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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have a question that maybe someone can help me with. I have a 2003 Roadking Classic and want to purchase a used sidecar for it. Can anyone tell me what years I can go back to to have it fit my bike? Any information would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Not sure about that. They do make a HO belt for sidecar applications. I read about some old bike with side cars, where they change rake to handle better. But don't know if you need to to that with you bike. Just proving some useless information.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, yes I am aware of the HO belt. From what I have read the rake makes it like having power steering. But if you do that then you would have to change the rake when you wanted to ride without the sidecar.Not sure if you really need it. Hopefully someone can answer that question also
Ride Safe!
-SB
 

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Souper-Bee said:
Thanks for the reply, yes I am aware of the HO belt. From what I have read the rake makes it like having power steering. But if you do that then you would have to change the rake when you wanted to ride without the sidecar.Not sure if you really need it. Hopefully someone can answer that question also
Ride Safe!
-SB
You could probably go as far back in year as to the point where HD started using Heim (ball-type) joints to mount the sidecar. This would include all of the years of sidecars for FL's that were rubber-mounted.

Years ago, in the Knucklehead and panhead era, HD used adjustable rake triple trees but these are no longer offered. Nopwadays, HD uses an add-on hydraulic steering damper. I had one on my former 1993 FLHS with TLE sidecar and it worked quite well.

The big disadvantage on HD sidecars in general is the lack of a leaning mechanism to set the sidecar dynamically for road camber while riding. This means that you will suffer a great deal of handlebar pull if you get on a road with a high camber for any length of time. Almost every other sidecar manuifacturer uses four-point mounting and has a lean servo device available as an accessory. Harley has three-point and no lean device.

If you buy any HD sidecar for your RK, for heavens sake make sure that you get the mounts because they are now selling for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

The latest HD sidecars have a tubular frame wih a disk brake on the sidecar wheel, neither one of which was necessary. One thing you do not want on a sidecar is an over-active sidecar wheel brake. The drum brake was actually more than was required.

Good luck.
 

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03FLHRI,84XLH,52ArielVHA
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Newultraclassic is right about the hook ups and that once Harley had raked trees. The steering damper thing is their solution today but if you want a better fix you can get raked trees from Liberty Sidecar (see their web site). Make sure the sidecar you fit is around 250 pounds or more or it'll be too light for the motorcycle and be a problem on corners. Also be aware that putting on a sidecar is a conversion. You really are creating an entirely new vehicle that has a completely different dynamic - different from automobiles and motorcycles. Also plan on spending about 500 very careful practice miles before you'll be able to take it out on the interstates. The first right turn will either scare the s h i t out of you or kill you. Better yet take a training course. I put a sidecar on my 2003 standard road king this past December and I've had a ball with it but it but I practiced a long, long time before I felt proficient. Your years of solo riding are good for understanding traffic situations and basic controls but you need to treat this as a brand new thing - like your sixteen years old again and just starting out. One thing that is kind of funny about sidecars is that you get noticed like nothing else. Its like your on a steam locomotive or something. Everyone wants to talk to you about it. Good luck in your hunt for a sidecar. Check out the United Sidecar Association's website. They have lots of second hand hacks for sale.
 

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Archon said:
Newultraclassic is right about the hook ups and that once Harley had raked trees. The steering damper thing is their solution today but if you want a better fix you can get raked trees from Liberty Sidecar (see their web site). Make sure the sidecar you fit is around 250 pounds or more or it'll be too light for the motorcycle and be a problem on corners. Also be aware that putting on a sidecar is a conversion. You really are creating an entirely new vehicle that has a completely different dynamic - different from automobiles and motorcycles. Also plan on spending about 500 very careful practice miles before you'll be able to take it out on the interstates. The first right turn will either scare the s h i t out of you or kill you. Better yet take a training course. I put a sidecar on my 2003 standard road king this past December and I've had a ball with it but it but I practiced a long, long time before I felt proficient. Your years of solo riding are good for understanding traffic situations and basic controls but you need to treat this as a brand new thing - like your sixteen years old again and just starting out. One thing that is kind of funny about sidecars is that you get noticed like nothing else. Its like your on a steam locomotive or something. Everyone wants to talk to you about it. Good luck in your hunt for a sidecar. Check out the United Sidecar Association's website. They have lots of second hand hacks for sale.

Agree totally with the above. Raked trees would be better, fior sure. They are quite expensive, however.

Another issue to be concerned about is the undue wear that a sidecar will put on the entire motorcycle. Things like chains, belts, clutches, and particularly, tires, will wear out at much lower mileages than a solo bike. After all, you are pulling a great deal of weight and the tires are generally flat to the ground so they wear a great deal in the center, much more on the rear than the front. Sidecar tires seem to last a long time, though.

