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Old 10-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #1
YOUNZ OP
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Best carbureted tug?

I know everything depends on everything. I'm looking for general opinions on all the aspects of performance, but primarily fuel mileage for an open road cruiser. Lets say a rig around 800 lbs dry. A Honda 750, a Ural, a BMW air head, A Suzuki 650, A sportster, ??? No documentation required.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #2
leejosepho
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My 2006 Yamaha XVS650 Cruiser with twin carbs got a little over 50mpg on two wheels, then I opened things up to let it breath a little better -- loud pipes save lives, ya know -- re-jetted the carbs and added a sidecar ... and now I get about 38mpg unless I am running hard into a strong headwind. I would guess my total weight to be around 750 lbs. plus me and my wife who might never ride again if I ever called her a monkey! ;)

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leejosepho screwed with this post 10-02-2012 at 07:32 PM
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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I'd go for an SOHC 750, maybe a sandcast, but only because I think they are cool. :3
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
My 2006 Yamaha XVS650 Cruiser with twin carbs got a little over 50mpg on two wheels, then I opened things up to let it breath a little better -- loud pipes save lives, ya know -- re-jetted the carbs and added a sidecar ... and now I get about 38mpg unless I am running hard into a strong headwind. I would guess my total weight to be around 750 lbs. plus me and my wife who might never ride again if I ever called her a monkey! ;)

I was thinking of a rig something like yours someday. Perhaps 2 old Honda 750 automatics controlled from one side. Interesting, but off topic. In Pa., a sidecar is considered the same as any accessory, from a legal stand point. No different than a side mirror or saddle bag, according to the insurance agent. But, don't let that fool you, it will cost you a fortune to get a well constructed home built simple M/C trailer titled and tagged in Pa.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
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" but primarily fuel mileage for an open road cruiser."
IF fuel consumption is a major factor for you A sidecar outfit isn't where to look.
My Ural which I don't run above 60 mph gets about 28-34 mpgs depending on road, load etc. A buds 200x Electraglide w/ factory chair gets 25 mpgs. Buds Goldwing w/chair gets 18 mpgs. Another bud w/hacked 1200GS gets about 30-32 mpgs. A neighbors 07 Enfield w/cozy car does pretty good at 40 mpgs but it'll only run at a steady 40-45 mph. Just from my talking to folks with sidecars I figure adding a chair to a solo you can expect about 1/4 to 1/3 less mpgs than you got as a solo especially if hwy speeds are your intended use. Building a sidecar outfit for good fuel consumption and hwy use seems counter productive to me. If I were to build an outfit for local use I'd consider an evo Sportster or 650 klr. For hwy flying probably an oilhead GS. In any case adding a chair is going to give you a substantial hit in fuel consumption. PS: above numbers are all on the camel piss government mandated gasoline(E10).
Good luck.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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Torque not Revs

you want a motor that is Torque monster not a high revving HP beast!!!!


The BMW airhead twins before 1979 or 1980 had a heavier flywheel which gave better Torque. Twins like the Yamaha XS650 give goo Torque comparable to the Triumphs but yamaha reliable. I think a Honda CB750 4cylinder would struggle to get a sidecar moving slipping clutch higher RPM but it has been done.

the 1200 CC Suzuki Bandit is a good tug
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:09 AM   #7
leejosepho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOUNZ View Post
I was thinking of a rig something like yours someday. Perhaps 2 old Honda 750 automatics controlled from one side.
It was after-the-fact that I realized I could have considered a twin-engine rig, but I suspect that would have put way too much weight forward of the third wheel (that could have not been given any lead without also setting the second engine ahead of the first). One thing I had considered, however, was the idea of adding a starter motor on the sidecar side to give the rig a reverse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YOUNZ View Post
Interesting, but off topic. In Pa., a sidecar is considered the same as any accessory, from a legal stand point. No different than a side mirror or saddle bag, according to the insurance agent. But, don't let that fool you, it will cost you a fortune to get a well constructed home built simple M/C trailer titled and tagged in Pa.
Yep, go figure!
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:26 AM   #8
GreatWhiteNorth
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Gl1100?

