USCA Sidecar Forum

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sidecar heater

I had a Gold Wing 1500 with the heat vents in front of the riders legs. I found that when it was 40 degrees outside the air coming out of the vents was probably only a few degrees warmer. After that experience I not so sure ducting heat from behind the radiator would have much effect.

If your Goldwing is a 1500 or an 1800 then you can put an over sized altenator in however I doubt that you will use all of the power that the bike now produces. Should you need a bit more power then you can change some of the bikes lights over to LED's and also change the head light to HID. All of the electric options mentioned work well, I have used all of these in the past. All would be better then opening up the cooling system and adding heat however if you want to go this route you could also add A/C on the GL1500 by using parts from hot rod air. The GL1800 the end of the crank shaft is only 10mm for turning the crank position triger so it is not strong enough to drive an AC compressor.
Jay G
DMC sidecars

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

i've been thinking that a cuff around the exhaust like we use on the airplanes. it would face the front and then collect the air from around the pipe and route it to the sidecar through a 2 inch or so flex tube. works great in airplanes.. no shortage of heat... only downside doesnt' work when sitting still.. and the flex has to be rather large but heat in the s/c you will get. johnny

Heating something as large and leaky as a sidecar would take a lot of heat. Better to have the heat focused where it will do the most good:

Cold weather is no longer an issue for my passenger-- a heated liner and a windblock fleece over the feet and ankles and she's good to go!



I like the last comment "Heating something as large and leaky as a sidecar would take a lot of heat. "
Right on spot.
In my job I have to make a lot of inventions and for small cheese maturing rooms I needed a small reheating for to achieve the right humidity and eliminate mould.
I used a chineese refrigeration condenser with its fan (for 1/4 ton fridge box = 20$) and a proportional 3 way valve (1/2" = 250Euro) hooked up to the warm side of a chiller. (in your case to the radiator hose)
plus some temperature control.
After that temperature and humidity became completely stable. within the technical limits (If the cooling would be on water I could have got it absolute right on the spot withaout any oscillation rest.

But if Your electric system is well over dimentioned a electric trouser and jacket as suggested is easier to install, plug in, done.

Our sidecar has a 12v outlet. The wife wears a heated jacket liner and covers her legs with a blanket. She says she is as warm as toast!

I'm definitely going to fit a 12v socket and buy one of those 150w heaters. Not just to try out in the sidecar but to de-frost the windscreen. When there's a frost I can't see through the windscreen. I don't want to spray it with de-icer as any residue is going to blow back over me and the paintwork when I ride off so I'm hoping to melt the ice with the heater then I can wipe it away with a soft cloth. I've just ordered a new screen so I want to sort this problem before I fit it.


There is a company named "Curtis" that makes cabs for compact tractors. For their cabs they produce a very small all in one package heater core heater with a 2 speed fan.

I'll put in another vote for the 12 volt blanket. Everyone who has used it loves the thing. It only draws 75-80 watts. Bought it at a truck stop. Under $20.

Here are a few options to consider:

Go to a major truck stop and scout out their supply of electrical blankets and even some small heaters. One never knows what you may find in those places that can be converted for sidecar use.

Check out this vendor and see if something like this may meet your needs. It works as a cooler or a heater. Forget the nonsensical 3rd grade comments about the product though.

Hope the above link works...

Look at the old Zundap heaters that worked for both the sidecar and at the feet of a rider.

Foot heater
heater for sidecar
heater in hack floor

The above reminds me of the old manifold heaters on Model A Fords. Check out the old VW's and see what they used and if it could be adapted or not. I know my old '59 Bug would melt the sides of my shoes after a while..... a long while though. 🙂

Bobby Riddle is trying to make a tonneau cover that works to protect the hack monkey from the elments and keep them warm. Here is a link to his site. He sells some lap robes that may be of interest for riders. Most of his stuff is specific to Urals though.............

Don't forget to check out your local John Deere supplier, as those farmers in those tractor cabs have to keep warm, too. One never know what they may be using.

Just some options to look at. Good luck in finding what works best for you.