Goldwing 1500/sidecar

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by JerryH, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Ok, I admit it. I hate trikes. But I have arthritis and fibromyalgia so bad that riding a large bike is getting to be too difficult and dangerous. Right now my '95 Goldwing is for sale, but it has not sold yet. I really like this bike, but it is just too big and heavy for me. But while I can't stand trikes, the idea of a sidecar has always appealed to me. I fully understand that there is more involved than simply bolting up a sidecar and taking off. Some bikes require the rake and trail to be modified, and in all cases it basically means learning how to ride all over again. Right turns and left turns are completely different.

    Does anyone know of a sidecar that would be a good match for a 1500 Goldwing? I would be riding/driving it solo most of the time, and carrying my 21 year old daughter once in a while. How would such a rig perform on the freeway? I've heard that sidecars constantly try to pull to one side. Is there anyway to correct that on a long ride, Kind of like the trim tabs on an airplane, so you don't have to fight it for hours at the time.

    This is unlikely to happen, but the bike is paid for and in great shape. Just trying to see what all my options are.
    #1
  2. Ivan Rider

    Ivan Rider Been here awhile

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    With that big of bike you need to make sure the sidecar isn't too light. Get a Ural or something just as heavy.
    #2
  3. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

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    JerryH

    Welcome to the asylum

    There are a lot of hacks that are already put together, just search for goldwings with a sidecar. Sometimes buying one that is put together already is the way to go. But it will give you some type of idea what looks good together

    Additionally check with the vendors forums. Sparrowhawk with DMC has 30 sum years experience with sidecars. (West Coast)

    Also Claude with CSM (East Coast) aton of experience
    Good luck :norton

    Bob
    #3
  4. XL-erate

    XL-erate Been here awhile

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    I can't reply as any kind of expert on sidecars but I can identify with your situation- the same one I'm faced with! It's either 3 wheels or forget ever getting my knees in the breeze again, thanks to physical limitations. To me that makes the decision simple and obvious!

    Far as I know your bike is ideal for a hack tug. It has the power to handle any conditions you'd ever face and to haul any normal sidecar ever made. The car should be about 1/3 the weight of the total weight of the rig but that doesn't limit you at all. You could use most any chair and add semi-permanent or permanent ballast to get the numbers and the handling right, safe and enjoyable. Of course that ballast should be well secured in the sidecar as you don't want a weight shifting or sliding around! Best to keep the ballast in the triangle formed by the 3 wheels, and to the rear when possible.

    There's some really beautiful sidecars out there that would be ideal on your bike, thumb through the Hack pictures thread, 'Hacks - let's see them' for some ideas. I've seen several big Goldwings not only handling a large sidecar but also pulling a trailer behind, so you're pretty much unlimited in making your dreams into reality! You can either mount the chair yourself or leave it to a professional, there's lots of info in this forum section on either decision.

    I've decided to build my own because of limited finances but regardless of that I flat refuse to give up the freedom to get out there in the wind and RIDE! Nothing compares, you know that. The few drawbacks are minor and the learning curve isn't that steep at all. Many offer pro instruction on riding skills and sidecar specific technique, highy recommended for your safety, so that's another non-problem.

    I think you'll be a whole lot happier with an outfit based on your Goldwing than sitting around with the channel changer wishing you had done it. If I got any 'facts' wrong I hope those with more knowledge will correct me. Enjoy life, that's the bottom line!
    #4
  5. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    If you check eBay, there are lots of Goldwings that come up though there's only one up there now. Might give you some ideas. The classic partner seems to be the Hannigan Astro. Or the Calfornia Friendship 3.

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    #5
  6. M37cdn

    M37cdn Adventurer

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    For a big cruiser you should also look at the Motorvation Roadster Royale
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. grisezd

    grisezd Been here awhile

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    That Thunderchicken rig rules!
    #7
  8. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    The Hannigan GTL ,HMS-SP2 or the Classic Twin are all really good candidates for a 1500 Wing. Stable, on the fly adjustment for road camber, weigth in sidecar etc, and a a lot of storage room.
    #8
  9. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=752175

    California Sidecar Friendship II. United Sidecar Association has a for sale section... they have great forums too, and it's also a good place to look for sidecars for sale, and complete rigs: http://www.sidecar.com/default.asp

    To add to the great advice you've already received, any big Goldwing makes a great tug IMO. Getting the steering modified to reduce trail and steering effort is very important though - I was amazed at how much heavier my steering became with the sidecar fitted... and it is set up perfectly. For city driving up to about 40-50 mph it's totally neutral, but at highway speed, due to the added drag from the sidecar (and crown of the road) it pulls slightly to the right (normal). You have to set 'em up for whatever compromise you want, and/or use an electric actuator setup to control leanout of the tug (usually by raising/extending the sidecar suspension).
    #9
  10. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Been here awhile

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    Go the sidecar route, you've already got a great bike that you enjoy and living where you do you can ride a lot. I've only got a few months sidecar experience but don't know what the knock is about fighting it while going down the road. My 19th century technology Ural definitely has it's "quirks" but after a full days ride (3 hours travel for you Goldwingers) I've used different muscles than on 2 wheels but not fought battles beyond wind, roads, and cars. Handles fire roads and farm trails well in the mountains around the Blue Ride Parkway without complaint.

