Best Bike for an Outfit

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by PIC, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. PIC

    PIC What

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Smythesdale, Victoria, Australia
    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??

    :D:D:D
    #1
  2. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,738
    Location:
    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    K100 is fairly common. Some of our comrades really over load them, g'day Chris:wave What did the Tuck Truck weigh before the OCR ?:lol3 :eek1
    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:clap
    #2
  3. tripodtiger

    tripodtiger I used to be SCRay

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,738
    Location:
    you dont call wagga wagga wagga
    And, having typed all that, the best bike is probably the one you are happy with. They are all going to be a compromise.
    #3
  4. lout

    lout AYCIC

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Cambridge
    I researched suitable bikes for 12 months before I decided on a gsx1400.
    #4
  5. PIC

    PIC What

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Smythesdale, Victoria, Australia
    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.
    #5
  6. BeemerChef

    BeemerChef Wandering Homeless

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,328
    Location:
    Living under the Stars...
    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...).
    Be well... Ara & Spirit
    #6
  7. lout

    lout AYCIC

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    769
    Location:
    Cambridge
    weight shift microlights atm but I've flown most everything over the years.
    #7
  8. sdpc2

    sdpc2 Just another Rally Rat

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,160
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    I too am an ex-hang-glider. Only quit because i lost a friend, and didn't have the time for two passions....




    #8
  9. Bandit Bill

    Bandit Bill Newfie Rocketeer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Somewhere between Hamilton, Ontario and Hell
    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.
    #9
  10. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,294
    Location:
    GoodLiver,Oregon,USA
    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!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. PIC

    PIC What

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Smythesdale, Victoria, Australia
    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.

    :D:D:D
    #11
  12. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,030
    Location:
    Sydney Australia

    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. PatB

    PatB n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4
    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 :D .

    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.
    #13
  14. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,543
    Location:
    NoPo (pdx)
    I was checking out a zrx1100 this weekend...

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

    (But I'm still a total newb, I know nothing and am only guessing. :deal )
    #14
  15. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,294
    Location:
    GoodLiver,Oregon,USA
    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....
    #15
  16. ronb

    ronb Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    greenbrier tennessee
    the Honda ST1100 makes an excellent mount for sidecar use. mine has a Hannigan Sprint and has been in use for 5 years without issue. i routinely carry a passenger in the hack and on the passenger seat.

    the only changes you would want to make are either replace the stock narrow bars for something with more leverage or do what i did and have the steerite modification done to the triple clamps.
    #16
  17. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,543
    Location:
    NoPo (pdx)
    The hack is fun to ride, but I can see doing gravel even on a street machine,

    and if it's any tougher than gravel, I really like my KTM a lot better. :evil


    The girlfriend and I took the hack down to her aunts house on friday -

    Jeez louise is it ever easier to drive with a monkey in the hack! :clap
    #17
  18. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,294
    Location:
    GoodLiver,Oregon,USA
    My last sidecar class for the season is this weekend. After that I should be able to do some riding for fun. You ought to come up and hop in my sidecar, let me show you how much fun "tougher than gravel" can be with a sidecar!
    #18
  19. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,543
    Location:
    NoPo (pdx)
    I want to, but I don't have the dough.
    Lame excuse, I know.

    I'm feeling pretty good driving it on roads. Still wears me out mentally/physically MUCH faster than riding a bike (even though I'm going MUCH slower), but I don't hold up regular traffic... And it is nice to have that third wheel when you pull into the campground and realize that the "road" is made of sand... But the KTM is more of a kick in the pants (for me) off-road.
    #19
  20. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,294
    Location:
    GoodLiver,Oregon,USA

    You misunderstand- I was suggesting you come up later this fall and we'd go play.
    But pm me offlist if you do want to do the class, I can cut you a deal on this one.
    #20