USCA Sidecar Forum

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to hook up the S/C brake??? ... or not??

HI, I have a 2009 Bonneville with a velorex S/Car on it. I have been happy with it, although I am still pretty new to this sidecar thing.

My rig came all set up, rides true and straight, stops very well without a brake on the S/Car. I can't help but wonder if I should hook up the sidecar brake?

If it stops well without it should I leave well enough alone .... or give in to my inner voice and hook up the brake? ...... any thoughts out there?

i would hook it up. i have ridden both ways and much prefer having the extra brake. if used properly there is no downside. pat

thanks for the input

The mechanical drum brake isn't really compatible with hydraulic disc brakes. A few have hooked the Velorex brake up as a drag brake but the differences in efficiency make for erratic stopping capabilities at best.
Best use for the Velorex brake on a non mechanical brake bike is as a parking brake(required in some places).
Even disc braked sidecars have problems with straight line stopping without driver steering corrections due differences in swept volume of brake surfaces, sidecar loading, surface traction and direction of travel.

My professional opinion. Others, feel free to express yours.


so, if I understand you correctly. In your opinion it'd be best to use it as an emergency brake, if at all.

my concern is just what you stated, disc / drum combo


Brakes on a sidecar are always a good idea, any one who say's that they are not usually has no clue as to how to hook up a brake and as such tells you that you do not need or want a brake on a sidecar. Any thing that might keep you out of an emergency room is a good idea. However the drum brake like much else on the Velorex leaves a lot to be desired. Why they keep selling a mechanical drum brake sidecar in an era when only a few bikes still have drum brakes on the rear gets down to the Velorex company is far more interested in sales then safety. If you want a brake on the sidecar to work well with the bikes hydraulic disk brakes you are either going to need to change the wheel to a disk brake wheel or change sidecars. If you do change wheels to a disk brake wheel chances are that the brake rotor will be to large to balance well with the bike. This is why we make our own cast iron brake rotors for our sidecars which every one either comes standard with a disk brake or the disk brake is an option as many people either can not get past looking at price or buy into the notion that a brake on a sidecar is not needed. I would not be with out one on my own rigs.
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

The question was regarding hooking up the Velorex mechanical brake to be used in conjunction with the Bonnevilles' disc brakes.

In your opinion the Velorex brake isn't all that compatible with disc brakes. It sounds like you agree with me here.

I think the personal dis was quite inappropriate. I wasn't saying "Don't use sidecar brakes".

I feel they are worthwhile on a doublewide rig or one that is always heavily loaded.

In the last 26 years I have converted several URAL and Dnepr sidecars to disc brakes and linked the systems for clients, but do not use the sidecar brake on my personal rigs though several have had disc brakes, too many erratic stops.

I still had to countersteer in order to achieve a straight line stop. Due to the reasons stated in my earlier post.

I have used the two pedal system in past years for off road work with the mechanical sidecar brake pedal beside the rear bike brake pedal, with some success, but it takes a lot of practice to finesse this method.


Not a professional here but having had a similar size bike and velorex I agree with Lonnie. Never felt the need for a sidecar brake, now if it would've been a heavier outfit then yes a brake would be helpful.

OK, my two cents... I have rigs both with and without sidecar brakes and on balance I'd rather have a sidecar brake than not have the brake. With some few exceptions, if you have a sidecar brake, it should be connected. If for no other reason that it might help, even in some small way, in an emergency.

So what's the exception you ask? If the brake isn't working properly and causes too much brake pressure on the sidecar wheel. I've ridden rigs where the sidecar wheel pulled the rig sharply toward the sidecar under braking. Until that can be fixed, it is the only reason I can think for NOT wanting a sidecar brake. Even if the brake is ineffective it helps slow the rig. Sidecar brakes may not be essential but they are generally a good thing.

OK, now, make up your own mind ;~).

Thanks everyone, now I have to decide ...... it sounds like if I want to have a s/car brake I'd have to convert the velorex to disc...... any idea what that cost would be?

I appreciate you all taking time to answer