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René’s Guzzi California 1100 EV – Leaner Sidecar Project

Specs:


Bike Make/Model


Moto Guzzi California 1100 EV

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


It all started with a second-hand Velorex fibreglass sidecar

 

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Sidecar Tub Design – Tandem/Single


Single Passenger

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


The Velorex standard square tube 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

 

Rear Mount Ground Clearance Measurement


Front Mount Ground Clearance Measurement


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


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

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

Total Width of Combination Lean-in


Total Width of Combination Lean-out


Distance Between Sidecar and Bike


Sidecar Tire (tyre) Speed, Weight Rating


Sidecar Rim Details, Diameter, Rim Width etc


18 inch Harley wheel

 

Sidecar Suspension Type (Coilover Shock Absorber/Pump-up Shocky, Swing arm/Torsion)


Coilover Shock Absorber

 

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


Heim Joints

 

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


Not Fitted

 

Modifications/Adjustments During the Build


Photos of the End Product


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 rigid 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)

Specs:


Bike Make/Model


Moto Guzzi

 

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


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

Sidecar Tub Design – Tandem/Single


Single Passenger

 

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


“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

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

Leaner Sidecar Nesville

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

Velorex Leaner Sidecar

“So the chassis and assembly was done by Nesville.” René

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

“Anyway, the Nesville Sidecar was a perfect starting point for my project.” René

 

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Rear Mount Ground Clearance Measurement


Front Mount Ground Clearance Measurement


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


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

 

Total Width of Combination Lean-in


Total Width of Combination Lean-out


Distance Between Sidecar and Bike


Sidecar Tire (tyre) Speed, Weight Rating


Sidecar Rim Details, Diameter, Rim Width etc


KTM tubeless wheel  (new!)

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


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


Rod End Heim Joints

 

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

I don’t think it has any bearings, but if they get stuck I’ll simply replace them with similar pivots.

 

Motorcycle Leaner Sidecar Pivots

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


Modifications/Adjustments During the Build


Photos of the End Product


 

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Nesville Leaner Sidecar

Motorcycle Leaner Sidecar Pivots

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/

 

Update


Hi Dave,

Last week I did my first big day-trip. It was really great, I could ride in great confidence on the curvy roads uphill and downhill in the Belgian Ardennes.

In straight lines and even in curves the Guzzi reached over 110 km/h!

It appeared to me however that the backside of the sidecar was too low. On one occasion I could easily climb on a low curb, but the sidecar chassis touched slightly when Leaving the curb… :/

So I must adapt the subframe of the Moto Guzzi a little bit so the sidecar is perfectly level.
This means also my measurements will be done afterwards.

I don’t want to provide measurements that could lead to issues for somebody else !?
I hope you understand?
Keep up the good work!

Regards, René

Hi René

I appreciate the update and pleased you had the opportunity to fully test the sidecar.

I think it is an excellent idea to let other leaner sidecar enthusiasts know of any issues, that they may avoid the same problems.

I am sure other builders look forward to hearing about your adjustment modifications and updated measurements.

Sharing is what Haul N Ride is all about. Thank you for sharing. Dave

 

Share Your Project


Please email your Leaner, Flexible or Parallelogram Sidecar Project to contact@haulnride.com or comment below. 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

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