USCA Sidecar Forum

For some extra information about navigating the forum you can go to Forum Tips

Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Newbie seeking advice from experienced sidecarists

PreviousPage 3 of 4Next

Thanks for your comments Vlad. In fact thanks again to everyone who took the time to write. I really do appreciate it !

What attracted me to a sidecar in the first place was 3 wheel stability and cargo space to drag all of our stuff on trips. As it turns out, we won't get much if any additional cargo space with my wife in the sidecar. What I didn't mention is my saddlebags are HUGE. The right side bag may not fit with a sidecar attached. https://www.tsukayu.com/HardbagsforVTXrstn.html If it won't fit, that means more money spent on new bags, and even less cargo space than we have now.

I admire your sidecar enthusiasm Vlad. But I don't share that enthusiasm. I think sidecars are cool, but so are trikes. I will end up spending more on a trike than a quality sidecar. But there's far less risk of selling at a huge loss if the trike doesn't work out than if the sidecar doesn't work out. Another thing I haven't mentioned, which may be my best route, is to find a Honda VTX trike, and transplant most of my high dollar accessories to it, then sell the bike I have now. That means one car has to go outside the garage, and we have to move it to take either bike out until I sell the old one, but that's a small inconvenience.

"As it turns out, we won't get much if any additional cargo space with my wife in the sidecar" Not correct. You wil have huge sidecar trank, some extra space inside sidecar, you can have extra bag for rear seat and use rear ruck.
"What I didn't mention is my saddlebags are HUGE. The right side bag may not fit with a sidecar attached." I have
GL1500 with all bags and sidecar on it.
After I install sidecar on Goldwing i find out i missed my 2 wheell Goldwing so i have 2 Goldwings now.
And after I install sidecar on GS850 i find out i missed my 2 wheell GS850 so i have 2 GS850 now., etc...
Sidecar is fun, but you will miss 2 wheels...

Brother, all the advice above is good. I just came back from Kentucky after having a sidecar hung by Hannigan. I ride a Goldwing and we are now the proud owners of a Hannigan GTL sidecar. My wife loves the car and I'm having a whole new experience after 47 years on 2 wheels. Have your wife try a sidecar rifpg for more than an hour or two and I guarantee she will love it as much as my wife does. The difference? For my wife it's all day comfort riding. For me, I am back to 600 mile riding days. Get a quality sidecar made for your type of riding. The Tow-pac may be fine for around town but it won't cut it on the road, even with your wife in it. Pay the bucks for a Champion or Hannigan worthy of your bike. It will be worth it in the end.

Regards,

Jeff

I am only going to say a few things about your post for advice. You stated that nobody was going to ride in the sidecar and i will tell you right off that is going to cause such a balance problem with weight distribution that it may be extremely dangerous. The sidecar rig is going to fly a lot more than you want it to unless you put soooooo much ballast weight in the sidecar to offset the balance problem. The next thing you will have to be concerned about is way too much weight on the rear tire of your bike and the safety issue involved. You may be able to get a automobile tire installed and rid the problem, but i am not sure about your application. That is a few of the issues you will be faced with, so now let's get back to your trike or sidecar choice. I personally have owned a Harley trike for about 6 years now as well as two Harleys with sidecar rigs attached. I do not think there is any ride out there that is more stable on the road wet or dry conditions than a properly set up trike. The biggest mistake trikers make is putting way too much air in the rear tires. They listen to dealers or friends who know absolutely little or nothing about them and are told to put 30 lbs. or more into the tires and that is way too much. If you want a great handling rig, put about 22 to 24 lbs. in the tires and you will see a huge difference with NO difference in tire wear. OK, now let's get back to a side car rig. If you go this route you will have a lot of people gathering around and looking at and asking you questions about your ride as they are just way cooler looking than a trike or two wheeler. Are they hard to drive, NO, it just takes a bunch of miles riding it to get used to it , just like a trike does as you have to steer them more than the other two choices. In the end you will have a ride that is way fun to ride and you will end up the coolest ride of your group. Good luck with your choice and remember this, when you ask for advice on this forum you will get many opinions and mine is just one of them. There are VERY Knowledgeable people here and you came to a GREAT forum to get HONEST opinions and advice. Again, good luck and make your choice wisely and with confidence when you ready.

John Holbrook has reacted to this post.
John Holbrook

Thanks Captdan. I appreciate the advice. At this point, there's almost zero chance that I'll go with a sidecar. I'm very appreciative for all the good information that everyone has contributed. They've saved me time, money, and the disappointment of investing in the original SidePack sidecar that I wrote about.