Brakes and rotors, too will take a beating due to the additional weight, although some of this can be relieved by skillful use of the transmission for slowing.

Good luck.
 

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Don't fret about extra wear and tear

OK I like my hack as much as my other bikes. And true it will cost more as a hack will eat tires like the are free. But like everything else in life if you want that kind of toy you just have to pay the price.

Personally I'd never own a Harley sidecar unit. IMHO they bounce like a rubber ball when they go down the road because the suspension was designed back in the 20's. I'd look at some of the better units like the Motorvation. And as previously pointed out you have to be able to adjust the bike and sidecar for road camber and different loads. If you don't the rig will handle great for one set of conditions and scare you at other times. Harley simply does not offer that option.

Once you get a hack you'll love it. You might check out the web for the few good sites on sidecar operation before you jump on and freak out.
 

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toybox99615 said:
OK I like my hack as much as my other bikes. And true it will cost more as a hack will eat tires like the are free. But like everything else in life if you want that kind of toy you just have to pay the price.

Personally I'd never own a Harley sidecar unit. IMHO they bounce like a rubber ball when they go down the road because the suspension was designed back in the 20's. I'd look at some of the better units like the Motorvation. And as previously pointed out you have to be able to adjust the bike and sidecar for road camber and different loads. If you don't the rig will handle great for one set of conditions and scare you at other times. Harley simply does not offer that option.

Once you get a hack you'll love it. You might check out the web for the few good sites on sidecar operation before you jump on and freak out.

You're correct about the bouncing on the HD Sidecar. I cured mine with a Camaro front shock mounted between the body and the frame under the front. It was stable after that.

You're also correct that there are better sidecars than HD. I personally think that the only one that looks correct is the OEM, though. If I couldn't have an Ultra OEM sidecar, I wouldn't bother.

There are some people who have done the electric lean with the HD sidecar. I have seen several done that way at various meets. It can be done.
 

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03FLHRI,84XLH,52ArielVHA
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One other thing - your mileage is going to drop. When I ran my Road King solo I got about 39-40 mpg on my daily commuting. NOw the same bike with a sidecar is in the 31-32 mpg range. I haven't gone on any long rides with it yet so I don't know what highway mileage will do. I used to get about 50 mpg solo but I'm betting that'll drop a bunch also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
replys to my question

I want to thank everyone who took the time to answer my question. I learned some more about sidecars thanks to you. I would like to get an OEM sidecar but if there were any others it would probably be from Liberty Sidecars. I like the looks of them and I guess they are a pretty good sidecar.
Ride safe!
 

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03FLHRI,84XLH,52ArielVHA
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My outfit is a Road King with Liberty. They are excellent but pricey.... Hey isn't that the story with Harley Davidsons?
 

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Archon said:
My outfit is a Road King with Liberty. They are excellent but pricey.... Hey isn't that the story with Harley Davidsons?
Three weeks ago I purchased a new Ural Retro w/ sidecar. Road it 1700 miles with the SO from Bellingham, Wa, to LosAngeles, right down the coast on route 1/101. Got home last saturday.

All the comments about how different it is to ride a hack are UNDERSTATED.-2$en#e-

Had the time of my life, in process of ordering a SC for my RoadKing from Liberty.

btw, the raked triple trees are "only" $750. You won't beleive this, but I have heard of guys spending this much on chrome:banmep:
 

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gbenner said:
Three weeks ago I purchased a new Ural Retro w/ sidecar. Road it 1700 miles with the SO from Bellingham, Wa, to LosAngeles, right down the coast on route 1/101. Got home last saturday.

All the comments about how different it is to ride a hack are UNDERSTATED.-2$en#e-

Had the time of my life, in process of ordering a SC for my RoadKing from Liberty.

btw, the raked triple trees are "only" $750. You won't beleive this, but I have heard of guys spending this much on chrome:banmep:
You state that you're riding an Ural with sidecar and then mention "ordering a SC for my Roadking" so I've got to ask the obvious.... what are you riding? A Ural or a Harley? Are you a troll?
 

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Archon said:
You state that you're riding an Ural with sidecar and then mention "ordering a SC for my Roadking" so I've got to ask the obvious.... what are you riding? A Ural or a Harley? Are you a troll?
Actually I ride quite a few bikes, Harley, BMW and Ducati the most. (I think Motorcycle Consumer News calls it "Multiple Bike Disorder".

The Ural is my first bike with a side car. Like it so much I have decided to add a sidecar to one of my more powerful bikes. Only two real choices (for me) were the RK and the BMW R1200GS. For many reasons, I have decided to go with the RK.

I don't think I am a troll, I joined several years ago (2002), but have been a little absent over the past year or so.

regards, greg
 
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