1. Hey everyone, We’re going to start a weekly email to surface interesting threads in the forums. No worries, you can easily unsubscribe if you don’t find it interesting. If you’re like me, it’s nice to have someone willing to poke around a big community like ours and find the most interesting stuff. Saves time and I hate missing something great. It worked really well when we had someone discovering the best photos for the home page rotation back in the day. And if you have something fascinating to post, maybe this email does everyone some good by getting it noticed. Let us know what you think when you get it. Your feedback will make it better as we go (thread). Thanks! Baldy & rudy1220
    Dismiss Notice

Evolution of a Hackster

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by cluedog, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Evolution of a Hackster

    There are a million stories in this place, in the hopes it will help some unfortunate soul that has taken the wrong fork in life’s road, here is mine.

    Some background. I had a pretty active, outdoor life when I was young. Hiking, camping, fishing and hunting were regular activities along with riding motorcycles including minibikes, tote gotes and Honda trail 90s. My first bike was a Honda 350 followed by a blue and white Triumph Tiger, the best looking bike I owned. I sold the Tiger and got a 3 cylinder Triumph, not as good looking as the Tiger but I really liked that motor. About that time I started developing weakness in my legs due to a degenerative nerve problem and had trouble holding the bike up at stops. Most of the time I was okay but once in a while I could not hold the bike up and over we would go. This started happening more often, usually ending with a burn on my leg or a broken foot so I finally sold the bike. I did miss riding though so I bought a little Moto Gucci V50 sport, the most fun to ride of any of my bikes. Eventually that became too much for me to hold up and tired of the frequent injuries, I gave it to my little brother and gave up riding.

    About 20 years later when I was in a wheelchair, a guy working for me showed up at the shop with a brand new Harley trike. He said it would be a good way for me to ride again and I should take it for a spin. Trikes don’t do much for me and there was no place for Jake the Wonderdog so I said no thanks. A week later a guy comes to the shop with a CAN AM spyder and said it would be perfect for me. No disrespect to the people that own them but they are not for me. Then as I drove into town we saw a sidecar rig. My buddy said that is what you need, so I got out to take a look at it. It was a Dnepr with a BMW motor. I wasn’t sure I could even get on one so I asked the owner if I could sit on it. Wow, it felt pretty good sitting on it and it seemed pretty doable plus there was a good place for Jake. Just like that, the wrong fork in the road was taken and I bought a Ural Patrol.


    Dog is my CoPilot.JPG
    #1
    pops, wmoncrieff, DRONE and 26 others like this.
  2. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    11,065
    Location:
    north of seattle
    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
    #2
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  3. CCjon

    CCjon Gypsy Rider

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    904
    Location:
    Under the Texas Sun
    Well, you must be Clue... and Jake is the ... welcome.

    Sidecars can be anything you want them to be in whatever form you want that serves your needs. Because we can adapt them to whatever we want, they are so versatile and stable, the joy of riding them is something non-sidecarists don't understand.

    Hope you and Jake enjoy your rekindled freedom of the road, rack up miles of smiles.

    Ride safe and far
    CCjon
    #3
    rg sw wa. and cateyetech like this.
  4. Alaskahack

    Alaskahack Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    748
    Location:
    Wasilla
    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap

    Welcome and ride safe and most of all have fun

    Bob
    #4
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  5. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,212
    Location:
    Minnesota
    How about some images of the HD ? Cluedog is a very modest guy :-) and possibly an engineer :clap:clap
    #5
    rg sw wa. and FR700 like this.
  6. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,238
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Hello Gary,
    Nice to see you here!! How is the HD?? I drove your former Beemer last year while being with Ned.... can’t wait to ride the HD !
    Philippe


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #6
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  7. raysrig

    raysrig Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    San Bernardino, Ca
    Kinda resemble your story. A stroke forced me off the bike thing for a few years. Fanatical rehab got me back on my feet and to the point where I could hold up the bike and shuffle it around. Riding was no problem...but sooner or later one has to stop. That was the issue, my right foot wouldn't come off the floorboard at will. So to avoid dropping the big pig, and to finally be able to bring my furry buddy along on motorcycle rides, I went all in on a sidecar. The dog and I are very pleased with ourselves as we putz around town. Been riding daily, weather permitting, for about six months. Getting comfortable with the rig and increasing riding stamina. So far have done a three hundred mile ride, twice. Working toward being able to ride a five or six hundred mile day. Goal, get back to touring.

    Congrats on the ural. Would have gone the same route if I didn't have a shiny Harley in the garage. Urals look cool, and did I mention, I now enjoy putzing around.
    #7
    pops, JayKayG, rg sw wa. and 2 others like this.
  8. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    That is just the beginning of the story.
    Two more bikes to come along.
    The Ural was a good place to start but it wasn't the right bike for me.
    #8
    DRONE, rg sw wa., JustKip and 3 others like this.
  9. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Raysrig,
    I just did a 2 week five state tour of the west. I averaged 250-300 mile days with one day 420 miles racing a snowstorm over
    Lost Trail Pass. The ride was mostly on back roads with twisty river canyons and mountain passes. 500 mile days on a rig is more than I would enjoy.
    #9
    DRONE, Alaskahack, rg sw wa. and 4 others like this.
  10. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Like many people on this forum have said, my first thought was what a huge mistake I made getting a rig. It just felt scary and awkward. I putted around on back roads for a couple of months and gradually got used the quirks of a sidecar, then, I took the 2 day class to get my license for 3 wheeled contraptions.

