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Neptune03 05-19-2011 05:59 AM

Yamaha FZ1 dual sport sidecar build
I have been working on a dual sport sidecar build for a little while and it is finally finished. I thought about just posting the finished project, but instead decided to share a few pictures a day to make it a little more interesting. First, a little background: I used to race KTMs in enduros, hare scrambles and (one) two day qualifier before an injury (not motorcycle related) left me a paraplegic. Since then I have owned a fairly large number of sidecars with my current one being a Suzuki Hayabusa with RDS Neptune sidecar from France (really love that thing!). Until about a year ago I also had a BMW F650GS with Ural sidecar for exploring dirt roads. The BMW was a blast but it lacked the speed and aggressiveness I desire, the steering hadn't been modified to reduce trail and I didn't like replacing the knobby tires so often. It was sold and the plan was hatched to build something that would meet my needs a little better. The bike I chose was a Yamaha FZ1. Not your typical choice for a dual sport motorcycle but I had previous experience with this model and liked its frame and the possibility of having fun throwing a little dirt with it. Other than looking at some really neat pictures of sidecar builds on this web site and some over the phone advice from my friend, Bill Ballou, the design and fabrication was done by me in my home garage with limited resources. I preface the proceeding sentence by saying that the modification of the bike's front and rear wheel was done by Bill at his machine shop up in Massachusetts (thanks Bill). I hope you guys enjoy the build series.

Suzuki Hayabusa with RDS Neptune sidecar from France.
If interested go to YouTube and type in "Hayabusa with sidecar" to see me having fun on some twisty roads in North Carolina. Notice: I do not want to hear any comments about the video's music or the fact that all three of us crossed the double yellow a bit. A friend did the video and chose the music and concerning the yellow line thing, we were just playing around and could always see throgh the corners if we were starightening them out a bit.

BMW F650GS with Ural sidecar on forest roads in the mountains of North Carolina.

The inspiration for may a project and the cause of wet dreams for off road sidecarists the world over.

Tomorrow's pictures will be the beginning of the build. Stay tuned!!!!

MotoJ 05-19-2011 06:24 AM

Can't wait!
That 'Busa looks like loads of fun!
What's the second rig I presume that fine-lookin' lady was driving?

Neptune03 05-19-2011 12:37 PM

Response to MotoJ's question
Hello MotoJ: No, Patti was riding in my sidecar. The second sidecar rig is a 87 Honda XL600R with a Sputnik sidecar and was being ridden by Robin and his wife Karin.

drbike 05-19-2011 09:55 PM


3legs 05-20-2011 12:49 AM

You're right about the wet dreams. I assume you mean hogwilds (is that his name?) bike. I wish. Is that your missus? More photo's please:lol3


AceRph 05-20-2011 06:06 AM

Tomorrow is here today!

Ogre_fl 05-20-2011 06:38 AM

Cool, its done. :clap
I cant wait to see this things roosting thru the Apalach Forest :D

Neptune03 05-20-2011 06:42 AM

Yamaha FZ1 dual sport sidecar build
On with the show -
I drool over the equipment Bill has in his machine shop (not that I would know how to use any of it properly) and he is a genius. Everything he builds is amazing, and if I can keep up, listening to him is a treat. I wish I didn't live 1000 miles away. I would love to just hang around his place and learn.
I purchased the gravel / dirt rally tires from John Buffum at Libra Racing. If you don't follow rally racing, John is a famous rally racer from mainly the 70's and 80's but still is involved in the sport and races. When I called his shop I was shocked to learn that I was talking to the man himself. I bet that when I told him I was going to put his tires on a bike he thought I was nuts. I need to send him some pictures.

Neptune03 05-20-2011 07:13 AM


Originally Posted by 3legs (Post 15957739)
You're right about the wet dreams. I assume you mean hogwilds (is that his name?) bike. I wish. Is that your missus? More photo's please:lol3


Yes, I was referring to hogwild's bike (it is amazing). And yes and no about the missus. Yes she was my missus until very recently but now I have to say no:(: I am attaching a picture of her on her bike for you:ricky The bike is an 08 Concours with Hannigan's HP sidecar and she doesn't just pose on it, she rides the heck out of it.

Foot dragger 05-20-2011 07:25 AM

Nice looking rigs all of them,the FZ1 should haul ass nicely!

3legs 05-21-2011 12:58 AM

OMG. Wow nice bike. I don't know what it's like in the states but we don't have a lot of female sidecar riders here in Australia but those that do, earn a hell of a lot of respect from us blokes. More power to them I reckon. Sorry she isn't your missus any more but anyway I digress, MORE PHOTO'S please :lol3:lol3:lol3


Brendan J 05-21-2011 01:47 AM

I am following this with some interest !!! Do you have any more photos or info on how the hub was mated to the car rim ???

Neptune03 05-21-2011 03:55 AM

Yamaha FZ1 dual sport sidecar build

I've got great friends! George (a long time friend and riding buddy) over in Thomasville Georgia had a spare lathe that he wasn't using so he let me borrow it (moving it wasn't much fun). Not much experience doing machine work but I muddled through. I turned down one end of a square block and slid that end into a tube that then slid into a larger diameter tube. So basically the whole swing arm is double wall. Probably heavier than it needs to be but I was looking for maximum strength.

The front tire is the same size as the rear, a 185/70/15 off road rally car gravel / dirt tire.

D.Bachtel 05-21-2011 03:40 PM

Oh gawd , just spill it all out there Neptune. No need to string us along.
The slow reveal might kill it all...

I'm requesting full disclosure in a timely manner, just saying brah. :deal

Don in Nipomo

Neptune03 05-21-2011 07:14 PM

Answer to wheel question

Originally Posted by Brendan J (Post 15965833)
I am following this with some interest !!! Do you have any more photos or info on how the hub was mated to the car rim ???

I wasn't there but Bill said he cut off the stock Yamaha rim with a sawzall then worked his magic. You can see in an earlier post the picture of the three remaining spokes from the stock wheel being machined just slightly larger than the inside of the aluminum car wheel. The wheel from Bogart Racing is just a shell (no middle) so he heated up the shell to expand it slightly and put the center portion out in the snow. With the rim expanded and the center contracted by the cold, he centered it in the wheel. As the temperature of the two components normalized a tight fit was achieved. Once trueness was confirmed, the wheel was taken to a VERY experienced welder.

Please be aware that Bill only agreed to make these wheels this way because I begged a little. Not quite sure how they will hold up so I am really keeping a close eye on them. So far, so good.

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