

The sidecar looks like the Friendship I model - We've had ours, on a 1994 GL1500SE, for about 3 years now and love it! I replaced the original seat with one made for a Jeep CJ5 - lots more padding for the monkey...

Thanks for the replies!

Will... I don't mind the feel of dampers as I have one on my EBR and had one on my old CBR trackbike. I have one laying around from one of my old Buells and figured I'd throw it on there to help with the wobble for now.

Al... one of the first things I did was check air pressure to see if it was low. If I am loaded on my Buell S3T and the front tire is low I feel the same effect. It is no where near as bad as it is on this rig though. I inflated the front up to 40psi with no difference. I was hoping that would have fixed it. Thanks.

 

Swampfox.... Thanks! I absolutley love it. It brings a whole new dynamic to motorcycling for me that has awesome to be learning so far. I was looking at the 6° rake triple trees last night from Hog Halters, Champion sidecar and Cut & Shoot customs. So far I'm leaning towards the Hog Halters. Any input on one company over another? Or 4.5° over 6°?  Something I'm planning on adding down the road.

 

Alan.... thanks for the info. I actually figured out what model it is late last night. I'm going to send my info to Florida sidecar to figure out what year it is by the serial number and features. It was made in Westminster so I know it's between a 89 and a 98. Good to know about the CJ5 seat! I'm a Jeep  guy so finding one shouldn't be an issue. I was thinking of putting an air suspension seat from a commercial lawnmower in there.

The Wing needs a little but of work. My buddy couldn't tell me anything about it's history so I'm going to assume nothing has been done. I know it has a vacuum leak and the air suspension doesn't work. Going to be putting all new vac/air lines in it along with a carb cleaning, replacing the timing belts & tune up. The bike only has 43k on it but runs a bit rough. I also want to replace all the wheel bearings. Basically start from scratch maintenance wise. I have some work to do this winter for sure.

The sidecar itself is in really good shape along with the top and side windows. I want to add a headlight to it and a few comfort accessories for the monkey. Was a nice fall day and took the kids for a nice ride. It's very cool to be able to bring both of them with me for a ride. No more arguing who is going for a ride with Dad. lol

 

 

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Quote from Damnut on October 13, 2019, 2:34 pm

... looking at the 6° rake triple trees last night from Hog Halters, Champion sidecar and Cut & Shoot customs. So far I'm leaning towards the Hog Halters. Any input on one company over another? Or 4.5° over 6°?...

Damnut, we have no personal experience with GL1500 rigs, so can't comment directly; however, we have installed triple trees from Hawg Halters on the Sportster and MotorTrike on a Burgman, both with excellent results.

Lee Summer Grove, LA R1100GS/CSM Sidecar, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L

Thanks Swampfox. I definitely plan on getting a set of raked triple trees. I just picked up a Benelli TNT 135 to ride around town with and to ride with my wife. She has a Kawasaki Z125 and I picked up the 135 so I wouldn't have to ride my fast bikes slow. It's much more fun to ride a slow bike fast. So I have a list of mods to do to the 135 as well as go through the Wing and hack this winter. Definitely plan on going to some meetups next year with the new to me rig.

Does your sidecar have a shock or is it torsion bar type suspension. If it is torsion bar you could have an issue with the bushings or bearings it pivots on. If they have wear then this needs to be addressed before you start trying to deal with the front end shake.

Jay G
DMC sidecars

http://www.dmcsidecars.com

866-638-1793

welcome to the fun world of sidecars

looks like a nice set up

Just my 2 cents here, I agree on tightening the head bearings, BUT if your planning to replace the tree don't do the bearings as it is rather labor involved and you have to go back in and do the same thing to replace the tree. based on my experience and others I have talked to I wouldn't do 6deg 4.5 is great. but that will be for you to decide. for now to reduce the head shake crank your rear air shock all the way up, I run mine at 100, now that is the reading with it sitting on the ground and the car hooked up so it's prob not really that high. also you can push your fork tubes up in the tree about 10MM up to 1/2 inch

everything will still clear and it will change your trail a little bit and help in the steering. the damper works great and being stiff only comes into play on turns or tight curves sometimes. I rode mine over a year like this before replacing the tree. https://www.triketalk.com/forum/threads/2580-Rake-Kits-Discount-to-TT-com-Members I found this to be the best place to get the tree for the Gold Wing

the wings a sensitive to tire wear, I still get a little head shake when my steer starts cupping but it is very mild and can be  handled one handed with ease

also Just my opinion, going double dark really makes a big difference in how smooth it rides

 

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