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2014 Indian Chief Motorcycle with 2014 Champion Legend Sidecar in Indian dress. WOW! Picture by Kip.F of his new outfit.
.....Welcome to a product review.
Of the Champion Legend Sidecar & the 562 Velorex Sidecar....................................
The 562 Velorex Sidecar is a
good sidecar to start out with, its affordable and comes with all the accessories you need, like windshield, a vinyl top to keep your passenger dry in the rain, and luggage rack, step built into the frame, floor mat, foot rest, marker light with turn signal front and back, mud flap, tonneau cover, locking trunk, a hand rail to help get in and out of the sidecar, a front crash bar, sidecar comes painted, black only, and most importantly a drum brake and universal mounting brackets. All of these accessories would cost more than a grand extra from any other sidecar company. It is just 150 pounds and is easy to remove when taking it off the motorcycle or putting it back on. The bottom seat cushion comes out with just one bolt if you want to put a milk crate in it to hold your stuff or to take your dog in the sidecar and tie him to the two steel seat back brackets and the back of the seat stays in place so the trunk stays locked. The universal mounts work good but I had to weld a bracket to make the bottom rear mount fit better and not hit the ground. I purchased my 562 Velorex in 2000 for $1650 plus $178 for shiping, from Doug Bingham at Side Strider, it was a great deal, now they cost in the mid $3 grand range. Still less than half the cost of most sidecars. You can order it with a heavy duty suspension but I had no problems with the stock swing arm suspension, but then I did not abuse it. Now the bad: like most sidecars the 562 Velorex is a little hard to get out of for a big person. My fiberglass body cracked at the front right body mount, even with the thick rubber between the frame and body, it may have been from the crash bar, it is bolted to that mount and vibrated bad on my Harley. The drum brake is hard to hook up to work at the same rate as disk brakes on the motorcycle. I hooked the brake cable to my back brake pedal like the dealer said to, some people install a second brake pedal for the sidecar. The universal mounts you may want to tweak to your liking but may not be necessary if you have a good exposed frame. The tonneau cover which is just waxed canvas lets in dirt and rain, I had to clamp it to the windshield when it rained to try and keep it dry,the elastic band got way stretched out from the wind, the steel snaps came off the first time I unsnaped the cover because the factory did not use the right tool to rivet the snaps right. I purchased new snaps and the rivet tool and fixed them and had no more problems, but they need to come up with a better tonneau cover,it is the only real bad thing I did not like about the Velorex. This sidecar is made for middle weight motorcycles 400cc and up and should not be put on a heavy bike because the mounts can fold up when turning hard. On light weight bikes to keep the wheel down when making right turns keep a tool box in the trunk or mount a spare tire on the back of the sidecar, all this helpes to weigh the sidecar down and make it turn good. Thats what I did.The sidecar weighs 150 pounds and can carry 230 pounds of weigh.The conclusion: the 562 Velorex is a good sidecar deal for the price,has style and looks great, handles good and rides good!!!Other affordable Sidecars:A Kenna sidecar sells for less new then the Velorex ($3395) comes with
bike specific real mounts similar to the Champion mounts as they are designed by the same man who made many of Champions mounts.
