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speed wobble

I have a California sidecar on 2002 road king and no matter where I set tow in it has a speed wobble at any speed when you eash
e off the handlebars but just lay one hand on the bars and its fine

You should keep at least one hand on the bars at all times with any sidecar rig.
Some suggestions:
With a single wide car your toe-in should be about 3/4". Measure with rear wheel and sidecar wheel only.
Tighten the neck bearings so the front end doesn't just flop from side to side.
Check front tire for cupping or out of balance condition.
Worn swing-arm bearings can also cause this.

One, or all of these should help relieve nose wiggle.


Lonnie -

I just completed rebuilding a sidecar project for a '78 R-80/7, and found that the front-end shimmies, even though the whole bike seems to track pretty straight when riding.
I'll try your toe-in suggestion this weekend, but I think I'd also like to install a damper as well (damper parts did not come with the project bike/sidecar, so I'm not sure what to look for).
Can you point me towards the most affordable way to rig something up on a '78 R-80?
One (pretty knowledgable!) friend suggested finding a junkyard Subaru rear-hatch shock, and bracketing it between a fork (or the tripletree) and the sidecar strut.
Does that seem plausible?

Thanks for any help, diagrams of what it SUPPOSED to look like, or urls you might be able to shoot me.

Any shock type device is built to apply pressure at all times. It will try to expand at all times. Depending on how it was mounted,it may try to turn the fork in one direction all the time or it could go over center and push one direction till you turned the fork back and then it would push the other way. I might not have put down a description that you can understand but this idea is flurting with disaster.

A better solution would be a steering shock from a VW. This is what H-D used for years on their factory rigs. These are available from any auto parts store. There are threads here on this subject -

Never drive faster than your Guardian Angel can fly.


The /5, /6 and /7 Beemers always need steering dampers due to trail and narrow handlebars. On some you can't go 15 feet without a tank slapper.
Check out my steering damper ad in the "Misc. sidecar related parts" Forum. I have several to choose from.

Northwest Sidecars