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What to look for- bone yard hack

Have a new HD1200C on order and want to put a sidecar on it. While at the bone yard today, I casually asked if they happened to have any sidecars sitting in the weeds - darn if the guy didn't say yes and had a worker take me out to a shed and point to a side car.

Point is just about all he could do as the car is sitting way in the back, surrounded by junk bikes.

The best I could do, today, was determine that it is a small fiberglass body. The body is attached to the frame. The wheel and suspension is off and sitting by itself. The shock and chrome spring is very rusted.

The junkyard boss sez that the parts to attach it to a bike are missing.

OK- so here's the question - Can this sow's ear be turned into a silk purse? What do I need to look for, structually so that if a deal can be struck I don't end up with a unique planter for the front yard?

Jim in Newark, DE

Hey Jim;

I read your post a couple of days ago, and felt unqualified to reply to your question. In fact, I expected you'd get several very good replies....I'm surprised that as of yet, you haven't.

So, even though I'm now putting finishing touches to my first sidecar, I've tackled many different kinds of activity over the years (making astronomical telescope mirrors, painting bikes/cars, building trailers, overhauling engines, rebuilding machine it, I've probably done enough of it to be dangerous).

And I'm going to say there are only two questionable elements in your question. One is the condition of the sidecar, and the second is your willingness to take the time to do some good hard work, using your brain as well as your hands.

If the price is right, and the object still has enough structural integrity to be safe and strong (rust? rot? frame bent or weak?) I'd jump on it pronto! Anybody can do fiberglass work, or wood work, if they take the time and make the effort. Anyone can do a bit of metalwork, if they take the time and make the effort. Shucks, a body can just about make any kind of hardware attachment doohinky needed as well, with hack saw, grinder, welder (or have it welded at your local shop), drill and hammer.

The first time I decided to rebuild an auto engine, I went to the library and checked out several books (some of which went back to the library with greasy fingerprints added at no extra cost), did my homework and the job, in short order. It was still going 65,000 miles later....

It took checking out 33 books on surveying before I took my first job as a civil engineer (it was a big one too, an 8 story Sheraton Hotel in Charlotte, NC, on I-85 and Billy Graham Parkway), and that building is still standing, twenty years later. After that, I served as chief field engineer on such big projects as paper plants and so forth. All because I did my homework.

The key is research and not giving up....and as for research, you've got the best group of sidecar experts on the whole bloomin' planet, right here! I use'em all the time....I suspect you can too.

Sorry if I sound like some kind of motivational dude. I'm not, just a country boy shade tree mechanic who figures if that guy over there can learn to do, well, I can too!

Catch you later....


For about $2000.00 including shipping you can get a new 562 Velorex with all the trimmings which fits the Sporty nicely. New bike, new sidecar. Makes sense to me.

Jim, You asked the "how long is a piece of string" question. Can a junkyard sidecar be brought back to be a useful and good looking compliment to your bike? Sure it can. Is that the way you want to go? 'Hard for us to say. Sidecars , sidecar rigging and riding with a sidecar are all a series of compromises. After all, if you were going to add another seat and another wheel to a motorcycle, would you put it out on the side? Probably not, but that's the way it's done.To get a rig that handles well and is easy to drive, most folks believe that it is important to match the sidecar to the bike in terms of size and weight. One, often quoted, rule of thumb is that the sidecar should weight about 1/3 of what the bike weighs. There's tons of room for interpretation on that one but we don't have any idea what the sidecar out in the weeds is and if it is at all suited to your Sporty. Can you take a wade out there and see what it is? Maybe make a couple of pictures and that will give us something to go on.You'll find you get a lot of help from the board if you give usa place to start.

Hi Jim
Iam not a mechanic so I know that things take longer for the shade tree type to finish their projects.
If you have basic skills, more importantly ALL (and I do mean ALL)the right tools, equipment and most of all the time. GO FOR IT.
Just make sure that the size/weight of the sidecar will work with your new bike.
Figure out all your time and all expenses and possible time away from riding and see if Hack'ns idea of a new velorex vs this unit is the best for you(it is going on a new Harley).
Hey if the sidecar is that cheap get both !!Put the new one in asap and
rebuild the yard sidecar at your own pace and maybe you'll wind up with two

Either way get to it sidecar riding is a blast