Sidecar Training Question

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by PhoenixGirl63, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. AtomicRoadDog

    AtomicRoadDog n00b

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    Heyo,
    I'm a n00b on the site, but I've been riding a Ural since 2016. Sidecars shouldn't pull much, but because of physics, the yaw of the bike will occur primarily with acceleration and deceleration. This will be magnified when the sidecar is loaded because of inertia. Ural's brakes on the sidecar will mitigate that a good bit, but not entirely. It's just physics.

    I wish I could recommend a sidecar training group. I've been trying to find one in Portland, but they stopped doing it a few years back for some reason. Most of my skill (what little there is) was reading and then trying it out.

    And just like 3leg said, once you start riding a hack, you never go back. I love the feel of a solo bike, but having the ability to drive like a bike but still take a second (or even third) person and some luggage (or beverages) is just amazing.
    #21
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  2. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    "Yaw" seen while accelerating will be towards the sidecar and away from the sidecar when decelerating. PhoenixGirl63 said "pulling right all the time" so that isn't a yaw issue, it would be a set up issue.

    If it was bought from a Ural dealer, take it back and make them set it up correctly.
    #22
  3. Flyin' Monkeys

    Flyin' Monkeys Wicked Witch Airlines Supporter

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    I said this to her in a PM, and it needs to be made clear here, so that others do not entice her to make changes to the new Ural rig, and then the dealer say it was all her fault for changing things.

    The ONLY thing I would check, and change, before taking it back to the Ural dealer, are the tire pressures.....period.
    Make 100 % certain that the tire pressures are exactly where they should be, and more specifically the tire pressure on that sidecar tire, since the rig wants to pull right all the time.

    After checking and adjusting tire pressures, if it still pulls to the right, THEN it is safe to assume the rig has indeed been set up WRONG, and the selling dealer needs to be given the right, and the responsibility, to make any immediate corrections, so the rig drives down the road straight and true.

    If @PhoenixGirl63 , or anyone else outside the selling dealer, makes ANY changes to the toe in, toe out, camber, etc., it would be very easy for the selling dealer to make the claim that it WAS right when it left there the first time, but "someone" else messed with the settings, so the selling dealer is not responsible for alterations that have been made to it, that NOW causes it to pull right.

    As I said to her in a PM, if it were me (and it was not), I would have turned that rig around in the first mile, and driven it straight back to the selling dealer, and insisted that the OWNER of the dealership take her rig for a drive. WHY the owner ? So that he/she can see how rigs are being delivered to buying customers, rather than have a "so-called" mechanic try to cover their own butts, by hiding the fact of a poorly delivered rig to a customer.

    Check tire pressures NOW....all three tires, but especially the sidecar tire.

    If it still pulls right, then immediately back to the selling dealer, and talk to the OWNER directly.
    #23
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  4. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Yep. Tire pressure, then it's the dealer's responsibility
    #24
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  5. Ridn3

    Ridn3 Lopsidd

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    There are still four openings in the Danville class, sign up now. There will be trikes, can-am and sidecars but Mark is very much a sidecar man. He was the 1st instructor certified for sidecars in Virginia.
    #25
  6. PhoenixGirl63

    PhoenixGirl63 Wayward Daughter Supporter

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    Yeah, I have more smarts than to begin futzing around with a brand new bike I know nothing about. This was definitely more than the expected yaw right/left on acceleration or braking. If I wasn't actively steering left to keep it straight, the rig was pulling right. Felt like I'd been wrestling a bear by the time I got home on Saturday. Only thing I did was adjust tire pressure. I took time off work and took it out to the dealer today and had them make adjustments.

