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Newbee needs help selecting a sidecar

 
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gregbenner



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Wrightwood, Cal

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 4:30 am    Post subject: Newbee needs help selecting a sidecar Reply with quote

I am a newbee here, and I wonder if I might solicit some advice. I currently have 2 SCs, a Ural and a V Strom dual sport SC, both acquired this year. I have ridden bikes since the early 60s, but am new to SCs My SO has Fibromyalgia and a minor spinal injury and is uncomfortable riding pillion on a bike. However, we both love SCs.

I now realize I must have a HP rig (I will keep the V Strom). I really liked the Bandito concept. I have talked with David Hannigan and I am seriously considering one of his on the Kawasaki ZX 14 platform. However, using Hannigan has a downside. I won’t be personally involved.

I would like to try to build it here in California with a help of a buddy (McGuyver’s brother so to speak). He would do all the work, I will watch/”supervise”. This would let me see all the details, as well as give me the opportunity to truly customize it for Connie. I could also get the power/handling I want.

My dilemma(s) are

1. I don’t know what type sidecar to get. All the manufacturers seem to be based on the east side of the country. I have looked online, but its is tough to tell from a couple pucture. I do need something with easy entry and a decent size trunk as we plan some long distance trips. Comfort is a big issue (she is quite petite, 4”11”, 110lbs). Any ideas of what specific SC to consider or, just as importantly, what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.

2. Although my buddy is very talented, he is has virtually no SC experience (other than he is currently fabricating a swaybar for the Strom). I think I should get a hub center steering with adjustable trail, with auto tires. Designing this from scratch is beyond us. Are there kits/assemblies available? I think we can manage the wheels and swaybars, etc, *although any advice here would be very much appreciated.


I do not want to start something beyond are capabilities, and would hate to get done and realized we missed something important.

Any advice on either area is appreciated

Thanks, greg
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bmcsheehy



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Posts: 977
Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Building a CHS is not as easy as it sounds.
I built my own, it took about a year and a half to complete.
The bandito is a hell of a deal. Maybe you get a used one some place.
I think the ZX 14 or Concours from Hannigan will be worth waiting for too.
I cant wait to see what sidecar he puts on them.
Good luck.
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Bill
High Performance Sidecaring... ...There is nothing "HACKED" about it.
2006 ZX-14 / HANNIGAN HP.
2011 Concourse / California Friendship III.
1936 Ford Fordoor Humpback
www.Yankee-Engineering.com
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zentime



Joined: 22 Jan 2005
Posts: 831
Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Newbee needs help selecting a sidecar Reply with quote

gregbenner wrote:
I am a newbee here, and I wonder if I might solicit some advice. I currently have 2 SCs, a Ural and a V Strom dual sport SC, both acquired this year. I have ridden bikes since the early 60s, but am new to SCs My SO has Fibromyalgia and a minor spinal injury and is uncomfortable riding pillion on a bike. However, we both love SCs.

I now realize I must have a HP rig (I will keep the V Strom). I really liked the Bandito concept. I have talked with David Hannigan and I am seriously considering one of his on the Kawasaki ZX 14 platform. However, using Hannigan has a downside. I won’t be personally involved.

I would like to try to build it here in California with a help of a buddy (McGuyver’s brother so to speak). He would do all the work, I will watch/”supervise”. This would let me see all the details, as well as give me the opportunity to truly customize it for Connie. I could also get the power/handling I want.

My dilemma(s) are

1. I don’t know what type sidecar to get. All the manufacturers seem to be based on the east side of the country. I have looked online, but its is tough to tell from a couple pucture. I do need something with easy entry and a decent size trunk as we plan some long distance trips. Comfort is a big issue (she is quite petite, 4”11”, 110lbs). Any ideas of what specific SC to consider or, just as importantly, what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.

