Reinier’s Leaner Sidecar Combination – Homemade Project

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

Specs:


Bike Make/Model


Suzuki 1983 GSX1100 Prototype

I built my first leaner sidecar 6 years ago after reading about it.  I’d never seen a leaner sidecar in real life at that time but that didn’t stop me.

At first I built a prototype attached to an old Suzi GSX1100 from ’83.

Make/Model and Details of Sidecar Tub – Fibreglass, Aluminum (aluminium) Wrapped, Steel Sheet Wrapped etc


1968 Polish Junak Fibreglass Tub with a total weight under 60 kg

Sidecar Tub Design – Tandem/Single


Single Passenger

Sidecar Frame Type and Measurements – (Square/Round Tubing, Aluminium/Steel)


Simple Layout with 40 mm (1.57″) x 40 mm (1.57″) x 3 mm (0.11″) square tubing

 

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

Arch for a new damper attachment

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

 

Rear Mount Ground Clearance Measurement


No measurements taken, as it was only a prototype

Front Mount Ground Clearance Measurement


No measurements taken, as it was only a prototype

Motorcycle Sub-chassis Details (Square/Round Steel Tubing, Aluminum etc) and Attachment to Motorcycle (High Tensile steel, lock nuts etc)


Motorcycle Sub Chassis 40 mm x 40 mm x 3 mm square tubing and Pivots

 

 arch for a new damper attachment location

 

Total Width of Combination Lean-in


No measurements taken, as it was only a prototype

Total Width of Combination Lean-out


No measurements taken, as it was only a prototype

Distance Between Sidecar and Bike


No measurements taken, as it was only a prototype

Sidecar Tire (tyre) Speed, Weight Rating


No measurements taken, as it was only a prototype

Sidecar Rim Details, Diameter, Rim Width etc


Wheel from a Citroen

Suspension Type (Shock Absorber/Swing arm/Torsion) on Sidecar Wheel


I used a swing arm and wheel from a Citroen and a Coilover Shock Absorber

 

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

Pivot Attachment to Motorcycle, (Rose Bush, Heim Joint, Rod End etc)


Heim Joint

Sidecar Brake Details (if fitted), Drum/Disc, Plumbed to Motorcycle Rear or Front Brake Cylinder


Brake not connected

Modifications/Adjustments During the Build


Right turns could be real hard to do so I relocated the swing arm.

 

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

Creating a chair from foam I found somewhere in the back of my attic.

 

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

Photos of the End Product


1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

First Passenger

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar

Time to attach the Junak Tub.

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

1983 GSX1100 Leaner Sidecar Junak Tub

This was a very rough build but it served my purpose; I learned a lot on how to build my next one.

 

Project Evolves

Specs:


Bike make/model


1988 BMW K100RS

Make/Model and Details of Sidecar Tub

Fibreglass, aluminum (aluminium) wrapped, Steel Sheet wrapped etc


1968 Polish Junak Tub with a total weight under 60 kg.

Sidecar Tub Design – Tandem/Single


Single Passenger – Junak Tub

Sidecar Frame Type and Measurements – (Square/Round Tubing, Aluminium/Steel)


I made the frame myself.

It is a Round Steel Tube Frame 1,5 inch steel, thin steel plate tub mounted on rubber vibration dampers.

Rear mount ground clearance measurement


170 mm (6.69″) to center mount

Front Mount Ground Clearance measurement


210 mm (8.26″) to center mount

Motorcycle Sub-chassis details (Square/Round Steel Tubing, Aluminum etc) and attachment to motorcycle (High Tensile steel, lock nuts etc)


Round tube 1,5 inch steel mounted to the engine mounting bolts and centerstand bolts

Total Width of Combination lean in


1600 mm (59″)

Total Width of Combination lean out


2250 mm (88.5″)

Distance between sidecar and bike


Frame to tub = 600 mm (23.62″)

Pannier to tub = 350 mm (13.77″)

Sidecar Tire (tyre) Speed, Weight Rating


Michelin Macadam 120/90-18  rear 65H (290kg/210km/h)

Sidecar Rim details, diameter, rim width etc


The wheel and axle is from a BMW K100 front rim 2,50 x 18

 

BMW K100RS - Junak Leaner Sidecar

 

Suspension Type (Shock Absorber/Swing Arm/Torsion) on sidecar wheel


K100 shock with a Velocette Venom kind of adjustment system

Pivot Attachment to Motorcycle, (Rose Bush, Heim Joint, Rod End etc)


Rose joints (Heim joints, Rod ends) SKF 20 mm (0.78″)

Sidecar brake details if fitted, drum/disc, plumbed to motorcycle rear or front brake cylinder


Brake Not Fitted. Ralph Kalich advises no brake, since the brake action can get unpredictable due to different weight in the tub

Modifications/Adjustments During the Build


1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

Just a few pics to show some progress, I think I reached the maximum of what my pipe-bender can do.

 

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

The Junak tub on the frame, just for show, including the fender (still to be restored).

 

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

And in close-up, I’m quite proud of the bending work, it’s the first time I’m using this machine and it works out very well in my opinion.

 

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

 

Photos of the End Product


The combination is proving to be very reliable and an absolute joy to ride. I’m riding it a lot together with my daughters and they love it.

 

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

1988 BMW K100RS - Junak Tub Leaner Sidecar

This is a terrific example of the Leaner Sidecar that clearly shows how safe leaning really is!

