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Asimo

Combinations, Sidecar outfits, Chairs etc

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Motorbike and sidecar.

I have never ridden one but have passengered a few times. :-o

They are ridden as a rule by interesting blokes who often do huge mileages.

They can display interesting and well executed engineering, they are almost always partly home made.

They are always shite, unlike trikes, which are usually just crap (imho).

 

Spotted this just a few yards from where I was staying in France last week, a BFG, a rare French bike of the 1980s using the Citroen GS engine.

image.thumb.jpeg.9c0992f094227348a51e0c313960f513.jpeg

 

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Michelin ZX front tyre, Panda trim on the sidecar?

 

post-17481-0-76992600-1446751469_thumb.jpg

1299cc, one of the best engines, ever.

 

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post-17481-0-70706200-1446751904_thumb.jpg

So, anyone had a bit on the side? Show us your sidecar stuff, tell us your combination tales, share those spots.........

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I've only tried to drive one once, with hilarious results. Its owner only had one arm, so the clutch lever was on the right beside the front brake lever. I was able to get moving but I landed in the ditch every time I tried to get into second gear.

 

That was a 1987 Jawa 350. I would love one of those Russian knock-off BMWs with a reverse gear.

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Richard, on 05 Nov 2015 - 7:54 PM, said:

I would love one of those Russian knock-off BMWs with a reverse gear.

 

Shame we can't have 2wd on Ural / Cossack combinations in the UK, the drive for the chair wheel comes out of the right-hand side of the gearbox.

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Never piloted one, nor been ballast. It's on my "to do" list though.

 

When I first moved over the water, I did inquire about tricycles fares on the ferry (having a Reliant in the fleet) and the companies involved lumped Reliants with cars. Big F.O. trikes were lumped in with motorcycles. Suitably unimpressed, I thought about getting a bike with a suitably large chair or tradesman's box, but had to put them on ice as I had no where to keep the vehicle.

 

I do have a couple of chair books somewhere (by Jo Axon).

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I've never had anything to do with an outfit, I've always imagined them to be quite interesting* both from the perspective of pilot ("Lean, goddam it, lean!! WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!") and passenger ("WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!")

 

The OP seems to be lacking a picture of said BFG but it's ok, I remember them. For anyone else there's Google.

 

Trikes, well, I've seen some remarkably well put together examples, through the once ubiquitous Beetle-engined Scorpions (there's one in town here) to some real death traps - including a few that are the back end of a 70's Ford, with a tubular steel space frame welded on, oily Pinto or Essex and some forks grafted on. The word "parachute" springs to mind... What on earth the point of a trike is I've never really understood, they seem to embody the worst points of both a car (get stuck in traffic) and a bike (get wet when it rains). I suppose the only thing they have in their favour is they don't fall over when you let go, but that seems small compensation to me.

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Sidecars are brilliant - I had them for years and years, you've got the stability of a car and the performance of a bike.  

Granted, something like a Panther and double adult will be lacking in the performance stakes but newer bikes with leading links and car tyres are something else.

It's like trikes, hard to judge until you've tried it.

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I'd question the 'stability of a car' bit.  While not dangerous in a killing nuns and kittens sort of a way, they're hardly an easy and stable contraption to pilot.  Dad's Goldwing (the normal bike looking type rather than the blingfest fibreglass type) had a family sidecar so it could transport an adult, 2 children and 2 dogs.  When Dad mangled his hand at the factory he used to work at, a co-worker volunteered to take said vehicle home for him and spent several frightening minutes driving around in circles in the works car park.  He could not get the thing to go in a straight line because it was nothing like either the cars or bikes he was used to and more power made the problem worse.  I believe that was also the combo that didn't have a damping/steering aid between the bike and sidecar to get rid of this problem.

 

Go into a corner just a tiny bit over enthusiastically and you have to keep the fine balance between understeer and the sidecar wheel lifting off the ground and threatening to make the whole rig a nightmare of wobbly unstable death.  Another issue where the stablity of it is nothing like that of a car in the main because of the lopsided weight and wheel distribution

 

You really do have to be some sort of a hero to pilot one of these things in modern day traffic.  Other road users found them confusing enough in the 80s, on the rare occasions I've seen them in the modern day they're either invisible to other road users or treated like some sort of miniature collapsing nuclear reactor.

 

Here's one I saw last year.

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They are terrible, terrible things.  I wish there were more of them on the road.

