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Old 02-23-2014, 08:45 AM   #31
Hookalatch OP
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Different Strokes For Different Folks

We all choose to ride for different reasons. I spent decades racing motorcycles and cars and by nature still ride faster, at least in corners, than most people. I also have a couple of 1950's Ford tractors and a 1952 Chevy pickup I restored stock. I am happy operating those vehicles within their design parameters. I thought I would be happy putting around on a Ural. I might be at some later time but not now. I will avoid any obvious comparisons to my older vehicles.

I dismissed modifying the Airhead because I enjoy riding it almost as much as the R1200 GSA. The 1200 is so vastly superior in every performance category it just seems logical that if I do pursue getting into sidecars it would be a better choice.

But what really has me rethinking the the whole sidecar thing was the steering. I somehow never connected that it isn't just an initial force that is needed for the turns, you are working it all the way. Should have been obvious to me but it wasn't. Here are the roads I ride on just to circle my "block".









I don't think the Ural would make it out of second gear in the second pictured road and would spend a lot of time in 1st. I do have to admit the third picture is bogus. We never see a cow with that big an udder out here!

Chuck
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:15 AM   #32
RedMenace
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I hear what you are saying about the force required to bull a sidecar through the corners and you are correct, The twisties will make a heavy steering sidecar quite a work out to ride any distance.

You should not, however, draw too sweeping of conclusion regarding this aspect of the sidecar experience. In my opinion Urals are at the heavy side of the middle of the range when it comes to steering effort. There are many rigs out there with steering modifications that reduce the steering effort to much less than that of a Ural, some to the point where the effort is almost negligible.

I prefer a little more steering effort myself, but it does restrict my range if I am riding challenging roads. You do get used to it, but it is not for everybody.

Irregardless of steering effort, with proper technique a sidecar can be ridden fast in the corners and you can find that zen like trance state where the the rhythm of the road becomes one with your heartbeat.

I suspect more horsepower and better steering/suspension would be where you find the sweetspot. But you won't know that without the experience needed to climb the learning curve. If sidecars don't push your buttons, there may be no reason to go there.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:49 AM   #33
norton(kel)
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As has been stated earlier, you need to buy/build a rig and spend time with it before you can know if it's for you. My wife bought me my first one and I
spent many hours reading/figuring out how to mount it.(pre internet) and on our first outing I promptly drove it into the ditch Limped back home and spent more hours with the setup/experimenting. That was 30 yrs ago and I've never been without a rig in the barn since then. Still have single track bikes, but find I spend more time on the sidecars than the single track units. Again, buy a used rig,make sure the SETUP IS CORRECT and see if you grow into it. If not you can always sell a used rig for pretty close to what you put into it, if not more. For some sidecars are a instant like but many need to warm to it gradually. Do it so you don't say later in life "gee I wish I had tried a sidecar". Jim
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:15 PM   #34
Barnone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookalatch View Post

I don't think the Ural would make it out of second gear in the second pictured road and would spend a lot of time in 1st.
Chuck
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #35
villageidiot
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i rode one last weekend at the san diego event, and i loved it, but im not sure now is the time or not.

ive been moto only for the better part of the last 3 years, and the whole time have been looking at sidecars. i still want a sidecar, but im not sure the ural is it. it IS however the only way i could get into a sidecar at this time financially, short of fabbing one myself onto whatever bike i have (right now its a vstrom, but im eyeballin the dr650 for a little more dirt capability)

i wont knock the ural, it rode well, had good smooth power up to 65-70mph, and i like the styling. its just a buncha coin at the moment, and im not sure its the right spending of said coin.

as i enjoy being on dirt and out in nature, im not sure if a dr650 & sidecar might suit my style better, for that matter, a dr as a solo, but then i couldnt take the wife, which is the biggest reason for me looking at hacks.
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Old 02-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #36
RedMenace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villageidiot View Post
i rode one last weekend at the san diego event, and i loved it, but im not sure now is the time or not.

ive been moto only for the better part of the last 3 years, and the whole time have been looking at sidecars. i still want a sidecar, but im not sure the ural is it. it IS however the only way i could get into a sidecar at this time financially, short of fabbing one myself onto whatever bike i have (right now its a vstrom, but im eyeballin the dr650 for a little more dirt capability).....
.
You can probably find a used rig for a fraction of what a new Ural or a custom built sidecar would cost you. As always there are choices and compromises to be made, but you do have more than just those two options(or three if you count building it yourself).
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:58 AM   #37
Jim K in PA
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Chuck - thanks for this thread. It is clear (at least to me) that getting into a sidecar is more like starting a new relationship than buying an object. Sometimes a "test ride" can be quite misleading, in either direction!

Each rider must find their own comfort level. I tend to jump in with both feet. I didn't even start riding motorcycles until I was 46 (in 2011), and I started with Otto (my '79 airhead). Not exactly a "beginner" bike, but it was perfect for me. I will never be without a motorcycle ever again.

Now I am thinking of getting into a sidecar too. I may take a test ride on one, just to make sure it is not a "holy shit" mistake, but I have no delusions of such a small sample of driving one being representative of the full experience. Given the reality that budget limitations exist for every situation, you may be able to plan well and buy something that will have little risk of substantial depreciation. That way you can give the rig a fair shake over a year or two, and if the magic is not there, then sell it on with minimal financial impact.

Anywho, thanks again for this exercise.
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