Originally Posted by KaHOnas
...but I really, really want one. I was looking at vintage BMW hacks when I was deployed in '09, drooling all the while. I couldn't afford what Blue Moon Cycle wanted for some of them but, man, were they pretty. I'm still gathering information about what's out there so when I finally do make the jump, I make an informed one.
I live in Chattanooga, TN. I know of nobody around here who has a hack so I have nobody to bounce questions off of. I guess I'll just throw out all my questions here in hopes that I can learn a bit more.
First, how difficult is it to turn a motorcycle (such as a new Triumph Bonneville) into a hack? If I were to buy the sidecar, would that be all I'd need, or do I still need to buy the frame, wiring, etc?
Second, I had read somewhere that a leading link front fork is better to have with a sidecar than a standard telescopic fork. Is this true? How important is it? And, say I were to add a sidecar to the above-menioned Bonnie, who could I get that suspension from?
Third, I've never even operated a hack. I've been a bike rider since I was 14 but never had a sidecar attached. I know it's different, but is there any suggested reading about the dynamics involved? Does the MSF do a special sidecar class or am I just thrown onto the road to learn on my own?
Fourth and last question, do hacks really kick as much ass as I think they do? I'd love to go for a ride through the country here in TN with my wife on the back and my son in the car. It just sounds like a blast.
1. there are a couple of guys here that have Bonneville hacks you should check with them about Bonneville specifics, but from what I've read they appear to like them a lot.
2. Leading links are much better to have as opposed to standard moto steering, but as others have said raked triple trees are an available option that many people like. Leading link mods can cost upwards of $2K and trees can cost upwards of about $800. Write some dealers like Jay and he can talk more specifics about prices.
3. There are some good links about sidecar dynamics and steering etc. While you can learn on your own ..... it might be best if you looked into an S/TEP class in your local area. It's sidecar and trike training. I took a course at a local Community College as there were no commercial outlets here in North Florida offering the course. I am very happy that I took the course. I got to try out driving a hack before I ever bought mine. I confirmed I liked it, and I also picked up some necessary skills and safety tips as well. I also met some fellow hackers in the local area while doing so.
4, I think hacks do kick ass. I can carry all kinds of things with me while still being in a moto envirnment. I can also take my young daughter for rides.
As for steering mods... my 2 cents..... I think the need for steering mods is somewhat proportional to the weight of the rig you end up with. I've driven a Harley with no steering mods and it was a beast to handle on crowned roads. I own and drive a DR650 with sidecar and the whole rig weights maybe 500 pounds. Though I can see that a LL front end might be nice, I don't feel it is at all necessary for my bike and I love it road, off-road, makes no difference to me - I still immensely enjoy driving it. Once you install a LL front end it would be unwise to drive the bike without the sidecar. So, if you do it - it's effectively a sidecar bike only....
As for sub-frames and wiring .... wiring is generally the easier part of that question. I did mine in less than a day using a 5 wire trailer harness - no problems. This allows me to disconnect the sidecar with 4 bolts and one electrical connector. Sub-frames are another matter altogether. Some bikes need them and some don't. My DR650 needed one - which I bought from Jay @ DMC. And glad I did too, it went on easy and is a very well though-out design and hasn't failed me yet.