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Weight for sidecar w/out passenger



You too are a stranger to most of us.  You broke upon the forum positioning yourself as an expert.  We welcome that, technical articles are thin on the ground here.  We do ask you to be respectful toward input from others.  Many, probably most, of our members speak from personal experience and admittedly "seat of the pants" observation.  That doesn't mean that they shouldn't share their opinions and experience, all posters who stay on subject and act in a civil manner are welcome here.



Al Olme Minneapolis, Minnesota


thanks for your open feedback, which I appreciate very much.

I am an engineer, and as such, am geared towards maximum efficiency. Which means, that I generally employ a classical engineering approach:

  • Know where you are
  • know, where you want to be
  • decide, how you want to cover the distance between the two.

As such, I'm aware that I'm very straightforward. Which means, that folks might take offence in my maximally direct approach. Which is not my intention at all.

Diplomacy is not one of my strengths.

When someone posts a technical problem, I apply the best of my knowledge to help out. This involves, that I suggest the shortest path to the best possible solution, from my engineering point of view. In such a situation, the feelings of other participants in the given situation only distract from the shortest path to this optimal solution. So I consider them secondary.

If this approach is not welcome here, then I will respectfully retreat and leave you alone. At 63 years of age, you don't switch your personality anymore.

I'm willing to subject myself to a public vote of the "like" vs. "dislike" kind of thing, based on this very post. If, after a period your choosing, the majority would prefer me to stay away, so be it. Else, I'll stay with you the way I am.

So, Al, please decide on the deadline, and I will comply.

Best regards,



One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions


We don't "vote people off" and we don't trash other people's ideas.  You are welcome here and I believe that most of us found your input interesting whether we agree with it or not.  All we ask is that you be civil and respect the idea that everyone is allowed to have an opinion.  Some of them are based on physics and some are based on experience.  All of them are deserving of consideration.  We in a "sticky post" near the top of this section we talk about the responsibility of the reader.  Here's the text so no one has to go looking...

Information about sidecars is tough to find. One of the great things about this site is the depth and scope of technical information that is available here. One of the terrible things about this site is fact that we don’t vet the technical information that is available here. What did he say?

We are a very open environment and we let “almost” anyone post here so long as the subject is sidecars [even in some tangential way]. Because of our specialized subject matter, lots of folks come here to ask questions and that’s a huge part of this site’s reason for being. Because of our open nature, anyone can reply to these questions…even if they don’t know what they are talking about.

It is the responsibility of the reader to sort the wheat for the chaff as it were. PLEASE, read with at least a slightly skeptical attitude. If you see six posters that basically agree on a subject and one that is off in the ozone, factor that in when considering who to believe. If you want to do a little more checking, you can click on the poster’s name [handle here] and see how long he’s been on the site and maybe look up some of his old posts. If you see a poster who is giving you advice and then find that he has been on the site for a month and when he first came on he was asking the same questions that you are asking or if he openly admits that he paid no attention to the advice of others… well, you get the idea. DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO IDIOTS!

You have a responsibility to critically evaluate all the information that you read here and make your own decisions, good or bad.

If a reader here likes your ideas they will follow you and if they find that your information is believable and applies to them they will give you positive reinforcement.  If you treat them badly by talking down to them, they won't value your ideas, even if they are valid.  There's no reason to take a personal swat at anyone or any group nor is there a reason to belittle their ideas.  Saying that you don't agree is perfectly ok, that's part of how we work things out.  I looked at your article and thought it was interesting.  I didn't go into much depth but it didn't seem to address "live loads" and how they shift during a turn.  It might be there and is addressed but I didn't see it right away so I moved on.  I didn't challenge you, I'd probably lose.  But that's not why I didn't challenge you. I appreciate ANYONE who adds technical content to the forum.

As I said at the first, you are welcome here.  If you are abrupt...well. so am I but I try to be civil.  We'd like you to stay but if you feel that you must leave that's up to you.  Personally, I hope you stay and I hope you respect the ideas of others, even if you don't agree with them.

On a personal note, I've been working on this website for many years and I want to retire from that responsibility.  Soon someone will be found who will replace me.  When that happens, they will steer the tone of the forum.  Stick around, I won't be here too much longer.