    It was definitely out of alignment. It's better now--ride home was much better than on Saturday-- but I'm not totally convinced it's fixed and that they know what they're doing. I talked to the owner multiple times. He said "We shouldn't have let it go out the door that way." The problem is: HE is the one who sold me the bike and handed me the keys on Saturday. So, it wasn't just a failure with the service department. It's a VERY small dealer/shop. They've been Ural dealers for about 2 years and sell a little bit of everything (bikes, ATVs, etc.). Not that it's a bad thing to sell lots of bikes, mind you, but sidecars are not their bread and butter, so I'm doubtful of the service proficiency.

    Regarding training: I'd love to come out to Virginia over the 4th, for the class, but I'll just be getting back from an 8th-grade graduation trip for my oldest granddaughter. I'll have to look at the schedule and see when I can make it to a good class somewhere. There may be an opportunity with a former MSF Rider Coach, if he's willing to do some private coaching. Another local inmate PMed me about it. We'll see.

    I should've bitten the bullet and gone to Heindl and bought from them. From everything I've read, they're the premier dealership in the Midwest. But, schedules being what they are, I decided to buy local.

    Thanks so much for all of the input, guys. I really appreciate it! Y'all are aces!
    #26
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  7. rg sw wa.

    rg sw wa. Long timer Supporter

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    #27
  8. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Might be worth your while to schedule a service appointment with them and get it set up properly.
    #28
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  9. DonD

    DonD Retired guy

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    Agreed, nice and slow for a long while. I wish you were indeed a Phoenix Girl, then I would offer free instruction. I began sidecarring in 1970 and raced for a few years. Sold my last outfit 4 years ago, needed the space. I'm about 75 miles north of PHX AZ and no string training is always available to anyone. Happy hacking!
    #29
  10. MGV8

    MGV8 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Nothing wrong with buying local, but it is high time they learned how to set up a rig. The key to success is happy customers out the door the first time. On the learning curve, scaring your self is a good teacher, provided you learn what caused you to scare your self.
    #30
  11. aa3jy

    aa3jy Adventurer

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    Pa. Motorcycle Safety Program..now under contract with Lee Parks ‘Total Control’ ..has a 3 Wheel course that allows sidecars..previously the MSF had no provision for sidecars in their curriculum..
    #31
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  12. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    Agree with all the above about the constant pull to one side: that IS a setup issue. Pull on accel/decel is due to physics of the side-mass, but constant pull is just WRONG. Toe-in/out should compensate for that.... that part is NOT rocket science!
    #32
  13. PhoenixGirl63

    PhoenixGirl63 Wayward Daughter Supporter

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    Update: I’ll have more of a chance to ride the rig, again, after I get home from vacation tomorrow.
    #33
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  14. Flyin' Monkeys

    Flyin' Monkeys Wicked Witch Airlines Supporter

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    I am going to bring this back up to the TOP, because we have a sidecar pilot that is in need of our help, so let's put our collective minds together, and see if we can resolve this problem and get @PhoenixGirl63 back onto the road with a new Ural rig that drives STRAIGHT down the road.

    She HAS been back to the selling dealer, https://randyscycle.com/

    They did make "some" adjustments to her new Ural rig, and it does track a "little" bit better, BUT.....it is still not right. :fpalm

    Now, she can either go a much farther distance away to another dealer, one that has a much better reputation, and more skilled mechs on the Ural product, or...she can find a private party that is skilled in making these adjustments, that hopefully also owns and drives a newer Ural rig.

    But something needs to be done. :hmmmmm

    I am going to contact the owner of https://randyscycle.com/, and have a polite conversation with him.

    Utlimately, I am asking our community here to step forward, sound off, and let's see if we can assist @PhoenixGirl63 :icy
    #34
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  15. Happytrails63

    Happytrails63 Adventurer

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    I noticed that PA changed there training. Would be very interested to hear from someone who took the 3 wheel class and what they thought about it? They had local openings for a class today and I looked closely into it. It was nice enough earlier but the way it rained this afternoon would need a canoe to get home! It really came down.

