USCA Sidecar Forum

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newbie questions...

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Katie,
I don't know where you go to find training for riding sidecar rigs. I received mine when we had our first sidecar grafted onto the bike. Gary at Motorvation Engineering took the rig and me to a high school parking lot where he first demonstrated starting, stopping, turning, signaling, etc. Then he required me to start and stop in a straight line using the parking lot paint stripes to guide on. Then I had to start, stop, shift, and signal at his command in a figure 8. He demonstrated "flying" the car, but did not require me to try that maneuver.

Left turns on a US rig is not very problematic. Right turns can be scary if the sidecar is not heavy enough for the bike or not properly ballasted. I've flown the sidecar only once. It was unintentional and very unnerving. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic and there was a driveway I could use for a runout to get the sidecar back down. It happened when I took a right turn too fast, it was an acute angle turn, and I didn't have a passenger in the sidecar. You will learn to use acceleration in right turns and deceleration in left turns to remove effort from steering. I haven't changed my steering head geometry or front forks to make steering more effortless. I have an electric "lean" control that allows me to level the rig from side to side which makes straight-line steering feel neutral instead of pulling to the left or right because of road camber, amount of weight on the sidecar, and cross winds that affect steering. I do not mess with the struts that attach the sidecar. I have had the torsion bar suspension collapse once because I hit a DEEP pothole, and I've had a weld break that held the torsion bar in place. In the first case the rig leaned severely to the right until I could get to where I could make repairs on the suspension, and in the second the toe-in on the sidecar became toe-out and the sidecar tire was chewed down to the steel belt in only a short time.

GWRRA has training for trikes and sidecars, but around here it seems to be a pretty much one-size-fits-all with emphasis on trikes. I'll admit I only viewed their video training DVD. I don't know if ABATE has sidecar training.

It may sound to you from my comments as if sidecaring is a terrible way to go and is unreasonably dangerous. We love it. We choose to travel by sidecar whenever we can up here in the northern part of the country.

Don after reading your comments, I think you as most long time sidecar riders would learn a lot if they take the advanced sidecar class offered through out the county and administered by the Evergreen safety council. You will learn things you may not know such as the proper way to use the front brake while staying on the throttle in turns.
For people who can not get to a training facility I recommend the book by David Hough "driving a sidecar outfit" We sell it for $34.95
I will not give training to new riders in a parking lot for an hour or two, just to much to cover instead we arrange if you are picking up a new rig from us and have not ridden sidecar before to have you take one of the many classes local to us, we will even deliver your rig there so you can train on your own bike rather then the schools bike.
BTW, I certified as an instructor in the first ever instructor certification class, I was also the assistant instructor when the classes were being taught before any instructors were certified while we were still working out the details of what works best in class.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
http://www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793

Jay G DMC sidecars www.dmcsidecars.com 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30

With some experience under our belt, we may have absorbed more instruction the 2nd time we participated in the S/TEP course.

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

SwampFox - 6/10/2014 9:30 PM

With some experience under our belt, we may have absorbed more instruction the 2nd time we participated in the S/TEP course.

I found this to be true for me. Knowing what to expect and what questions to ask helped a great deal.

Katie, I suggest you make a trip up to Prescott and visit Mark Tetreau at Scooter and Auto Source. Mark's a Ural dealer and also a sidecarist for nearly 40 years. I'm not suggesting you buy a Ural but give him a call, take your riding gear and take a guided spin on a Ural to help guide you with your sidecar quest.

New Urals will cruise at 65 and have lesser maint needs than the older ones. Good on dirt, too.

I owned a couple and liked the reverse. Now I have an 1100 V-Star with a sidecar, no reverse, and I get along fine.

Good luck with your quest.

Al Bond

Sounds like a great idea. We go up there to get out of the heat fairly often. Next day off that would be a good little ride.
Thanks for the suggestion.
Katie 🙂

Jay, were you the presenter for DMC at the national rally in Coeur d'Alene, ID two years ago? I enjoyed that presentation. I'm sure I could benefit from sidecar training, but I have not been aware of the availability of that kind of training in this area.

Yes, I did a presentation at the national rally two years ago as well as the last time the national rally was in Washington State as my wife and I also hosted that national.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793

Jay G DMC sidecars www.dmcsidecars.com 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30
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