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.

Sidecar wheel bearings - Advise needed


I can't see from the picture if the axle is threaded.  My experience is that there is usually a large castellated nut that threads on to the axle.  A large washer would go behind it and the cotter pin would would keep the large nut from undoing itself.  The large nut is a specialty item that would match the axle and would likely only be available from Inder.  I may be repeating other peoples response but what I see and what you are saying sounds all too familiar.  Others have done what you have done and got similar results with Inder sidecars.  Sorry to say there are unscrupulous individuals out there who have imported and sold these sidecars to other innocent buyers.  As ex-president of the USCA I have fielded calls and responded to emails from reputable installers who have been presented with a pile of sidecar attachment parts that didn't fit anything and were asked to make it work.  I wish I could soften the blow here but I can only say I feel sorry for you and the others who have been suckered by these shysters.

Hang in there.  We are here to help.

Will Short

Ex-President USCA



Something is wrong - VERY wrong. It would be nice to see a few more pictures of the axle etc. That is NOT how an Inder comes from the factory - at least the original Inder.  I probably have the more experience with Inder's than most and Al asked me to jump in.

I imported a container years ago as a potentially less expensive substitute for the Cozy's that I sell. I visited the family factory in India and thought I'd try them out. I had nothing but trouble with them. - Rather my customers had trouble. I have had all but ZERO trouble with the Cozy's in over 20 years so the extra cost to me for a  Cozy is well worth it.  The final straw was when I sold one to Jay Leno who has been a good Cozy sidecar customer. He was very unhappy with the Inder. He told me that thankfully it was him that complained since we knew each other and that it would stay between us.  That was the last Inder I ever sold. (Gave him a free Cozy as a replacement and learned a valuable lesson).

Below is a link to an Inder video that will show you  that your setup is just plain dangerous and wrong. It is not what the original Inder had in mind. The original Inder's had a castle nut, threaded axle and a Cotter pin.  Go to 2:30

I have heard tales of customers buying from somewhere in Texas and Oklahoma and Florida who are getting incomplete or damaged goods, missing parts etc. but don't know which companies those are. I also don't know who came up with this flagrantly dangerous system. I sure would hope that whoever sold you this wheel set-up carries product liability insurance because sooner rather than later they will need it. Someone is going to be dead or injured. I am happy that it was not you.



Kevin Mahoney Cozy Sidecar 623-512-0377

The linked video is less than 5 minutes long. Perhaps you meant 2:31? It does show an inder being attached including at about 2:35 a castellated nut going on the axle.

I have an Inder sidecar, mine is the Retro model. Mine has the bearing, then a washer, a hex nut on the threaded axle, then a keeper with a cotter pin through it. You said it had a bent axle originally, perhaps you have a substandard repair. I had to fix a few things on mine too (not the axle), I'm happy with it now that I have it the way I want it. I know what I would do in your situation, just an idea take it at face value. I don't have the sidecar experience others here have but I can build stuff. If it were mine I would cut the axle off the swingarm, weld a flat piece of maybe 1/4 inch stock there and bolt on a regular trailer spindle from the farm supply store, and use a trailer wheel and tire. I might even buy two spindles and cut one up to get the flat plate with the holes already drilled in it. If it's like my Inder swing arm it would be really easy. You just need to be sure you trust yours or your local welding shop's work. This would take care of your damaged axle, your damaged bearings, and provide a heavier wheel, tire and bearings for your heavier motorcycle. That's my idea anyway.


Uploaded files:
  • 20190811_191920.jpg
  • 20190811_192038.jpg

Hey thanks everyone!! So the seller was actually not the problem here - they were honest about the universal parts - stating that I would need a professional to build it on my bike and might need some custom parts.  The seller has dealt with the factory for over 15 years and he buys custom weighted bodies that work with bigger bikes and interstate travel more like we use them for in the U.S.

My problem and the danger to myself came from using an installer who claimed to have extensive experience with sidecars (and Inders) - there was even a photo of one just like mine they worked with on their facebook page.  The first thing they claimed was the axle was bent - yet I have pictures of it in their shop when they were doing the final welding and it was NOT bent.  But when they delivered it to my home it was bent about 15-20 degrees and they were not even going to say anything.  When I asked if it was safe to ride it like that, their exact answer, "probably not".   We went back to the seller and he exchanged out the bent axle (and swing arm) for free.  The installer would never answer my emails or calls about how the axle got bent.  But I did get the new one put on.

Next big issue was the tire coming off.  (Lots of other small issues with them along the way that has cost me a lot of time and money).  According to all the information you guys have graciously provided, the castillated nut and washer were NEVER put on the wheel.  I just took it to a different sidecar installer this weekend and they told me the wrong bearings were used (low speed with steel versus high speed with rubber) and that there was no castillated nut or washer or the wheel would not have come off like it did.  I told them there was a strong pull to the right (which I had researched and found you might experience some).  But this pull was so strong I had to keep a constant pull with my left and push with my right to keep it going straight.  The new installer said the toe-in was off and this also could have contributed to the wheel bearings being destroyed.

At this time it appears that the actual parts weld with the new axle and swing arm are good - it's all the other parts of installing the sidecar that have gone awry - like toeing, crash bars, lights, wheel install, etc.  This place may have experience but they were totally negligent in the details of the entire install, to the point of endangering my life at least three times.

I'd be curious if you all agree with this diagnosis - just cautious now because I don't know who to trust!  And thanks for sharing the videos and photos - this has been a great help!  Hopefully my next post will be about where all the cool places are to ride! 🙂

It sounds like your on the right track, maybe your bad luck (and bad mechanic) is in the past. I do wonder if some of the axle parts were missing from the beginning or they lost them or something, it kind of boggles my mind they would put it together like that. Mine pulls some on a crowned road, more with a passenger,  runs straight if the road's flat. It will pull some at highway speed (wind resistance) but it's a Royal Enfield and doesn't really go highway speed. I drive it more often without a passenger, so I keep it this way. Just keep an eye on everything when you get it back, don't let something sneak up on you. On mine I didn't like the shock bolts threading in with no lock nuts, so I modified that. Sidecars are a lot of fun, it's joined the list of magical objects in our household, along with the tandem bicycle and the tandem kayak. Have fun!