I need a hack. I won't go into or bore you with the whys but bottom line is that it's time to go to three wheels. I checked with a couple guys on here, talked with Claude and Jay during the last year, researched, and read till my eyes were bloodshot anything regarding sidecars. There are some really nice rigs being produced out there. I almost pulled the trigger on a custom BMW by Claude that was up for resale, and I was really close on a 2007 Ural outside of Boston but held off. I would love to own a completed rig by either DMC, CSM or a Ural but in my situation i did not really want to have $7,000 to $10,000 into something i will be lucky to even get to ride down into town never mind a trip on a custom long distance road rig. What it came down to was this......the rig would have to be under $5,000, and would either need to have reverse or it would have to be light enough for me to move around easily...... more on that reasoning will over the course of time reveal itself.
So, I have decided to hack my 2001 F650GS Dakar. Now I know it's not the best bike to hack and I know I could probably find a completed rig to purchase at about the same cost as what I'll have into the Dakar but.......I really don't care. I own the GS and don't have a lot of money into it so I am going to do it no matter what folks say. So don't go to the trouble of telling me all the reasons not to do it.
I have ordered the Enduro model including sub-frame and mounts from Jay at DMC, and expect delivery around the first week in January. I did order the brake set up option for the car as the brakes on the GS are not the best.
I needed a winter project to occupy myself. Attaching a sidecar to a bike i already own simplified things. Truth be known......I was afraid that during the process of selling and buying, something would happen to me and i would end up with no bike at all. Even if at some point I am unable to ride as my health declines, the thought of not having at least one bike in my ownership is frankly, just too much to bear.
I have moto buddies and friends in the ADV Community that have offered assistance with the build. I will need all the help i can get not only due to physcial challenges but because I am not exactly the sharpest tool in the box.
If anyone is interested I will try and post progress updates but don't expect much. I am kind of lazy with posting stuff, am shallow and self centered, and quite selfish with my time and what I do with it. However, I will try and we will see how it goes.
So here are the first of many questions.....some dumb, some obvious, and some that I am just curious about. Most will be run by Jay at DMC but all opinions are welcome.....except for the ones saying DON'T DO IT!!!
1) The bike is currently lowered. Three inch links, forks raised in the trees, and a low seat. Should I raise it back to standard height? Will it make any difference? Handling, steering, comfort?
2)I changed fork oil last Spring. Would heavier fork oil make a difference? Maybe different springs? Can't afford leading links and want to be able to change it back to a solo bike down the road when I am done if no one wants it as a hack.
3) It's time to change out worn sprockets and chain. Any suggestions on gearing changes? Is the stock chain heavy duty enough? Most of my riding will be secondary roads and gravel so it's not like I'm going across Mongolia.
4) Just installed new tires this Fall so will probably stick with them. Keep PSI the same?
5) Anyone else hacked a F650GS? I know Jay has but just wondering if anyone else has one....pictures, advise, thoughts???
That's it for now. Thanks in advance for the space and your time. I look forward to being part of the sidecar community.
Enjoy the Holidays
The Sidecar on a Kawa.