Goldwings make great tugs. I have owned two GL1100s... and I wouldn't rule out a 1200 either, but they're heavier. Nice to have shaft final drive too. There is a reason they've been a popular choice over the years for a tug. The Yamaha Venture isn't a bad choice as a tug either. This is maybe a bit heavier than you're looking for, but are good (no, great) choices nonetheless.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YOUNZ View Post
I was thinking of a rig something like yours someday. Perhaps 2 old Honda 750 automatics controlled from one side. Interesting, but off topic. In Pa., a sidecar is considered the same as any accessory, from a legal stand point. No different than a side mirror or saddle bag, according to the insurance agent. But, don't let that fool you, it will cost you a fortune to get a well constructed home built simple M/C trailer titled and tagged in Pa.
Think about synch'ing 8 carbs and getting 2 motors to pull evenly.....
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usgser View Post
" but primarily fuel mileage for an open road cruiser."
IF fuel consumption is a major factor for you A sidecar outfit isn't where to look.
My Ural which I don't run above 60 mph gets about 28-34 mpgs depending on road, load etc. A buds 200x Electra Glide w/ factory chair gets 25 mpgs. Buds Goldwing w/chair gets 18 mpegs. Another bud w/hacked 1200GS gets about 30-32 mpegs. A neighbors 07 Enfield w/cozy car does pretty good at 40 mpegs but it'll only run at a steady 40-45 mph. Just from my talking to folks with sidecars I figure adding a chair to a solo you can expect about 1/4 to 1/3 less mpegs than you got as a solo especially if hwy speeds are your intended use. Building a sidecar outfit for good fuel consumption and hwy use seems counter productive to me. If I were to build an outfit for local use I'd consider an evo Sportster or 650 klr. For hwy flying probably an oilhead GS. In any case adding a chair is going to give you a substantial hit in fuel consumption. PS: above numbers are all on the camel piss government mandated gasoline(E10).
Good luck.
I know that an outfit isn't a fuel efficient vehicle per sey, but the better the mileage the further I can go on a fixed income (retired). That's why it needs to be a carbureted older bike, cost. I avoid the dual lanes as much as possible anyway. Goldwings are a bit too heavy for me at this point. I did buy one of the first Wings on the east coast back in 75. It was a little too smooth for my taste. I do like the parallel twins.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
YOUNZ OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biebs View Post
you want a motor that is Torque monster not a high revving HP beast!!!!


The BMW airhead twins before 1979 or 1980 had a heavier flywheel which gave better Torque. Twins like the Yamaha XS650 give goo Torque comparable to the Triumphs but yamaha reliable. I think a Honda CB750 4cylinder would struggle to get a sidecar moving slipping clutch higher RPM but it has been done.

the 1200 CC Suzuki Bandit is a good tug
I had a chance at an older Yamaha xs850 about a year ago and I didn't act quick enough and someone beat me to it. I still regret that.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #12
YOUNZ OP
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Originally Posted by Bob Mws View Post
Think about synch'ing 8 carbs and getting 2 motors to pull evenly.....
Actually, I do have a rig. I had a very low mile 78 Honda 400 automatic, good for zipping around all the small towns in the region, but I was wondering if I'd like a sidecar rig that I could use for camping and such. So, on a budget I built a sidecar from scratch last spring, bolted it to the little Honda (changed the front sprocket) for better pull and learned how to drive the thing this summer, so to speak. Now I'd like to move up to a bit larger bike to pull it. Glad I started out with the 400, I almost lost it the first time out. Too hot in to a right hander on the mountain road behind my house and wound up on the soft berm on the opposite side of the road. Luckily no one was coming the other way. No damage done. I did cuss myself out for that one.
I'm thinking around two grand for a tug. Maybe an 850 something, twin cylinder. The sidecar weighs around 180 or so.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:15 PM   #13
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My rig is a 04 Sportster 883 with a velorex I get a solid 42MPG every tank. I cannot remebmer exactly the MPG I used to get with the KLR but I think it was aroung 45 - 48MPG.
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:16 PM   #14
Leaf
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Originally Posted by YOUNZ View Post
I had a very low mile 78 Honda 400 automatic, good for zipping around all the small towns in the region
Ohhh! That's almost like the Leaf Mobile! We should start a club!
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:01 AM   #15
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Ohh! That's almost like the Leaf Mobile! We should start a club!
Did you say you opened the jets and performance improved substantially? I was going to open em up and judge by the plug color also. As it is, there is no color! I know it was an emission issue.
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