Sidecar, Anyone?

I’ve interrupted my sojourn about the Route 66 Rally Ride. I found that trying to write during a multi-day journey is difficult due, mostly, to the fact that I am usually too tired at the end of the day to write much of anything. I’ll still due the write-up but it can wait until after my most recent trip.

For some time now, I have been contemplating attaching a sidecar to the Goldwing. I’m getting older and, frankly, it is getting more difficult to balance a 900 pound beast when stopped at lights or traveling slowly down unanticipated rough roads. Too, my wonderful wife Julie is having more and more difficulty riding on the back of the bike. and with her on the back, long days over three hundred miles are a rarity. So, I began looking into a sidecar.

I spent about a month trying to decide whether I wanted to “try out” a sidecar rig by buying a second, complete rig or just having a car hung on my existing bike. Many discussions on different forums later, I decided to just bite the bullet and add a car to my existing bike. That way, I could get a premium sidecar built to my liking.

We looked at just about every sidecar from every reputable manufacturer out there (there are a lot of disreputable makers selling substandard cars) and narrowed it down to two cars. The first happened to be a local manufacturer, Champion Trikes and Sidecars located in Garden Grove, California. Their Daytona sidecar was essentially made for the Goldwing. It had some great options and would look good on the bike. Julie and I toured the factory and felt this would be a worthy candidate.

The other choice for our trusty steed was the GTL manufactured by Hannigan Motorsports of Murray, Kentucky. The GTL is a hard top convertible whereas the Daytona is a soft top. It has all the features of the Daytona plus a few extra options available. This included an air conditioning system and an optional open air concept that cuts the sides back for better air flow. But, it was the inclusion of standard features that were considered optional on the Champion. Chief among these was the electric camber control (I know I’m speaking Greek unless your drive a sidecar). The fact that “options” were standard on the Hannigan are probably what sold us.

What really sold us, though, was the Mother Road Ride Rally. One of the riders on the rally was Bob, who was traveling with his wife and grand daughter. He was riding a 2000 Honda Valkyrie, the sport version of the old Goldwing 1500 series. Attached to it was a Hannigan GTL sidecar. So, yes, I got to see one up close and personal. In fact, I inspected every inch of his four year old rig. I probably asked so may questions over the next 12 days that Bob was glad to see our taillights at the end of the ride.

So, we decided on the Hannigan GTL…, of course.

Yes, it does sort of look like a Mazda Miata driving along beside the bike. And it does still scare the heck out of me sometimes, when I look over and see it out of the corner of my eye.

Over the course of two weeks I set out to accomplish a goal or two while journeying to Murray to have the sidecar hung. My adventures will appear here over the next few days as you’ll find out how easy/difficult it is to accomplish an Iron Butt Association ride or two while using the sidecar attachment as an excuse for a long ride.

Like I needed an excuse…..


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