Posted on 2 Comments

Parallel Sidecar Combination – Sidecar Wheel and Motorcycle Lean – Passenger Doesn’t

Parallelogram Sidecar

Here is discussed the attachment of a sidecar to a motorcycle as a Parallel Sidecar.

Also, known as a parallelogram sidecar, the Parallel Sidecar allows both the motorcycle and sidecar wheel to lean, but unlike a Flexible Sidecar, the sidecar occupant does not lean.

Why is this Motorcycle Sidecar Combination called a Parallelogram?


Parallelogram

If you look at the above image of a Parallelogram and imagine a Motorcycle Sidecar Combination approaching you, points A-D would represent the Sidecar Wheel and points B-C would represent the Motorcycle (if in the USA, or the other way around if in Australia). So which ever direction the motorcycle leans, the sidecar wheel leans.

However, point E would represent the sidecar boat that remains horizontal.

Unlike a Flexible Sidecar Combination, the Sidecar Boat (passenger) does not lean. This is achieved using pivots.

Armec Sidewinder Parallelogram Sidecar

Flexible, Parallel and Leaning sidecars have all been around since 1903. In the hands of a professional, they outperformed a conventional Rigid Hack.

Parallel Sidecar Motorcycle Combination

Pros:

  • Minimal Modification: No need for Leading Link modifications or Steering Damper.
  • Safer cornering with counter steering
  • Cannot accidentally “Fly the Chair”
  • Experienced solo riders can easily ride a Flexible, Parallel or Leaner sidecar

Parallel Motorcycle Sidecar Combination

Cons:

  • Drivers of “Hacks” will need to re-learn to ride a Parallel Sidecar (counter steering).
  • In Width: As is the case of a Leaner Sidecar, the Parallel Sidecar must also be mounted further away from motorcycle to allow for lean. This is not a disadvantage for the Flexible Sidecar

Description


A Parallel Sidecar allows the motorcycle and the sidecar wheel to lean while the sidecar boat remains upright.

Parallelogram Motorcycle Sidecar Combination

Unlike a Flexible Sidecar which has the location of the sidecar wheel in the center, a Parallel Sidecar has the sidecar wheel on the outside of the sidecar (like a Leaner or Rigid Hack). This makes a Parallel Sidecar a good option for wheelchair access as the boat can be located close to the ground.
This sidecar combination also allows the motorcycle to lean around corners.

Parallel Sidecar Combination

Home Made Example Parallel Sidecar

Home Made Example Parallel Sidecar

Home Made Example Parallel Sidecar

Like a Leaner Sidecar, the extra width required for a wheelchair accessible sidecar may be a problem, if you are considering attaching a Parallel Sidecar for wheelchair access.

Haul N Ride Review


Compared to a Rigid Hack Sidecar Combination, you may think that the complexity to build a Parallel Sidecar or Flexible Sidecar is greater. However, keep in mind that a Rigid Hack requires a Leading Link Modification. Like all sidecar options, correct Wheel Lead is essential, and if setup correctly, a Parallel Sidecar Outfit will be safer, more comfortable to ride and out perform a Rigid Hack.

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)
  • Tow-in and Lean-out are required to be adjusted every time the combination is separated and rejoined

The Flexible, Leaner and Parallel Sidecar Provide Solutions


  • Effortless Counter Steering
  • Sidecar tire steers with the motorbike
  • Motorcycle Modification: 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
  • A Leaner Sidecar can easily be removed and replaced to allow solo riding with minimal adjustments on replacement

 

As you can see, there are many benefits to creating a Leaner, Flexible or Parallel Sidecar in preference to the standard Rigid Hack. If you decide to build a Parallel Sidecar combination, remember to document your journey, taking photos and writing descriptions that you will be able 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

Sharing is caring!

2 thoughts on “Parallel Sidecar Combination – Sidecar Wheel and Motorcycle Lean – Passenger Doesn’t

  1. Hi Shasta, sidecars are a great option to bring your dog. Parallel sidecars are less expensive to install due to not requiring Leading Link modification. And leaning is much safer. I welcome you to share your story and photos, as you build your Parallel Sidecar, with Haul N Ride. I am glad the info has helped you. Have a great day. Dave

  2. This is my dream back, wanna have a sidecar for my dog but I still wanna lean! Thanks for collecting all the great info!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *