Side car opinions...jump in here...

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by BigJohnD, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. BigJohnD

    BigJohnD Banned

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    I respect the opinion of youse guys/gals. I been kicking around an idea to get a side car that I can use with the KLR or the GS.

    Found one that looks like it might be in great shape and would work. It seems to be a Ural or similar.

    I would want it to be fairly easily detached so I can ride two wheel when I want. But mostly cause I wanna go up to Alaska in the next year or so.

    So what do you think? Side car? Pro's & Con's.

    I expect and want to hear your opinions...especially from Hotair...let him know Don, since he has the experience.
    #1
  2. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    First off, driving a car is *very* different than riding a bike. The adjectives I chose there are on purpose. THe skills are completely different. Instincts from years of bike riding will screw you up on a hack.

    Second, a hack isnt an accessory that can be added and removed at will. Any set up that allows for that will be a compromise that downgrades the performance and handling in either configuration. Do a little reading on sidecar geometry. A tiny adjustment makes a big difference in handling. Even my small experience with them has learned me that quite well. Improper adjustment at best leads to shredded tires and abruptly worn bearings. At worst it will be an evil handling dangerous machine that will try to kill you at every turn. From what I can tell, convertible hacks are less than fun to use.

    I would suggest you save yourself a lot of aggravation and time by setting up a rig for that purpose and leaving it that way.
    #2
  3. Firestorm

    Firestorm .

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    If you get a side car on your bike your definitely going to be unique, as there very rare nowadays. If its somthing you want get it. It might be kinda fun to take a 3 person road trip (3's a crowd?) via motorcycle, or if you want to take some extra luxuries with you when you tour or tour two up. But from what I've seen I don't think there's quick disconect or connect rigs out there, everythings bolted on and some share an axel between the two, which you'd have to swap out the rear wheel, to get it back to one wheel drive? I honestly don't know much about it, other than I've allways thought it'd be cool to have a motorcycle with a side car.
    #3
  4. bwanacswan

    bwanacswan Team Vicarious

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    I have a Ural Gear-Up and I love it. It is my work vehicle and grocery getter. Side cars are a hoot but the learning curve is a bit steep.

    Have an experience hac go with you to look over the Ural side car to give advice. Ural side cars are great but maybe too heavy for a KLR, or at least a stock one.

    To look over some very nice hac's and get some ideas try:
    http://www.dauntlessmotors.com/Sidecars/sidecars.htm

    Mr Cob (Dave) to the white courtesy phone please!
    #4
  5. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    The hacks come off and go back on the Urals real easy. Takes 15 minutes tops. And with the telescoping fork models, you can ride them solo.

    But, the handling on those bikes solo is real vague and funky. Also the tires are different. At the very least, the tires are really squared off from hack duty.

    And, slapping the car back on is more than just doing up some bolts. You gotta at least check the toe-in and lean-out adjustments.

    IMO it isnt worth it. Dedicate the bike to hack duty. Make it handle like a hack. They are fun as hell.
    #5
  6. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    Ural tubs would be way too heavy for a KLR. At the very least, assuming you could get a good head of steam going, the effects of braking and acceleration would be grossly exaggerated.

    Also Ural hacks sit further back than most other rigs to accommodate the other drive shaft. Yes, even on the single drive models.

    David hough has a good book on sidecar piloting and set up.

    Also if you live in wa state, there is a separate MC class for 3 wheelers.

    I read Houghs book extensively and practiced. I still near killed myself the first time I got rolling on the street.
    #6
  7. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    You can absolutely put together a detachable sidecar. Before my Sportster/Motorvation rig was totaled detaching the sidecar took less than 10 minutes.

    However, Chop is on the money - any rig that is built to function as both a two-wheeler and a three-wheeler is a compromise of both. When I first built my rig my intent was to do exactly that. It worked, but it steered heavy and the suspension was very compressed. Also the manner in which a sidecar wears the tires on the bike was not condusive to two-wheeled riding. The flattened tread area made the bike handle like shit when the sidecar was detached. Ultimately I decided to commit the bike to being a sidecar tug. I had the bike's triple trees cut, raked, cambered, and re-welded, and installed progressive front & rear suspension that was sprung for the additional weight of the sidecar. It transformed the rig, making it a pleasure to drive instead of a fight to steer. I could literally lock the throttle at 65 mph and take my hands off of the bars. Prior to these mods it was always pulling one way or another. That confirmed for me the best way to do this is to have a dedicated setup. You want two wheels? Buy another bike.

    My replacement rig for the one that was totaled is forthcoming and will be even better than the last one.
    #7
  8. bwanacswan

    bwanacswan Team Vicarious

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    Damn straight Chopperman. I would never try dual duty for a bike set up for hack duty. My Ural is what it is and not meant to be ridden as a two wheeler.
    My Ural without the hack handles like a small apartment complex in a mud slide.

    A cool set up for a KLR is this
    [​IMG]

    and is one I am considering for myself.

    I just can't fathom doing it to my R1200GS.

    Bwana
    #8
  9. PecosBill

    PecosBill Get off my f'n lawn!

