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Old 05-30-2011, 09:21 PM   #1
DirtDabber OP
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Am I insane? DirtDabbers Wonky Sidehack Adventure

After many years of lusting after sidecars, last fall I came across this in the flea market and well the rest is history.





It is a 2000 Sportster with a Liberty sidecar.

Liberty designed the "Sport" just for the Sportster but it never really took off.

It's too bad because it is a great combination. The mounts are made specifically for the Sportster and the lines are perfect for the bike. Over the winter I put about 5000 miles on the rig and took it places that well...shall we say...it really wasn't designed to go.

















Of course it took me lots of places it was designed to go as well.









This spring I invaded the Old School Rally and let the folks at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground take it for a spin and put a smile on their faces.




The more I rode, the more I wanted a dual sport rig. I thought about having Claude Stanley at http://www.freedomsidecars.com/ build me a sidecar for my Dakar but that posed a couple of problems. I like the Dakar like it is and I am pretty cheap. Building a sidecar from the ground up would be more than I wanted to spend.


And then this showed up on E-bay.







It is a 2006 KLR with a Sputnik Sidecar. It is the perfect mix of out of date Japanese motorcycle technology coupled with an out of business Russian sidecar. Throw in some American ingenuity, camo wrap, 1000 miles between the rig and home, a one way plane ticket and the stage is set for adventure.

What could possibly go wrong?

Did I mention the owner put the sidecar on the KLR for his wife so she could ride? She rode it one time and experienced some steering head shake and said never again. The bike has 1800 miles and the sidecar 100.

If I can't get this sorted it is going to be a loooooooong trip home.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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So in true KLR fashion the trip planning has begun.



I have my tool kit.




A map from 2003




An early model GPS.



And a milk crate.

I was going to pack it as a carry on but I figured those nice folks at the TSA give you your own tote when you are headed for the plane now, so I guess I will have to make do.

I wonder if they will let me have an extra one so I can make a top box out of them?

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I wonder where that road goes?

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Old 05-30-2011, 09:35 PM   #3
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Pretty!
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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I have some last minute trip planning to do before I leave on Thursday.


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Old 05-31-2011, 06:05 AM   #5
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Chris
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:20 AM   #6
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Happy Trialserm... Trails!
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:35 AM   #7
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So a little lesson for the three wheel naive. When you add a sidecar to a motorcycle you increase it's stability......when it is standing still.

That is about about the only time unless you spend a lot of time, money, or both to build one of those fancy sidecar contraptions. But we are on a KLR sidecar budget here. The KLR was designed as a cheap, do it all motorcycle. It is a proven design with only minor changes since it's introduction in 1987. It is the Volkswagen Beetle of motorcycles. However, one thing that it wasn't designed for was pulling a sidecar around.

There are more reasons why you shouldn't put a sidecar on a KLR than why you should. The KLR suspension is barely able to function on it's own much less handle the additional demands of a sidecar. The frame is too light and a subframe is needed. The front forks are undersized, long and floppy. There is considerable trail and steering will be heavy but at least the handlebars are wide.

Given these limitations, and no sidecar experience, no wonder the previous owners romantic notion of sidecar traveling in the countryside quickly became a bad dream. Luckily they were able to list it on E-bay and find a sucker to take it off their hands.

Now I am no sidecar expert, far from it. However, I do understand the basics of sidecar design and adjustment and know there are several things I can do to sort things out on the way home.

The first day's plan is

Go over bike and check all fasteners.
Tighten steering bearings.

Then;

Ride.
Adjust.
Repeat.

Google says 983 miles from Jonesboro TX to Clayton GA. However I will need to make a detour to get a cheeseburger and a piece of pie.

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Old 05-31-2011, 10:54 AM   #8
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Happy Trialserm... Trails!



Nice catch.
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DirtDabber View Post
So in true KLR fashion the trip planning has begun.



I have my tool kit.




A map from 2003




An early model GPS.



And a milk crate.

I was going to pack it as a carry on but I figured those nice folks at the TSA give you your own tote when you are headed for the plane now, so I guess I will have to make do.

I wonder if they will let me have an extra one so I can make a top box out of them?




This is freakin' hilarious!!!!

IN!!!
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:58 PM   #10
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In!!!!
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:14 PM   #11
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In my trip research I have come to realize that I am going to have to forgo real BBQ till I get back East.

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Old 05-31-2011, 06:29 PM   #12
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i'm so jealous
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:00 PM   #13
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In my trip research I have come to realize that I am going to have to forgo real BBQ till I get back East.
Substitute with green chili cheesburgers!
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Old 05-31-2011, 09:18 PM   #14
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This is freakin' hilarious!!!!

IN!!!
...and so much more so, from outside the firewalls of werk...

Get Some!!
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:01 AM   #15
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Getting the final packing done and heading for the airport. I will try and post some updates from the road.


I just wanted to add that there are still some awesome people in the world. The seller was concerned about the battery not holding a charge for me on the trip home and went out and bought a new battery today. He had already disclosed to me that the battery may be an issue prior to purchase and I had planned on getting a new battery on the road.
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