2. Although my buddy is very talented, he is has virtually no SC experience (other than he is currently fabricating a swaybar for the Strom). I think I should get a hub center steering with adjustable trail, with auto tires. Designing this from scratch is beyond us. Are there kits/assemblies available? I think we can manage the wheels and swaybars, etc, *although any advice here would be very much appreciated.


I do not want to start something beyond are capabilities, and would hate to get done and realized we missed something important.

Any advice on either area is appreciated

Thanks, greg


Regardless of which way you go, I'm sure the opportunity to personalize a new rig will give you ample involvement. Laughing There are so many things to consider, it's difficult to point you in one direction or another, although I can offer a few general thoughts on your persuit. There is quite a lot going on with these HPS rigs. I think a good way to look at it, is to consider it a system. It takes all of the components working in harmony to fully realize the befits of the individual parts. A rig that is designed from the ground up, I believe is the best place to begin. These things are the sum of the parts and much more. There's more to it than just looking like a HPS. The engineering that goes into a complete package is considerable. In the end, they really are sidecaring at a whole new level.

Hopefully others here will join in with their insight and suggestions.

cm'on guys, some input........ Smile

You should explore the links on our links page http://www.hpsidecars.com/links/links.htm
and most definitely spend time on Roger Symington's site.
http://hometown.aol.com/sidebike99/

bill ballou
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Bandit Bill



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 202
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure if my advise is worth all that much - my experience is more 'medium' than 'high' performance, as far as "roll your own project" goes.

When my project first got started in '03, the Hannigan Bandito wasn't even a rumour. What fell into my lap as a project, was far from ideal, and it was a matter of compromise and budget that it took three years to get to the MPS stage it is. As Bill B indicates, it's best to go into building up a HPS with it working as a system, from the get-go.

The Hannigan Bandito was essentially designed as a 'system', with all individual aspects of the setup built with the overall engineering setup in mind. My Bandito, is a series of individual projects built-up to overcome the inherent weaknesses in the original mismatch in regard to scale, HP, and suspension designs - there is a big difference in the two ways to build a performance rig, and mine is definitely the less effective/more frustrating way to go about it.

If you want to learn how to do something, there is no substitute to learning to do it hands on. However, if you want something done right/optimized, it's often best to leave the design and fabrication to those who have the design/engineering/fabrication experience to impliment the modifications effectively and come out with a polished end-result.

In that regard, if it's HPS that you are set on, and you have the deep pockets enough to afford the 'package', I would recommend you look seriously at whatever Hannigan has in mind for the Concours 1400.

Yes, with a competent/experienced machinist, with the engineering/structural background to do the appropriate work for you, it may be possible to come up with something you may be happy with in terms of a CHS - HPS .. but you will need to learn all the theory, as well as fabrication processes to come up with all the parts and sub-assemblies necessary to come up with the sum total that a HPS is..

For my home-rolled 'MPS', it was 3 straight winters from start to finish, fabricating up a front end, swaybar that works, complete sidecar suspension redesign, subframe etc.. 3 straight winters of Hermitage in the Garage, doing things with crude tools, and lots of runs to a machine shop for services that I couldn't perform myself (welding/tube bending/major machining) .. did i save all that much in money once it all was done? Not near as much as i would have liked to. Was it time well spent? Yes, and no. Yes.. time spent learning new skills is never wasted, but no, it's three winters which i could have been focussed on something else..

Don't know if this makes much sense to you - i'm not trying to discourage you from your original plan .. but there are lots of disadvantages to reinventing the wheel, if you can afford to buy the polished product from Hannigan, or someone else (used Bandito perhaps?).

Good luck,

Bill Strong
'99 Suzuki Bandit / '88 Hannigan Comet
Project Photo Gallery: http://www.chairintheair.ca/gallery/v/website/
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docmike



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 630
Location: Eastern NC

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill said

Quote:
did i save all that much in money once it all was done? Not near as much as i would have liked to.


