New here, thinking about a sidecar rig for me and my dad

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by travellin, May 9, 2020.

  1. travellin

    travellin rambler

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    My dad and I have been riding for a long time and he’s been talking about hanging up the keys for his Moto Guzzi, maybe in the next year or so.

    I thought a sidecar rig might be a good way for both of us to keep riding (I’ve never driven one) but the training courses I’ve found are suspended right now.

    Looking for ideas on how to give it a try. I’m in Madison, WI.

    I’m reading Hal’s manual and haven’t contacted anyone from the United Sidecar Association, but that might be a next step.

    Thanks much,
    Matt
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  2. Type301

    Type301 Adventurer Supporter

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    Do it. My Ural Gear UP does all the things a motorcycle is supposed to do well - but poorly - stop, accelerate, turn, lean. But it does the most important thing very well. It is the most fun of all my bikes and puts a big old grin on my head. If a sidecar rig meant I could spend more time with my dad - I'd do it without a second thought.

    While a lot different than riding a bike, it is not hard to learn. Just practice and have fun.
    #2
  3. el Pete

    el Pete toda su base

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    Riding sidecars is not difficult, just different. I purchased my Ural so I could take my dad riding, and though he never took to it (he was never a motorsports guy) I've really enjoyed the whole sidecar experience.
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  4. rcgreaves

    rcgreaves Adventurer

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    I'm west of Dodgeville, working on a scratch-built rig. A friend in Madison let me drive his Ural. I think its the way to go for my wife's problem knees and my Lab who pouts in the window when I depart without him in tow. Restoring a K1100RS as tug. I forget the title, but there's a well known "yellow book" that contains all there is to know on the topic. Feel free to contact me offline 60eightseventwo61fivefive4
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  5. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    There's been more than one or two who have bought an outfit without taking any classes. Just find a decent one that you can afford, and practice in parking lots and residential streets to build confidence.

    That's the "Hal's manual" the OP mentioned
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  6. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Don't know what model Guzzi your dad has, but most Guzzis make for pretty nice sidecars. Google "Guzzi Sidecar" (singular) or include your dad's model then click on Images to see what looks good. There's a sidecar shop not too far from you (well, I live out West so any place you can drive to in one day is "close by") called The Warkshop http://www.warkshop.com/sidecars.html.

    As for contacting somebody from the United Sidecar Assoc, other than one guy who posts here on AdvRider frequently, I find the info on the USCA site to be spotty at best.

    Also, tons of outfits for sale in your area. Just subscribe to the thread shown below and keep reading it. Post any questions you have. Post your questions in this thread, though, so as to not clutter up the FS thread with a lot of chatter.

    FS, Fleabay, & CL stuff goes here!
    #6
  7. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Sorry, Kip, The Yellow Book is "Driving a Sidecar Outfit" by David Hough -- https://www.amazon.com/Driving-Sidecar-Outfit-David-Hough/dp/B001PQFI9G/

    Hal's book is "Sidecar Operator's Manual" by Hal Kendall.

    Both excellent sources of reliable info.
    #7
  8. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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  9. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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  10. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    I've been riding with sidecars for years, it really is a lot of fun. You really NEED to try it. Just remember, it's VERY different, don't just jump out in traffic, that would be regrettable. Getting used to the handling in a big parking lot is really important. Taking a class when they become available is a really good thing.
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  11. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Just before retirement 8 years ago I purchased a sidecar - Ural. I credit that decision with adding quite a few years and a tremendous amount of fun to my riding life. Not trying to make a joke at Urals' expense but riding it caused me to slow down and simply enjoy the freedom of riding again, rekindled my passion for the scenic backroads. Being of an age similar to your dads I relate to the thought (and reluctance) of parking the motorcycle. I've since replaced the Ural with something a bit more modern ( Bob Wark aka The Workshop) and continue to thoroughly enjoy riding and traveling with a sidecar rig. Excellent for grocery shopping too.

    No sidecar raining classes in my area then, dealer delivered the rig to my house and I slowly practiced and learned.
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  12. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    I think I'm in the minority regarding sidecar rigs as an older rider. I find operating mine far more tiring and taking a lot more effort to ride than my solo bikes. Other not not falling over, I don't see an advantage. It is possible I would feel differently on a different sidecar rig or if I rode more often on smoother and less curvy roads but that's what is in my area. Occasionally I will do as 4PawsHacienda suggests and slow down and simply enjoy but that goes against the grain of what I have enjoyed most about the 56 years I have have been riding. Right now I can't imagine giving up solo riding and just keeping a sidecar. Not saying I don't find the experience a lot of fun but it is harder on my body than solo riding.

    IMG_4286.JPG
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  13. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    @Hookalatch
    there's a common saying among sidcarists; when I get too old and feeble to drive my sidecar, I'll sell it and buy a sport bike.
    I love pushing my outfit hard through the twisites, and yes, it's more physically demanding than a 2-wheeler.
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  14. travellin

    travellin rambler

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    Thanks for your note. He has a Breva 750 and I've talked with a few folks about adding a sidecar. Consensus seems to be that it's not impossible but it probably wouldn't be ideal, so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a Piaggio-era California 1100.

    Bob and Claude are on my short list to call when the time's right. And I've been watching that for sale thread (and this one) for a while and have learned a ton.

    Thanks again for your help.
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  15. travellin

    travellin rambler

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    Thanks so much for all of the feedback. It's been fun to read your replies and definitely encouraging. Maybe we'll see you on the road someday.
    #15
  16. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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  17. travellin

    travellin rambler

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  18. Scott of the Sahara

    Scott of the Sahara Been here awhile

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    I decided I wanted a Sidecar. I found a 2004 Ural about 110 miles away at a dealer. It was pouring down rain when I bought it, I did not even ride it in the parking lot. I also bought a trailer to haul it with. Zero regrets. A year and a half later I sold it for about $500 less that I paid for it and bought a 10 year newer model for a pretty good price. I took the training course, but I was not afraid to ride it around. Start slow. Take it easy and do lots of parking lot practice.
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  19. Burbankalley

    Burbankalley ancient ski patrolle

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    I've got a rig, simple but fun, but what is Hal's Manual, and where can I get it? (Original Poster: by all means give a sidecar rig a whirl..... I've been riding solo for nearly sixty years, but I love sidecaring!)....
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  20. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Read Post #9.
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