Value of Short Test Ride

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Hookalatch, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    #21
  2. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    I'm not seeing why it would cost $1200-1400?

    http://evergreenmotorcycletraining.org/sidecar-training/

    And IMO, a short test drive might not be enough to really know if it's for you. It's still a good idea, but it could well be that you still aren't sure you'll like it, and not likely at all that you'll know which rig would best suit you.

    I took the S/TEP class from Vernon (RedMenace) in his KLR rigs a year and a half ago. I still don't actually own a rig, but know it won't be a KLR nor a Ural. Niether will do what I need on the freeway. There are plenty of road oriented rigs that won't meet my needs off road. I'm pretty set on either using my GS for a tug, or swapping it for a GSA for fuel range. I'm hoping/planning to have Claude build my rig, but still not clear on my tub design...probably custom.


    I suspect there will be no problem getting meatloaf "on board".
    #22
  3. Zeid

    Zeid Adventurer

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    Here's a little known trick most people are not aware of... Most Ural dealers already have a Demo Bike on hand and if you are interested enough they will definitely let you ride it. Took one out the other day on a 16 mile ride... :evil Just make sure they understand how interested you are and be confident about it. I know you said it's 350 miles away and a week away, you're not coming to Scottsdale are you? If so, they DO have a demo model bike...
    #23
  4. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    You probably knew I would have to go look at that thread. Now I have no choice. I will have to do that test ride tomorrow. Meatloaf wants a shot at that "Big Kraka-hooey" title.

    [​IMG]
    Chuck
    #24
  5. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    Since I posed the original question I thought I would post my experience.
    It was a very worthwhile experience. I was able to spend a fair amount of time riding the rig. I could have ridden a 2014 but I choose a 2013 Orange Patrol to try. The Roseville dealer had them starting immediately and idling like tractors. They ran perfectly. Had no complaints and everything about them has been accurately described in many threads. However, it is hard to appreciate exactly how that translates into your own experiences until you do experience it. What I discovered is I am not ready for a Ural at this point. Not sure about a sidecar in general now either. I have pretty well eliminated the idea I had of using my BMW Airhead too. I have a BMW 1200 GSA that I will continue to consider using since so many people have been very happy with that as a tug. Probably just keeping reading and asking an occasional question for a while.

    Chuck
    #25
  6. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    The airhead maybe perfect and sidecars are a process or as a Slovak gentlemen I met once as I was bitching about my first one " sidecars you have to hate them till you love them" very thick eastern European accent.
    No really the first thought is WTF did I do to a perfectly good motorcycle, I got started with a less expensive rig cause I like taking my dog along.I wish I had kept 83 gl1100/Ural as I had most of the warts off of her.DB
    [​IMG]
    #26
  7. gogogordy

    gogogordy Long timer

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    Your take away nearly identical to mine. Really changed it on my priority list.
    Glad you made the time for such deep discovery of your inner rider, answered your own question, and saved a shload of dough in the process.
    #27
  8. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

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    IMHO I really believe that you have to buy a sidecar rig and ride it for a while before you can decide if it is for you.
    That is why I discount using the short test ride as a tool to see if sidecars are for you.
    It does not have to be a new whatever.
    Buy a used rig at a low price so it won't cost you "a shload of dough in the process". Learn to ride it using the exercises in the manuals. Get several months experience at low speeds and then decide.
    #28
  9. warkshop

    warkshop uncbob

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    "IMHO",,,What, you humble!? Even though we seem doomed to not get along i am in complete agreement with your post.

    I would add that if said potential Noob had a properly matched and set up rig i'd be astonished if they did not stay with sidecaring. Sadly many home brewed rigs (on the low priced side) are lacking in many areas (equals hard steering/bad handling) and can give one a false impression of this hobby,,,and turn them away. A good handling rig can mean this turns into an obsession! This is where i shamelessly 'shill' my services. I can often 'heal' poorly rigged/aligned outfits and am happy to do so.

    I also note this fellow has an old BMW Airhead,,,,but does not want to 'hack' it. I have found they can make fine mules,,,,,and it is already in the garage. Just me being 'practical'.
    #29
  10. SwampFox883R

    SwampFox883R Been here awhile

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    It took me ~2,000 miles before I was comfortable piloting my Sportster rig. Another 2,000 miles and I was a dedicated sidecar enthusiast. I'm now so accustomed to the push/pull of "yaw" that I rarely notice it - but to a first time hack pilot it can be downright :eek1 spooky. And I've piloted some expensive rigs that were not properly aligned/suspended that drove like wallowing pigs, and some "basic" rigs that were downright fun.

    By the way, one of the very best rigs I've ever had the pleasure to drive belonged to my departed friend Bud Amy down in south Louisiana: A BMW R90 airhead with Ural sidecar and modified steering - best described as a "gentleman's rig" and very "refined" on the highway. Here's Bud piloting his white rig back in 2008:
    [​IMG]

    Bud's rig was never far from the coffee pot:
    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    We all choose to ride for different reasons. I spent decades racing motorcycles and cars and by nature still ride faster, at least in corners, than most people. I also have a couple of 1950's Ford tractors and a 1952 Chevy pickup I restored stock. I am happy operating those vehicles within their design parameters. I thought I would be happy putting around on a Ural. I might be at some later time but not now. I will avoid any obvious comparisons to my older vehicles.

