Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

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bluesman
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Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby bluesman » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:11 am

So its too late in the season in the northeast US to attend a sidecar training course. Should be getting my new outfit next week

I am thinking of buying some inexpensive orange vinyl cones from amazon and hitting a parking lot. I have been reading some of the online resources and it seems like starting with a wide circle, moving up to smaller circles and then figure eights as well as quick stops as a getting started program seems the thing to do. Obviously getting comfortable with finding the balance point and flying the chair are on the list of goals.

I am wondering if that sounds like a good way to get started and also if for practice I should use ballast or not.

Thanks :mrgreen:
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Lee Pape » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:19 am

For many parts of the US the STEP classes of a unknown. You don't need the cones unless it gives you a warm fuzzy. Just go find a large empty parking lot and ride. Watch out for the light poles though. I have a friend that hit one with the nose of the sidecar. He had been riding for rig for years. He was just trying out his new Ural and was flying the chair.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby on2wheels52 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:19 am

Perhaps start out on gravel roads? My novice niece drove me around for several hours this fall. She did great.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby harryball » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:31 am

Good idea and having markers is helpful.

However, I can't figure out why people buy a dozen or more orange cones, use them once or twice and then end up trashing or selling them for .25 in a yard sale. If you need them and have additional uses, by all means grab some, but if you don't and can't find any to borrow (If you know someone with a horse or at a horse farm, ask, they are often used for ground exercises) there are alternatives.

These are acceptable alternatives:
Pine cones
Small blocks of wood
Rolls of toilet paper - possibly useful during training depending on how it goes :D
Duct Tape
Frisbees (I've seen bulk packs where they are less than $1 each) then give them away to kids.
Plastic cups if it's not windy
Anything that you can run over and it not be a problem. Bowling balls - bad idea, Wiffle balls - sure.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby 4Paws » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:13 am

I practiced at an elementary school parking lot in the neighborhood for a few days before venturing out for slow quiet rides in the country. Didn't buy any cones but did set out "markers" for turns and figure eights - lots of useful "stuff" around the house and garage. Used 80# ballast and quickly dropped to 40#, enough security to give me a comfort factor yet allow learning. Practiced reverse riding also - what a foreign concept!. Always cleaned up parking lot when done and stayed well away from everything. Had an "observer" (sheriff ) a time or two but a wave was all the explanation I offered, guess they were checking out the rig.
Huge adjustment in learning to stay towards the left side of the lane when riding, hard to break an ingrained 2 wheeler habit.

Enjoy.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby barnone » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:41 am

https://s3.amazonaws.com/UralManuals/HowToRideUral.pdf

http://www.sidecar.com/links3.asp

http://www.whitehorsegear.com/driving-a ... nd-edition

http://www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/safet ... Manual.pdf

"IMWA is also offering a rebate in the amount of up to $125 (not to exceed cost of training course) to any customer who takes the sidecar safety-training course within the first year of purchase of a new Ural sidecar motorcycle. Please contact your Ural dealer for details."

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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby bluesman » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:53 am

Great online resources, have been reading them all. I have ridden two wheels for years so the part that interests me most is the sidecar related handling. I do have access to some large open grassy areas not sure if that is better than tarmac for beginning?

Turns: Right handers I think are pretty self explanatory as far as what to expect from reading, watching videos and common sense. What about left hand turns, how do you know when you reach the limit, does it happen suddenly?
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby rivers » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:54 pm

bluesman wrote:Turns: Right handers I think are pretty self explanatory as far as what to expect from reading, watching videos and common sense. What about left hand turns, how do you know when you reach the limit, does it happen suddenly?

Left turns can bite ya large. Keep your head in the game and you'll be fine. Keep in mind when accelerating the weight of the tub will drag the bike to the right and when braking/decelerating the tub will push the bike to the left. On turns set up speed, body position etc "before" the turn not in the turn. On my first 1000 mile ride home when I bought the outfit I was on lonely curvy 2 lane blacktop(50mph limit?). On a left sweeping curve at about 45-50 mph I felt I was coming in a bit too hot, chopped the throttle and shot across the oncoming lane. Thankfully no traffic or it coulda been ugly. In time you'll get a handle on speeds and what to expect and what to do before things get too exciting. Practice a lot before getting tangled up in city traffic or playing at high speeds. It takes time. You won't be an experienced (safe) hack pilot in a couple hundred kms over a weekend.None of this is hard but it does take some time getting used to an outfit and develop new muscle memory and auto responses. while unlearning those you have from 2 wheelers(those'll get ya killed). It's all fun just don't push it.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby tonered » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:17 pm

barnone wrote:https://s3.amazonaws.com/UralManuals/HowToRideUral.pdf

http://www.sidecar.com/links3.asp

http://www.whitehorsegear.com/driving-a ... nd-edition

http://www.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/safet ... Manual.pdf

"IMWA is also offering a rebate in the amount of up to $125 (not to exceed cost of training course) to any customer who takes the sidecar safety-training course within the first year of purchase of a new Ural sidecar motorcycle. Please contact your Ural dealer for details."


Don't count on that offer. I submitted my paperwork from the class that I took 1mo after the purchase and an even check-up email later on. I never got a single reply.

That said, the S/TEP class was very much worth it and a ton of fun considering the lessons on the second afternoon. Pure hooliganism.

BTW, training classes are typically held throughout the year in WA, rain or shine. That might be different in the NE though?

Have a good one.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby rivers » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:45 pm

tonered wrote:That said, the S/TEP class was very much worth it and a ton of fun considering the lessons on the second afternoon. Pure hooliganism.

BTW, training classes are typically held throughout the year in WA, rain or shine. That might be different in the NE though?

Have a good one.

Agreed, GREAT class if you have the opportunity. :thumbsup: Unfortunately they seem to be mostly offered in or in adjacent states that require a 3 wheel endorsement on your drivers lic. Out east I think there's one in VA? If there are classes avail near you your local DMV should know of it.
Evergreen Safety Council are the folks that hold the S/TEP classes here in WA. They would also likely be aware of any classes out east. Not absolutely necessary but you get to do some stuff at safe speeds that are eye openers. :)
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby barnone » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:01 pm

Tony,
I got $125 from Ural when I took the S/TEP class in Florida in 2012. Give them a call.

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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby tonered » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:13 pm

Thanks, Vince.

2yrs later is beyond my statue of limitations. Part of it is my responsibility for not continuing to chase it.

Have a good one.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Lmo » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:20 pm

Used 80# ballast and quickly dropped to 40#, enough security to give me a comfort factor yet allow learning.


Major point.

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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Skittles » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:48 pm

The $1 stores usually carry tennis balls. Buy a few tubes, cut the balls in half, and voila!
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby WEGUNTER » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:25 pm

yep. the tennis balls worked great. used them to practice with the ural and then also for my son's driver's training.


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