Finally got a break in the weather this weekend and with the base fitted to the sidecar frame Caleb and I then got it mounted up and adjusted before we took it out for a shakedown ride for a few miles. First half of the ride Caleb rode his own bike and as we made a few stops and tweaked/aligned/tightened things a bit and generally made sure it was safe and sound but also that I was used to the handling as it is very different to the norm. Having ridden motorcycle sidecars in the past I had some idea of what I was in for and sure enough those memories cam flooding back pretty quick, not all of them were good memories I might add. This sidecar can be set up two ways, and they are very different ways that require very different riding styles and adjustments to how to handle the bike depending whether your turning left or right. Now first off I set it up how you would a m/c sidecar with making sure it is aligned level or almost and making everything rigid. This results in a very direct steering machine that is hard to turn left as you can no longer lean and you need to learn to steer and needs a bigger circle to do it in and it also takes a bit of effort, then to turn right you have to steer again but try and weight the sidecar side to stop it tipping, so far similar to what I know but haven't practiced in a very long time. The other way to set this up and I would imagine the best way with a light load such as Spot our dog who this is being built for, is to take the tension off the mounts, effectively loosen them so that the sidecar will swivel up and down, thus keeping the wheel in contact with the ground for most if not all of the time. This means you can ride almost normally as the bike will lean on both sides when turning. You are always aware of the weight on the left side, but a almost normal ride for the most part. The sidecar can also be mounted on either side but UK law states that any sidecar must have the rider on the right hand side and sidecar towards the curb. Certainly on the bicycle I would want it this way as I wouldn't want to hang it out into traffic. Caleb soon let it be known that he wanted a shot on it. Told him to use his footrest as a hand hold and keep his left hand away from the wheel. While we have fitted the base there is no body or box on it yet, nor hand holds and had to remind him it is for the dog :) We had a few rides on it this afternoon. :)
Now to pull the base back off, sand it, varnish it and then look at building a body for it.
Happy riding indeed. Jamie