Copyright © 2019
The Texas Sidecar Co.
4. Matching the sidecar to the bike. One question we are asked frequently concerns installing a lightweight sidecar on a heavy bike. Specifically, we are asked “Can I put a Velorex on my big Harley” often but occasionally someone will find an old Spirit Eagle and want to mount it on a large bike. I do not recommend combinations like this nor will we mount them in our shop. I believe that too much stress can be put on the lightweight axles, frames and mounting parts – arms and clamps – and this could cause them to fail. While I personally do not know of anyone having an axle snap or a mount break, I have seen some parts stretched to the point of near-
5. Are sidecars easy to install? The answer to this question depends on your abilities more than the bike and sidecar you have chosen. Connecting the sidecar to the mounting brackets on the motorcycle is pretty much the same for all sidecars. Installing the mounting brackets on the motorcycle is different for each make and model bike and scooter.
Installing the mounts on the Kawasaki Vulcan series is relatively easy. At the upper front and lower rear right-
The new Honda Silver Wing super-
If there is a subframe available for your bike, this can make the installation go very smoothly as much of the engineering work has been done. Smoothly and quickly, however, are not the same. Both the Harley Sportster and the Gold Wing 1500 use a subframe. The HD subframe takes about a half-
The following bike-
Two clamps with rod eyes and two clamps with clevises.
Kits listed here include installation instructions specific to your bike.
/5. /6, /7
Cal II, Cal III
If your bike is not listed here, please contact us. New mounts are being added frequently.
CB500, 750,900, 1000
Shadow 750, 1000
GL 1000, 1100, 1200, 1500, 1800
VTX 1300 & 1800
Vulcan 750, 800, 1500, 1600
Intruder 700, 800, 1400
If you choose to, or have to, use a “universal” mounting kit, the entire installation process may be more difficult, may take more time, and may incur added expenses.
As I stated initially, the bike and sidecar are part of the answer. Your mechanical ability is the other part of the equation. Recently, we sold Ranger sidecars and mounting kits to two different customers with exactly the same model bikes. One customer took four and a half hours to install his sidecar. The other customer worked on the installation for days and days and finally went to an experienced sidecar installer to have the mounting done. Both customers claimed to have average mechanical skills.
To help give you an idea of what it takes to mount one of our sidecars, we have included a sample Installation Guide. Click here to review the Guide.
In summary, the difficulty of installation differs by make and model bike, make and model sidecar, your skills and the tools and equipment at your disposal. In general, I believe most people, if they have some basic mechanical skills, can install their own sidecars. Probably 75% of our customers do it themselves. Do some investigation here first. Move slowly and do it right. Remember, you will only have to do it once!
6. Are they easy to take on and off? Usually, they are. Most sidecars have four mounting points with bolts in them and a wiring plug. Some have a brake to disconnect, and if it is hydraulic and tied into your bike’s braking system, that’s a little trickier. There’s a few things to consider about taking the sidecar on and off — if you have the sidecar on the bike very long, your tires are going to wear just a little flat mostly in the middle. If you have not put special sidecar tires on your bike, then it will handle poorly with the touring tires worn flat. If you have put sidecar tires on your bike, then it will handle even more strangely (possibly dangerously) as a two-