    I dismissed modifying the Airhead because I enjoy riding it almost as much as the R1200 GSA. The 1200 is so vastly superior in every performance category it just seems logical that if I do pursue getting into sidecars it would be a better choice.

    But what really has me rethinking the the whole sidecar thing was the steering. I somehow never connected that it isn't just an initial force that is needed for the turns, you are working it all the way. Should have been obvious to me but it wasn't. Here are the roads I ride on just to circle my "block".

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I don't think the Ural would make it out of second gear in the second pictured road and would spend a lot of time in 1st. I do have to admit the third picture is bogus. We never see a cow with that big an udder out here!

    Chuck
    #31
  12. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    I hear what you are saying about the force required to bull a sidecar through the corners and you are correct, The twisties will make a heavy steering sidecar quite a work out to ride any distance.

    You should not, however, draw too sweeping of conclusion regarding this aspect of the sidecar experience. In my opinion Urals are at the heavy side of the middle of the range when it comes to steering effort. There are many rigs out there with steering modifications that reduce the steering effort to much less than that of a Ural, some to the point where the effort is almost negligible.

    I prefer a little more steering effort myself, but it does restrict my range if I am riding challenging roads. You do get used to it, but it is not for everybody.

    Irregardless of steering effort, with proper technique a sidecar can be ridden fast in the corners and you can find that zen like trance state where the the rhythm of the road becomes one with your heartbeat.

    I suspect more horsepower and better steering/suspension would be where you find the sweetspot. But you won't know that without the experience needed to climb the learning curve. If sidecars don't push your buttons, there may be no reason to go there.
    #32
  13. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

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    As has been stated earlier, you need to buy/build a rig and spend time with it before you can know if it's for you. My wife bought me my first one and I
    spent many hours reading/figuring out how to mount it.(pre internet) and on our first outing I promptly drove it into the ditch:lol3 Limped back home and spent more hours with the setup/experimenting. That was 30 yrs ago and I've never been without a rig in the barn since then. Still have single track bikes, but find I spend more time on the sidecars than the single track units. Again, buy a used rig,make sure the SETUP IS CORRECT and see if you grow into it. If not you can always sell a used rig for pretty close to what you put into it, if not more. For some sidecars are a instant like but many need to warm to it gradually. Do it so you don't say later in life "gee I wish I had tried a sidecar". Jim
    #33
  14. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer

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    So what?
    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/SGhFE4B0AB-CDAEyLL5hwmvAnO462cOpmvhpyOCGDFo?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-qedtfLYNDiE/Ur7n9qyUq1I/AAAAAAAANKE/bJM8YyOc50Y/s800/Ural%2520Yamal%2520and%2520us%2520on%2520the%2520dragon.jpg" height="534" width="800" /></a>
    The smile says it all. :D
    #34
  15. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    i rode one last weekend at the san diego event, and i loved it, but im not sure now is the time or not.

    ive been moto only for the better part of the last 3 years, and the whole time have been looking at sidecars. i still want a sidecar, but im not sure the ural is it. it IS however the only way i could get into a sidecar at this time financially, short of fabbing one myself onto whatever bike i have (right now its a vstrom, but im eyeballin the dr650 for a little more dirt capability)

    i wont knock the ural, it rode well, had good smooth power up to 65-70mph, and i like the styling. its just a buncha coin at the moment, and im not sure its the right spending of said coin.

    as i enjoy being on dirt and out in nature, im not sure if a dr650 & sidecar might suit my style better, for that matter, a dr as a solo, but then i couldnt take the wife, which is the biggest reason for me looking at hacks.
    #35
  16. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    You can probably find a used rig for a fraction of what a new Ural or a custom built sidecar would cost you. As always there are choices and compromises to be made, but you do have more than just those two options(or three if you count building it yourself).
    #36
  17. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

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    Chuck - thanks for this thread. It is clear (at least to me) that getting into a sidecar is more like starting a new relationship than buying an object. Sometimes a "test ride" can be quite misleading, in either direction! :evil

    Each rider must find their own comfort level. I tend to jump in with both feet. I didn't even start riding motorcycles until I was 46 (in 2011), and I started with Otto (my '79 airhead). Not exactly a "beginner" bike, but it was perfect for me. I will never be without a motorcycle ever again.

    Now I am thinking of getting into a sidecar too. I may take a test ride on one, just to make sure it is not a "holy shit" mistake, but I have no delusions of such a small sample of driving one being representative of the full experience. Given the reality that budget limitations exist for every situation, you may be able to plan well and buy something that will have little risk of substantial depreciation. That way you can give the rig a fair shake over a year or two, and if the magic is not there, then sell it on with minimal financial impact.

    Anywho, thanks again for this exercise.
    #37