 

A Few Questions for Reinier

What is it like to ride in comparison to a solo bike?


It is very similar to riding a solo bike with one very heavy pannier. The width is something to keep in mind…

 

It would be nice if you could explain does the sidecar try to overtake you when slowing down with a passenger?


Yes it does, but contrary to a fixed hack you don’t have to compensate this with heavy steering, you just lean a little towards the chair to counter the movement, you’ll do this automatically as an experienced solo rider.

 

Does it fall behind you if you accelerate fast?


Again, yes it does and again you just lean a little to compensate this.

Could you write what it is like to own and ride a Leaner?


I ride my K100 very often as a solo bike but whenever I want to take my girls on a trip I’ll attach the sidecar.

It is just mounting 1 bolt, 1 nut and a connector and within 5 minutes I’m ready to go.

Riding it is so much fun, everybody smiles at you, stopping at a gas station always ends in a conversation with someone who is interested.

Kids want to ride along, elderly people start talking about sidecars they know from the past and even policemen want to check it out.

Due to the power of the K100 it’ll do 170km/h on the highway and depending on the load it will still be fast in acceleration but the most fun is throwing it through a number of twisties on a small road or dike (we have many dikes here in Holland).

In corners to the right I’ll come really close to the passenger, most of the times my girls tap me on my shoulder whenever that happens, just because they can.

Going over a roundabout at high speed starts with a hard right followed by a hard left and again a hard right for exiting.

I’m just leaning right, left, right but the passenger gets thrown to the left, right, left in the chair, just the opposite. It is just like riding a roller-coaster!

I’ve got a lot of pictures and I like to discuss with other leaner owners.

Please comment below if you would like more information or pictures, I’m happy to help.

I hope you gather a lot of info from all the other homebuilders to facilitate new builders with advise.

Keep up the good work on the website!

Best regards

Reinier

Share Your Project


Submit Your Leaner Sidecar Project: Write a comment below indicating you would like your project on this page. Other builders would love to see your project. 🙂

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

3 thoughts on “Reinier’s Leaner Sidecar Combination – Homemade Project

  1. Christian Orman says:

    Hi Dave,
    Thank you for your quick reply. I think my project is going to take some trial and error engineering.
    Fortunately, I’m retired, have plenty of time and I love projects that maybe haven’t been tried.
    I’ll let you know as I proceed. I’ve gotten some advice from “leaner” owners and most think its a valid undertaking. I think I can locate the bike so the pipes won’t touch. If the inboard exhaust interferes I will revise the rear mount. I plant to make the front mount up behind the oil cooler.
    I’ll be back in Spokane, Wa. the first of May. The Terraplane will be there by then and I can get under way. Can’t wait. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Thanks Again, Dave
    P.S. GR-8 Website

  2. Christian ORMAN says:

    I have a 2014 Moto Guzzi 1400 California Custom with most of the “Touring” models additions. Windscreen, Touring handlebars, light bar, comfort seat, etc. I just found my favorite sidecar of all time, a Vetter Terraplane. The side car is being shipped from Michigan to my home in Spokane,Wa.
    I want to make it a “Leaner.” I have my welding equipment, as well as my paint booth and motorcycle lift there. I don’t know of anyone ever making this model sidecar and making it lean.
    I have had 63, yep 63 motorcycles since I started riding in 1965 and this is my favorite. I believe the California, with its “torque rich” power delivery and its robust frame will make a great tow bike.
    I like the idea of being able to unpin the bike and ride it solo as needed.
    The bike mounts appear to be straight forward. I would like to attach the sidecar as close to the bike as possible. To me the thing just looks better, closer. I know it still has to lean so I thought I would use ’96 Dodge Ram tie rod ends as the front and rear pivots. They are super heavy duty and are threaded nearly 7 inches. Hopefully that will let me fine tune the “closeness” to the bike.
    Next issue: I bought the Vetter from a guy who had it mounted to an early Moto Guzzi California but in a conventional manner. He did not use the sidecar brake for one reason or another. I would like to use the disc brake on the side car. Do you have any advice? Could I “T” the line into the rear brakes, then use a “proportioning” valve to “fine tune” the pressure to the sidecar caliper?
    The bike has ABS, is that an issue, or will that confuse the computer?
    Thanks in advance for any advice,
    Christian

    • admin says:

      Hi Christian,
      Congratulation of choosing a Leaner Sidecar as an option.
      Firstly I noticed a contradiction in your plans for the combination.

      “I like the idea of being able to unpin the bike and ride it solo as needed.”
      and
      “I would like to use the disc brake on the side car. Do you have any advice? Could I “T” the line into the rear brakes, then use a “proportioning” valve to “fine tune” the pressure to the sidecar caliper?”

      Connecting the motorcycle brakes to the sidecar and also requiring the sidecar to be easily separated to ride as a solo is perhaps not a good path to go down.

      I’m not a mechanic, however I think the proportioning valve should eliminate ABS issues.

      Depending on where you live, (left or right mounted), it appears the bike has exhaust on both sides.
      This may be a challenge attaching the Leaner Sidecar Mounts. You may have to have brackets engineered.

      Also there seems to be a radiator where the Upper Front Mount should attach. Another Challenge.

      Whatever you decide, please share photos and specs with Haul N Ride and I will build you a webpage of your project (if you like).

      Good luck and ride safe. 🙂

      Dave

Leave a Reply to Christian Orman Cancel reply

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

error: Content is protected !!