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I notice a lot of posts on here about trikes. Trikes are not exactly my thing, and I have been wondering about sidecars. How difficult would it be to put a sidecar on a GL1200, what kind of sidecar would be best, and would the stock steering geometry work with a sidecar? I have considered a Ural, but they are too expensive new, there are very few used ones for sale, and they want new prices for them. Also how would the seemingly fragile final drive hold up to the extra load of a sidecar?
 

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ive seen alot of sidecar rigs on ebay from time to time a guy i know has one but its on his hd

3 or 4 bolts and it comes off easy as that i would preferr a sidecar to a trailer because well why not people underestimate a side car and its usability
 

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Check out the United Sidecar Association, www.sidecar.com

Ask questions on the forum.
It is easy on the 1200, I've had sidecars on 3 1100's and they are great tugs.
Sidecar depends on what you want to spend, used are cheape. Size and weight matter. A Velorex sidecar is too light for your bike , you would have to ballast it for good operation. Also check the Internet Club.. http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/SCT/.. Doug
 

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I'm pretty happy with my double-wide sidecar on my 1100. The nice thing about the early GL's is the exposed frame makes mounting the car easier. Although the 1500 & 1800 have reverse which would be a nice thing to have with a sidecar.

This is my first year with a sidecar, so I don't know about the final drive question. I'll know more when I change out my rear tire and can inspect it. Might just have to inspect it this winter if I don't change the tire before then.

Steering is a matter of good setup. A raked or leading link front end can steering easier, but even with those, you still want the car mounted correctly. Seek professional help! The car is going to pull the rig to the right. You compensate for this by toeing in the sidecar tire and/or leaning the bike to the outside. Too much lean out and right turns go from scary to down right terrifying!


 

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Thanks for the information. I've always liked the idea of a sidecar, and have seen a few Goldwings with sidecars. I would definitely be looking for a used sidecar. I would like to paint the bike and sidecar to match. I will definitely look into it some more. And I am aware of the handling problems associated with a sidecar rig, I remember one sidecar owner years ago attaching a bungee cord to the bars to help keep it from pulling to one side so bad.
 

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Sidecars are fun! I would advise you to try a few different set ups as sidecars are all individual in the way they handle on the road....
 

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JerryH wrote:
..., I remember one sidecar owner years ago attaching a bungee cord to the bars to help keep it from pulling to one side so bad.
The bungee wasn't for pulling. Having a sidecar mounted to only one side sometimes causesa shimmy in the front fork at low speed. Even with a specialized front fork, I encounter it up until about 15mph. It scares some people so they add a steering stabilizer. Others, in an effort to save money, find the same effect by just hooking a bungee from the fork to the frame. Both methods tend to cause harder steering at low speeds, i.e. parking lots, so most folks remove them after they gain some experience.

The biggest thing to remember when choosing a sidecar is that it should weigh at least 1/3 the weight of the laden motorcycle. If your bike with you on it weighs 1200 pounds, you want a sidecar that weighs 400.

If I had a GL1200 today, I'd be looking for a Ural or Dnepr sidecar. They look great together and are a good match.

Here's me with a HitchHiker sidecar that was way too light for the bike.


Even with a 200 pound passenger, I could not keep the sidecar on the ground.
 

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Jimnwendy wrote:
Sidecars are fun! I would advise you to try a few different set ups as sidecars are all individual in the way they handle on the road....
Unfortunately I am limited by available funds to one sidecar, so I would have to get it right the first time.

I am very familiar with both Ural (Russian) and Dneper (Chinese) sidecar rigs. They are both copies of the WWII BMW. I live fairly close to a Ural dealer, and might be able to get a good used one for a good price. They look a lot different from the GL1200, since they are a 70 year old design. I once considered an entire Ural rig, but was put off by the price, and percieved quality issues.

What would it take to install one of these sidecars on a GL1200? How do they attach? One of the reasons for wanting the whole Ural rig was that the motorcycle was made for the sidecar, and nost likely has mounting points designed into the frame. I was also told that trying to ride a Ural without the sidecar was dangerous, because the rake and trail dimensions were designed for sidecar use. I know of one person on another forum who installed a sidecar on a Vulcan 1500 Classic, and literally had to have the frame rewelded to reduce the rake. I know you can get off set triple trees for some bikes, but they are usually designed to increase rake.
 

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JerryH wrote:
Jimnwendy wrote:
Sidecars are fun! I would advise you to try a few different set ups as sidecars are all individual in the way they handle on the road....
Unfortunately I am limited by available funds to one sidecar, so I would have to get it right the first time.

I am very familiar with both Ural (Russian) and Dneper (Chinese) sidecar rigs. They are both copies of the WWII BMW. I live fairly close to a Ural dealer, and might be able to get a good used one for a good price. They look a lot different from the GL1200, since they are a 70 year old design. I once considered an entire Ural rig, but was put off by the price, and percieved quality issues.

What would it take to install one of these sidecars on a GL1200? How do they attach? One of the reasons for wanting the whole Ural rig was that the motorcycle was made for the sidecar, and nost likely has mounting points designed into the frame. I was also told that trying to ride a Ural without the sidecar was dangerous, because the rake and trail dimensions were designed for sidecar use. I know of one person on another forum who installed a sidecar on a Vulcan 1500 Classic, and literally had to have the frame rewelded to reduce the rake. I know you can get off set triple trees for some bikes, but they are usually designed to increase rake.
You will need to get a mounting kit for any sidecar, unless it comes off of another GL1200 and the owner includes all the pieces and parts. I buy my mounting kits fromJay Giese at http://www.mysidecar.com. Another good source is Doug Bingham at http://www.side-strider.com . In either case, look to spend between $500 and $1,000 for mounting parts. If you have someone mount it for you, plan on another $1,000 or so.

One of the biggest pluses to a sidecar is that it takes less than 20 minutes to drop it off if you want to ride on two wheels and maybe 30 to put it back when you want three.

As I said, it's much cheaper to find one that was already on a bike like yours.

Take my word for it, by the time you put 1,000 miles on it, you'll throw rocks at trikes. There is absolutely no comparison.
 

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