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 can offer.
- Experienced solo riders can easily ride a Flexible, Parallel or Leaner sidecar
- 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.
Flexible Sidecar Manufacturers
What makes Flexible Sidecars unique is the location of the sidecar wheel in the centre 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, would require a long ramp to enable access.
Past Manufacturers of Flexible Sidecars
EQUALEAN Flexible Sidecars
Wally Wallick and his son Ghraydon Wallick were the founders of the EQUALEAN sidecar business, a flexible sidecar built from 1975 until 1984.
EQUALEAN sidecars built about 270 units before going out of business in the recession of the 1980’s.
Ghraydon has kept his dad’s personal sidecar, as well as the original passenger prototype in storage ever since, believing it would one day enjoy a renaissance.
Mike Corbin in Hollister, Ca. and Ghraydon have signed an agreement and Mike will bring EQUALEAN into the 21st century.
Anyone familiar with Mike’s products knows they’re first class. EQUALEAN never had a better opportunity to succeed than with Mike Corbin on board.
Read the Full Story of where Aqualean Sidecars are Today! Full Story Here
Flexit Flexible Sidecars
Only approximately 200 Flexit sidecars were built between 1981 and 2005.
Flexit Sidecar Site: Click Here
Flexit Construction: Click Here
The Water Doesn’t Spill
A Past Manufacturer of Flexible Sidecars
Fleximum Sidecars were built in Canada.
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.
Yvon’s Flexible Sidecar Gallery
Click image to visit gallery…
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
Share Your Ride
Do you own a Flexible Sidecar Combination or beginning a Flexible Sidecar build? Help and inspire 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