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Old 09-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #1
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Best Bike for an Outfit

At the risk of displaying my ignorance, here we go.

I am probably going to building a sidecar for touring work in the greater outback sections of Australia, many and varied dirt roads/conditions will be launched at by said sidecar.

What opinions are there out there regarding the best type of motor cycle for this endevour??

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Old 09-10-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
tripodtiger
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K100 is fairly common. Some of our comrades really over load them, g'day Chris What did the Tuck Truck weigh before the OCR ?
Apparently lots of spares around, cheap & plentiful.

Guzzis & R100s are said to be strong & reliable. On road performance may suffer, but not on gravel roads and tracks where speed isn't as important.
You are also usually going back a long way in age. Back in time with XS11 & GS11 - these are approaching 30 years old.

I like the idea of a GSX14 or Bandit. Just for the grunt they'd provide.
Most other contemporary Jap fours have aluminium frames.

Have you read Chris Mac's OCR story, yet? Slab's Bandit seemed to do the job okay.

Steel tube frame is probably a pre-requisite. Aluminium might be a touch more difficult to repair if you have a drama. Pity the V-strom is in an ali frame, eh?

Lots of people have suggested a TRX850 may make a good start point. There'd be some significant alterations. Again, pity the TDM has an ali frame.

Maybe you are more than happy to give an old bike a total re-build?

around $18k will get you a new Ural.

Perhaps, before you get there, you might consider what type of roads you are wanting to venture onto. Gravel roads, 4wd tracks, sand, etc.

Passenger's - nil, 1, 2 or 3 ?

Isolated locations - fuel range, food & equipment carriage.

Maybe a DR or KLR with a very light chair?
My current desire is to build a road-trials type sidecar, in lieu of the touring style that I currently have.
Wanna buy a nice touring sidecar?

It's nice to see you're not jumping straight in. It's definitely a black art
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Old 09-10-2008, 11:46 PM   #3
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And, having typed all that, the best bike is probably the one you are happy with. They are all going to be a compromise.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:01 AM   #4
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I researched suitable bikes for 12 months before I decided on a gsx1400.
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Old 09-11-2008, 05:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lout
I researched suitable bikes for 12 months before I decided on a gsx1400.
Yes, I think that it will take a while for me to make a decision.

I seem to be leaning towards a chain or belt drive at this stage for ease of fixing, this will change back and forth of course.

I also see are in to flying, might I ask what sort, Hang Gliding is my other passion.

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Old 09-11-2008, 05:33 AM   #6
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Throughout our two years on the road (with another few to go I hope!) I have come to the conclusion that the most beautiful parts of the country (ies) are off road. There is not question about it. The GS (96 1100 in my case) has been good, so far with a bit over 190,000 miles and no major issues.
There will be a VW wheel available soon with a 165r15 tire machined to fit the rear (as THAT tire never lasts more than 3,000 miles!). The new wheel will give me close to 30,000 miles! With the front and the Ural tire lasting 12~15,000 miles I call it my "freedom wheel"... Replacing it has been a real issue! ($'s...).
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Old 09-11-2008, 06:31 AM   #7
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weight shift microlights atm but I've flown most everything over the years.
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Old 09-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #8
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Ahhhhhh, memories of day's gone by

I too am an ex-hang-glider. Only quit because i lost a friend, and didn't have the time for two passions....




Quote:
Originally Posted by PIC
Yes, I think that it will take a while for me to make a decision.

I seem to be leaning towards a chain or belt drive at this stage for ease of fixing, this will change back and forth of course.

I also see are in to flying, might I ask what sort, Hang Gliding is my other passion.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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For economy, durability, and reliability, I vote Bandit, but i am biased after all. Ground clearance isn't the greatest for off-road work, unless you build up legs that'll take it off the ground more.

Perhaps a KLR based rig, with a Ural tub might be what the Dr. ordered.

Whatever you get, it's going to need special attention to mount a chair - none of them were designed with sidecars in mind - especially in the rough stuff.
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandit Bill
For economy, durability, and reliability, I vote Bandit, but i am biased after all.

Whatever you get, it's going to need special attention to mount a chair - none of them were designed with sidecars in mind.
The Bandit is a great bike and a heck of a bargain. Makes a good sidecar tug too. Not so great on rough roads and dirt, though. The suspension is way too stiff, and the pipes are low and collect dry grass where the headers come together under the engine. Mine always smells like a brush fire after a class!





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Old 09-11-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMenace
The Bandit is a great bike and a heck of a bargain. Makes a good sidecar tug too. Not so great on rough roads and dirt, though. The suspension is way too stiff, and the pipes are low and collect dry grass where the headers come together under the engine. Mine always smells like a brush fire after a class!
Have been looking at a few bandits, they are a good cheap bike.
The suspension can be customised for expected usage, at least it has 2 rear shocks which make that an easier task and a leading link frontn end should help clearance.

The header pipes are a bit of a problem, you could fit a bash plate but the bulkyness would have to be dealt with.

Has anyone considered an Africa Twin for a sidecar. They are out there but have not come across many.

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Old 09-14-2008, 04:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PIC
Has anyone considered an Africa Twin for a sidecar. They are out there but have not come across many.


AT sidecars, yep, a few in europe, none in oz, not surprising really as ther are only about 15 or so AT's that live here.







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Old 09-14-2008, 10:09 PM   #13
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Having given much thought to chair pullers over the years, I'll offer my thoughts on what I personally would look for in a tug.

Shaft drive 'cos I hate messing with chains and maintenance requirements will go up.
Car type clutch or easily accessed/changed bike unit with cheap/available spares as it will be working harder.
Full cradle steel tube frame to avoid attachement complications.
Liquid cooling as you can't filter through traffic any more.
Wheel sizes for which car tyres or Avon SM tyres are available.
As much low end grunt as humanly possible.

I'm in two minds as to whether cast alloy wheels or wires would be better on a road outfit. Off-road I'd probably be happier with spokes at the expense of needing to ping them every so often.

Given that particular wish list, I'm pretty much stuck with a Boss Hoss or a Rock It Free .

Any and all items are negotiable though, particularly given excellence in some other area. For instance, I can see the attraction of the Bandit, in spite of the chain drive and have contemplated such a beast myself.

In the end, though, I ended up buying a Ural and, 3 months and a transcontinental trip later, haven't regretted it.
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:52 AM   #14
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I was checking out a zrx1100 this weekend...

that could very well be my next hack rig.
Especially since I've decided I don't really care for off-road hacking.

(But I'm still a total newb, I know nothing and am only guessing. )
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:39 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolfan
Especially since I've decided I don't really care for off-road hacking.

(But I'm still a total newb, I know nothing and am only guessing. )
You haven't even tried it yet! I don't know about that BMW, it seemed OK to me but it sure doesn't seem to make freinds easily....
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