Friday, April 29, 2011
Old Foto Friday: The Side Car
Ok I know I've been really behind on these posts so heres a good one for you guys.
The sidecar bike has been mentioned numerous times here on RetroFit but I never did a write up about it. Teach's posts on Vintage Bike Addiction inspired me to do this post.
Sidecars are an animal all their own. Only a select group of people can really tame these beasts and run the snot out of them. Especially the nut jobs who race them.
I didnt start running my dad's sidecar until last summer, and oddly felt right at home. Maybe because I'm used to piloting ill-handling equipment for most of my life.
The sidecar bike was born from the mechanical genius, Billy. Check this post here for what I mean. And also what the very early start of all this was.
The sidecar itself is German Steib from I think the early 50s. Billy ran the hack on many bikes. This includes the wild orange 750 Honda chopper.
In the early 70s Billy decided to build a bike that was strictly run with a sidecar. The bike was built from a wrecked cb750 Honda. How is it sidecar run only? Well, it's got Volkswagen wheels, brakes, and tires. Its really difficult to ride just two up on Bias Plys. The bike also got a Harley front end with adjustable trees. In order for the sidecar to work properly the rake needs to be kicked out. The hack is attached by the stock Steib mounts along with Corvair tie rods for the upper adjustment.
My ol'man bought it in the mid 70s and has had it ever since. He and my mother took numerous trips out to Michigan on it to visit his cousin Chris Kusto. Owner of Antique Cycle Supply at the time.
At Chris's place in Michigan.
On their way to Chris's my ol'man noticed the hack started handling funny. When they arrived he pulled the Harley headlight shroud off and found the right fork tube backed out!!
Out in the cornfields somewhere. My mother use to read a book in the hack or fall asleep while taking these trips.
Hangin out at an AMC meet in Mid Ohio
Way up in NY state. Lets go to Poland!
The bike has been all over the North Eastern part of the US.
Then for about 8 years the bike was down for major maintenance, new engine, and some upgrades. Last summer I finally had enough of the bike being down so I took it into my own hands to get it rewired and running again. I managed to find some room in my garage to work on it!
So today, its on its 3d engine. This time a big bore 836. Boy what a monster! Pictured is my younger brother Ray and my ol'man.
And heres me and the ol'man on our way home from the Brooklyn Invitational last September. What a wild ride piloting that hack through the streets of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Heres a shot of Benny going for his first sidecar ride. Which later ended infamy... Loss of brakes in the driveway and crashing it in the bushes....
And heres a video I took last summer cruising down to the local bike night right after we got the beast on the road again. The bike sounds like a Formula 1 race car next to your head riding in the hack. Halfway through the video you'll see what I mean.