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Old 01-29-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
Jae
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Piloting a side car rig

Just wondering if anyone on here has had a side car rig, and if they could give insight on handling.

I've done some searching online and there are varying opinions on just how difficult the task of piloting a side car vs. regular motorcycle is. Just wanting to see if anyone local has some first-hand experience.

I've talked with several guys up at the Euro bike night who have them, but I figure the more people I can talk to with first-hand experience, the better.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:57 PM   #2
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Msf offers a course, I would guess you need to bring your own rig

Doubt it's that difficult, just diff
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:41 PM   #3
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Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I'm buying a rig later this week, but I'll be pulling the car off and mounting it on my Venture. The one big concern I've got is getting everything set up correctly if (or when) I do swap it to the other bike, because even though the frame is identical, I'm guessing it will be nearly impossible to maintain all the different alignments.

Either way though, I'm kind of excited that my boys will finally be able to ride with me.
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Old 01-29-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
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My neighbor has one. I'll ask him stop by at Pink's tomorrow. Is the euro bike still going on every Thursday?
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Old 01-29-2014, 05:54 PM   #5
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I would think many of the trike issues would be the same. e.g. Holding on while the bike doesn't lean, spotting road conditions for more than a "single line tire path", etc.

Though I have no experience... good question though, I've always wondered.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:37 PM   #6
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just a thought you pilot the bike. Not the rig. (just messing with you Jae). I do know someone that has a moto guzzi with a side car and will see if he can contact you.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:39 PM   #7
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I've driven a side car and ridden in one. Didn't like either experience.
It pulled constantly to the right because of the drag on that side, braking was much reduced and forget handling. Right turns gave you the feeling it wanted to tip, I'm sure it was never close but the feeling was there. Left turns required extra effort and then it felt like it was mushing around the corner.
The best part is riding in it! Its like being in a 60mph go cart with no steering wheel. If you trust the driver it's not terrifying (until he drops a wheel off the edge of the pavement, lol) but it's not a secure place either.
Keep in mind these were my experiences and my opinions. Many people love side car rigs, I'm just not one of em.
If you are aware of these things and take them into consideration you passengers will be glad.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:02 PM   #8
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:23 PM   #9
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I have driven more than one. Both pulled to the side the side car is on under acceleration and and pulled the other way under braking. I have seen some that have brakes on the cart wheel so that would be different. Also some shake under hard acceleration.
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Old 01-30-2014, 12:39 AM   #10
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Just because they stand up on their own doesn't make them safe. I witnessed the 10 seconds after impact aftermath and resulting fatality in Richmond a few months ago. This one was rolled to the left, bike side, neither rider nor passenger had helmets...harley style.

I had a couple BMW ural style rigs a few years back. As long as you keep it under 40 MPH it feels like the most ill handling POS you can imagine. Above forty, WONKY. But all in all, fun.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae View Post
Just wondering if anyone on here has had a side car rig, and if they could give insight on handling.

I've done some searching online and there are varying opinions on just how difficult the task of piloting a side car vs. regular motorcycle is. Just wanting to see if anyone local has some first-hand experience.

I've talked with several guys up at the Euro bike night who have them, but I figure the more people I can talk to with first-hand experience, the better.
I've ridden trikes before and the handling is probably similar. It's a weird feeling because you steer into the turn and of course there's no lean, unless you can get the thing up on two wheels
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Old 01-30-2014, 07:47 AM   #12
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Trikes are different because they usually deliver power to both rear wheels. And the weight is proportional on them.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:28 AM   #13
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a lot of the handling characteristics changed based on "lead" and toe-in on the sidecar wheel... the WWII BMW-style cars have zero lead: both rear wheels are in-line. That's the only way to make 2wd work and the handling is a bit different. I haven't measured the lead on this one, but it sounds like the best compromise for a street rig is around 8-12", which is how this appears.

I'll actually pick it up this afternoon and am really looking forward to the different experience.

FWIW, this isn't intended to be a high-performance rig, just something I can take the kids around the neighborhood in... maybe get my dog up to bike night with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rod View Post
My neighbor has one. I'll ask him stop by at Pink's tomorrow. Is the euro bike still going on every Thursday?
Yep. Do you happen to know Dan, the guy with the '70's BMW w/ the truck toolbox on a homebrew car? His setup is quite interesting and I know he's had his rig for a while, uses it as his work truck. I have to admit though, a small part of me wanted a side car so I can pull off the bucket and try this:
Carrying20a20spare
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:37 AM   #14
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I used to work at Texas Yamaha in Pasadena back in the early 80's. We had a mechanic that had,as I recall, an old Honda 305 with a sidecar. Sometimes he would pull a small flat bed trailer with it.

One day he showed up with an old Honda 90 with a side car... On the trailer, behind the 305 with a side car. Looked pretty funny. Wish I had pics.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:08 AM   #15
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Picked it up yesterday, and have to say, it is quite a different ride.
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:13 AM   #16
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Well.... answer your own questions here, for the rest of us to read!
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:39 AM   #17
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I had the one wheel drive version. The 2 WD drove like a car with handlebars
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:42 PM   #18
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It's got some issues that need to be worked out before I can give an honest review, but it is certainly different. I've never quite felt anything like it did lifting the chair on a right hand turn before. It's quite bizarre.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grsa View Post
just a thought you pilot the bike. Not the rig. (just messing with you Jae). I do know someone that has a moto guzzi with a side car and will see if he can contact you.
According to wikipedia, "rig" (among others) refers to the combination of motorcycle and sidecar. I think by this definition I used it appropriately.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
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It's got some issues that need to be worked out before I can give an honest review, but it is certainly different. I've never quite felt anything like it did lifting the chair on a right hand turn before. It's quite bizarre.
And that brings up that the weight (the car itself, or loaded vs unloaded) may change the feeling COMPLETELY.

Might need a sand bag or 2 for solo rides, just to keep it down

<I have zero experience, just thinking out loud>
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