Set Up A Sidecar

Sidecars allow a passenger to ride more comfortably without having to keep balance.

Many riders install sidecars onto their motorcycles to allow passengers to ride in more comfort, or because they like the look of them. The process of mounting it is a simple one that requires only ordinary wrenches and home tools, but takes several hours. Special care must also be taken to align the sidecar’s wheels properly in relation to those of the motorcycle.

Instructions

Preparation

1. Prop up the frame of the sidecar in a wide, open and level workspace with wooden blocks.

2. Unpack the universal mounting kit and remove the nuts, nolts, and lockwashers from the four U-clamps. Remove the spacer block from each of the clamps as well.

3. Remove the bolts from the eyebolts on the strut assemblies.

Attach the Sidecar

4. Fit a U-clamp to the top front of the motorcycle’s frame, taking care not to interfere with or disturb any levers, rods or switches, nor to rub against any wire. Insert the spacer block and fasten the clamp in place with two bolts, lockwashers and nuts from the kit.

5. Thread one of the eyebolts included with the kit through the spacer block and tighten it against the frame tube. If the tube is too thin for a stable grip, insert the kit’s larger shim ahead of the eyebolt. If it is still too loose, insert the smaller shim at its rear.

6. Install the other three U-clamps to the appropriate attachment points indicated in your motorcycle’s owner’s manual. Fit the uppermost U-clamps as high as possible on the bike’s frame, and, conversely, the lowermost U-clamps as low as possible. In some cases, the lower front clamp may have to be attached to the frame’s cross member.

7. Loosen the two holding bolts at the front end of the sidecar frame, then insert the mounting kit’s curved bar into this region of the frame without re-tightening the bolts.

8. Fasten the kit’s sliding clamp to the rear of the sidecar’s frame with more of the included bolts, lockwashers and nuts. Tighten the bolts just enough to hold the clamp in place.

9. Insert the eyebolt from the kit that features a spacer sleeve into the sliding clamp, and fasten it in place with a nut

10. Remove the bottommost nuts from the eyebolts on the two long struts, then take out the bolts themselves. Re-insert the bolts into the front and rear holes on the sidecar’s frame and thread the nuts onto them loosely.

11. Stand the motorcycle upright on level ground with wooden blocks. Prop up the sidecar frame to be level as well, and position it at the right-hand side of the motorcycle with nor more than 1 to 2 inches between the edges of their frames.

12. Fit the Clevis adjusting bolts on the struts and the curved bar to the eyebolts on each U-clamp, and hold the struts in place with bolts. Ensure that the long struts connected to the uppermost U-clamps are not be parallel, but angled outward slightly.

13. Remove all supports from under the assembly.

Alignment

14. Place one of the 2 by fours against the outside of both motorcycle tires, and the other against the outside of the sidecar tire.

15. Measure the space between the boards one foot in front of the front tire and one foot behind the rear tire. This distance, called “toe-in,” should be half an inch to 3/4 of an inch less at the front than at the rear.

16. If the spacing at the front is greater, tighten the top and bottom Clevis adjusting bolts at the front of the bike and loosen the ones at the rear.

17.Place an angle bracket against the outside edges of the front wheel tire and measure the clearance between between it and the tire at the ground.

18. If this measurement, called “lean-out,” does not measure approximately 1/8 of an inch, remove the nuts and bolts from the Clevis adjusting bolts at the upper ends of the front and rear struts. To decrease lean-out, turn the Clevis Adjusting Bolts inward. Turn them outward to increase lean-out.

19. Replace all bolts and nuts into the adjusting bolts, tighten them, then insert Cotter pins from the kit into the wheel axles.

20. Test drive the motorcycle with a passenger in the sidecar