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Old 09-14-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
BadBrains OP
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Wink Sidecar vs. Trailer?

Gentlepeople, I have a dilemma. I ride a 125cc scooter and recently sold my truck as she was seeing no use. I do miss the ability to haul things though, and would like to get a motorcycle with enough power to haul a trailer or a sidecar. That's my question really...

Would I be better off with a utility trailer or a utility sidecar? It's my feeble understanding that sidecars can be dangerous for a novice and trailers are okay when their load is balanced. My end goal is to have a dual sport motorcycle that I can attach a trailer/sidecar to when I need to move a small load/furniture etc. I wouldn't use the trailer/sidecar off-road most likely.

Can you recommend one over the other? How many CCs do you think I'll need to truck 180 lbs of dude, 100 lbs of gear/random crap, and however many lbs (150-200?) of trailer/sidecar?
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Old 09-14-2008, 11:37 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadBrains
Gentlepeople, I have a dilemma. I ride a 125cc scooter and recently sold my truck as she was seeing no use. I do miss the ability to haul things though, and would like to get a motorcycle with enough power to haul a trailer or a sidecar. That's my question really...

Would I be better off with a utility trailer or a utility sidecar? It's my feeble understanding that sidecars can be dangerous for a novice and trailers are okay when their load is balanced. My end goal is to have a dual sport motorcycle that I can attach a trailer/sidecar to when I need to move a small load/furniture etc. I wouldn't use the trailer/sidecar off-road most likely.

Can you recommend one over the other? How many CCs do you think I'll need to truck 180 lbs of dude, 100 lbs of gear/random crap, and however many lbs (150-200?) of trailer/sidecar?
While sidecars can haul stuff, if hauling "stuff" is all you want to do a trailer may be a better answer depending on your intended usage and environment.

You can hang a sidecar on just about anything. Engine size, power, and other items like that determine how fast you can go and/or how big of a sidecar and load you can pull. I had a cozy sidecar on a Stella, and I did some significant engine work to it to achieve an indicated speed of 50 - 55 mph flat out with no wind, or more realistically a cruising speed of 45. It was not a particularly fun rig to ride, and I have enjoyed the two motorcycle-based rigs I've put together since then much more.

For me it is all about the fun of driving one, the ability to take my dogs for a ride, and the look. Hauling stuff is a distant, distant issue. If that's all you want to do I'd recommend a trailer.
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the sound advice! I intend to keep the motorcycle detached as much as possible and only attach the workhorse when I need to move "stuff". It seems like a trailer would be much faster to attach/detach.

I live in Austin, TX and plan to ride about 70% street, 20% dirt, and 10% highway. I'd most likely use the trailer only on streets below 40mph.

I've seen a few threads showing a KLR650 haul a trailer. Would that be a viable option if I were hauling a small version of a landscape trailer?
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
Scott Davis
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Trailer for Urals

Here is mine that I built in an afternoon. Pulled it over 400 miles this weekend with no problems. Worked like a champ on all kinds of road from Interstate @ 65mph to backroads and gravel mountain roads. I bounced it over 40 miles of gravel also.
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Scott Davis screwed with this post 09-15-2008 at 05:12 PM Reason: wrong photo
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Ural Trailer Mount

Just a copy of the one online. Worked great!
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:14 PM   #6
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Mount again

This one is looking back.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:15 PM   #7
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Bend it like this to pull straight

This worked really well. The bike was actually more stable pulling the trailer.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:16 PM   #8
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Offset the tongue like this

Here is how the trailer looks from the underside.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:41 PM   #9
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Trailer on scooter

I'm running a Honda Ruckus with a trailer: I use a Foldit dock/garden trailer. All aluminum, weight 35 lbs, rated for 200 Lbs when using the bicycle hitch they sell, which I've adapted to the Ruckus. Not a highway rig, but works for store runs, moving stuff from parking lot to boat, etc. I've hauled 3 full 5 gallon diesel jerrycans, a trailer full of groceries, including 4 cases of soda and a 30 lb bag of dog food, 2 55-60 lb anchors w/ chain and rode to prepare for T/S Hannah. Its a neat rig, and it all fits on the aft deck of my boat.





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Old 09-17-2008, 08:15 PM   #10
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Thanks everybody! That sidecar/trailer combo actually looks ideal. And now I'm going to have to pursue the "trailer on a scooter" idea to fruition. Seeing that pic alone makes me want to keep the scoot and develop a stable. When I get everything set up I'll post some pics.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:56 PM   #11
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thanks for posting about the foldit trailer that is pretty sweet
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Old 09-27-2008, 12:04 AM   #12
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Attaching a sidecar is more involved in attaching a trailer. Lots of adjustments. So if you are going to be putting it on and taking it off a lot, a trailer makes sense.

Running a hack makes the tire wear like car tires. They don't wear like motorcycle tires, which lean in a turn. So if you run a hack a lot, the tires will be much less "round" in cross section, and make leaning in in corners (with the hack detatched) a little more tricky. If you were going to use it a lot, I'd personally prefer a sidecar.

Yes, sidecars are trickier - expecially in turns where the hack is on the inside of a turn.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:18 AM   #13
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YEAH SWEET LITTLE TRAILER BUT IT CANT BE ROAD LEGAL??,OR IS IT,NO TAIL LIGHT,INDICATORS OR NUMBER PLATE,IS IT NOT A REQUIREMENT OVER THERE.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:25 PM   #14
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Legal trailer?

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Originally Posted by chairhead
YEAH SWEET LITTLE TRAILER BUT IT CANT BE ROAD LEGAL??,OR IS IT,NO TAIL LIGHT,INDICATORS OR NUMBER PLATE,IS IT NOT A REQUIREMENT OVER THERE.
Strictly speaking its not road legal, and I'm not sure it could be made so; it is, after all a garden and dock cart, and has no title. It does have lights though, a pair of clip on bicycle lights, battery powered, that either flash or shine continuously, no brake lights, but the trailer doesn,t obscure the ruckus tail light. Obviously you wouldn't want to be running all around the countryside towing it, but that was never my intention. I carry both the scooter and trailer on my yacht, which I live on, as a "land tender". For a trip from the dock to the grocers, or the chandlers for parts, it works fine. In most US states, a scooter under 50cc doesn,t have to be registered or licensed, so an unlicensed trailer doesn't attract official attention. Mostly I use it in small towns where law enforcement is somewhat more relaxed.



Ruckus and trailer on stern of boat. the trailer is behind the scooter, wheel just visible.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:21 PM   #15
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completely unrelated to trailers but I'd love to hear what living on a boat is like.

ups and downs

it always has seemed like a cool thing to do at least once in life.
looks like my dad is going to give me his old sail boat soon...

is it hard to find cheap places to dock/moor/tie up?
perhaps that an irrelevant question if you live on a yacht?
maybe we should start a new thread if you are game.
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