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I had an outfit for a while, not long after I started riding. I was, stupidly, determined to avoid taking my test and after the death of my second Suzuki A100 it was pointed out to me that you could ride these devices on 'L' plates. An acquaintance just happened to be selling an extremely sheddy Kawasaki Z440 twin with a Squire chair for £250. I got on with it OK, but with the benefit of hindsight that's probably because I had no riding skillz to unlearn. I suspect if I tried one now it would scare me to death. After the A100 I loved having brakes, lights etc that worked and a bit of poke at my disposal. The chair was brilliant for shopping and camping trips (in fact, the more beer it had in, the better it handled) but I did miss being able to filter.

 

It only tried to kill me the once; I was exiting a roundabout and clipped the kerb with the chair wheel. Suddenly the sidecar was up around my ears, and I was on the (fortunately unoccupied) other side of the road before I got it back down again. To this day I have no idea how I did that - it was pure luck and I could just have easily ended up lying underneath it on the pavement. I only had it a year, because when the MOT came up pretty much everything - swingarm bearings, wheel bearings, chain, sprockets, fork stanchions, electricals, tyres, etc - was fucked. It had been totally reliable, though, and considerably cheaper than repairing the shagged 109" SW that sat rotting outside my student digs. I sold the bike and chair separately for about the same as I paid. Happy days :-D

 

EDIT: I just did a quick DVLA check and it appears that the Kwak (predictably) never saw the road again. Rest in peace YUM208X.

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A fine example of the nightmare of wobbly unstable death there.  They are still brilliant though, I'd be totally up for riding in one again if the chance offered itself if no other reason than to discover how much more I valued my life now than I did as a sprog.

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I would love one of those Russian knock-off BMWs with a reverse gear.

 

There is some learned discussion on t'interweb about whether they are a copy or whether they are an example of parallel development (in the same way that many Japanese across the frame fours look very similar).

 

Shame we can't have 2wd on Ural / Cossack combinations in the UK, the drive for the chair wheel comes out of the right-hand side of the gearbox.

The 2wd Ural/Dnepr/Cossack/Neval combinations were availabale in the UK when RHS sidecars were legal (in fact there was no regulations about which side a sidecar had to be fitted). It was the collapising of the sidecar wheel caused by it's constant fight with the road camber that resulted in a change in the law saying that sidecars had to be on the LHS. The law was not retrospective and 2wd combos still crop up for sale.

 

You can still buy the Russian combos (one wheel drive) - see here...

 

http://www.f2motorcycles.ltd.uk/ural_compare.html

 

I had an IZH Planeta combo which I've banged on about elsewhere in this parish. It was interesting* to ride and reminds me of the old adage to "never travel on transport with an odd number of wheels".

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I've ridden bikes both on and off road varieties since I was 9 . I've done track days , mx and enduro but the most frightened I've ever been on a bike was 5 mins on a homemade gs400 outfit across a field .

It had the outfit brake on the right lever and bike front brake on the pedal

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I remember the Sidewinder! Are they still learner legal (assuming any survive, of course)?

 

I think sidewinders are still legal, but the law they were designed to get around has changed. At one time you could ride any combo on L plates (hence the addition of a Sidewinder to any old megarocket)), now you need a licence equivalent to the bike the chair is attached too.

 

Refreshingly though they still haven't removed the loophole about not wearing a helmet if you are in the chair. You must wear one if you are pillion however.

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Guest Olin

 

Which promptly reminded me of the tilting shower tray...

 

16631-couldnt-resist-her-not-off-road-bu

 

That was my leaning shower tray, that's me just behind the bike it was attached to, back in the mid 80's on a trip ti Wicksteed Park in Kettering.

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Brightwells Shiny Bikes auction has this amazing outfit in their next sale.image.thumb.jpeg.4e1a54a280d1f14e6f9dfb956ae93550.jpeg

The bike is a '77 DKW with a Sachs single-rotor Wankel engine. I have only ever seen one of these.image.thumb.jpeg.5bf032ae5b08ce0462f070ef0de690be.jpeg

It looks like quite a thorough job, but it must be very slow with about 30hp.

image.thumb.jpeg.cb528b17f9d6a943e8ebd46b560870c7.jpeg

Leading-link forks; serious sidecarring.

I have been a Wankel engine fan since I read about them as a small boy, when they were going to be the next big thing. The epic daftness of this device is making the want-glands hurt. Annoyingly this combination was local - why have I never seen it?

https://www.brightwells.com/lot-details/100011971

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Slightly, ever so slightly, off topic but I once worked wih a lad who had only ever ridden (it was as a pillion) on one motorbike. It was a Van Veen OCR 1000! For the uninitiated they were like this...

image.png.1308faeb9a005cb8d72c978e978099ae.png

 

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