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Sidecar install 101: Part 2

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F.Y.I:  Am planning to download Dr. Hal Kendall's Sidecar Manual  .pdf  file onto my pc. 

Anyone who joins free @   sidecar.com   will have free access to this file...It's a Goldmine of information, as

are many others there. 

His file logically explains REASONS for each of the below-needed settings and the RANGE of each setting,

which will VARY with each rig & driver.


IMPORTANT POINT: When sidecar is initially mounted to tug frame, INSURE frame is LEVEL, front-to-rear,

when mounts are tightened. Yours truly taped a 6' level to underside of frame when this was done [ new s/c

frame/body was shipped as single, assembled unit ]. If s/c frame/nose is down too far in front, there is more

chance of grounding nose in a panic stop, especially IF IN LEFT TURN at the time.


SIDECAR WHEEL LEAD:     Pretend you're looking down on your rig, from overhead.

Simply put:  The centerline of your sidecar axle is x inches ahead of centerline of your tug's rear axle.

Although I run approx. 6" lead, EVERY rig & owner/driver will need to find their own 'sweet spot'

NOTE:  Historically, zero " wheel lead on H-D sidecar/cycle rig has been the norm for them for years.

H-D has very different OEM frame/body design than most newer sidecar brands out there now.


SIDECAR WHEEL TOE-IN:  Wheel needs x of an inch, toe-in @ front of wheel.

I run approx. 1/4" ...others will need to find out by trial & error, what works best for them.


SIDECAR TUG LEAN-OUT TO LEFT:  This is measured in degrees, with 1 degree a nominal setting.

Yours truly runs zero lean-out, as my tug's tire treads are wearing exactly the same on their left & right sides, with

wife/yours truly riding 2-up everywhere we go & our sidecar loaded with weight and often, gear, food cooler, etc.



This is ESSENTIAL to prevent dangerous front end left-right shimmy and IS A LOGICAL maintenance to-do item.

It ensures safe, stressless handling of any sidecar rig.  Many rig owners run a STEERING DAMPER, which keeps

steering in check, prevents loss of control [ 3 types are: friction, pneumatic, hydraulic ]

Yours truly personally witnessed left-right extreme TANK SLAP on a solo, British BSA 600cc Road Rocket twin,

back in 1954...was ghastly! THIS was caused by a young, know-it-all wise-guy,  who thought he could handle burn

out from dead stop, smoking rear tire, on a machine he NEVER drove before, in front of a crowd at night. He was,

needless to say, badly injured...destroyed the beautiful bike if front of it's owner!



Worth re-mentioning here, as this is one event which could end a person's interest in sidecars right at the start!

Most times, NO-ONE told a Newbie about needing sidecar weight, so is considered a BIG mis-information item!

When I say weight, am talking approx. 75 lb. or more, to actually be effective in most any right turn situation.

ALWAYS slowing down when approaching a right turn IS SMART DRIVING! ALL sidecar rig owners Can and

Should admit: BT-DT! [ Been There-Done That! ] to scary wheel-lift, including yours truly!


THIS CONTENT IS WORTH READING OVER MANY TIMES!                         .....papasmurf   :)

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good information enjoyed the read

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