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Newbie seeking advice from experienced sidecarists

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Did an article by request for wing world magazine a while back on this but now cannot find it...ugh trike costs more....it is basically a one way street...it usually has no additional storage...stiill limited to 2 passengers...no extra comfort for the passenger...in some ways is less stable than a sidecar. .. and more.

Once again, sincere thanks to those folks who took the time to write. Jay's explanation makes a lot of sense. There's no canine in the family, so that really doesn't matter. What seems to be emerging from all the comments is that my wife will have to ride in the sidecar. That really is a deal breaker. In addition, what I thought would be the added bonus of additional cargo space with a sidecar will pretty much go away if she's riding in it. The cargo sidecar (or a more robust passenger sidecar used just for cargo) was the perfect solution on paper. If one has to ride in the sidecar, and it's as important as Jay says it is, then I need to focus on a trike.

So the plan is to consider the Can-AM Spyder and Harley Tri-Glide, and maybe (longshot) a Goldwing trike. Triking my VTX 1800 is still a distinct possibility, depending on how the demo test rides go. The money issues will matter, but that's just one more consideration in making my final decision.

Thanks again to everyone who replied !

Best Regards,

Steve

Good Morning Steve, lots of excellent information above, but now an observation (not advice): I have twice observed large sidecars used a luggage haulers with driver/passenger riding on the motorcycle - both were very large sidecars, such as Hannigan GTL, mounted touring bikes. The sidecar was close to 300 lbs with some 120 lbs ballast in the trunk and likely 200 lbs of stuff - both where heavy packers. So such may be do-able, but likely only on large rigs.

S/TEP (Sidecar/Trike Training) is available in Lufkin at the Pineywoods Motorcycle Academy. Marcus is the instructor - his email is: Marcuscycleshop@aol.com, 936-637-7555 or 936-674-6767.

Lee / Summer Grove, Louisiana: Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

Thanks SwampFox. That sounds really impractical. Not something I would want to do. I still think sidecars are cool, they're just not right for our situation.

So just out of curiousity, what do y'all do when riding a sidecar rig solo ? Do you have to put ballast in the sidecar ? BTW, my wife is a small woman. She only weighs about 120 lbs. Would a proper sidecar rig still need more weight, even with her in the sidecar ?

How much if any ballast you require depends on many things, One being how heavy you are, again half of your weight is out side of the tip over lines. It also depends on how heavy the sidecar is, how wide it is mounted, CG of both the bike and the sidecar and other factors. Nothing wrong will ballast if the sidecar is strong to begin with. Not the case on smaller "cheaper" sidecars like those out of India and the Czech republic. One of my own bikes an F800GS with an Enduro sidecar on it we run 50 LBS in the cooler/seat of the sidecar if we do not have a passenger. My other bike until very recently was a BMW R1200GSA with our Expedition sidecar. No ballast ever, it is a wider heavier sidecar.
It has been my experience that almost all passengers once they have tried sidecar find it a much better place to ride then behind the rider of the bike. What we normally do for people whose passenger does not want to ride in the sidecar if they are local to us have them stop by on a nice sunny day with their riding gear and I take them out for a long ride in the country. This pretty much always has the effect of changing minds about sidecars and ridding in them.
Again I have to ask, and how does she feel about green eggs and ham?
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

stevel53 - 9/29/2017 8:03 AM

So just out of curiousity, what do y'all do when riding a sidecar rig solo ? Do you have to put ballast in the sidecar ? BTW, my wife is a small woman. She only weighs about 120 lbs. Would a proper sidecar rig still need more weight, even with her in the sidecar ?

Even small woman makes good ballast. And you do not be worry she will help you to add more weight.

Her objection to riding in the sidecar is not based on logic, it's based on emotion. She thinks that where "old ladies" (ie: aging people with physical limits, etc) have to sit. If I were really committed to doing a sidecar, I could bring her to a sidecar rally and let her see plenty of vibrant, younger people riding in sidecars. She could talk to those people and maybe change her mind. But after reading all the comments, considering the weight/balance/handling issues with a sidecar, I'm not sure that I want one now. Trikes just seem to be less fussy about weight distribution.

Buying a robust passenger sidecar is a big investment. Almost as much as a trike kit. Trikes are far more marketable than sidecars if I decide to sell it. I don't know if I'll like a sidecar. I could take the training course and find out, which I might do. In the meantime, Can-Am offers free demo rides, and I think the local Harley dealer has a trike for demo rides as well. The Harley trike should be very similar to what I can expect if I trike my VTX.

So the plan is to check out trikes first. A sidecar may be in the cards, but at this point it's not likely.

Some info:
http://sidecar.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5054&posts=36&highlight=sidecar%20vs%20trike&highlightmode=1#M29620

http://sidecar.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=2362&start=1&highlight=sidecar+vs+trike&highlightmode=1

http://www.goldwingfacts.com/forums/98-trikes-trailers-sidecars/647073-sidecar-trike-why-2.html

stevel53 - 9/29/2017 8:49 AM

Her objection to riding in the sidecar is not based on logic, it's based on emotion. -Every day I can here smething new!- She thinks that where "old ladies" (ie: aging people with physical limits, etc) have to sit. - If you thinking about sidecar you are - "old ladies" or you want to ride with children. - If I were really committed to doing a sidecar, I could bring her to a sidecar rally and let her see plenty of vibrant, younger people riding in sidecars. She could talk to those people and maybe change her mind. - Sound like good idea. - But after reading all the comments, considering the weight/balance/handling issues with a sidecar, I'm not sure that I want one now. Trikes just seem to be less fussy about weight distribution. - Do not wary about it. As soon as you start you will not think about it at all.

Buying a robust passenger sidecar is a big investment. Almost as much as a trike kit. -Not true. It lot less. Used sidecar can be found for lot less. - Trikes are far more marketable than sidecars if I decide to sell it. - When you start you do not sell your sidecar rig unless you want to buy newer /bigger rig. - I don't know if I'll like a sidecar. I could take the training course and find out, which I might do. In the meantime, Can-Am offers free demo rides, and I think the local Harley dealer has a trike for demo rides as well. The Harley trike should be very similar to what I can expect if I trike my VTX.

So the plan is to check out trikes first. A sidecar may be in the cards, but at this point it's not likely.

What ever you do I hope it will make you happy.

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