Al Olme Minneapolis, Minnesota

Chris, In some ways, it's too bad you came onboard when covid has taken over so much of our lives. When rallies and events have been cancelled. If you had the opportunity to join in a few group activities and hang out with a large group of sidecar enthusiasts to experience the friendship that is so apparent at such events, you'd get the idea, I think, of what Al is saying. Nobody lets their ego get in the way of sharing opinions. It's that genuine friendship between people with all sorts of varied backgrounds with a common interest in sidecars. At most of these gatherings, it seems that there are more people who are looking back on being 63 than are looking forward to it. But it's a topic I've never heard brought up. The conversation comes easy as does the feeling that one is among friends.

Al, thanks for what you do. I appreciate the effort you and all those who keep this group firing on all cylinders put into making it happen. I'd personally be happy to hand the WA State rep job over to anyone who raised their hand as well. And it's much less demanding than what you do. OK. 'nuff said.

Here's hoping everyone has a good Thanksgiving in spite of covid demands. And here's to a much better, more normal 2021!!

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom

Well, Chris, it looks like perhaps coming to any sidecar rallies stateside might be less likely than I'd hoped. Looking at your profile it appears you're in Germany. One would never guess that based on your command of the English language.

Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom


Al, I appreciate your thoughtful comment very much, just like I do with your work in keeping this forum running smoothly. I didn't come her to interfere with that.

It saddens me to read, that you think of the outcome of an exchange in a forum like this as "someone won" vs. "someone lost". That's not the way I go about it, and I don't even think that way. Rather, I expect that people meet here to exchange ideas, or be inspired by new or alternative ideas. I strongly believe in everybody's right to his/her (its?) own opinion, and expressing it. If I talked someone down, I regret that and extend my sincere apologies to them.

On the other hand, I don't subscribe to the concept of "safe spaces". Among grown ups, everyone should be able to "take" being exposed to different approaches to problems. As far as the solution to technical problems/questions goes, I also strongly believe in the superiority of the math/science based approach. Because of its reliability, predictability, reproducibility and, most important of all: openness to verification (or falsification, if applicable). Hearsay doesn't have any of that. Hearsay also typically consists of single pieces of information, which may be true or not, but typically make sense only in a very specific context. While methods typically empower people, to apply them far beyond a current and very specific situation. You may have heard the quote by Confuzius: "Give a fish to a man, and you feed him for one day. Give him a basket full of fish, and he'll have one week's worth of food. If you teach him how to fish, he'll never go hungry".

There is a reason, why the engineering approach has ultimately prevailed in the construction of any serious mechanism. The design of a motorcycle front brake, for instance, is not open to a majority vote, and not to anyone's "feelings". What can happen, if non-technicians interfere for non-technical reasons, became sadly visible with the Boeing 737 MAX. A similarily spectacular mishap occurred in 1682 to the Swedish ship Vasa, for very similar reasons.

You also correctly pointed out, that I'm rather new and "position myself" as an expert. I can tell you: I'd love to be challenged, so maybe I could expand my knowledge, too. Alas, it just hasn't happened.

OK, I'm digressing. I will try, to not wantonly violate anybody's feelings.


it is indeed not very likely that we'll ever meet in person, as I'm located in Switzerland, since seven years, after being born and raised in Germany. I have acquired Swiss citizenship by now and prefer to think of myself as being Swiss. I was fortunate enough to have been given the exposure to the US during my senior high school year as a foreign exchange student (Burbank Senior High School, Cal), while I was 16-17, which gave me some good exercise of the English language. That's all.

One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions

Chris, sounds like all good experiences. I have two good friends in Switzerland who you may cross paths with one day even if you and I don't. Roland Sandmeier and Daniel Mignot. They can be found on the Edelweiss Riders and Friends site. Also, here on this forum, another German expat is a frequent contributor. He goes by Peter Pan, Sven Peter. He's in Costa Rica now. Taught himself English. There are others who I haven't seen on here for a long while. Daniel and Roland are not sidecarists so they won't be found on here. They are bikers though and we stay in touch.

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Tom Wells aka Reardan Tom


Thank you, we look forward to your future contributions.


Al Olme Minneapolis, Minnesota