1st Time At Bat- A Hit or an Error?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Hookalatch, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    5,250
    Location:
    Pocono Mountains, PA
    :rofl

    Best line ever. :D

    Chuck, you have my respect. And just to confirm, when I bought my rig and rode it for the first time, my immediate thoughts were (in this order):

    1 - ho-leee SHIT - this thing is diabolical

    2 - I think I might have fucked up . . .

    I made a few changes, and with some tires that are less than 20 years old, it handles great now.

    Keep riding.
    #41
  2. kshansen

    kshansen kshansen

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    Central NY
    One thing I tell people about the problems I had when first riding my first outfit was getting my brain to understand what was happening was not what it seemed. When taking a curve on a two wheeler to say the right, bike may lean 30º into the turn. Now when riding the sidecar the same turn at the same speed outfit may lean 10º away from the turn. So brain adds the two together and says there is a 40º error! and muscles and brain decide it's time for a correction fast. This is not a good time to have on coming traffic.

    Once you can get enough practice in to retrain the brain as to what is "normal" things improve fast. Now that curve that had you white knuckling through it at 30 mph will have you upset when the car in front of you is poking along 50 mph.

    Lately I have been having just the opposite problem. Due to an engine problem in my sidecar outfit I have had to start riding my old Sportster that used to be my sidecar tug, but now is just a two wheeler. Leaning into the curves at first made me feel like I was falling over!

    Almost forgot to say I like the outfit! Definitely a home-run!
    #42
  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,510
    Location:
    Tacoma - ish, WA
    Hook, I think Chris might be wrong. I better come down to Cottonwood and take your rig out for a short test ride. Say, 1000 or 2000 miles. Three days. A week. When I get back I'll let you know if it's safe to ride. :1drink

    OK?
    #43
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  4. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,258
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    Not sure how well that would work but I'll trade ya!
    #44
  5. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,258
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    I started this thread over 5 years ago, shortly after I got the sidecar rig, my first, on the road. Mostly out of boredom I went back and started adding photos the photophucket had been holding for ransom. I added a few comments about things I learned along the way. There were a few things I added that made the rig more functional I thought I would add in now.

    I mounted the only battery for the rig as far outboard in the trunk as I could get it. This is an Optima battery that is totally sealed and can be mounted in any orientation. I added a cut out switch in the ground cable. This freed up space on the bike where the original battery was located so I made a bolt-in brace that strengthens the bikes rear subframe area. It also helps strengthen the upper rear strut mounting area too.

    Ural 004.JPG
    Ural 014 (2).JPG

    I had used window nets in race cars in the past and it seemed like a good solution to keep my dog from falling out accidentally. It uses loops I welded in place and a spring loaded end on the top rod. This allows it to be put up or down or even completely removed in literally seconds. Once it is secured it is under tension and stays in place quite nicely. I replaced the seat back with a much thinner one to give the dog more room and a 2" thick pad running the whole floor lenght instead of a seat bottom. I did place the loops for the window net so that it would still work with a stock Ural seat if I ever put it back in. So far I haven't had anything but canine passengers.

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    I had a long interest in sidecars but never took the plunge. I finally decided to do it for the best dog I have ever owned, Meatloaf. After watching the movie Sit, Stay, Ride I knew I had to do it for him. Meaty was a 160# Bullmastiff who liked nothing better than riding in or on anything that moved. I was sure he would love the sidecar and it turned out to be his favorite thing ever. He was ready to go even at the earliest stage.

    Ural 006 (2).JPG
    Ural 040.JPG
    Once underway, he rarely sat down. He enjoyed every minute of the ride.

    Ural 053-2.JPG
    Meatloaf is gone now. I still miss him greatly. I do have a new sidecar dog. She is just about as excited about riding in the sidecar as Meaty was. But she gets pretty excited about almost anything. I made a thread just about her learning to ride and some of our outings. https://advrider.com/f/threads/peaches-gets-a-sidecar.1410823/
    #45
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  6. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,258
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    I added a couple of other things to the sidecar just for Meatloaf. The original metal step to get into the sidecar left enough space for a dog to get their foot wedged in between it and the frame so I made a wooden step to cover that.

    Ural 007.JPG


    I thought I would be doing a big favor to Meatloaf by adding a windshield. I liked the looks and functionality of the Brooklands shields but didn't care for how one would look on the sidecar. I felt it was too narrow. I got one and planned to weld in an extension to lengthen it and make a new shield to fit out of Lexan. When I got the Brooklands unit I quickly realized welding that cast aluminum was beyond my capability. Turns out none of the professional weldors in the area wanted to touch it either. Once again wood came to the rescue. I removed the original glass and cut the frame in half. I grooved out a piece of oak that the channel fit in snugly and glued in a couple of aluminum pieces to fill in the middle and then cut a piece of Lexan to the shape I wanted. I had to mount it on little pedestals so that it could fully rotate to any position without hitting the tapered sidecar front.

    Ural 001.JPG
    Ural 003.JPG
    Ural 005.JPG


    It turns out it didn't work very well for meatloaf. His head stuck above it and any wind coming off of it ballooned out his huge loose lips and sent copious sprays of saliva everywhere. We had to lay it flat when ever he rode. Still got plenty of free flowing saliva, just not the same volume. The good news is it works pretty well for Peaches.

    Ural 008.JPG
    #46
  7. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,256
    Location:
    Canoe BC
    Thanks for resurrecting this, an awesome read. An awesome rig
    #47
    Rakthi and Hookalatch like this.
  8. Geno89074

    Geno89074 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    92
    Lovely Outfit-Great Work!!
    #48
    Hookalatch likes this.
  9. TMac99

    TMac99 Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Some amazing skills shown in this thread. Thanks for showing off your work - definitely a home run build.

    P.S. Add "great photographer" to the list of your skills.
    #49
    Hookalatch likes this.
  10. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    12,416
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    Beautiful rig!! I love the net and the Von Dutch style pin striping. Nice to see someone who works with skills in both wood and metal.
    #50
    Bobmws and Hookalatch like this.