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I've been looking at the post with the great shots of the Thruxton with sidecar. Nice job, and it looks like a really fun and functional machine. Couple of questions for the guys who have added hacks to their new Bonnevilles:

a. When my riding buddy converted a Guzzi SP1000 to a sidehavk rig, he modified the front end by replacing the telescopic forks with Earles-type.

Fuzzy pix of Guzzi with Earles fork kit:
http://s115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/bcgilligan/Mid-Ohio VMD - July 2000/?action=view&current=Slide9.jpg

The Urals come with Earles front ends. Older BMWs for several years had Earles forks and came with sidecar mounting bolt lugs. Here's my questions .... what issues do the Earles forks (supposedly or factually) eliminate, and will the Triumphs with std tele forks handle as well? Any wear issues on the tele forks when hauling a sidecar?

What sprocket ratios are you running on the sidecar rigs? I'm thinking maybe 16T sprockets?

One more question .... provided I could afford to keep my T100 stock and buy a nice used mule Bonnie to serve as my sidehack hauler, is that the route most of you would take? I've never 'piloted' a sidehack, but understand long distance traveling can be more tiring than riding on two wheels, not to mention learning a different skill set.

Bob
 

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I've been looking at the post with the great shots of the Thruxton with sidecar. Nice job, and it looks like a really fun and functional machine. Couple of questions for the guys who have added hacks to their new Bonnevilles:

a. When my riding buddy converted a Guzzi SP1000 to a sidehavk rig, he modified the front end by replacing the telescopic forks with Earles-type.

Fuzzy pix of Guzzi with Earles fork kit:
http://s115.photobucket.com/albums/n284/bcgilligan/Mid-Ohio VMD - July 2000/?action=view&current=Slide9.jpg

The Urals come with Earles front ends. Older BMWs for several years had Earles forks and came with sidecar mounting bolt lugs. Here's my questions .... what issues do the Earles forks (supposedly or factually) eliminate, and will the Triumphs with std tele forks handle as well? Any wear issues on the tele forks when hauling a sidecar?

What sprocket ratios are you running on the sidecar rigs? I'm thinking maybe 16T sprockets?

One more question .... provided I could afford to keep my T100 stock and buy a nice used mule Bonnie to serve as my sidehack hauler, is that the route most of you would take? I've never 'piloted' a sidehack, but understand long distance traveling can be more tiring than riding on two wheels, not to mention learning a different skill set.

Bob
Bob... you got me in a moment of weakness... I'm full of turkey and trimmings and really should be sacked out, taking a nap!

OK... my 2 cents... If you're going to use your Bonnie as a part time hack mule, and ride it without the chair attached... do NOT even think about going the Earles fork route... It just isn't worth it... Although the steering geometry in not optimum on the Bonnie, it does work just fine... Steering is all "arms"... If you're riding on really twisty roads (ie: the N. C. mountains), you'll get a good work out... With experience, you'll get better at controlling things and even the twisties aren't too bad... Sweepers and gentle country roads are a doodle with the stock forks... You'll soon be able to "throttle steer" on any thing short of a sharp turn... Throttle steering is just as it sounds... because the drive wheel is offset of the rigs center line, when you accelerate, the hack wheel lags and the rig wants to go to the right. When you roll off power, the drive wheel has engine braking but the hack doesn't. It continues on and will swing you to the left... Now, this all sounds daunting... it isn't... These "forces" are very controllable and easy to use to your advantage or overcome completely if you want to go or stop straight... The biggest "pain" is that stock width bars do not give optimum turning leverage... Wider bars would help, but then you'd have to deal with them when the hack was off the bike... I have just gotten used to driving the rig with the few limitations the set up has... No real problem...

As far as sproket ratios go... I run Metzeler ME880's on my Bonnie... I like the higher mileage I get out of them... and they are a good choice if you run a sidehack... They are a good bit larger diameter tire than stock. They give the net effect of adding one tooth to the front sprocket... So I run a standard 17t front but get the effect of running an 18t/43t combo... If I was taking a long, fully packed trip with my two girls aboard, I'd drop down to a sixteen front, giving me an effective (old) stock 17t/43t set up... The Bonnie with an (effective) 18/43 set will pull a rig just fine... You do have to slip the clutch a bit on difficult starts (up hill, etc.)

A suspension upgrade is really recommended... I use Progressive 440 shocks and their dual rate fork springs with 15 wt. fork oil... A rig will severely tax the stock suspension set up...

As for fork wear... I did have a front wheel bearing go out on me early on... Replaced it and I never had another problem...

I have no problem having one Bonnie for "solus" and sidehack use... It takes me about 35 or 40 minutes total to attach the hack and about 25 minutes to take it off...

As for it being more tiring... it depends... Lots of curvy roads... yeah, it is, after all, "all arms" steering... Otherwise... I can ride one handed and use that "throttle steer" technique... not tiring at all.. Actually, it's a very relaxed and stable ride...

I hope that helps... give me a holler if you have any other questions... off to that nap now...
 

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Thanks SC .... your advice has always worked for me. The 440s have been really good rear shocks, and I'm on my first set of 880s as we speak (write). I'm perfectly happy with how they match my riding style, or lack thereof, and I'm overjoyed about the improvement in mileage over the Dunlop 501s. I'm at 5500 miles on the ME880s, and honestly, believe I have enough tread to start into the 2009 season and go for another 1500 or more miles. The front looks exceptionally good. I'm usually getting new tires at 5k.

Don't know if I'll ever do a sidehack, but every time I see one, the urge hits, and the questions bubble up.

OK, back to your couch to sleep off the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bob
 

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Thanks SC .... your advice has always worked for me. The 440s have been really good rear shocks, and I'm on my first set of 880s as we speak (write). I'm perfectly happy with how they match my riding style, or lack thereof, and I'm overjoyed about the improvement in mileage over the Dunlop 501s. I'm at 5500 miles on the ME880s, and honestly, believe I have enough tread to start into the 2009 season and go for another 1500 or more miles. The front looks exceptionally good. I'm usually getting new tires at 5k.

Don't know if I'll ever do a sidehack, but every time I see one, the urge hits, and the questions bubble up.

OK, back to your couch to sleep off the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bob
Dang! you already have the 440's and 880's!! you're all set man!! I wonder if the tires are twice as good as the shocks??? 440... 880... get it... oh, well, <burb>.... ahhhh... all better now.... yawn...

Have you ever gone to my photo album and checked out the hack I bought? I really like it... Well made and a classic look that looks great on a Bonnie...

I like the one that OregonThrux has, but they're not currently in production if I'm not mistaken...

Sidecars are a gas! But they are definitely a different animal... One fellow I was looking at doing some business with in England (vintage style Craven panniers) sent some literature over to me... Among it was an article titled "How to ruin a perfectly good motorcycle".... the first sentence was "Install a sidecar"...

Phil was into sidecars and did support work and mounting... Who said that Brits don't have a sense of humor!!
 
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