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Basic sidecar set up?????

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JohnB53, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    Well I will admit you do have me thinking. I know nothing about sidecars or mounting. I am not sure just how I am going to change horses in mid stream but there has to be a way . I will let you know when I figure it out. I do want to thank you for the input and I am sure my wife wants a safe ride too.
    GLJ likes this.
  2. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider Top Contributor

    Have you tried The United Sidecar Association website?
  3. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi John,
    I'm looking again at your rig's upper attachments and I don't think you got 'em done right.
    I know I said your rig would work "as is" but for your wife's sake, you need to do better.
    Front upper is where it should be but seems to be wrongly assembled.
    Rear upper the same and should be attached to the bike frame just in front of the rear shock top bolt
    NOT on a complifexed offset riggins like yours.
    Re-visit the Velorex USA site and go to:- attachment kit 562-08-800
    Check out Detail A to see how the Velorex frame clamp is assembled and wraps around a bike's frame tube.
    Re-work your attachments so they attach to the bike's frame that way
  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I think you've got the upper struts upside down too. I always had them installed with the threaded portion up.
  5. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi 5T,
    I don't reckon that a diagonal strut cares which end of itself points up.
    Being cheap, I build my own struts.
    I use 3/4" Sch 40 pipe with a right-hand threaded fork at one end and a left-hand threaded fork at t'other.
    This lets you adjust the bike's lean angle my loosening the locking nots and turning the strut.
    Alas you are stuck with using whatever size of left hand threaded rod & nuts is locally available.
    (I'm also too impatient to wait for mail order stuff to arrive.)
  6. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi John,
    the post #1 photos remind me your bike is a Special which has an 11 litre gas tank and presumably you will swap it from 17/34 sprockets to 17/36.
    The bike's higher gear ratio and the sidecar's added weight will reduce your fuel mileage.
    An XS650 Standard gas tank drops right onto a Special and lets you carry another 6 litres of gas without having to carry it in a jerrycan.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    gggGary likes this.
  7. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    Thanks for the additional info. I have decided to step back and do a little more rethinking. I also ordered some differebt I bolts and some jam nuts to fit the velorex I bolts that are used in their clamps (M18 x 1.0) . I am getting confliction info on the struts. In the velorex manual I have they state the struts should point out and not be parallel but they won't be if I use the rear frame like Fredintoon stated. Is that going to be an issue? I want the mounting to be safe. Also I have already painted the gas tank and for now I don't think that will be an issue. I haven't changed the gearing either just trying to get the sucker built and learn hoe to drive it. Not sure how much riding it will get. But on a good note Took my trike (with new rebuilt motor) out today for the 25 mile break in, dumped the oil and will reset the lifters tomorrow then is on for 300 more miles then another oil change . Then brake in is done. It runs great can not wait for summer , 47 is a little chilly for riding
  8. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Let's see the trike.
  9. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    I don't have one on this computer right now I will see if I can dig one up tomorrow and post it. It is home built did it back in 2008 was a fun winter project and a lot easier than mounting a sidecar(haha).Had good instructions went well.
  10. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    This isn't real good but will have to do for now Was trying out my tow bar setup before the new motor went south last summer, hope this summer is lots better
  11. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi John,
    I'm posting some photos of my XS650/Velorex attachments
    IMG_0013.JPG P1020099.JPG P1020101.JPG
    P1020102.JPG IMG_0011.JPG IMG_0021.JPG
    Note that the under-bike subframe bolts to the frame's centrestand attachments at the rear
    and to a modified front engine mount at the front.
    The front and rear (home-made) diagonal struts top attachments bolt to the bike frame using home-built copies of Velorex-style frame clamps, (AKA "George" clamps though WTF George was, I dunno.)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
    mrtwowheel likes this.
  12. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    Thanks for the pics Fred. I spent most of the day looking at what I had and decided I didn't like it either. I am going to come up with a new simpler plan . I will keep posting as I move along. John
  13. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi John,
    quoting the Skunkworks boss, "Simplificate and add lightness."
    Ballast the chair (sandbags or water-filled 5 gallon jugs on the seat are the usual) until you feel OK with carrying a passenger.
    Using a sidecar-mounted car battery instead of the bike's stock battery helps a rig's balance and REALLY spins over an XS650's starter motor.
    kshansen likes this.
  14. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    Not sure if I should post the pictures of the mounts on my XS650 "Ride to work bike".

    First off they were taken after the bike had been used, or should I say abused for something like 15 years year round just outside of a city with the nickname Salt City. That was originally because salt springs used to to make salt and the city was the top producer of salt in the country for most of the 19th century!, enough history!

    Anyhow as most people in the northern states know road salt is one of the main ways of keeping roads drivable in the winter and it is not nice to steel!

    So be forewarned they are not pretty pictures!
    lower front mount.JPG Lower rear from left side.JPG lower rear viewed from right.JPG Upper front.JPG upper rear.JPG
    As you can see three out of the four mounts are your generic strap mounts, these are NOT Velorex, a couple were California Sidecar mounts and one was a homemade copy of them. While similar they are a bit heavier. If someone would like a better view of the clamps to compare to Velorex I could do that.

    Also if anyone wants a better explanation of how or why the mounts are like they are feel free to ask. Just for example, that center picture might be confusing as the mount arm appears to go straight back and not over towards side sidecar. The simple answer is that arm has a 90º bend in it just out of view of the camera. Reason for that is that was done to allow the foot starter to clear the mounts! And the reason for making that possible should be obvious to anyone looking at the pictures. Just try to imagine what hell the electrical system went through on this bike! You want to try to keep the starter working?

    Also if there is a question as to the mounts or bike frame being strong enough this picture was taken about 10 years after this outfit was hit broadside by an Isuzu Trouper. I will admit that both the lower tubes of the mounts were bent beyond use 1 1/2 inch DOM tubing and a couple of the clamps did shift out of their position. Replaced the two bent tubes and I rode that outfit for another 15 years. Sidecar itself did suffer a broken wheel and snapped swing arm along with fiberglass damage. But despite what insurance adjuster thought it was not totaled. One good thing was they did not even bother to pass that determination on to the DMV so that bike still has a nice clean title, not that anyone will ever use it!
  15. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    Thanks for the pics. I am waiting on some parts (bolt on I bolt) but did work on the rear part of the subframe. I have decided that I will use the rear upper velorex clamp to keep it simple. Not sure on lower front yet.
  16. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    Thanks for the info Fred. Waiting on parts for the new and improved version. I think it is going to be fine. Just needed a little outside input. John
  17. JohnB53

    JohnB53 XS650 Member

    Ok Here we have round 2. I think the mounts are as strong as I am able to make them. I am starting with 50" rear width with 10" wheel lead. I have it just sitting nothing solid and no toe or lean yet. IMG_0322.JPG

    Attached Files:

  18. Oddjob

    Oddjob adsgads

    Hi, just a general question... would you not take into account the weight of the rider on the bike, and setup the sidecar level to the bikes weighed-down/compressed state?
  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, driver weight plus car passenger weight are considered. You are striving for what they call the "vertical ideal", so that when loaded the bike will sit vertical and the car level. That is usually achieved by leaning the bike away from the car slightly as it sits unloaded.

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