Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

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Casty62
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Casty62 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:48 pm

I learned to ride mine on the streets around my home. No ballast. A parking lot is probably a safer classroom than the street but what can I say? I ate a lot of paint chips as a kid and grew up next to a nuclear power plant. In all seriousness I think it's better to get comfortable on the rig with no ballast (oh $#!+, here come the pro ballast police). I think you get a better "feel for the rig from the beginning instead of riding around with ballast, then going through a learning curve again riding without it. If you want to cruise around with a bag of sand, that's cool, I get it. Personally I think the space is better utilized for transport of a half rack of good northwest micro brew. Just my humble opinion. Most of the comrades on this forum are far more experienced than I. Good luck!
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Snakeoil » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:36 pm

Empty soda bottles with a bit of water in them to keep them from blowing over in the wind work great. If you must have cones, Walmart sells them in either the bicycle section or sporting goods. I have a set. Use them for giro practice and such.

An old sidecar guy that some here may know, Perry Bursong, suggested gallon jugs of water for ballast. You won't be able to put 50 or 100 lbs in the car that way. But once you are comfy and secure with your rig, you can reduce the ballast. You can put 3 or 4 (24-32 lbs) in the car and should you pick up a passenger, you can empty them and stuff them in the trunk. Some of the best ideas are so simple, you just don't see them.

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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby scan » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:17 pm

I agree with the others that said ballast. Upon delivery of my hack I went the the local school two blocks away and practiced for a while to get my bearings. Probably drove around with 80 lbs for a month or so until I felt comfortable.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby chaos2 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:43 pm

something to consider with ballast your weight. a 250 lb rider with 80 lbs of ballast would have roughly the same dynamics as a 170 lb driver and no ballast.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby bluesman » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:46 pm

chaos2 wrote:something to consider with ballast your weight. a 250 lb rider with 80 lbs of ballast would have roughly the same dynamics as a 170 lb driver and no ballast.


I am more like the 170lb guy in the example so I guess I might need less ballast than a 250lb friend?
Also should any ballast be put in the trunk?
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby chaos2 » Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:59 pm

ideally the ballast should be within the triangle created by the 3 wheels.
past afflictions include TR motocars and bikes, R60/2 & a R65, MGs, and a Citroen.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby scan » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:39 pm

If you are thinking about adding ballast just pull the bottom of the seat out and put it there. That's where most of the passengers weight would be.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby phliparoonie » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:35 am

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


+1
Also important that "leaning" your upper body to the right or left in right or left turns is NOT enough. Your weight must be physically shifted on the seat toward (RH turn) or away (LH turn) from the tub. The edge of the tractor seat and the crack in my narrow a$$ make a good guide. Practice, practice practice.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby bluesman » Sun Feb 21, 2016 12:48 am

I was able to put a few hundred KM's on the rig and I am feeling much more confident. Started with 2 bags of play sand on the floor where the seat would go, now just one bag, feels pretty much the same. I have yet to do any serious parking lot skills training. Will start again end of March in ernest.

I was really nervous for the first few hours, but now after a relatively short time I feel way more confident driving at or slightly above speed limit. I have taken several very short blasts on the highway at 50 or 55 and I am still a bit skittish, and since I am still in break in I was not pushing the outfit.

Looking forward to more seat time and nicer weather, even though we have had several nice warm days this winter.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Comrade General » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:08 pm

I picked it up pretty quick myself, even somewhat flying the chair. It went down real quick when I hit a mailbox though.

Parking lot training helps alot. I never used markers but after hitting a mailbox, I realized I probably should have.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby eastbloc » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:32 am

I thought I was going to die riding my first sidecar rig home 16 years ago and what a terrible mistake I had made, but I haven't been without one since.

Many miles since have given me many instincts in how to handle sidecars. It's really not a big deal. It's very different than two wheeling but you will pick it up quickly. I wouldn't sweat it.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Casty62 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:32 pm

I live your comment eastbloc. I bought my Patrol from a private party. The first time I ever rode a sidecar rig was the day I rode it home. I said to myself while on my way home things like "what the fark did I just do?". I'm gonna die on this farking thing!" and I wonder if I can sell this thing for more than I paid. Now? It's my favorite machine ever.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby GHGoodwin » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:22 pm

USCA Sidecar Training Manual has parking lot exercises in it. Taught myself to pilot out of it.
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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby Gwtg » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:47 pm

I used the big red cups and filled them with water to keep them in place. Do the exercises from the How to Ride Ural in order. If you can get a copy of David Hough's book from Whitehorse, that would be best. There was a dramatic change in how I handled the bike after spending an afternoon doing the figure eight turns. Before I had some close calls due to my inexperianceUse ballast until you are comfortable with the rig. I would get a few rides under your belt before removing it.
Thanks, Greg

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Re: Beginner sidecar self practice / training thoughts

Postby WEGUNTER » Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:16 pm

I am one of the start with no ballast crowd. Did the parking lot drills with another Ural driver and after a couple of hours I was pretty confident. As I have put on the miles, I can actually feel the side car start to come up in a turn. Very subtle feel in the bike handling. Just shift the weight over to the right side and all is good. I have gone through turns with my butt on the side of the side car.


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