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    Can you please post a bigger pic? That one is too small. I can't see whether grade 8 fasteners are being used. :lol3
    #9
  10. curbjumper

    curbjumper Lane Changer

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    :nod

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    Of course, this is a British set up- where they drive on the wrong side. :lol3
    #10
  11. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    .

    Probably very true. You want the hack to weigh between 1/3 and 1/2 of the tug. Personally I like to shoot for the 1/3 mark because I can always add weight if I think the hack flies too easily. Conversely you can't do much to remove weight if the hack is wagging the tug.

    On my next rig the hack is probably going to weigh about 25% of the tug empty. I'll throw 75-100 Lbs of lead shot into the hack, dispersed across the floor and trunk to balance the weight equation.

    As for putting a hack on a KLR it has been done but the hacks are always very light weight and sparse. Making it go isn't necessarily the problem - steering it and making it stop are the issues.
    #11
  12. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    The pics get the point across, but there are much easier ways to check lean and toe.
    #12
  13. bwanacswan

    bwanacswan Team Vicarious

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    Morning Bill....I just assumed everyone else here has a 61" plasma screen to appreciate that pic.

    Actually I f*cked up and didn't check it before I submitted it.:baldy
    #13
  14. curbjumper

    curbjumper Lane Changer

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    :thumb

    Are you going to replace sporty?

    I don't know much about sidecars yet- just starting to look for one for this...



    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. ADVMax

    ADVMax Sporting Foole

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    :lol3


    I had to save it to my puter so I could look at it - that's pretty damn neat!
    A dear friend of mine had an old /2 with a Ural side hack on it, a KLR with a hack couldn't be any worse power-wise than the slash-too was.


    Choppa's right on a lot of points - the main one is that once you get it set up, leave it alone, Forget the easy on - easy off, it ain't gonna happen.
    #15
  16. Chopperman

    Chopperman I am dead

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    That shouldnt be over looked or over stated.


    Assuming the rig is hung on the right hand side, US style, that weight plays a huge factor in handling and plays the biggest part in makiing the rig counter intuitive to a bike rider.

    As you accelerate the rig lags behind as it get hauled along. This pulls the whole shebang to the right, which moves the CG to the left. That makes the rig go light and often fly (lift off the ground) when that happens, suddenly it becomes a bike again with counter steering and all. So if you get yourself in a situation, you can see how you would quicky get yourself tangled up and hopefully just result in a very ungraceful turn.

    As you decelerate, the hack pushes forward which pushes the whole rig to the left....toward oncoming traffic. Nuff said about that

    This means that often the right thing to do on a bike is the exact wrong thing to do on a hack.

    But wait, there is more.

    A hack rig is a triangle. A large open side to the right. THis is the one everyone worries about. The one where a hot right hander or sudden acceleration makes the hack fly. But justas or more dangerous is the other open side, the one between the hack sheel and the front wheel of the bike. hard braking and a slight left turn (remember the hack makes the righ want to go that way, can easily shove the nose of the car down into the ground. If that happens, the whole rig can flip in the blink of an eye and come right down on top of you. Urals are more prone to this because the hack sits further back making that angle more prone to sudden moments of terror.

    Scared yet? :lol3 All thi means is that you need to practice. A LOT. SPend lots of time accelerating and decelerating in turns. Learn to use the brakes and gas to manage the rig. Fly the car on purpose. Learn to get yourself out of unintended flying situations without shooting yourself off at odd angles, the hack equivalent of dropping a wheelie while crossed up.

    I am by no means an expert. I only piloted a hack long enough to become barely competent and to approach it with caution.

    A couple years back the Ural boards were lit up when a fellow back east came down an onramp and went stright under a big rig truck in the fast lane. Or something like that. The details are foggy now. But the theory was that he want in too hot, flew the chair, panicked and came down at speed at right angles to traffic.
    #16
  17. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin?

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    Absolutely. It will be a much nicer version. Same sidecar, much more powerful bike. Brand new but very old school, equipped with a rocker foot clutch and a hand shifter :evil
    #17
  18. richc

    richc Long timer

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    Listen to what Chopperman is saying - set one up and leave it alone. I've had two of them - both were on older BMW's I had in the 70's and 80's. If the car isn't adjusted right they can be dangerous to drive. Set up right and they're a ball. If you're going to roll your own, learn to drive and brake it in an empty parking lot. Don't do it on the street in traffic.
    #18
  19. ADVMax

    ADVMax Sporting Foole

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    :stupid


    This is like the Gospel According to Chop! He's damn sure done this before! :nod

    The first hack rig I EVER rode was a damn Harley Electra Glide factory hack set up. the first 4 or 5 miles scared the SHIT outta me. Once I kinda got it figured out it started getting fun!
    #19
  20. PecosBill

    PecosBill Get off my f'n lawn!

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    I had been drueling over a Ural, but seeing that I'm pretty much going to use it only to put smiles on my girls faces, I'm leaning more towards restoring a /2 and setting it up for hack duty. If I could find a '66 that would be shaweet.
    #20