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Thread: Ideal hack hauler?

  1. #1
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    Ideal hack hauler?

    I'm thinking seriously about a sidecar replacement for my Spyder. My use would be several trips to rallies each year--most likely BMW rallies since that's what I'm familiar with, and they match my style.

    Having had a long-term relationship with BMW machines and owners for many years, my first thought is a BMW R1200R. Contemporary features, high torque,shaft drive, and a front end that can economically be modified for reduced trail. Needs added subframes to attach sidecar. Oilhead final drives have been problematical, but sidecar use doesn't seem to exacerbate. New engine management/CanBus electrics increase maintenance issues. Overhead cam heads have shims rather than screws/locknuts. BMW Reputation for overall reliability, lots of farkles from Touratech, and others. Special machines can be ordered with customer choice of options such as non-ABS and wire wheels. Few dealers, but most are enthusiast oriented.

    Suzuki Bandit 1200: gobs of power, a full perimeter frame, and simple electrics. No plastic to cut through. Telescopic forks would need to be replaced with a leading link. Chain drive allows easy final drive ratio change, but also lubrication, and replacement every 25,000 miles or so. Build quality and paint much less than BMW. Engine maintenance (transverse four) would be more effort than BMW. Significantly lower purchase cost than BMW. More dealers, but dealers not necessarily enthusiast oriented. Few owner forums.

    Moto Guzzi something? Guzzi have some new models with increased HP, but comparatively easy valve adjustment. Telescopic fork would need replacing with leading link. Complex final drive suspension reliability is unknown. In the past, Moto Guzzi service by owners has been more straighforward than BMW. Much more rare infrastructure, such as owners' forums, online parts, etc. Few dealers. and not all are enthusiast oriented. Future of brand always in question.

    Harley-Davidson V-Rod. Lots of power, large dealer infrastructure. Would require leading link front end. Liquid cooling would require more maintenance, but adds to engine reliability. Ease of engine maintenance by owner unknown. V-Rod is more-or-less separate from the H-D fanaticism, which for some would be an advantage.

    Opinions, please.

    pmdave

  2. #2
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    I bought a 78 R100/7 to use as a tug - still looking for an appropriate chair to attacfh to it. Yes, it needs a subframe, but at least it is one of the sturdiest of the twinshock R series frames to work with. And, the tapered roller bearings in the wheels can better handle the side loading of sidecars than the oil head or Guzzi ball bearing supported wheels.

    That said, I've heard alot of die hard Guzzi guys with sidecars who just consider checking and replacing the the rear wheel bearings with each tire replacement as a standard operating procedure. Most of the Guzzi models have pretty sturdy frames, and while the engine is an airhead with upgrade like fuel injection and other nice items, it isn't burdened with the complex canbus linked network antitheft/radio/heater/blender speed compensation gizmos like the later BMW oilheads.

    On the third hand - you know enough about airheads you could fix any problem in he dark with a coat hanger and a few tools.
    BMWs in my garage: 1982 R65LS, 1978 R100/7

  3. #3
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Page 7 of the current Yellow Book shows the last hack BMW sanctioned.
    Their choice was the R1200C.
    As the casual reader here will see, I am biased to this fact.

    Regardless, they did choose a "C" for this...



    Just Sayin'...

  4. #4
    Single Malt Imbiber Sanders's Avatar
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    I can't find it anywhere, but I seem to remember reading that the V-Rod's motor had to be pulled for a simple spark plug swap. Maybe not a problem for some, but it would be a deal killer for me.

  5. #5
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    Dave,

    If I was to put together another Hack, which I'm not for a while since there'a lready two in the barn and number one son started college, I'd seriously look at the Kawasaki C14


    http://www.hannigantrikes.com/conten.../ZX14-Big.html

    There's one for sale at

    http://hpsidecars.com/ForSale/ForSale.htm
    Mike Currin
    93 K1100RS / EML Speed 2000 sidecar
    89 Honda GB 500
    67 Triumph 650 Chopper

  6. #6
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    $30,000.00!

  7. #7
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    I'll have to get around to the various dealers one of these days, studying the various machines.

    The R100 makes a pretty good hack hauler, but I want more POWER!

    However, the relative ease and common sense maintenance on the airhead is my benchmark for a replacement. I'd prefer to avoid the uber-complicated electronics of today's machines. If my choice ends up being the R12R, I'd have to become educated in talking to the computers.

    I know that the French and French-Canadian hackers like the Yamaha FJ series.

    pmdave

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrafikFeat View Post
    Page 7 of the current Yellow Book shows the last hack BMW sanctioned.
    Their choice was the R1200C.
    As the casual reader here will see, I am biased to this fact.

    Regardless, they did choose a "C" for this...



    Just Sayin'...
    BMW AG didn't exactly "sanction" a sidecar outfit. The sales force simply decided that a sidecar might make a good sales gimmick, so they commissioned a few to use as a prop for the new cruiser. So, they didn't choose a C for a hack, they chose a hack to display the C. Check your owners manual, and see if attaching a sidecar would have voided the factory warrantee.

    pmdave

  9. #9
    "Running Out The Clock" grafikfeat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmdave View Post
    BMW AG didn't exactly "sanction" a sidecar outfit. The sales force simply decided that a sidecar might make a good sales gimmick, so they commissioned a few to use as a prop for the new cruiser. So, they didn't choose a C for a hack, they chose a hack to display the C. Check your owners manual, and see if attaching a sidecar would have voided the factory warrantee.

    pmdave
    True... When I contacted Troika they would only ship a hack to a dealer for installation. I'm sure for reasons other than a warranty. What they were selling was the whole package pre-assembled, C and Hack for, at the time, 47K Euro.

    I do agree w/ your assessment though...
    There are no 'connecting points' as on the /2's and earlier...

    But it sure pulls this rider and 250 lbs URAL around rather nicely.
    15" rear facilitates a car tire also.

    Thus ends my Hijack.
    Last edited by GrafikFeat; 03-23-2011 at 04:18 PM. Reason: fixt a stoopid tpyo. (grrr.)

  10. #10
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    Triumph Rocket Three? Plenty of power, no plastic to cut through, wheel and tire sizes that may not need to be redone with car tires or would be easier to convert to car tire sizes.

    It's still hard to fault the 90s-era K-bikes as sidecar tugs, tho. Most of the routine maintenance stuff like valves is on the left side of the bike, away from the car. Ditto for the exhaust. Accessories like leading link front ends are available. Fewer problems in those models with final drives and the like, and lots of used/spare parts available if needed. And, they are a known quantity among sidecar manufacturers.

    Good luck with your project,

    GTRider
    DGerber
    1983 R80ST -- 1988 K100RS (r.i.p.) -- 1995 R1100RSL (gone, never forgotten) -- 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C -- 2010 K1300GT

  11. #11
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    Dave,
    No reason to be concerned about canbus or using a GS-911 with your netbook. I think my RT is the easiest bike for routine service or repair I've owned since the days of 2 strokes. But it is true that some types of dead parts have no workarounds (like the EWS). I've loaded the shop manual and the GS-911 software on a netbook the goes with me..

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