Leaner or Fixed who's ridden both?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by toranscott, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. toranscott

    toranscott n00b

    Dec 4, 2019
    Curious for those of you that have ridden both fixed hacks and leaner hacks which have you found you prefer for pavement only riding?
    I had a fixed sidecar mounted to my CB500T and could barely do 65mph (was always in high rpm's) and eventually the engine gave out. Gonna attach the sidecar to a CB750A (Hondamatic) with some minor engine upgrades and planned to reattach the sidecar the same way it was attached to the cb500t... after watching some vids of leaner set ups it looks like a way nicer way to get through twisties (at least on right hand turns!) but I've never ridden a leaner set up. I'd love to hear opinions for those that have ridden both.
    I do love the idea of not having to ever put a foot down... but also really love the idea of not feeling like I need to baby the rig around right hand turns lest I drift over my lane...
    Toran Scott
    pops likes this.
  2. RetiredandRiding

    RetiredandRiding Retired to Ride Supporter

    May 22, 2015
    Da Lat, Vietnam
    With a leaner you DO have to put a foot down... get the Yellow Book--it'll help you with the turns and a lot more.
  3. toranscott

    toranscott n00b

    Dec 4, 2019
    Hey RetiredandRiding,
    I understand leaners require a foot down at stops, (hence the convenience of the fixed rig) but wondering how much easier they are to ride through the twisties (or any right hander for that matter). I’ve had a hack for 5 years (fixed rig) and I’ve loved it, except when I’m on group rides with it and I’m always the slowest when we hit turns. Hence wondering if I’d enjoy a leaner set up more than the fixed rig. :)
    pops likes this.
  4. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

    Apr 4, 2013
    Fort Collins, CO
    Funny how everyone thinks that a leaner is the cat's pajamas. I've ridden both. It's a bit of a struggle to get used to a leaner but personally, I won't have another. Learning to ride either a leaner or a stationary sidecar does take some getting used to but I prefer a stationary car especially in adverse conditions. A lot of folks think a leaner will give you all the attraction of a solo bike, except with a sidecar, well it doesn't. A leaner is harder to learn to ride than a solo bike or a stationary rig and doesn't give you the benefits of either. What a leaner does give you is something completely different and can prove to be a lot of fun in the corners, more of a curiosity, at least in my opinion.
    toranscott, davebig and pops like this.
  5. brstar

    brstar Long timer

    Aug 17, 2007
    Shoalwater Western Australia
    Actually you don't need to put your foot on the ground necessarily.
    Depending on what type of leaner is being riden.
    One where the sidecar wheel stays upright has natural resistance (though not much) to falling over.
    The pivot point on the bike is something like a foot above ground level (with the rear pivot being lower)
    Consequently while stationary, for the bike to lean it has to physically drag the sidecar sideways.
    Which it will do If left unattended.
    But I found if I just rested/braced my foot on the chair frame to stabilize it a bit, all was cosy.
    The drag is part of the reason the sidecar tire tends to scrub as well I suppose.
    Claude was kind enough to point this out.
    Going fast with mates?
    Good luck with that.
    I think if you want to run with the fast crowd then a HP rig would be the go.
    Not saying a fast bike with a light streamlined leaner couldn't run with the average Joe.
    Just seeing as your aiming at being such a unique individual transport wise.
    You should just run with that.
    I was reasonably happy with it the way mine handled as a leaner though never had anything to compare with.
    As it is now it is heavier and slower.
    Big thing is leaners need to be light weight.
    No loading up for expeditions.
    Having said that I used mine as a truck more than once for short trips.
    But it handled diabolically then.
    One scenario comes to mind is when going through a roundabout.
    On a bike you use a fraction of the road space a car does.
    On a leaner you use as much or more.
    My rig is 6ft wide, when leaning towards the chair its a little less and when leaning away from the chair its a bit to a lot more.
    Depending on the body language.
    That when fanging on tight twisty roads can put your head in the line of fire so to speak.
    Much to consider.
    A lot of fun though.
  6. Hellracer.nl

    Hellracer.nl What the hack???

    Aug 25, 2012
    With a leaner it's all about weight distribution.
    Heavy bike, light chair, lot of lean angle and you can go round at a pretty high pace.
    A well set-up fixed hack with an experienced rider will corner like a go-kart. You can't keep that up with a leaner.

    Going around roundabouts is a lot of fun with a leaner:
    Flik it hard right (bike on lean stop: more then 40 degrees lean agle), use a bit of brake, lean to the left and immediately use the momentum of the chair to go round, you'll feel it flinging around the bike as if you are holding on to a merry-go-round, then flik the bike again to the right to the lean stop and give full power to exit the roundabout.
    brstar, toranscott, davebig and 2 others like this.
  7. pops

    pops Long timer

    May 15, 2007
    Stirling North South Australia
    I liked riding our leaner on the road or dirt, but the wife couldn't ride it .So I fitted two small uprights for her.She was much happier when it was mounted solid.
    I also built a l link for her.
    All good.

    That is until she flipped it over on a dirt ride .
    Now the bike has been sold off and sidecar is collecting dust .
    They definitely are different to ride .
    brstar, toranscott, DRONE and 2 others like this.