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Sidecar turns

Give us a report on how it went.

jwshort - 11/25/2017 12:26 PM

Give us a report on how it went.

A Tax snaffu has delayed bringing it home. My former Town that I used to live in, for some reason never reported to the DMV when I paid my taxes for the motorcycle in that town. So naturally it made me look delinquent in the database, and the dealership could not complete the registration for the bike.

Naturally it would be a holiday, and a weekend, and the DMV will not be open until Tuesday.

So my wife has graciously consented to going to the Town Hall to the tax office, to straighten that mess out, and maybe, if I’m lucky, by Tuesday I’ll be able to go up and finish the paperwork process, and bring the damn thing home.

Meanwhile I was able to inspect the rig, and point out things that needed correction. For example, there usually is a battery tender pigtail attached to the battery on the new RE bikes that come in, and in this case that component was missing, so I pointed that out and they put it on there right away.

There is a .250 Diameter mounting hole on the top of the fender which covers the tire on the sidecar, that is there for an accessory tail light, should I have chosen to buy one. I didn’t. So I asked him to plug the hole because I thought it was ugly to see an open hole on the fender, and so they plugged it.

I was surprised to see that although they told me that the “windshield had to be ordered” for the sidecar, they actually had the frame for the windshield already in place. That was a plus!

The salesman didn’t know that there was a storage compartment behind the backseat cushion of the sidecar, so I showed him where it was and how to open it.

The salesman didn’t know how to check the spokes to make sure that they were all properly tightened, so I showed him how to do that. Not necessarily his job of course, but I figured while I was educating him, I might as will teach him that too. I only know enough to be dangerous. I listen for the ringing sound that properly tightened spokes will give out, versus the “thunk” sound that you get when they’re not.

The mounting system, including the stabilizer bar, were all installed properly (I watched a few videos on the parts involved and how they are installed, so I was already aware of that type of stuff, so that I could look at it with an educated eye. I’m certainly no expert though) and securely. They did note, that if I were to brake hard suddenly, and the nose were to dive down too far, part of the fork housing could come in contact with the stabilizer bar, during the sudden and exaggerated stop. (Apparently there’s no way to lower the stabilizer bar on the fork beyond where it already is), and so it simply means that I’ll have to make sure that all my braking is modestly done, and hope I never have to “emergency stop” the bike, for fear of damaging the stabilizer bar.

They presented me with my free “Royal Enfield“ T-shirt, some spare parts as a result of the sidecar install, (like the rear pegs, for example) and I have a spare set of keys. (Whoopie!!)

I was able to get the signing of SOME of the paperwork done, but I hadn’t been able to get through the DMV Registration part, obviously.

I attempted to kick start the bike but I’m inexperienced at doing so, and so I’m sure that I just simply didn’t kick it hard enough. It’s a learning curve and I’ll figure it out. I knew I had to bring it to the top of the stroke and I attempted to do that three or four times before I actually gave it a good solid kick. The bike however, DID start right away through the electronic startup system, and ran smoothly and responded well to the throttle.

I was anticipating driving it around the parking lot, to familiarize myself with the way it behaves, before I drove it home; but I got wrapped up in the paperwork before I had a chance to do that, so the next time I go back there, I will take it around the parking lot a few times before I leave to bring it home. Needless to say, the bike is not home yet.

The financial girl at the dealership incessantly calls me “sweetie,” and “honey,” and “darling!” I hate that! It’s so condescending!! Besides, I prefer that only my significant other uses those terms of endearment.

The salesman talks fast and like he has marbles in his mouth. I frequently have to slow him down and say, “OK; let’s talk about this again; carefully.

The bike has a full tank of gas, and “1” mile on the odometer. Those two things, I EXPECTED to be that way.

I can tell you that I sat on it, and the Salesman attached The DMV plate that I was transferring over; although........it’s possible that after this Tax snafu, a “new” DMV License Plate will likely be done, to avoid any friggin confusion in the future!

There’s a button on the outside of the left hand grip housing, for flashing my headlights. I didn’t know THAT existed until yesterday.

I saw no flaws in the paint job on either the sidecar or the bike. I looked it over very carefully for any cosmetic issues. That’s how I discovered the unused .250 diameter hole in the sidecar tire fender that I asked them to plug.

Naturally, my wife was with me, because she drove me up to the dealership. I had my leathers in the back of the car for the ride home. She DID get into the sidecar and said she had “plenty of room,” which was a great thing! They had the cover for the sidecar, for when a person is not riding in it, and so I asked them to put it on, which they did. The sidecar has some really comfortable armrest cushions, and a nice chromed-out luggage rack on the back.

I noticed that when the salesman checked the gas tank to confirm that there was a full tank of gas in there, that the latch cover on the top of the tank, was somewhat finicky and needed a special touch. I asked him to revisit that, to make sure that we were “OK” in that regard.

