Author Topic: Sidecar FAQ (!!)  (Read 9573 times)

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Offline SteveD CB500F

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Sidecar FAQ (!!)
« on: July 13, 2005, 05:56:53 am »
Can I fit a sidecar to my CB500/750?

Uncle Ernie says:

You came to the right place. I've had sidecars since  never mind. I'm starting to sound like an old fart. Things to consider;
You will probably want a rig as a seconf motorcycle choice because a sidecar rig is absolutely NOT a motorcycle any more. It takes a completely different set of skills. If you do put one on, be very afraid until you do a good bit of reading and parking lot practicing.
Do not fab any attachment using simple U-bolts on the bike frame. Any flex in the unit can end up hurting you.
You'll want to upgrade your suspension to handle more weight.
You'll want to get sidecar (flat tread) tires for better traction (you don't lean anymore so the wheels have a lot of sidewall stress). Do not ever ride solo on sidecar tires. Conversely, some folks try using regular tires on a rig but you'll end up going through them faster than popcorn at the movies.
David Hough has an OK booklet available from most MC related book sources, but a lot of sidecarists prefer Hal Kendalls stuff which you can download free from The United Sidecar Association (www.sidecar.com). A lot of info is also available (and a lot of the same people frequent) the yahoo site SCT (sidecar talk). USCA, especially, has dealers and tech folks who could recommend the best sub-frame set-up.
You'll want a smaller to medium sized rig as you don't have enough pull for something big like a Ural or Steib TR500 (or a lot of the modern behemoths now available). Gearing down a tooth or two will probably help the tug.
Hope that wasn't more than you wanted to know.

The short answer is "yes".

Hahnda says:

I've been running a sidecar now for the past few years. Started with a CX500 and a Cal 1 sidecar, moved up to a XS1100 and a Watsonian sidecar, now I have a VF1100S with a Mototvation sidecar.

Uncle Ernie is right on in where to look for info. A direct link to some good info is here: www.sidecar.com/hal.htm

On my current setup I run a leading link suspension to reduce trail for easier steering and also fitted it with flat tread tires front and back.

Heres a pic of a CB550 with a sidecar. (below)

Mark M said:

If you get the sidecar/bike geometry right you shouldn't need a damper.
Working out quite what that should be is a case of either finding someone else who has done the hard work with a similar setup or just playing arround with it until you have ironed out as many of the bugs as you can.

From memory:

You need to decide on the sidecar wheel position - it's lead ahead of the bike's rear wheel - the normal range will be 8-14 inches or so, a small sidecar normally likes to go to the front and the bigger/heavier to the back. Some really big chairs have even been mounted in line with the rear wheel but I wouldn't want to go any further back.

You need a little toe in - the sidecar wheel centre line from above should point slightly inwards compared to the bike's wheels. A degree or two is about right but needs to be experimented with as its affected again by size and wheel lead measurements.

Then the bike needs to lean out a little to allow for road camber.

How the rig handles is affected by the combination of all of these but the main things to consider when fine tuning are:

The wheel lead will mostly affect how it turns.
The toe in will mostly affect how it tracks in a straight line.
The lean will have some effect on both but is more about how stable it feels.

A good fork brace is recomended as there are a lot more stresses on your old forks.. The best type are leading-link but that gets expensive.
Square section tyres on the front are a good idea as is upgrading your front brakes to cope with all the extra weight.

I managed to set a little sports chair up over a weekend without too many problems, but the bigger the sidecar the more difficult it will be. On the other hand this sidecar has already been on a cb750 so you should be halfway there on working out some mounting points.

Then all you need to do is work out how to ride it........that's when the real fun and games start. You have been warned!

« Last Edit: May 04, 2006, 05:55:29 am by SteveD CB500F »
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