Bike/Hack weight ratio

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by RockyMtnRoadRash, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. RockyMtnRoadRash

    RockyMtnRoadRash Useful and decorative

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    500
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    I've seen a whole bunch of references to the relative weights of tug and chair in several posts that seem to suggest the weight of each half of a rig should conform to some ideal ratio. Can somebody explain the basic idea hear and maybe provide a couple examples of good and bad matches?
    #1
  2. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,294
    Location:
    GoodLiver,Oregon,USA
    A figure that has been bandied about is the sidecar should weigh at least 2/3rds of the weight of the bike.

    Hal Kendall and others have suggested you should be able to step down on the outside peg and without the sidecar popping up. If the sidecar does lift it should not lift much and should drop back down. Ballast can be used to accomplish this if needed.

    <object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2264297&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=2264297&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><br /><a href="http://vimeo.com/2264297">There is such a thing as too light</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user371939">Adventure Sidecar</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.

    These are good starting places. There is a little more to it than that. The width of the sidecar will affect how easily it lifts. If you regularly ride with a heavy passenger or load, a lighter sidecar might work OK. If you are using a light or mid weight bike and have an active passenger , if you use proper turning techique and shift your weight into corners and like agressive driving, a lighter sidecar might work for you.

    Another thing that is important to consider is lighter sidecars are often not as sturdy as sidecars designed for heavier use. The axles, mounts and chassis may not be up to use with a heavier bike or to agressive driving even on a lighter bike. You can't always just add ballast, make it wider or throw your weight around to compensate for a light sidecar. It should be matched to the bike.

    A Cozy or even a Velorex, might not be a good match for a Harley or a Goldwing, even if you ballast it to meet the two thirds rule. Even a suitable sidecar may provide a hair raising test ride if you take it out bare chassis without the tub.
    #2
  3. RockyMtnRoadRash

    RockyMtnRoadRash Useful and decorative

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    500
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Great answer, great video, cool music, and awesome teleporting dog at 15 seconds. Thanks!
    #3
  4. Sidecardoug

    Sidecardoug Pleasantly pleasing

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,796
    Location:
    Raincity, Warshington
    For Urals, the bike alone weighs about 500 pounds and the hack alone and about 250. My tug weighs about the same as a solo ural but my rig is wider and therefore the whole outfit is more stable. Stepping on the left foot peg and trying to rock the rig up is the best test I know.

    A spare tire or a car battery in the hack can make a big difference, too.
    #4