USCA Sidecar Forum

For some extra information about navigating the forum you can go to Forum Tips

You need to log in to create posts and topics.

weight for empty sidecar


I have a Motorvation Formula II side car on my 2000 Yamaha Ventura. It is a two seater and has a wide stance. I will have to use it without the better half at times so I was wondering what would be a good weight to put in?


Greetingz Labill,

I too have a double-wide. I have a duffle bag with 50 pounds of sand in it. Works well for me. I'm planning to load up an ammo can with recycled lead shot to replace the bag as it's physically smaller. Also, I worry about the duffel breaking open, spilling sand all over the car.

I have a Velorex on my Triumph T100 and carry two 25 lb bags of lead shot. Works fine though I sometimes have to "hang off" on right hand turns to add some of my body weight.

Thanks for the ideas. I like the ammo cans. They are strong and small.

Ride Safe


Best value I have found is ammo cans from Harbor Freight (the metal ones, not the plastic) and bags of ballast "unwashed" shot from I'm thinking 2 cans and 3-25# bags of shot. I can then load one ammo can with 25#, the second with 50# giving me the option to run with 0, 25, 50 or 75 pounds of ballast depending on the day's plan.

Will cost a bit over $100. There are no doubt cheaper options, and I'd love to hear about them, but I'm also wanting flexibility.

I rarely ride either of my rigs without Petey by my side. But a month or so back, a friend requested that I take his adult daughter in my sidecar while they rode his wife's Valkarie trike. She (daughter) was visiting WA for the first time. She lives in AZ. I have many 1 gallon distilled water jugs on hand because we use that in our coffee makers because of our hard water from the well. I used 5 one gallon jugs with water. It worked well. Then a little more than a week ago, I did a shelter benefit run but once more left Petey behind because of the heat. Once more, the water jugs came in handy. Easily disposable too. When I still drove school bus and would leave him home to go in for that, I didn't use any ballast but these two runs were longer and on unfamiliar roads.
I'll do a PS: here to clarify. The reason for ballast when giving Kim a ride is that they were 50 miles north of us. So the ride to their place to start the ride and the ride home at the end of the day was with an empty chair.

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

I rode a K1100/Formula I for 20+ years and only had the car come up twice while empty and never when my wife was in it. I have to confess that I was being stupid when I flew the car those times. On one other occasion I was required to fly the car for sidecar training and I had to lighten it as much as I could and had to really work at it to get the car to come up. Does that put your mind at ease?

I fill car inner tubes with sand. Cut out the fill valve. Place a hose clamp on one end. Fill with sand and put hose clamp on the other end. You can make weigh what ever you want. Use in the truck for winter driving too. Beside being ballast, you have sand for traction.


Thanks everyone. Gave me some good ideas.


Pick up a bag of sand or 3 @ Home Depot etc. Wrap in a heavy duty yard waste type plastic bag and wrap in duct tape. Repeat. No sand storm turned loose yet.