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Moto Guzzi California 1100 EV – Leaner Sidecar Project

Velorex Sidecar History from René


It all started with a second-hand Velorex sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

My dad and myself created a subchassis for the guzzi. This chassis is mounted using the central stand mounting points and the engine mounting points. The guzzi has a strong Tonti chassis to allow all this extra load without issues.

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

This sub-chassis provides 2 centered pivots, which allows the bike to pivot independently from the sidecar.

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Velorex Leaner Sidecar

The Velorex standard chassis did not have required strength and stability for the heavy Guzzi.
I ended up replacing the standard chassis with new tubular frame, but kept the suspension, axl and wheel. I also kept the lamps and wiring.

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

MotoGuzzi Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

However, the lean angle was very limited because of 2 factors: the low exhaust pipe at the right hand and the 18 inch Harley wheel and tire, lifting the sidecar.
I also noticed some interference between the bike’s handlebars and the sidecar’s windshield when leaning to the right….

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

At some point I decided to revert to the classic 4-point sidecar, by adding clamps and 2 extra bars.
However, this requires driving skills which are completely different than riding a motorcycle. For example, pushing on the right handlebar makes the motorcycle turn right, but makes a sidecar turn left…

At first I enjoyed the learning process.
And I enjoyed some nice little trips with my wife and the dog.

Speed signs were always respected, since the combination could only turn slowly 😉
What frightened me, was the emergency stop: the sidecar pushes the bike to turn to the left, so you may end up on the wrong side of the road…
After a few more dangerous situations on the road, I sold the sidecar ….to buy another sidecar!
You can read more about it below 😉

From Velorex to Kalich/Tripteq (Nesville Build)

“Hi Dave, I wasn’t able to fully use my Velorex sidecar as a leaner.

I sold the Velorex when I found a second-hand leaner sidecar in Nesville, Holland. 

The sidecar wasn’t finished, but was barely used on a BMW LT by the first owner.” René

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

“With this BMW engine, no bottom frame is fitted as standard, the engine block itself is built so strong that there was no need for the factory to make a closed frame. We have built a closed steel structure at the bottom of this block. This construction is suspended from the front via a steel plate and various 12.9 bolts screwed into the block.” www.nesville.nl December 2017 archives

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

“At the rear, the structure is suspended from the attachment points where the centerstand is normally located. This too is hung with 12.9 bolts. This gives you a very compact and strong whole for the pivot points of the Swing sidecar.” www.nesville.nl December 2017 archives

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

“So the chassis and assembly was done by Nesville. Notice that the fibreglass body comes either from Kalich or from Tripteq, the fender comes from Kalich and the chair from Tripteq.” René

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

“If you also have plans for such a switch with Swing sidecar, which can be collected in just 10 minutes, please contact us.” www.nesville.nl

“Anyway, a perfect starting point for my project.” René

 

Sidecar Meets Moto Guzzi – by René

The sub-chassis on the Guzzi could be adapted to the new sidecar, so it was only a matter of hours for a test ride.

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Next I dismounted and repainted everything: chassis and bodywork. I finally bought a nice KTM tubeless wheel  (new!) but reused the tire.

So how does it ride?

Imagine that you have a trailer behind a car. Does it drive completely different? No, after a while you adapt your style (speed) and you don’t feel it anymore. 

Similarly, a leaner sidecar combination drives like a proper motorcycle but with some extra weight. 

When you start, put your foot on the chassis to keep the balance and slowly come to speed. 

Lean in the turns as usual: push on the left handlebar to turn left.

Of course, you use more strength because of the sidecar weight, but it is only slightly more. In contrast, a classic sidecar needs much more effort!

When accelerating the bike, the sidecar pulls to the right, so you need to counterbalance. When going full power, you work a bit with your weight… but if you drive less enthusiastic it’s not hard at all.

Stopping is also very natural: at first you notice the inertia but if you anticipate speed changes it’s almost unnoticeable. Testing the emergency stops revealed no issues. Compared to an emergency stop with a classical sidecar, it’s much safer!

It’s finally a dream come true at a price point I could afford.

MotoGuzzi Leaner Sidecar

I’m happy to help anyone with a project, preferably with a Guzzi or similar type of bike.

However a sidecar dealer such as Nesville will do a better job and should be able to provide the paperwork (if required).
In Belgium that is not required 😉

Regards, René

 

Tip From René:

It seems Tripteq has some DIY sidecar models. Some could be used for DIY leaner sidecars. http://tripteq.com/en/

 

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Submit Your Leaner, Flexible or Parallelogram Sidecar Project to contact@haulnride.com or comment below. Other builders would love to see your project. 🙂

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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.

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