Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by DirtDabber, May 30, 2011.

  1. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    After many years of lusting after sidecars, last fall I came across this in the flea market and well the rest is history.

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    It is a 2000 Sportster with a Liberty sidecar.

    Liberty designed the "Sport" just for the Sportster but it never really took off.

    It's too bad because it is a great combination. The mounts are made specifically for the Sportster and the lines are perfect for the bike. Over the winter I put about 5000 miles on the rig and took it places that well...shall we say...it really wasn't designed to go.

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    Of course it took me lots of places it was designed to go as well.

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    This spring I invaded the Old School Rally and let the folks at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground take it for a spin and put a smile on their faces.

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    The more I rode, the more I wanted a dual sport rig. I thought about having Claude Stanley at http://www.freedomsidecars.com/ build me a sidecar for my Dakar but that posed a couple of problems. I like the Dakar like it is and I am pretty cheap. Building a sidecar from the ground up would be more than I wanted to spend.


    And then this showed up on E-bay.

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    :eek1


    It is a 2006 KLR with a Sputnik Sidecar. It is the perfect mix of out of date Japanese motorcycle technology coupled with an out of business Russian sidecar. Throw in some American ingenuity, camo wrap, 1000 miles between the rig and home, a one way plane ticket and the stage is set for adventure.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Did I mention the owner put the sidecar on the KLR for his wife so she could ride? She rode it one time and experienced some steering head shake and said never again. The bike has 1800 miles and the sidecar 100.

    If I can't get this sorted it is going to be a loooooooong trip home.
    #1
  2. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    So in true KLR fashion the trip planning has begun.



    I have my tool kit.

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    A map from 2003

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    An early model GPS.

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    And a milk crate.

    I was going to pack it as a carry on but I figured those nice folks at the TSA give you your own tote when you are headed for the plane now, so I guess I will have to make do.

    I wonder if they will let me have an extra one so I can make a top box out of them?

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    #2
  3. K. L. Rocket

    K. L. Rocket Big bouncy make big happy

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    Pretty! :wink:
    #3
  4. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    I have some last minute trip planning to do before I leave on Thursday.


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    #4
  5. Land

    Land Wanderer

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    :lurk

    Chris
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  6. tony the tiger

    tony the tiger Long timer

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    :lurk Happy <STRIKE>Trials</STRIKE>erm... Trails! :lol3
    #6
  7. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    So a little lesson for the three wheel naive. When you add a sidecar to a motorcycle you increase it's stability......when it is standing still. :lol3

    That is about about the only time unless you spend a lot of time, money, or both to build one of those fancy sidecar contraptions. But we are on a KLR sidecar budget here. The KLR was designed as a cheap, do it all motorcycle. It is a proven design with only minor changes since it's introduction in 1987. It is the Volkswagen Beetle of motorcycles. However, one thing that it wasn't designed for was pulling a sidecar around.

    There are more reasons why you shouldn't put a sidecar on a KLR than why you should. The KLR suspension is barely able to function on it's own much less handle the additional demands of a sidecar. The frame is too light and a subframe is needed. The front forks are undersized, long and floppy. There is considerable trail and steering will be heavy but at least the handlebars are wide. :D

    Given these limitations, and no sidecar experience, no wonder the previous owners romantic notion of sidecar traveling in the countryside quickly became a bad dream. Luckily they were able to list it on E-bay and find a sucker to take it off their hands. :evil

    Now I am no sidecar expert, far from it. However, I do understand the basics of sidecar design and adjustment and know there are several things I can do to sort things out on the way home.

    The first day's plan is

    Go over bike and check all fasteners.
    Tighten steering bearings.

    Then;

    Ride.
    Adjust.
    Repeat.

    Google says 983 miles from Jonesboro TX to Clayton GA. However I will need to make a detour to get a cheeseburger and a piece of pie.

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    #7
  8. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    Nice catch.
    #8
  9. DaFoole

    DaFoole Erudite inchoate...

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    This is freakin' hilarious!!!!

    IN!!!
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  10. Jman955i

    Jman955i Falls Down A Lot

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    In!!!!
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  11. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    In my trip research I have come to realize that I am going to have to forgo real BBQ till I get back East. :norton

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    #11
  12. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    i'm so jealous:tb
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  13. SlowRide13

    SlowRide13 Veteran n00b

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    Substitute with green chili cheesburgers!:deal
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  14. tony the tiger

    tony the tiger Long timer

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    ...and so much more so, from outside the firewalls of werk... :freaky

    Get Some!!
    #14
  15. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    Getting the final packing done and heading for the airport. I will try and post some updates from the road.


    I just wanted to add that there are still some awesome people in the world. The seller was concerned about the battery not holding a charge for me on the trip home and went out and bought a new battery today. He had already disclosed to me that the battery may be an issue prior to purchase and I had planned on getting a new battery on the road. :freaky
    #15
  16. Skyclad

    Skyclad Original Bastard

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    This looks like it is gonna be good.
    #16
  17. asphaltmueller

    asphaltmueller nomad acc. ยง 2(3)AVV

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    in

    maybe you should think of improvising a fork stabilisator

    like a suitable piece of bent iron screwed together with the front fender mounts
    #17
  18. DirtDabber

    DirtDabber cultural illiterate

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    Well I made it to the airport without too much incident, except my raingear was packed in my luggage when I hit that pop up thunderstorm. :bluduh

    I thought about the rebar and duct tape for the steering stabilizer. I should be able to pull it off considering I will still be in Nascar country. First farm I get to I will get some baling wire to fashion a fork brace
    #18
  19. MikJogg

    MikJogg Weekend Adventurer

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    really nice sidecar :thumb
    #19
  20. Skyclad

    Skyclad Original Bastard

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    Is this your first KLR? You certainly show the proper "frugal" attitude.:lol3
    #20