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Ural sidecars popularity. Were's all the Ural bikes?

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My uncle bought K650 - it is Dnepr not Ural. I did not say "the car have never had a single failure". It had some repairs done to it. And I said "had up to 9 people(on it at one time)." not one time but regularly. Uncle -driver had youngest son on the tank. My father on rear seat. My mom and aunt in sidecar(they use to be a lot thinner at that time) with 1 kid each. One on sidecar fender and one on spare tire on the back.

Claude, your reply and sidecar vs trike comments is very similar to the what I wrote for CSOC's FAQ page and on a thread in the CURD forum...

From CSOC...

"There are pros and cons to both styles of 3-wheeled adventure, but it all comes down to a matter of personal preference. Sidecars are and always will be my choice, but that is based on my needs and my experience which may not be shared by everyone else.

There is only one common point between sidecars and trikes and that point is the reason why people opt for them in the first place - stability. The current crop of seasoned riders (aka the Baby Boomer demographic) are getting aged to the point where holding up a big touring bike or cruiser is getting hard on the body; a sidecar or trike removes this issue and allows one to extend their riding adventures for several more years.

But beyond this point of stability, the different reasons and dynamics of choosing sidecars vs trikes begins. Trikes are the more popular option these days because they are closer in form to a two wheeler and, to some, less damaging to the ego when they make the conversion. Having Piney from SOA roaming around in a Harley Tri-Glide has done wonders to the "image" of the trike, but sidecars are still perceived to be the option of doddering old fools and are plagued by perceived and inaccurate issues of bad handling and sudden chair flights.

It has been my experience that this wrongful image of sidecars being hazardous is due in no small part to the results of many DIY back yard mechanics and bike shops who don't know e when it comes to the proper installation and alignment thereof, as well as a complete lack of formal training provided to ease the rookie hack owner into the new skill sets required for safe and competent operation.

Working at Old Vintage Cranks has been a real eye opener on this, I've lost count of how many poorly executed and flagrantly dangerous rigs that have crabbed into the shop for me to correct their numerous handling issues. In most cases it has required a complete re-installation and alignment to set up the rig properly, but you should see the faces of the owners the first time they take it for a drive after it has been reworked.

That being said, oVc has recently become authourised installers for trike conversions. As much as we love sidecars, a simple search of facilities willing to install them in Ontario is very revealing when compared to the amount of trike conversion shops in existence.

Trikes are simply way more popular. Trikes benefit from their complexity, from a shop owner's point of view, in that very few DIY types are willing to take on a conversion project on their own. A basic conversion for a large cruiser or touring bike can run in the $10k-$13k range installed and taxes in, while a basic sidecar install can be had for $6k-$9k.

Obviously, people are more willing to fork over the extra cash required for a trike and to let a professional do the job, so we've had to broaden our vision in order to snag some of that cash flow."

From CURD...

- Large aftermarket support for accessories
- Good brakes that allow for quick stops
- Usually more narrow that a sidecar
- Less weight than a sidecar
- More aerodynamic than a sidecar
- Better fuel economy than a sidecar
- Equal handling characteristics in both left or right turns
- Usually easier to adapt to than sidecars
- Will not tip over at stoplight
- Quick, easy u-turns
- Long lasting car tires on rear
- Suspension is designed to handle cornering, acceleration and impact (potholes) forces

- Driver must train themselves to use rear brakes more to avoid overloading front brake
- Once converted to a trike, it cannot be reverted back to a 2-wheeler without great expense
- Most insurance companies will not insure a trike if done as DIY project
- Drastic course changes needed around unexpected obstacles on road (potholes, road kill, etc)
- Conversions only available for popular, late model bikes
- Expensive
- Driver must remember BOTH sides are wider than a two wheeler and not visible in mirrors
- Limited cargo space
- Room for only one passenger
- Same passenger comfort level as a two wheeler
- Warranty may be voided if converted to trike
- Difficult to drive in snow (front end easily loses grip)
- Potential to flip over in left AND right corners (think of 3-wheel ATV's and why they were outlawed)

- Driver can use front and rear brakes in the same familiar manner as two wheelers
- Sidecars and mount system can easily be removed for resale and bike can resume as two wheeler
- Some insurance companies offer safety discount for sidecar rigs, even if done as a DIY project
- Less drastic course changes needed to pass over road obstacles (driver need only position rig so neither bike wheels or sidecar wheel will contact)
- Sidecars can be adapted to almost any bike
- Cheaper than a trike conversion
- Lots of cargo space
- Plenty of room for passenger
- Passenger can be carried on bike and in sidecar
- Safer to operate than a trike on cold or snow covered roads
- Will not tip over at stoplight
- Quick, easy u-turns

- Limited aftermarket support
- Wider than a trike (some applications are wider than a small car)
- Heavier than a trike and requires permanent ballast weight
- Not as aerodynamic as a trike
- Fuel economy generally worse than a trike
- Right hand corners require more due care and diligence than left hand corners
- Warranty may be voided if sidecar installed
- Reduced tire life on drive wheel (although some bikes can use car tire to negate this)
- Extreme cornering, overloading and pothole impact can affect alignment"

Hello Mike. Lots of variables to consider. Sidecar outfits do vary a lot ... A Ural compared to a large Hannigan GTL on a Wing are quite different in many ways. I just recently did an article on this same trike/sidecar topic.

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