    A quality bike deserves a quality rig, get a reputable shop to do the job. You'll really enjoy a well set-up rig, just decide on "the look" that you want.

    A sidecar is so much more than just a "stable" 3 wheel platform! A Goldwing certainly has the power to cruise highways at posted speed limits plus. I frequently ride solo and do majority of my errands on the bike, grocery shopping not a problem. Plenty of room for a picnic basket and lawn chair too.

    Wife has a Can-Am, as far as trikes go I would rate it extremely high in quality and fun factor. Runs quite well and is comfortable for distance plus has storage built in.
    #10
  11. jaydmc

    jaydmc Long timer

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    For the GL1500 and GL1800 most sidecars manifactures make a frame that is longer as these bike are longer then most other bikes as such not all sidecars will fit this bike. The sidecar also needs to be strong and a bit heavy, I have put about 200,000 miles on Goldwings with sidecars and have owned two GL1500's with sidecars. Our Kenna sidecar is our least expensive sidecar that will work with your bike, it is pleanty strong however it is a bit to light for your bike so ballist would be needed. The EZS sidecars we offer are the finest sidecars made any where in the world and with the EZS you can get automotive wheel and tire packages as well as a new front end for the bike. The reason for a new front end is to reduce trail on the front for lighter steering. With EZS they go with a new front end to also allow for the wide automotive front wheel and tire. On the Kenna I would go with triple tree's to change the angle of the forks for lighter steering. We also offer these. Should you be looking at used sidecars feel free to contact us before you buy as some sidecars by the time you make them safe are not going to be such a good deal, other sidecars can not be made safe ever for your bike. We can also help with mounting hardware for your bike as you will need proper bike specific mounting hardware not "Universal"
    Feel free to contact me with any specific questions you may have.
    Jay G
    DMC sidecars
    jay@dmcsidecars.com
    866-638-1793
    www.dmcsidecars.com
    #11
  12. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    I had an accident which left me with a bad right arm. I cannot safely hand big bike anymore and I dislike conventional trikes... So first I went to test ride a Can Am Spyder RT with paddle shifter and power steering: I bought one and have now 120000 miles on it, mainly 2 up. And I bought a Ural for the dirt! Spyder is a lot easier to ride once you passed the learning curve, Ural is still a challenge but it is the fun of it. One idea for you would be to test ride all the solutions out there (places rent Spyders) and see whats best for you?!
    #12
  13. Sidecarjohn

    Sidecarjohn Been here awhile

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    If finance is an issue,as surely it is for most these days, then utilising what you have has to be the clear starting point. Fortunately, you already possess an ideal sidecar hauler in the Gold Wing. At the risk of offending solo Wing nuts, I still reckon Honda actually designed their grand tourer for sidecars, but simply didn't mention it in the press release.

    From the outset, with the GL1000, enthusiasts all over the planet saw this as their ideal motorcycle. Initial problems with the clutch raised doubts, but these issues were dealt with by improved designs. Increases in capacity improved the attraction, as did the increase from 4 to 6 cylinders.

    Obviously, there are things to be dealt with when it comes to creating the whole rig, but the pairing of the big Honda to a suitable sidecar is well established, so there should be no mysteries. I'm sure you won't regret it.
    #13
  14. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Thanks for all the information, this is looking better all the time. GreatWhiteNorth, I see you have an '85 LTD, which is what I had before I got the 1500. It had issues, and i gave up trying to find parts for it. Yes finances are a big part of the deal, but I can stretch things to a point if it means not having to give up my bike. No offense to all the trike riders out there, but they are just not for me. I seriously considered a Voyager kit, but it looks like a trike, and I want something fun. A sidecar is a bit unusual, and I have never met a hack rider that wasn't friendly and wanted to talk about their rig. I realize it needs to be fairly heavy, but I want it to be open, maybe with a snap on cover, not a full car body type setup. I'll start looking.
    #14
  15. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    #15
  16. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    Actually it's a '91 GL1500SE. I had to extend the sidecar chassis to accommodate the longer wheelbase. Jay/DMC sent me out the necessary tubing parts I had welded to the front of the sidecar chassis to enable it to match up.
    #16
  17. afgrava

    afgrava n00b

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    Get a Hannigan LT sidecar. I have a K1200LT with a Hannigan sidecar and a friend I ride with has a Honda 1500 with the same Hannigan sidecar. Beautiful bike and sidecar. Easy packing. As I "age", I find myself riding the sidecar rig more often. Cost around 11 grand. But what the heck - you can't take it with you.
    #17
  18. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

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    #18
  19. FirstPath

    FirstPath Long timer

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    If you can find a motorvation Formula sidecar. Excellent look, flip up nose, the formula II handles a top. I had one on my '85 Kawasaki Voyager and it handled fine when it was empty. With it set up right you should not have too much tugging to the right. If you change the forks to leading link on the GW that will help with handling and any head shake. I had the straight forks and didn't have any issues. If it did shake a bit at low speed it was usually due to road surface and a bit more throttle made it go away.

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    Scott in Shoreview
    '79 Suzuki GS550
    #19
  20. karitoki

    karitoki Been here awhile

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    +1 on the Motorvation Formula! :D

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    #20