Carry a sidecar on a rack behind the truck? Yes it is possible.

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#1
Just in case anyone is contemplating carrying a sidecar behind their expo truck! Here are a couple of photos of my rig on a rack behind my (just sold) truck. If anyone wants more details just send me a PM.

I have only done one trip with this combination which was 99% paved roads but it handled it with no damage to either vehicle. The roads included Durango to Silverton through the million dollar highway so it certainly got the side to side twisty test. The only downside was the booty length as I went around corners. Just had to be careful where I turned when vehicles were beside me.



 
#2
I've thought about something similar, but with a pretty minimalist collapsible sidecar made out of tubing and canvas to keep the weight and size down for transport.

Does that sidecar have a driven or free wheel? Is there a reason you didn't run a tension cable up to the corner of the ambulance box to triangulate the load?
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#3
Side car does not have a driven wheel (BMW not Ural). The rack comes off the chassis so triangulating to the box would increase the stress on the mounting. I have considered running a strut up from the frame to do as you suggested but in the end I will double up on the bars coming out to the sidecar wheel and put on another channel so I can have 2 bikes or the sidecar on the same setup. The outside chalked would be adjustable so that when running a single bike it sucks its butt in to improve the overhang.

The concept of a folder sidecar has been in my thoughts as well. Something along the lines of the little TW we have with a fold up Offroad type sidecar. Although I do like your idea of canvas. I was thinking of using aluminum (otherwise known as ambulance camouflage)
 
#6
Is this your new rig? Pretty nice but dang, that's a lot of rear overhang!:eek::D

I'm planning a cross country trip for this summer and will be pulling my Harley sidecar rig behind my Chevy 2500 but will be using a small trailer. Pulling a trailer can be a pain but I don't think I could have a setup like yours with the weight of the HD.
 
#7
@Hackopotomus can you tell me more about your Harley sidecar rig, or direct me to any posts you have about it? PM me if it will keep from sidetracking this thread. I'm considering a sidecar on an older Harley and been trying to figure out how to make it practical to transport.
 
#8
@Hackopotomus can you tell me more about your Harley sidecar rig, or direct me to any posts you have about it? PM me if it will keep from sidetracking this thread. I'm considering a sidecar on an older Harley and been trying to figure out how to make it practical to transport.
Lots of sidecar info here:

http://advrider.com/index.php?forums/hacks.56/

http://www.sidecar.com/links3.asp


Sidecars are a blast, especially if you have a dog! Mine was custom build by Claude at Freedom Sidecars in PA. DMC in WA also makes sidecars. Both make subframes and mounts for Harley's. They can be a bit tricky to set up properly. They are also quite different to ride if you are used to two wheels. I've been riding them for 10 years now and never had a problem but I also had been riding quads for years and a hack is a bit like a 3 wheeled quad. I also have a BMW GS1100 with a sidecar for dirt riding.

I have a dedicated trailer I built to haul the rig.
IMG_2652x.jpg IMG_2024.JPG IMG_2658.JPG IMG_1319.JPG
 
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#9
Thanks!

I'm looking at a 49, it needs some restoration of frame tabs, the sidecar rings being one thing that were removed when it was customized some time in the past.

Ive been out of riding for a long time, but recently have started to get interested again. Besides being able to take the dog, I'm hoping a sidecar will help with an injured back, shoulder and hip, which can spike in pain and complicate many aspects of riding a 2 wheeled bike.

Someone earlier mentioned not having an offroad oriented bike/rig, I can only say thats a matter of what youre willing to do with any particular bike. While not ideal, I rode my old 47 places that would have been challenging in many 4 wheeled vehicles, and camped, hunted, and explored around N Az. Im not quite as ambitious about rough roads or trails now, but the lure of riding, even tooling around on some Forest Service roads, is coming back.

Early 80s deer hunting on my 47 Knucklehead,

modified image resized.jpg
 
#10
Nice Knuck! I'm an old school chopper guy. Got my first HD in 1976. I put together this little bar hopper from parts, back in the early 90's. Going to put a sidecar on it too (along with foot clutch/jockey shift)! :p:cool:

Speaking of off roading HD's, you have to read this thread, guy rode his "Dirt Bagger" on the TAT!

http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/just-another-tat-ride-report-on-a-harley-dirtbag.910213/

A rigid '49 is not going to be the best for riding dirt but certainly can be done. I wouldn't worry about the original sidecar rings on the frame unless you are doing a resto. The HD sidecars are unsprung chassis with the car itself on leaf springs. A much better setup for dirt is to run a sidecar frame with suspension unless you already have a stock HD care and frame. You'd be using custom mounts. My HD has raked trees which helps too.

Sidecars can require greater upper body strength than a two wheeler, especially if not set up perfectly. You have to know how to ride as well. They will pull right on acceleration and left on braking because of drag and momentum of the car. Once you learn this you can help steer using the throttle. A lot of people try to muscle the rig as well instead of relaxing and kind of letting the rig do its thing.

Are you still in northern AZ? I'm coming through there (making a trip from north west NV to south east NM and back) at the end of next week with my BMW GS rig. I could stop by if you want to try to ride one.
 

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#11
I moved from Az to the northern rockies in 89. I foresee spending winters in Az again before too long, I dont do winter very well any more. Id take you up on the offer, but I'm not there. :(

I had the knuckle in an early pan swingarm frame part of the time, I tried the hardtail a couple years, also did hand shift a year or two. I'm not intending to try for a true restoration with the 49 or whatever I end up with, just get some of the things replaced I like, such as tank and footboard mounts, and Id use sidecar mounts if they worked on whatever sidecar setup I end up with. I also just like the sidecar mounts. If I had it apart to fix the other stuff, may as well do them. Theres also a couple options for electric start on older ones, which Id about have to have, or a full time riding partner to start my bike. The small solo seat with springs may be what I use for the bike. I wouldnt suggest a hardtail to anyone else for dirt road use, or street use for most, they just happen to be one of the things I like in the older bikes. My objective isnt to ride a bike at any cost, but to enjoy an older bike, and do with it what I reasonably can, though I guess with my past, my idea of reasonable use of an old Harley isnt quite what most peoples is.

Id likely go with a sidecar rig with suspension. I'm not a purist by any means, just like older stuff. I do appreciate some practical upgrades when compatible with my interests. Having a sidecar with trunk that opens, and a cutout (door opening?) for making it easier for the dog to get in and out are two things that appeal to me, otherwise, I'm not too focused on any particular type yet.
 
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