The Hotter, Deeper, Stupider Tour has one more story left to tell that didn’t make it into my original wrap up post. It’s the story of my Sidecar Brake.
When we were going out to Pigeon Forge, my brakes started really screaming at me. Spyderman could hear them from his position behind me. At a stop, Mr. Man tightened some things up. We decided that there was nothing more to be done at that point and since they weren’t affecting my riding or the motor, we would just go on about our day.
A few days later when I had the Curvy Bavarian as a passenger I started noticing the rig pulling really strongly to the right. I could strong-arm it back straight but it was really wearing me out. I also didn’t want to risk anything happening while I had a passenger so at our next stop I asked Mr. Man to take a look at my brakes. We discovered that the caliper was frozen closed. Since I have three brakes, a front brake, a back brake and the sidecar brake, we decided that the safest thing to do was to disconnect the sidecar brake entirely. We did so and finished the trip with plans to replace my caliper when we got home.
We ordered a caliper and when it came in, we set aside a Saturday to replace the caliper. Should have been a pretty quick job….should have been.
When I was planning this post, the thought of listing all the problems we ran into made me exhausted and frankly, uninterested. So I won’t. I will say that the root of the problem had to do with the way the sidecar brake was attached to the back brake. Every time I pressed down on the brake pedal, I was unscrewing the sidecar brake pedal from the bike. The words “Oh, shit.” may have been uttered a lot at this point.
Sidecars are very definitely an after market accessory manufactured by a very few companies. Unless you are talking about a Ural, where sidecars are attached at the factory. There really isn’t an industry standard as far as things like brake set up. The set up of the sidecar brake on my sidecar is not the best in my opinion. Obviously, wear and tear will cause problems. We got the problem sorted and now we know that we have to check the center bolt on the brakes. At some point we want to get rid of the sidecar brake pedal and have the rear pedal activating both the rear and sidecar brake.
The job we did wasn’t what we thought we would be doing when we started out that morning. That’s a lot like everything with motorcycles. The journey you take isn’t always what you plan. And that has to be OK.