Sidecar Installation

All new Velorex sidecars in the US are delivered with our 4-point universal mounting kit as standard.

Our universal mounting kit is designed to be used with most motorcycles, however, some motorcycles may need additional motorcycle subframe or additional modifications to the mounting kit. We are happy to offer our advice if needed.

Contents

The sidecar installation consists of the following steps. Scroll down the guide or click on one of the steps to skip to that chapter.


Installation guide

  1. Axle lead
  2. Track width
  3. Toe-in
  4. Lean out
  5. Electrical
  6. (optional) Brake set up
  7. Test drive, final adjustments

Introduction

Our mounting kit is designed for motorcycles with tubular frame, ideally with a double cradle frame. A single cradle frame works as well. Other frames may require additional subframe or custom mounting parts. Most classic and cruiser bikes have the cradle frame.

If you have a motorcycle with a more complicated frame or without a traditional frame (such as some models from BMW, Ducati, etc.) we would advise bringing your bike and sidecar to a reputable motorcycle shop, where they can fabricate a custom mounting kit.

  • We recommend installing the sidecar to motorcycles with more than 25 HP and good torque.
  • The mounting clamps are for tube diameters between 0.98″ and 1.26″ and they should be as far apart from each other as possible.
Single cradle frame
Double cradle frame
Custom fabricated subframe used for BMW R 1100 R installation

List of parts included in the 4 point universal mounting kit

Note: — Add list of parts included in the 4 point universal mounting kit + photo of the all parts

Example installations

Below you can click on some of our installations to see a gallery of pictures.

1. Axle lead

Put your motorcycle into a stand, fixate the bike in an upright position, strap it down and compress the suspension by approximately 0.4″.

Put the sidecar chassis on an adjustable jack stands next to the motorcycle. Make sure the sidecar chassis is leveled.

Measure the distance between the sidecar wheel and rear motorcycle wheel, center to center. The sidecar wheel is always supposed to be in front of the motorcycle’s rear wheel. This distance is called axle lead.

Axle lead should be between 9.84″ to 13.78″, we usually set it around 11.81″. It depends on the motorcycle. More axle lead means that the sidecar will be more stable at speed, but heavier to turn. Less axle lead means that the sidecar will be less stable at speed but better in turning.

Axle lead schematic
BMW R 1100 R - axle lead
BMW R 1100 R - axle lead

2. Track width

When you have the sidecar chassis leveled and axle lead set, measure the track width of the sidecar and motorcycle. (Track width is the distance between the center of the wheels.)

The recommended track width is 43.31″ to 45.28″ for smaller motorcycles and 47.24″ to 51.18″ for larger motorcycles. The larger the track width, the more stable the sidecar is.

Make sure to set the track width so you have enough space to comfortably get on the motorcycle and operate the foot brake pedal.

Track width schematic
BMW R 1100 R - track width

3. Toe-in

After you have set the track width and axle lead set, loosely attach the two lower mounts to the motorcycle frame. The front lower mount is usually attached in front of the engine. The rear lower mount is usually attached behind the engine. They should be as far apart from each other as possible. On some motorcycles you will need to fabricate a subframe first to be able to achieve this.

You will need two identical metal bars that are longer than the motorcycle and something to put the metal bars on, so they are raised up to the edge of the rims. Place the first one on the inner side of the motorcycle’s rear wheel.

Measure the distance between the bar and the center of the rear wheel and make sure to set the same distance on the front wheel as well. Place the other bar on the right side of the sidecar wheel. Measure the distance between the metal bar from the center of the motorcycle’s rear wheel at 90 degrees to the metal bar next to the sidecar. Do the same on the front wheel of the motorcycle. Then adjust the chassis angle so the distance in the front is smaller than the back by 0.79″ – 1.26″. You may have to modify this angle depending on the test drive. This is called Toe-in.

After the toe-in is done, tighten the lower mounting points so they cannot move.

Toe-in schematic
BMW R 1100 R - toe in
BMW R 1100 R - toe in
BMW R 1100 R - toe in
BMW R 1100 R - lower mounting points
BMW R 1100 R - lower mounting points

4. Lean out / lean in

Take the upper two mounts and attach them. The front upper mount is supposed to be attached as high as possible above the engine. The rear upper mount is to be attached around the rear shock absorber housing and as high as possible as well.

