So very new- but I want a sidecar!

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by kbaitis, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. kbaitis

    kbaitis Adventurer

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    Hi, there, sidecar rider wannabe here. Husband and I are looking seriously for a sidecar to attach to the BMW F800GS for touring/camping with the dog (45 #). We live in Northern California and are looking for advice and an enthusiastic support group. Again, SUper new, reading everything we can find. We are ready to take the leap!
    Kirsten
    #1
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  2. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    By the time you invest enough money to get a halfway decent rig it'll just be easier and cheaper to buy a TJ Jeep.
    #2
  3. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    Curmudgeon!
    ;)

    ...but as second thought, you would be less money in to buy a used rig all set up and see if you like it. Then if you still want to hack the gs you could do that and, if you shopped well, resell the “starter” rig for not much if any loss.

    New mounting hardware can be spendy, and you’ll often want to change suspension and such as well, etc.
    #3
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Good place to start is here ---->

    For a 45 lb dog to go on long trips WITH a human in the sidecar, you'll need a full-sized car.
    #4
  5. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    Let's be realistic, shall we?

    How much money did you spend on replacing final drives? When it was a hot day, so were you. When it rained, you got wet. Your dogs got to travel the lower 48 and parts of Mexico, but being that they spent their time in an enclosed trailer they didn't get to actually see it.

    Now we have someone without any data points gleaned from personal experience to make an informed decision ask - two people, a 45# dog plus the camping gear, all being schlepped along by an 800cc bm'.

    How much money do you think it would take? Sometimes the best answer isn't the one we want to hear, and that's generally why people keep asking questions until they find someone who will tell them what it is that they want to hear.


    As Dave likes to point out, and he's entirely correct, it's all Walter Mitty.




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    #5
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  6. cog8603

    cog8603 Been here awhile

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    are you planning to ride on the bike, or in the sidecar with the dog? I ask because you will not be comfortable in a standard size sidecar with a 45 pound dog included. we take my 30 pound granddaughter with us and my wife is not comfortable in the sidecar with her going any distance other than local. if she's on the bike, things are good. You also have to consider a trailer as I strongly suspect you won't have room for all the camping gear.

    what someone said above about buying a complete rig that suits your needs would be easier and cheaper than building one...or having one built.

    how much off-road do you really plan to do? my rig isn't made for offroad, but handles gravel and smooth dirt roads ok. not great...but ok.
    #6
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  7. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

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    You could buy 2 TJs and have money left over for the price of a new Ural. Your best bet by far is a used rig while you learn about sidecars and then move on from there. No one's answers to your question or their experience will be as good as learning on your own.
    #7
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  8. ooweel

    ooweel Throwing wrenches one at a time

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    Hope that leap is to FIND OUT? You will find that locating other like minded people who can share thoughts, give rides and all those other real time inputs will help tremendously! You may find out what your looking for isn't going to work with the 800? You may find out you don't like riding or piloting one? Many have jumped in only to find out it isn't for them! This is a good site to follow and ask questions for sure. I'm old like many here and you will find almost all threads derail and jump on and off the tracks but eventually you get there!

    I enjoy them! Just know what you are getting into!
    #8
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  9. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Whoa, a lot of negativity on the forum this morning! You guys not getting enough fiber?

    Honestly, Kirsten, there's absolutely nothing wrong with your plan. I started out almost exactly the same way for the same reasons. Regarding the comment about buying a Jeep, anybody can buy a Jeep and ride it into the backcountry. In fact, most (not all, but most) of the dirt roads I take with my dog in my rig could be driven in a Toyota Camry. But what's the fun in that?

    To get an idea about how much room you'll have, try watching the Sit, Stay, Ride movie on YouTube. At least three of the sidecar dogs featured in that movie share the car with a person and nobody seems miserable to me.


    This past summer I went on a 500-mile 4-day camping trip with my wife and TWO dogs in the sidecar and we had a great time! Now, admittedly, that was with my big sidecar not my little sidecar, but it can be done!

