Once you get used to a sidecar, it's totally utilitarian

by Rich Schlalos
(Vancouver, WA USA)

my wife and her mom

my wife and her mom

my wife and her mom

Me giving a ride to my friends wife.
flying the chair again, the kids love it

You can fly them, race them through corners like a sports car with one wheel gone. Once you get used to them, they are great. I've had a 1976 Goldwing with a California Sidecar, a 1948 Indian Chief with the original sidecar, a 1997 Ultra Classic Harley with the HD sidecar and now, a 2006 Harley-Davidson Street Glide with a Liberty Sidecar which out handles all of the previous sidecars that I have owned. We take 800 mile a day trips in it, give kids and older Veterans rides in it for events and parades. Take handi-capped kids for rides. It's endless. Pick up groceries, welding tanks, cases of oil, and have allot of room for camping gear. I also dropped one tooth on the engine sprocket so I have a little lower gears and can now run all day long in 5th gear at 75-80mph at about 3-3200 rpm on cruise control and do not have to shift down on the majority of hills. It gets about 23mpg in town and up to 40mpg on the highway. My wife also has her endorsment for sidecars and trikes, but most of the time chooses to ride in the sidecar and take pictures of the trips we take, do puzzles and whatever else she wants to pass the time away. I used to take my daschund for rides in the Goldwing with the California Sidecar. A friend of mine also took his Mastif (really big dog) for rides in his early HD sidecar. He would wear sunglasses and a hankerchief around his neck. He (the dog) looked really cool going down the road. Just remember, a sidecar demands respect (especially around right hand corners) but once you get the feel for it, you'll have a blast. Have fun, ride safe.


Editor's Note: I have had several sidecar units and I have never put up the sidecar while riding. Folks, I don't want you to get scared of these due to these pics. Rich is obviously an accomplished rider, but I wouldn't recommend doing the things that he apparantly does on an everyday basis. You can ride them without lifting the wheel. Rich.....great article. Thanks so much.

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Dec 21, 2010
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Flying the chair
by: Rich

You are so right in that you don't have to fly the chair. I've been doing it intentionally for years because it's so fun and if you can do it, you will know how it feels if it ever happens in a real life situation. With the proper weight in the sidecar, this should never happen. You would have to intentionly try to bring the sidecar up in that situation.
A couple told me the other day that they intended to ride on the bike and just use the sidecar to hold up the bike for balance. I highly recommend that the other person with the most weight sits in the sidecar and maybe a child can sit on the back of the bike if three are going on a ride or in this case a full grown labrador in the sidecar with a bag of sand or a few weights. With a two-up side by side wider sidecar, there might not be a problem. It's always good the practice in a vacant parking lot and get the feel of the sidecar at different speeds and turns.
Thanks for the compliment, your right, I have been riding hack for allot of years.

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