So after a Saturday of looking at trikes, the surprising development now is that everything has changed. We never seriously considered the Polaris Slingshot, which is basically a 3 wheel car. Thinking about that got the ideas flowing. So as of now, one idea we both like is for me to keep the Honda VTX to ride solo, and trade one of our cars for a sporty little roadster, like a Mazda Miata. My wife gets 4 wheels and sheet metal to make her feel safe, and I get a sporty little roadster to drive all the time. We really don't need two 4 door grocery getters in the family. I get to keep 2 wheels, we get a vehicle with a trunk for road trips, my wife can drive it so she feels more like a participant than a passenger, and everybody's happy.

That's pretty far afield from a sidecar forum, so I'd bet a lot of folks aren't interested, but I'm glad that I asked this forum before going ahead with the sidePack sidecar idea.

Thanks again captdan, and everyone else who replied !

All I have to add at this point is that almost never do you have to remove your saddle bag no matter how large it is.
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

Ok, for those smarter then me.......huh, is that possible .... hahaha To start with I do understand the tip over lines. However here is my question. I weigh 160 lbs and my girl friend weighs 140 lbs so that is three hundred lbs total so if she rides on the bike and not in the car we have increased the weight outside the tip over line by 150 lbs. So please tell me how that is any different then if the driver of the bike weighed 300 lbs and was riding solo?? You then have half his weight over the tip over line same as if the two of us were riding on the bike. I see no difference and I see nothing wrong with her riding on the bike especially if you add some ballast to the car.

It is much easier to shift your weight if need be in board to keep the sidecar down if you have no one behind you and chances are she will not shift her weight at all when needed. The rig truly is much more stable with the passenger in the sidecar. Also seldom discussed while there is nothing wrong with adding ballast, you are making the rig heavier and as such increasing your stopping distance. With her in the sidecar the rig would not need to be as heavy overall. Bone, as you are located in Washington state where we have S/tep classes, why not take one, you will have a lot better understanding of this then you ever will by reading stuff one line or even out of the book by David Hough "Driving a sidecar outfit"
Jay G
DMC sidecars
2328 Roosevelt AVE
Enumclaw WA
98022
866-638-1793
http://www.dmcsidecars.com

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

jaydmc - 10/2/2017 3:22 PM

It is much easier to shift your weight if need be in board to keep the sidecar down if you have no one behind you and chances are she will not shift her weight at all when needed. The rig truly is much more stable with the passenger in the sidecar. Also seldom discussed while there is nothing wrong with adding ballast, you are making the rig heavier and as such increasing your stopping distance. With her in the sidecar the rig would not need to be as heavy overall. Bone, as you are located in Washington state where we have S/tep classes, why not take one, you will have a lot better understanding of this then you ever will by reading stuff one line or even out of the book by David Hough "Driving a sidecar outfit"
Jay G
DMC sidecars
2328 Roosevelt AVE
Enumclaw WA
98022
866-638-1793
http://www.dmcsidecars.com

Hi Jay. Thanks for the response. This is my 3rd rig. I agree with your statement about the stability of the rig with her in it. When she is not with me I do not use ballast in the car. And have never really needed it.
When she is with me she does shift her weight along with me. She says it's just intuitive to do so. She has ridden in the car and does not like it. She does not like being that low looking at the axils of the semi next to us. She says it also inhibits her vision to her left. As well as being closed in and not being able to escape in a hurry if need be.

I got into sidecars this summer, 2017.. My wife always said that she would never ride in a sidecar.. I have another bike that she likes to on the back of, so I came across a good rig and bought it. I brought it home and parked it the garage. A couple of days later she came into the garage and asked if she could sit in the car, so I said sure go ahead. I told her that after I had gotten some experience with the sidecar rig, I would take her for a ride around the city if she wanted. A couple of weeks later I took her for a 45 minute ride, and then this followed with a couple of short rides on the highway. In August of this year we took the rig to British Columbia for a week trip and everything turned out fine. We've been married for 46 yrs and I'm very luck she is tolerant of my escapades.

Couple of things. She found the sidecar rig much noisier to ride in than the bike alone, so we got earplugs. She expressed a real feeling of vulnerability in the car, and she has gotten over that to a great extent, passing semis bothers her and being close to guard rails also are a concern of hers. I guess where I'm going with this is that it is just like the first time somebody rides as a passenger on the back of a motorcycle. There is a learning curve, not only for the driver but the passenger. I'm not saying she has gotten totally over her fears, but she doesn't mind riding in the sidecar or behind me on the bike. A side note is that she won't let me sell the solo bike as she likes it too much.

The big thing is never make it a do or die situation.

PreviousPage 3 of 4Next