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Sidecar Restoration Motorvation F2 and 1985 GL1200


After years of drooling  my wife and I decided to restore a hack together this winter.  Ive read the books, Ive done the math. I need a benchmark for the mounts. Can someone clue me in on the best attach parts for my hack?  Steering damper advice? front fork mods?  

Your insights into my set up would  be greatly appreciated.  Clay in SW Wisconsin.  


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CCjon has reacted to this post.

Hi R Clayton

great news about you and your wife working together on the Motorvation. I had one on my GL1500 for a hand full of years and we loved it. what mounts if any do you have right now. just a couple notes, check to see if your torsion arm is the new splined design or the old square end. if it is the square end I would start looking right away for a splined one. the 1200 should be a great tug. I don't think you will need a subframe for it, I know I didn't with the 1500. as far as fork mods a 4.5 deg tree mod works great, I found I didn't need the damper once the tree was replaced. I think I have some mounting parts left over from my set up, I can look and see if you like. 

CCjon has reacted to this post.
USCA # 8913

We make mounts for these bikes. One issue people when they make their own mounts or mounts from several companies that were around when these bikes were new is that they put the lower rear mount. As the frame raises near the rear the lower rear mount is often attached much higher than the lower front mount. The issue with this is that when you align a sidecar, you first set toe in, then lean out. Test ride and fine tune by adjusting lean out.  With the lower rear higher then the lower front when you go to lean it out you change toe in, the wrong direction. So, if you have a pull to the right, you would lean it out. This causes it to toe out causing more of a pull to the right. It can be challenging to find the sweet spot where it all works. On our mounts we drop the center stand out of the bike using its mounting points and then attach to the pivot bolt for the swing arm. Here are the detailed instructions

When we work with Motovation (and Hannigan) sidecars we also make changes to the lower mounts. These sidecars use 1 1/4 inch tubing that we find flexes then they attach to the lower mounts with eye bolts (note if you have the old ball clamp type, these fail, change them) We do not like eye bolts mounts as unless the bolt connecting them is parallel to the ground when you adjust lean out you force stress into the system.  What we use are hiem joints (eye bolts with a bearing in them) with these you are not forcing any stress into the system and you can fine tune your toe by threading them in or out.  To deal with the 1 1/4 inch boss and clamps we make a double walled 1 1/4 inch shaft clamp with a 1 1/2 inch clamp end then use our standard 1 1/2 inch bosses. This takes much of the flex out.

You may wish to reduce trail on the front of the bike, often this was done with a leading link front end. I know of no company still making these for your bike. Or it was done with triple tree's. I know of only one company that still offers these trees however cannot recommend the company. Finding used may be your best options.

On the bike, if you do not know the history, change the timing belts, bad things happen if they break. You need not buy Honda motorcycle belts, Honda civic belts from your local auto parts store are the same. I would also change the water pump while that far into the system. Do not use an antifreeze with silica in it as it can take out the pump seals. Also while this far in, I would change the tensioner and idler bearings.

Hope this is of some help.

Jay G
DMC sidecars
Monday - Thursday 6-4:30 GMT-8
15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD
Buckley WA 98321


DRONE, CCjon and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
DRONECCjonCraigDavid & Christy
Jay G DMC sidecars 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30

This is how my motivation2 is mounted to my gl1200.  Prev owner said motivation mounted it.  3 clamps, 1 bushing/spacer welded to frame gusset  under seat and thru-bolted.

bike is way dirty, just rode 100 miles of gravel on the Trans-America Trail west of Buffalo Ok.

Its also way fun to read how the mounting practices have changed over the years, as well as learning why mount placement is so important.

picture order:

Front lower

front upper

rear lower (clamp behind footrest mount)

rear upper ( this one is the one bolted thru the welded in spacer/bushing in the frame gusset under the seat).

front view

back view

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