For what I have in mine, after buying the rig and adding a sway bar and CHS I could have bought a Bandito, with a turbo, and nitrous, and not be six months behind on the honey do list.

just a thought

Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
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Bandit Bill



Joined: 31 Jan 2005
Posts: 202
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As an addendum to my previous post - to give you an idea for time involved for those unfamiliar with 'winter', Ontario style.. it's defined as 6 months of winter per year, and 6 months Bad Snowmobiling.

Project season for me, started early to mid-October, and usually finished up about mid-April. Thought i'd add this in, just in case Greg Benner lives in a latitude where the concept of winter is a novelty, rather than a cold reality Smile
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Homebrew '99 Suzuki Bandit 1200 / '88 Hannigan Comet
'78 Honda CT70 playbike
http://www.chairintheair.ca
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Dar



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 344
Location: Ballston Spa, NY

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:12 am    Post subject: Re: Newbee needs help selecting a sidecar Reply with quote

gregbenner wrote:
... I do need something with easy entry and a decent size trunk as we plan some long distance trips. Comfort is a big issue (she is quite petite, 4”11”, 110lbs). Any ideas of what specific SC to consider or, just as importantly, what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.


Greg,
I replied to you once before, asking about your other rigs, and said that I had bought a Bandito last year. I'm real happy with the Bandito from the handling and performance aspect. And comfortwise, from the driver's seat of the pants evaluation, the only thing missing is a more comfortable seat.

I can't really comment on passenger comfort, having only ridden in the car for 10 or 15 minutes myself, BUT... I can say that the ease of entry isn't all that great - the Bandito car doesn't open up like some of Hannigan's other sidecars. You (or your passenger, actually) has to step or crawl over the side to get into the car. Not a problem if you're agile, but something to consider if your wife has any problems in that respect.

The other downside to the Bandito car, particularly as a long distance touring rig, is lack of any weather protection for the pasesenger, other than the windshield. There is no roof available (or at least wasn't last year), as is available on most of his other sidecars (either optional convertible top on some models, or the included hardtop on his Astro models.) Since he (Hannigan) is now doing the HP setup on some of the BMW K bikes, maybe combining the wheel, HP suspension and steering mods of the HP model with the car from his "LT for BMW" would be a possibility.

Of course, none of the BMW's are in quite the same stratospheric horsepower range as the Kawi's, and the touring sidecars are a bit heavier than the Bandito car, and if Dave Hannigan puts it together for you, you miss out on the involvement in the process. But life is full of choices to be made, and that's what makes it interesting.

Dar
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Dar



Joined: 04 Mar 2006
Posts: 344
Location: Ballston Spa, NY

PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, of course, you have to think about whether or not the ZX-14 is really the bike for "long distance trips", comfortwise, or if you should wait for the Concours version, if it's actually in the works, too.
You will find that most of the regular contributors to this forum, with particularly sportbike based rigs, are less into the touring than the high performance aspects of their rigs. Understandably so - that's the name of this forum, after all.
For myself, the traveling I do (a fair amount) is without a passenger anyway, so the passenger considerations in my above post are all theoretical, rather than experience based.
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gregbenner



Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 7
Location: Wrightwood, Cal

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, Iwant to thank all of you for the replies. In a wy, I suppose I kind of expected that building what i want might be overly ambitious.

I have concluded that likely, if i go forward with a true HP SC, I will have David Hannigan build it for me.

Dar, David did indicate he thought he might use a different SC from the Bandito, one with a door for ease of entry (this would be an issue with Connie). ALso, after reading all the info i could find, I would in all likelyhood wait for thr new Concours versus the ZX 14.

I just purchased a (nearly)new Street Rod, it may be a future candidate for something as well?

I have a couple of questions re: the hub center front systems, but will post separately after i do a search on it first

greg
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arbalest



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 92
Location: Windham

PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: summer in Maine Reply with quote

Three months of damn poor skiing.
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