Flexible Sidecars – Counter Steering at its Best
You will find on this web page a discussion regarding the attachment of a sidecar to a motorcycle as a Flexible Sidecar Combination.
In this combination, the sidecar leans in the same direction as the motorcycle.
We will investigate the problems with other sidecar combinations and look at the benefits this combination offer.
- Minimal Modification: No need for Leading Link modifications or Steering Damper.
- Safer cornering with counter steering
- Cannot accidentally “Fly the Chair”
- Can be mounted closer to the motorcycle, reducing width, when compared to a Leaner Sidecar or Parallel Sidecar
- Drivers of “Hacks” will need to re-learn to ride a leaner sidecar (counter steering)
- Centrally located sidecar wheel make it unsuitable for wheelchair access
- Requires complex attachment in comparison to a Leaner Sidecar
- Cannot be easily disconnected from the motorcycle to allow solo riding as is possible with a Leaner Sidecar
Now we will look at examples of Flexible Sidecars, from the past to the present, built by various manufacturers and the construction and attachment of flexible sidecars.
What makes Flexible Sidecars unique is the location of the sidecar wheel in the center of the boat.
This is the reason I did not consider a Flexible Sidecar as a good option for wheelchair access. The occupant in the wheelchair would sit too high in the sidecar boat. Also, to ensure the ramp would not be too steep, it would need to be really long to enable access.
1. Equalean Sidecars
Wally Wallick, was the founder of the EQUALEAN sidecar business, a flexible sidecar built from 1975 until 1984. Aqualean Sidecar Manual available: Click Here
2. Flexit Sidecars
Only approximately 200 Flexit sidecars were built between 1981 and 2005.
Flexit Sidecar Site: Click Here
Flexit and Aqualean Sidecars: Click Here
Flexit Construction: Click Here
The Water Doesn’t Spill
A Curious Attachment: Click Here
3. Fleximum Sidecars
Fleximum Sidecars are located in Canada. Visit the website: Click Here
4. Homemade Flexible Sidecars
US Patent Flexible sidecar
Flexible Sidecars are Awesome
Flexible Sidecars lean in the same direction as the motorbike and therefore are a very safe method to attach a sidecar/motorcycle combination.
Summary of the Problems with a Rigid Hack Sidecar Combination
- The need to convert the front end to Leading Link and add a Steering Damper (expensive and requires an engineer and modification approval)
- The danger of Flying the chair on a bend will steer you in a straight line until you can return the sidecar to the ground to regain steering control which could collide you with oncoming traffic (You would have to steer toward the oncoming vehicle to lower the chair)
- More effort to steer, I know because I steer my 650kg Rigid Hack (in comparison counter steering is effortless)
- Turning scrubs the sidecar tire (the sidecar tire does not steer)
The Flexible Sidecar Provides Solutions
- Effortless Counter Steering
- Sidecar tire counter steers with the motorbike
- No Leading Link or Steering Damper modification necessary
- Flying the chair is not possible
- Tow-in and Wheel Lead only needs to be setup once. Lean Out is not necessary
We have now seen the benefits of a Flexible Sidecar. Before you begin your Flexible Sidecar project, remember to document your journey, taking photos and writing descriptions. This will enable you to help others with their projects, as you share on Haul N Ride.
Haul N Ride website was created to explore Innovation and Human Creativity with a focus on Interesting, Rare and Unusual Motorcycles and Accessories. Haul N Ride welcomes the sharing of projects and ideas, creating an enjoyable and educational online resource. We like to hear from readers so please leave a comment below and let us know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.
Thank you for visiting Haul N Ride. Dave