    Is the F800 the perfect bike to hack? Well, no. But it has more power than a Ural and lots of people pile into a Ural for a weekend of camping so I don't think there's anything wrong with hacking that bike. But, as @szurszewski suggested, you might think about buying a decent used rig such as a Ural, try it for a few trips to see how you like it, then either sell it and quit or sell it and upgrade.

    #9
  10. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    Side car, sidecar - $3500 https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/mcy/d/side-car-sidecar/6760524552.html
    This has been for sale for awhile he may take less sidecaring is a big commitment if you don't like and it's really easy to loose money on. It takes awhile to learn to drive one without tiring yourself out.
    Go to Ural dealer take a ride try driving see what you think ! It's a strange but satisfying religion and at least it's not s trike :lol3
    #10
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  11. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    I don't know how the Queen Bee will like being referred to as a wide :hmmmmm I heard she was handy with a Lacross stick, it could hurt !!!!!
    #11
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  12. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) vintage

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    DRONE, you had better get your spell check fixed, and in a hurry:bash
    #12
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  13. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    My first experience with a sidecar was wonderful! I've never looked back. Watch out for a used sidecar like a Velorex or a Spirit Eagle, get a manual on mounting a sidecar then take a sidecar course. I promise you, it will be fun!
    #13
  14. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    Find someone in your area willing to give you a ride and possibly a chance to drive a rig.
    Take a sidecar safety class and see if you will enjoy the world of asymmetrical 3 wheelers.
    Lots of good basic information here: https://sidecar.com/tech-reference/
    As they say (not quite sure who they are): "Look before you leap"!
    #14
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  15. davebig

    davebig Another Angry Hun !

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    DRONE contacted me and told me that the inside info on that sidecar is or was too bent to be a good start for anyone(it has been wrecked) . I don't think he's that keen on being teased either, You and I may have made some sort of list Norton(kel), or at least me.
    #15
  16. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Since you're an inexperienced sidecar pilot...beware there are major rules and handling differences than a 2 wheeler. I mention this cause you mention you, hubby and dog as occupants. NOTE: you want the majority of the cargo weight in the tub NOT on the pillon seat behind the pilot. So 2 people with dog translates into one human AND the dog together in the tub. A 45# dog in the tub and a 100#+ human on the back of the bike is a recipe for a painful disaster. Don't think cause you've got an outrigger/pontoon on your bike you can't flip it over. There is a learning curve...no getting around it.
    #16
  17. Happytrails63

    Happytrails63 Adventurer

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    Since your in CA and weather permits, satisfy your itch to check out sidecar motorcycles and maybe take one for a test ride. You could attach one to your GS but usually its the more expensive route to go. Sidecar motorcycles can be a lot of enjoyment but some people just dont like them as much as they thought they would. Give it a try and see what you think.
    #17
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  18. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    From Davis CA to Ski it is about a 1:30 drive... go see him and try a Ural just to check if a sidecar is for you! Alternatively go to Roseville there is a dealer there... Join Bay Area Sidecar Enthusiasts (BASE) on Facebook and check if someone is ready to show/help with your sidecar needs: tons of dogs there too! Do not listen to the usual grumpies around here: it only supposed to be humor...not funny whatsoever but humor!!!
    #18
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  19. kbaitis

    kbaitis Adventurer

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    Wow, thanks a lot, everyone! I appreciate the responses, and don't worry, I am not discouraged. We are inexperienced but adventurous and safety-minded. We love the outdoors. Brian is aware of the handling differences between two and three wheels and intends to take a class- probably in Washington. We aren't afraid to take a leap of faith that we will like this new direction, and if we don't, it's only money. I may go back and reply to a number of you with further questions, if that is ok.
    #19
  20. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®℗

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    The joys of an eclectic collective, you're gonna get a variety of viewpoints.


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    #20