USCA Sidecar Forum

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Sidecar capacities

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I just got my first sidecar rig Monday. A 07 ultra with a 92 HD sidecar installed by harley dealership. I currently have (2) 60 lb sand bags in it. Our daughter goes around 130. What is a safe weight limit for this? Been riding for almost 40 yrs.

JDH
I too have been riding 40 yrs. Over the years I've had 3 H-Ds with sidecars.
I don't know the official stated weight capacity however in my opinion the 2 sandbags and your daughter = 250lbs, will be right at the limit.I have a 2010 Electra Glide with a 97 H-D hack, with my wife and enough gear for a 2 week trip in the back and on a luggage rack mounted on the sidecar we are close to 200lbs. without any adverse handling issues.
I weigh about 250lbs. when my wife is the pilot and I am in the hack she doesn't have any problems with handling.
Keep in mind with your daughter in it without the sandbags it may raise the sidecar wheel in right turns.
That being said once you get accustomed to the general handling of your rig there is less chance of that happening.
Enjoy the ride!

A test I often try is to:
- Load your tug and car with the weight you expect to carry.
- Stand on the LEFT foot peg with your RIGHT foot.
- Grab the handlebars with both hands.
- Lean your body to the left, extending your left leg out as far to the left as is safe.
- If the car picks up "easily", you need more ballast
- Don't refer to your wife or daughter as "ballast"

Like many things in sidecaring, there are no rules! It will be different for each rig, each driver and each loading. You'll eventually refine your "butt sensor" to know if the "feel" is right for that that day, that minute, that weather, that road, that turn...

Good tip. I will have to try it.
Thanks

my champion escort says capacity is 450 pounds. I gotta think your HD sidecar should be able to at least get close to that. certainly I would guess that the 250 you are talking about could be handled. FWIW, I carry 100 pounds, but remove it any time I plan to have a passenger.
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I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but I'll post these anyway. First is a page from the 2005 Harley sidecar service manual. The service manual only has this information, gross vehicle and axle weights, not specific load capacity for the sidecar. The second page is from an RLE sidecar owner's manual (the sidecar model they mounted to 1980's FXRT) That page gives you some general loading guidelines but the numbers won't be right for your combination. You can probably find a sidecar owner's manual on eBay that will give you the information for your bike's year.

Attached files

Great info.
Hey davet I installed the sidecar I bought from you last Jan and love it.
Just recently registered on the forum. Great resource for info.

Tom

Hi Tom, I'm glad the sidecar is working out well for you. There is a lot of good information available here, many experienced sidecar people. Dave

Having a shock on the axle would sure be nice.
Where did you or do you know where I might find a frame like you have, I believe it was a LAX?
That is the only issue I see with the H-D sidecars.
When I was younger it wasn't a big deal, but now at 65 it would be nice.
Tom

Hi Tom, I will send you a private message so we don't clog up this guy's thread. Thanks, Dave

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