    Life was pretty good. I gained confidence and started bringing Jake with me on short rides and we had a lot of fun. Everywhere we went people smiled when they saw Jake with his doggles and wanted to ask questions about the sidecar.

    The Patrol felt pretty good around 40-50 mph. I had to give it the whip and spurs to get it to 55 and at that speed I felt I was riding a twitchy squirrel cage looking for a place to crash. It was my first sidecar and to be fair to the Ural it was probably not set up correctly. It was set up with hand controls which made it possible for me to shift, but the biggest problem I had was I could only use the front brake. On hard stops on good pavement the front end would break loose and skid to the left. On my gravel driveway I would drive over to the right ditch, gently apply the brake, and skid over to the left ditch. Then I would back off the brake and steer to the right ditch and repeat the process. That was clearly going to be a problem on forest service roads.

    While I was exploring ways to link the front disk brake with the rear drum brake I bumped into a 1200 GSA/DMC rig with linked brakes. Wow, a little more motor and a lot more brakes, this will be perfect for me. The good thing about Urals is you don’t take a beating when you sell them, so I sold the Ural and bought the big GSA.


    beemer2.jpg beemer1.jpg
    #10
    pops, DRONE, AZ Pete and 10 others like this.
  11. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    The GSA was a great improvement! I live on the Olympic peninsula and need to travel some freeway miles to get to almost any place. Having a little more power was a big help and the rig felt stable at freeway speeds. The linked brakes were a huge improvement and made the rig much safer to ride.

    Jake loved going on rides with me, and we got a part in the sidecar movie, Sit Stay Ride. My dog was a movie star.


    Jake_6.jpg At the lighthouse.jpg Jake.JPG

    Life was good!
    #11
  12. raysrig

    raysrig Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    San Bernardino, Ca
    I have been very fortunate that my sidecar escapade has gone smoothly. Being unable to return to work at this time and being to young to draw my retirement without substantial penalties, I had to save up to get into a rig. The good thing was that I already had a torquey tug. I also had the rehab time to do my homework on the wacky world of sidecars. By the time I began assembling my new ride, I was equally excited and apprehensive. Apprehensive because there were a bunch of cautionary tales in my research about handling, head shake, flipping over, etc. But sitting on the rig with the big twin idling, ready to see if everything would hold together (after all this was a solo project), excitement took over and I cautiously eased onto the frontage road adjacent to my shop. My preliminary alignment must have been close enough because I found myself astride a mild mannered pony, not a bucking bronco. The rig behaved so well, I rode right over to my local motor cycle mechanic to have him install a steering damper and a brake for the sidecar.

    Over the next few weeks, the toe and lean got a few tweaks when I watched the sidecar wheel tread disappearing at an alarming rate. That tire didn't survive the first month. Steering was a bit heavy and I didn't seem to be developing the necessary sidecar muscles. Strength is still an issue post stroke, even though I go to the gym regularly. So last week I had a raked triple tree installed. As I said, I'm all in with sidecarring. The dog and I are having such a blast, even if my right foot starts cooperating, the sidecar stays. Now the rig steers so easily I wouldn't mind riding all day. Hence my goal of 500/600 mile days. In my past riding, 500 miles would still leave plenty of daylight. By the time the leaves change color, I hope to give it a go.
    #12
    Alaskahack, rg sw wa., Bobmws and 3 others like this.
  13. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    The gig GSA was a great bike! We went on a lot of short adventures, back roads, grocery shopping and playing in the gravel.


    Down the road.JPG shortcut 2.JPG First boat ride.JPG Heading home.JPG
    #13
  14. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Another good thing about sidecars, pretty girls love them.


    pretty girl.JPG
    #14
  15. JPDenny

    JPDenny Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Greater Sapulpa
    Never wanted a side hack,,,,,,,,,,,,until now!
    #15
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  16. chopfather

    chopfather Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Missouri
    I just watched Sit, Stay, Ride over the weekend for the 4th time.
    My 2 year old grandson loved the sidecars and dogs. He made me go to the garage so he could sit in my Ural Gear Up sidecar and make engine noises.
    #16
  17. mikejjmay

    mikejjmay Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    856
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Just watched it again as well. Glad ya love your hack!
    #17
    rg sw wa. likes this.
  18. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    The evolution continues.

    The GSA was a great rig in almost every way and a big step up from the Ural. It definitely showed me how much fun a sidecar rig can be and there was no doubt Jake and I liked going on rides together. The only problem I had, and foil heads all over the world will laugh about this, but I greatly missed having a reverse gear. The big German pig was a bitch to push backwards from a wheelchair on level pavement. I did not have enough mass in my ass to push it back in gravel or up a small incline.
    #18
    JustKip and rg sw wa. like this.
  19. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,145
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    I saw a rig that a guy had used a starter motor that engaged a small wheel to his tug's rear wheel and reversed the rig.
    #19
    JustKip and rg sw wa. like this.
  20. cluedog

    cluedog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    208
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Strong Bad

    I researched reverse options quite a bit on this site and others. I did see a design by Claude that looked pretty good using a small DC motor and drive wheel that could engage the rear wheel under the tug seat. Unfortunately there is not much room there on a GSA due to the rear shock. I have designed robotic and automated equipment for 30 years, 26 as my own company and have fairly strong opinions about what is an elegant design and what is a kluge. I considered buying a transmission and adding a reverse gear, probably the best approach, adding a starter motor and gear to the sidecar wheel or adding a servo motor with an electric clutch to the sidecar wheel. The servo motor could be used as a forward assist also letting me get stuck even farther back from the road. All of these ideas seemed like more work and expense than was worth it.
    #20
    wmoncrieff and Alaskahack like this.