There is no trip meter, but there IS at least, an idiot light that comes on when the bike is down to its last gallon of gas. So, I will have to pay attention to the odometer, like “old school,” and get gas about every hundred miles.

I should also make note of a crash bar that is attached to the sidecar fender, to protect the wheel. I did not expect the existence of that component, and I am glad it is there!

There are two kick stands on the bike. The jiffy stand, and a center stand. Neither one of which I will need to use. It should be noted that there is a Kill Switch design to the jiffy stand, such that if the jiffy stand we’re down, the engine would not start. My Honda’s had that feature, as I recall. Of course that feature has no value to me, since the bike is not dependent on either one of those stands, because of its attachment to the sidecar.

The so-called “choke,” mounted on the left-hand grip housing, is really nothing more than a spring-tensioned throttle assist, which advances the throttle feed slightly, while you’re holding the lever. It’s snaps back in the place when you release it; unlike a old fashioned manual choke, that you could set at various levels at will, remaining that way, until you changed it.

Was that report extensive enough so far?

A Progress Report.. thank you!

Your attention to detail will help others when they take delivery of their new rig.

Hope you get the tax issue resolved quickly... so you can enjoy your new rig.

Kick start EFI-RE without touching gas in summer and in winter with choke. Not that much needed to look for OT as close as with older bikes. If you do approach too close she will not start by the kick. Apparently spark gets lost then. Just get the ratchet lever to the right height and then kick through smooth. My son's RE comes even in spring at low temps on 1st-2nd kick. With me, not with him.

P.S.: for the record, I found an online source for the Royal Enfield leather motorcycle jackets, showing a price of approximately $189 American. The dealership in Connecticut wants $300 for the same jacket! Talk about Mark up?! I’m not paying that kind of money! I’ve got plenty of good leathers already!!

soupy1957 - 11/26/2017 6:49 AM

P.S.: for the record, I found an online source for the Royal Enfield leather motorcycle jackets, showing a price of approximately $189 American. The dealership in Connecticut wants $300 for the same jacket! Talk about Mark up?! I’m not paying that kind of money! I’ve got plenty of good leathers already!!

That's why they are called stealers....... 🙂

..........That's why they are called stealers....... 🙂

The thought strikes me, that when you compare the price of a brand new Ural, to the price that I paid for a brand new Royal Enfield with a sidecar, the Royal Enfield rig is $5000 less then the Ural rig. For Royal Enfield to have a Price tag of $5700 or so in the United States, for just the bike alone, that’s not a bad price!

Of course I understand “business“ and “mark up.” I went to work for an employer some years ago, who told me that everything we bought was to be marked up 100%. So if the dealer where I bought my motorcycle, wants to sell Royal Enfield leather jackets for $300.00, they have every right to! But a savvy consumer, will do their homework first, and pay $189 online!!

As another recent Royal Enfield buyer, I agree it's a great value for money. I'm having a blast with mine. I haven't really noticed the 1st gear stop thing, I think it shifts better than my Honda Rebel. I bought the steering damper too but never installed it, mine doesn't seem to need it. I have bottomed out the fork on hard stops, I'm 190 pounds, if the damper gives you interference problems don't hesitate to try without it. I bought an Inder sidecar similar size to your Cozy, I can get the wheel up but it really seems to want to stay planted, not much of an issue for me. It's quirky feeling but you get used to it fast, it's part of the deal. Have fun, it's gonna be great!

Agree with Royal Enfield comments - its a great value. However, unlike the Ural, it won't quite hold interstate speeds, which is a problem when it comes to getting from here to there, but its fine once you get there. This is my fourth sidecar rig, and it is the only one where I have never had a problem with lofting the sidecar wheel. I think because its so light, that even a slight shift of rider weight makes a big difference.

I have to admit, that once I saw the sidecar attached to the motorcycle that I bought, I thought it smaller than I imagined. I have not intentionally flown the chair yet, and imagine that the first time I do, it will be quite accidental. The first ride I took was 37 miles, in a cold crisp wind, in 40° temperatures, with a maximum speed of 50 miles an hour, in stop and go traffic on secondary roads. I finally learned firsthand, the force required by my arms, to steer the bike.
I found that leaving from a complete stop, Requires a bit of finesse, as you turn the throttle to gain momentum, you also have to push with that same hand while you’re pulling with your left, to keep the bike going in a straight line.

I experienced periodically, The wobble that sometimes can develop. It was never severe, and it was easy to live with. I used the EFI starting system, rather than attempt to kick start it, because time was of the essence, and I figured it might take me a little while to get used to the kickstart procedure.

I arrived home safely from my 37 mile journey, and immediately put the bike in the garage, and hooked up the battery tender, thinking the first thing I might do is get rid of the stock battery, and put a maintenance free battery in its place.

More later.....