    Congrats on that new Ural PhoenixGirl63! Looks great and looks like your dog approves! And sorry for your situation with the sidecar setup. Maybe its time to consider taking it to Heindl Engineering in Ohio to have it setup correctly. If needed you could possibly rent a Uhaul trailer and pickup.
    #35
  16. PhoenixGirl63

    PhoenixGirl63 Wayward Daughter Supporter

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    Thanks so much, sir! I appreciate your help. I'm just trying to get my rig running right so I can enjoy it. I paid cash for it, so I'd really like to get to the enjoyment part pretty quickly.

    I also had an inmate from NW Indiana--a former MSF instructor--reach out to me about schlepping his orange cones up here to my neck of the woods, to run a training session for me and make sure I'm not picking up any bad habits. What a GIFT this forum is to connect riders like this!!

    @Happytrails63: If I can't find someone locally to sort my rig out, I would definitely consider heading out to Heindl. I wanted to support a local dealer, which is why I didn't head to Ohio in the first place. I don't think I should have to go out of state to get my bike -- for which I paid cash -- safely set up so I can ride it without trouble.

    @DonD: The phoenix reference isn't the city--although, I have family in Tucson--it's a nod to rising from the ashes after my divorce 8 years ago (complete with a phoenix tattoo to remind me, every day, how lucky I was to get out).
    #36
  17. Head in the wind

    Head in the wind Adventurer

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    Hope you get the ural straighten out. Mine liked some weight in sidecar. 80 to 100 pounds, my lab loved it. Almost like a snowmobile as turning goes. Don't be afraid when car comes off ground left hand corners.
    #37
  18. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    Hope you were thinking right hand corners?! (Or is it a GB, Aussie sidecar?)
    #38
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  19. Head in the wind

    Head in the wind Adventurer

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    Traded my Ural 10 years ago might be wrong on turning, but was a gas learned to get wheel up and ride. Still makes sense leaning left gets sidecar wheel up
    #39
  20. captainmike

    captainmike n00b

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    Good morning,

    I went through the same training questions and issues as you are now facing. I live in suburban Kansas City, and the nearest (actually, the only) sidecar training program I could find was in Seattle. So, last October, I flew to SEATAC, rented a car, booked a room for three nights, and attended the 3-wheeler training provided at South Seattle Junior College. There were 2 instructors, 12 students -- and ten 3-wheelers to learn on!

    As I recall, the bikes included two actual sidecar rigs, three trikes (one wheel in front, two in back), and five Spyders (two wheels in front, one in back). With only 12 students, there was plenty of time for all of us to ride all the bikes, and we did!

    I STRONGLY advise you to get some sidecar-specific training. These three designs all handle differently, and what you learn on one design won't help you much on the other two. The yellow book contains good basic stuff, but the results from a hands-on, weekend training course pays benefits you'll never get out of a book. As with any bike-specific course, you'll find yourself doing things (fast starts, fast stops, drifting, flat-out figure-eights, cornering left and right, etc.) that you probably will never practice if you DIY.

    Here's a tip for you: Don't buy a three-wheeler of any design without taking this class first! As with any motorcycle-specific training, you might find that this sort of riding is not for you. You'll also get a heavy diet of riding all three designs, which will pay real dividends when you start looking for a rig to buy or assemble!

    On the Monday following the class -- at which I received the Washington State 3-wheel endorsement for licensing purposes -- I drove down to Buckley WA to visit Jay and Tara at DMC Sidecars. An interesting and worthwhile visit. Helge Pedersen's 'Big Red' rig was there for some modifications, and it was fascinating to see the attention to detail that DMC provides to all their customers.

    If you're curious, several months later I ordered an Expedition car from DMC, and it should be shipped to my local BMW dealer, most any time now, for installation on my 1200 GS. If you'd like to talk with me about the trip or the training I received in Seattle, please give me a call at 913 / 710-5900. Best of luck. Mike

    P.S. My only regret in all of this is that I didn't do it ten years ago! MLP
    #40