Make sure the motorcycle is perpendicular to the ground. We recommend tightening the rear shock absorbers on the bike to the max.

The lean out / lean in of the motorcycle is usually set to be 0%. In some cases, you may set it up all the way to 3%. After the lean-out is set, make sure to tighten all the mounting points.

Lean-out schematic
Lean-in schematic

5. Electrical

All our sidecars come with pre-wired lights on the fender. These are: front white running light, front amber turn signal, red running light, rear red brake light, and rear amber turn signal.

Our sidecars come already supplied with light bulbs. The light bulbs supplied with the sidecars are 12 volts. If your motorcycle uses a different voltage, you must change the bulbs to match your motorcycle’s electrical system.

Most motorcycles have their main wiring loom for the rear lights going under the seat. This is usually the best place to tap into the wires for the sidecar. The sidecar is pre-wired with a cable of enough length to reach the wiring loom. The cable can be shortened if needed. It runs from the fender. You can zip tie the cable to the frame and the upper rear mounting point.

After connecting the sidecar wiring, you should disable the right side indicators on the motorcycle to avoid flashing them simultaneously with the sidecar. You can either remove the bulb, cover them or remove them entirely.

If your motorcycle doesn’t have indicators, you can leave them disconnected.

BMW R 1100 R - wiring loom under seat
BMW R 1100 R - wiring loom under seat
Lights cable zip tied to the chassis and rear upper mounting point

All three (562, 563, 565) Velorex models in the US market share the same front light.
The rear light is different for Velorex 562 and Velorex 563 and 565.

Front light (562, 563, 565) – to get into this light, simply unscrew the one Phillips screw in the middle and take the cover off.

  • 1x P21W 12V – indicator
  • 1x C5W 12V – running light

Rear light (563, 565) – to get into this light, unscrew three Phillips screws on the edge and take the cover off.

  • 1x P21W 12V – indicator
  • 1x P21/5W 12V – running light / brake light

Rear light (562) – to get into this light, use your finger to pop out the clips on both sides and take the cover off.

  • 2x P21W 12V – indicator and brake light
  • 1x R5W 12V – running light
Velorex 562, 563, 565 - front light
Velorex 563, 565 - rear light
Velorex 562 - rear light
Velorex 562, 563, 565 - front light (light bulbs)
Velorex 563, 565 - rear light (light bulbs)
Velorex 562 - rear light (light bulbs)

6. (optional) Brake set up

All Velorex sidecars come with a sidecar mechanical drum brake as standard. We recommend you install the brake, especially when installing to older motorcycles with rear drum brake.

If you have an older motorcycle with a rear drum brake, you can attach the brake to the foot pedal of the rear brake. You may have to fabricate a bracket to attach the sidecar brake to the pedal. If you have a motorcycle with a rear disc brake, there is generally no need to attach the sidecar brake. In this case, make sure to remove the brake shoe from the drum brake and just leave the cover as shown in the photo below.

Foot brake pedal with sidecar brake cable
Foot brake pedal with sidecar brake cable
Foot brake pedal with sidecar brake cable

7. Test drive, final adjustments

After successfully attaching the sidecar to your motorcycle, head out for a quick test drive. Make sure to test the steering and the stability in a straight line.

If the sidecar tends to pull into a side, re-adjust the Toe-in.

If the sidecar doesn’t want to turn, decrease the axle lead. Otherwise, if the sidecar isn’t stable at a higher speed, increase the axle lead.

If you are satisfied with the setup, go through all the mounting points and tighten them once again. After this, you can bolt on the sidecar body.

BMW R 1100 R - finished installation
BMW R 1100 R - finished installation
BMW R 1100 R - finished installation
BMW R 1100 R - finished installation
BMW R 1100 R - finished installation
BMW R 1100 R - finished installation

Disclaimer

Our sidecars are designed to be professionally installed. By installing the sidecar you acknowledge that you understand the risks and dangers associated with the installation and operation of the sidecar. VELOREX USA, INC. takes no responsibility for the security and safety of the finished motorcycle and sidecar combination. VELOREX USA, INC. is not responsible for any damages or harm caused by the wrong use of its sidecars or incorrect installation.

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