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Old 05-27-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
ag_streak OP
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Best Chair for a Sportster?

As a three-wheeled newbie, I would love to hear some opinions on the best chairs to hang on a 2007 Harley Sportster Roadster 1200R...

My basic criteria would be light, narrow, and versatile (cargo and a seat). So far, I'm thinking the DMC frame and Sportster mounting kit, and a custom body, but I'm interested in learning from you guys about some options.

http://www.dmcsidecars.com/sidecars/sidecar-frame/

DSCN0812
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #2
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Where do you live?

If you live in the PNW, DMC in WA makes sense. If you live farther away, shipping costs will jack the price of the whole project up.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #3
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I live about as far away from the PNW as you can get in the US... Florida!

Let me rephrase my original request. I didn't mean to ask "what's the best chair" like I was asking "what's the best color" (or oil!)

I just wanted to know some of the typical choices and what the relative merits of some of them are.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #4
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Where you at in Florida? I was born and raised in Tampa area. Moved north years ago.
Anyhow....Here are some viable choices.
Only you can make a call on aesthetics but If you like the looks of it the Hannigan Classic is a very nice sidecar.
The Velorex offerings are okay. I would lean toward the 565 model. There should be a subframe built to mount these sidecars on a late model sportster. You may find earlier versions around but they are not nearly a good as the new velorexes are in many areas.
Check out the lower left hand picture. Bike look familiar? :-)
Our own CSM American Classic is also a good one. These are built with a steel or aluminum body here at our facility. We are a rep for Hannigan and also Velorex.
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claude screwed with this post 05-28-2012 at 01:51 PM
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
kshansen
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I can say of the three sidecars I have had on a total of two Sportsters the Hannigan Classic handles the best and the passenger would agree. But like others will say all depends on what your priorities are and needs. The two Sportsters I had/have sidecars on are both the older solid mount frames, the rubber mount engines should make an even smoother outfit.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
claude
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Originally Posted by kshansen View Post
I can say of the three sidecars I have had on a total of two Sportsters the Hannigan Classic handles the best and the passenger would agree. But like others will say all depends on what your priorities are and needs. The two Sportsters I had/have sidecars on are both the older solid mount frames, the rubber mount engines should make an even smoother outfit.
Hello Ken.
Always good to see you here.

As far as the rubber mount engines go they do well but care must be taken when doing mounts to allow the engine to do what it does on the rubber mounts :-) .

The late model sportsters can be a challenge sometimes especially if the pipes have been changed (most are it seems ..lol) . The lower rear mount always seems to be the bugger. That is why when we do one in house we do a pretty complete subframe.
I will look for a picture.

I am not sure what DMC's sportster mounts look like. Maybe Jay will chime in and post a picture or something.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:00 PM   #7
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Here's the project I am working on. I recently bought a used Velorex 562 and just finished reinforcing the frame and axle, modifying the rear lower mount and fitting a HD alloy wheel. All I need to do now is attach it to my 2007 Sportster. The upper mounts are no problem but I am still pondering the best way to attach the lower ones - has anyone got any photos of a subframe for a late model Sportster?







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Old 05-28-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
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hhkiwi, that tub frame looks awesome!

Hey, what seat and shocks are on your R?

Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claude View Post
Hello Ken.
I am not sure what DMC's sportster mounts look like. Maybe Jay will chime in and post a picture or something.
I'm very curious too. I did not assume a subframe was required. When I read the DMC site, I envisioned simple frame tube clamps. I plan on calling tomorrow to discuss my project with them. As always, Claude, thanks for your insights!.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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For the rubber mounted Sportsters you will need some sort of a subframe. You may be able to fit a clamp somewhere on the frame for a lower front mount but when it comes to the rear there's nothing structural you can fit a clamp mount to.

Don't count on DMC for details though. They will sell you a subframe for your Sportster for somewhere in the order of $700 but won't provide a photo of it - I asked because I can't afford their subframe but they're worried that the Chinese will copy it. Fair enough, I guess.

So I'll have to make my own. If anyone has done one and is willing to share their design I'd love to see it.

My rear suspension is a Progressive Suspension. My seat is custom made - I stripped the stock seat down to the pan and started from scratch.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:26 PM   #11
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ag_streak
For the $$$$ you'll spend putting a hack on your sportster you could buy mine and its already hacked, sorted and modified with a raked triple tree for improved steering.

http://spokane.craigslist.org/mcy/3029731303.html

Shameless plug for my rig for sale
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:38 AM   #12
claude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhkiwi View Post
For the rubber mounted Sportsters you will need some sort of a subframe. You may be able to fit a clamp somewhere on the frame for a lower front mount but when it comes to the rear there's nothing structural you can fit a clamp mount to.

Don't count on DMC for details though. They will sell you a subframe for your Sportster for somewhere in the order of $700 but won't provide a photo of it - I asked because I can't afford their subframe but they're worried that the Chinese will copy it. Fair enough, I guess.

So I'll have to make my own. If anyone has done one and is willing to share their design I'd love to see it.

My rear suspension is a Progressive Suspension. My seat is custom made - I stripped the stock seat down to the pan and started from scratch.
We have two sportsters in house right now to do. Both of these are employees bikes.

We do not do subframes built on fixtures but rather prefer to build the subframe on the bike for each project. However, we do have these bikes in house to do so could possibly work it out for you with them. Feel free to call.

Here are some not too good pics for possible ideas.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:51 AM   #13
claude
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More pics. This is a spirit eagle body on a modified velorex chassis. There is some non typical ( for us) mounting stuff going on here.




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Old 05-29-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Thanks Claude, that’s very helpful, though I would still appreciate details on/examples of lower sidecar mounts for a rubber mount (2004+) Sportster.


I’d be more than willing to share my shaft design to convert a late model Velorex 562 to accept a Harley-Davidson wheel. It’s a straight replacement for the stock swing arm.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:09 AM   #15
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Well, I had extended discussions on the phone today with both Claude of Freedom and Jay of DMC, and I gotta say, the sidecar community is AWESOME!

Everyone I've spoken to is so damn helpful and informative! I guess we're a small community, and everyone seems to help each other out!

So, Jay convinced me that the Sportster subframe kit he sells is as close to a bolt-on solution as you can get. Along with the rolling chassis sidecar frame he sells, and the miscellaneous struts, braces, and clamps, etc. the complete setup can get me rolling for a lower initial cost than anything else on the market.

I think I'm gonna place an order soon. There's a build time and shipping time, etc, but it's getting stinky hot in Florida, and wrenching in the garage becomes more attractive than sweating out riding. With any luck, I may have something on the road when it cools off next autumn.

I plan on designing and fabricating my own utility/cargo options for mounting atop the frame, and maybe, just maybe, building my own tub someday. I'll also keep my eyes open for a used tub that might fit on the frame. Beater Velorex's seem to come up for sale from time to time, and I might be able to get an older one and discard the running gear, and just use the tub.

With any luck, this may turn into a build thread, or at least a "bolt together" thread...
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