Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Look at a Sidecar Rig on Craigslist

Some of you are probably familiar with the online classified services provided by Craigslist.com. You can post ads for free and they're searchable of course.

A couple of days ago, I spotted this ad for a 1979 Honda CB750 Motorcycle with sidecar for $1300. The price got my attention, the picture used by the owner was not that great and my knowledge of Honda CB750s was nil.

I asked John, aka Sanoke, if he'd come along and take a look at the motorcycle from a mechanic's point of view since he is quite the wrencher and used to be an aircraft engine mechanic.

We met at the guy's house in Littleton, CO this morning, at 11:30 and we looked the rig over. Initial impressions were that it had some amount of surface rust where you'd expect it. The sidecar needed to have its paint removed and redone, the interior was "ok" and the seat would need some work as it had a tear in it.

Here's some pictures of the sidecar and what we assumed are mounting points from a "universal kit".

The sidecar itself had minor scratches and flaking of the red paint areas

Front Mounts


Interesting "universal" brackets, this is the topmost rear mount

Bottom rear mount

As you can see above, not exactly "concours" level condition in terms of appearance but then again, the price was pretty accurate according to Sanoke. He pointed out I could buy the rig, sell the motorcycle and keep the side car for eventual mounting on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer.

Front attachment point for the frame under the "tub"

A view of the bottom rear of the sidecar's tub and frame

After we were done looking at the rig, we were chatting by my motorcycle and an older gentleman drove up to look at the rig too.

We'd found out, from documentation provided by the seller's wife, that the sidecar was an American Brand sidecar. I'd inquired about these sidecars before via email to Dauntless Motors who specialize in sidecars and their mounts. They mentioned that the early American sidecars with torsion bars suspensions (which this one had) were known for "issues". That and the fact that parts are no longer made led me to decide to pass on this sidecar. Hopefully someone buys her, although we did not get a chance to ride her to see how her engine worked, it would not take too much work to make it a good looking rig.

I said my goodbyes to John and headed in to work to get some stuff done. He headed off for a ride, destination unknown. Lucky.

On the way back to US285 from the seller's house, I saw a large lake to the East and stopped to take this picture:

Marston Lake

So, the search for a decent sidecar continues, the need for one is non-existent...it's just a "want". Oh well.

10 comments:

Richard Machida said...

I'm thinking of a sidecar for my '83 R100RT but there seems to be little information out there. And, at least around here, not many around. Thanks for sharing the pictures of the mounts.

Eric Sondeen said...

Redlegs: Keep up the search. I belonged to the Sidecar Association for 5 years prior to scoring a car. I wound up with a double wide California Friendship III car which I support charities (kids) with. eBay in KS City KS for a great price--it now has 10,000 miles on the car since I hooked it up to my 02 Geezer Glide. There are great resources in CO for cars. Just Google the Colorado Sidecar Association. Doyle at Apex Sports in CSpgs is a well-known guru.
BroE

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Timely post Mr. Redleg as I posted on Craig's List yesterday looking for a sidecar. I'm going to look at the response this morning and if it is as nice as it appears in the attached photos, at 10:30 I'll own a chair again.

my68flh said...

RedLeg, nice post, I'm always trolling on Craigslist, for projects and what-nots. The best buys happen quick. I just picked up a package deal, all Sportster stuff, two motors w/titles and a roll'n frame for 600 bucks. I think you were rite to pass on this honda/hack, even though the price seemed right, good luck finding a rig.
Electra Glide In Blue

JFair said...

I love Craigslist. Just a tip - I like using CraigZoom.com , as it makes it much easier to search all of craigslist.

Charlie6 said...

Rich, no problem, figured people are more curious about how the darn things are attached.

Eric, will do, there's no rush and I must attend a riding class on these beasts as well.

AZ Harley Dude, so did you get one?

My68glh, thanks for your comments, I think I made the right choice.

JFair, good tip! thanks.

Arizona Harley Dude said...

Yes, I bought an 05 Legend by Champion. It was just what I was looking for with Brembo disk brake, the TILC lean adjustment, and if the color was right it wouldn't even need paint. The car is in just about perfect condition.

I gave a deposit on it because the banks are closed until Monday. The guy gave me all the mounts and sub frame and they are installed, but not tightened up yet because I have to change 1 bolt out. I will wire it tomorrow and when I pick it up Wednesday it will be short work to attach, connect the wires, align, and be on the road.

This is a link to show what it looks like: http://www.dauntlessmotors.com/Sidecars/Legend%20sidecar-by-Champion.htm.

When I have it attached I'll post a story about it on my blog. Good luck in your serach.

stuck in Misery Ah Missouri said...

That side car that you found on the honda was from Lancaster Texas. I was told that buy some other guy I met who had one two. I purchase a R60/5 airhead with a sidecar. I just stored it away as I have enough project with my house. I have seen a could of wrecked bikes at auction in Kansas City with sidecars so you might want to look at insurance auctions. It always seems that the front forks are bent but the hack is still straight. Check it out sometimes you might find what you seeks.

Bus. Hed said...

Buster from Tulsa Ok. That sidecar would look good on my Honda fury.looking to the future when I can't hold it up.I'm 72 and half crippled and want to keep riding as long as I can.with that being said what's the brand name of that sidecar?

Charlie6 said...

Buster, I think that's a Cozy sidecar.