The M72 series of sidecars is similar in size as the Legend however is
less money, much easier to get in and out of and has a trunk that opens
from the out side. These are made and sold by DMC Sidecars in Washington State
---------------------- Champion Legend Sidecar Review-------------------------A classic style from the 1940s.The fiberglass Legend sidecar body is a copy of the old steel Indian Princess sidecar,I love the style of the body. It comeswith a modern swing arm suspensionand a five adjustment shock. Every one who rides in the sidecarsays it is comfortable even going acrossrail road tracks.Sidecar comes with black power coated mounts that are made for your particular motorcycle. It has four point mounts and can hold 450 pounds, a big reason I purchased a Legend.I can load it up with camping equipment spare gas can, tools and spare parts, even a passenger and not be over weight.The wheel is the front wheel used on a Harley and has sealed wheelbearings and a one inch axle. Whenreplacing tire order a front tire.The basic sidecar does not come with much, not even paint. If you want paint or pin stripes you will need to send the factory a paint sample fromyour bike because paint fades over time. I sent them my saddle bag because it also had pin stripes on it.They did a fantastic job painting the sidecar and pin stripes and matchingmy paint on the bike, it cost $640 extra. Other accessories I orderdwere interior lights in the sidecar and one in the trunk, also a cigarette lighter,sidecar cover, trailer hitch that just slides in the frame tube and bolts in, very easy to put on and take off,a small halogen driving light with a switch in the sidecar, it does not help light up the road but is a good marker light. I put on a full size head light in its place but it just sat to low to help light up the road much so I made a brack and mounted the headlight up higher on the body and it now lights up the road real good. Also ordered a smoked windshield,a brake on the wheel at $559 alone, and a electric leanout control at over $530 and is the best accessory I purchased. It will level out your bike when a passenger compresses the suspension and makes the bike lean bad to the right, or help when there is a road angle or to just fine tune the lean out on the bike.I highly recommend getting this accessory because I know what it is like to own a sidecar without it. The tinded windshield works great at keeping the wind off the passager,their hats do not even blow off.The fender does come with a yellow marker light on top and a tail light.You can not order it with a turn signalso I had to put one on the front and back of the sidecar. Also I orderd a tonneau cover to keep rain and dirt out of the sidecar, it goes over the windshield and snaps on and work perfect. It does not lookto good but it is the only kind the Champion sidecar factory makes.So I made my own Legend Sidecar tonneau cover to use with out the windshield on the sidecar,the cover is flat and looks alot better and works good even in a hard rain, and it helps lower wind resistance by not having the windshild on. See a picture of my cover at bottom of "About US" page.I recommend ordering the step to use getting in the sidecar, there is no frame sticking out to usefor a step.Short people will have a tuff time getting in without a step.The seat folds forward and has a good size trunk behind it to keep atool box in and a helmet, but the trunk does not come with a lock andthe factory does not have that accessory. The seat comes out easily with just four screws holding theseat hinges.A luggage rack is a accessory I orderd and they said it was back orderdnine months so I purchased a Harleysidecar luggage rack and made it fit,you have to play with the spacers that come with the kit, but it will work real good, plus it was cheaper and bigger than the Champion rack. Now for the bad: I ordered my Champion Legend Sidecar with a brake made by Bembro who stamped their serialnumber on the out side edge of the rotor and bent the brake disk, after a few months it was making the whole outfit shake bad, so I had the rotor machined and it helped quite a bit but then it got worse again soI called Champion to order a new rotor and tell them about the problem and they said theyhave never heard of a bent rotor problem before. I got my new rotor and the serial number was stampedin the edge again and it was bent but not as bad as the first one.Bembro needs to stamp their # on the face by the bolt holes so theywill not bend the disk. This is the only real problem I have had with my Legend.The smaller draw backs are: no trunk lock, no turn signal, the black power coating peeled on the mounts after just three years,I touched them up with paint, no big deal.The pointed front nose of the sidecar can be a little of a tight fit for someone with longlegs and wearing motorcycle boots,but that is just the nature of the beast. .........................................................................ConclusionThe Champion Legend SidecarLooks great, rides great, handles great, and is built tough and made in Huntington Beach,California,U.S.A.It is pricey, about $7000 plus shipping about $400 in my case, so it is not a sidecar to start out with, the Velorexsidecar is a starter sidecar ,then move up to a Legend when you know you really are devoted to sidecars.
Used California Sidecar Friendship I & Friendship III Convertible Tops in stock on our California Sidecar parts page.
I also have some used California Sidecar OEM mounting parts and Hitchhiker eye bolts, steering damper & fork clamps. Call me if your interested in them.
Our Sidecar parts & Accessory Catalog PDF or paper copy. Call or e-mail me for your free copy today. I can e-mail the PDF or mail a paper copy. Let me know which.
California Sidecar 1989-2010 Owners Manual on our Sidecar Manuals page.
How To Set-Up & Operate A Motorcycle Sidecar Outfit, Manual. On our Sidecar Manuals page.
California Sidecar Friendship & Companion Instruction Manual & New Part Suppliers, Booklet in stock now on our Sidecar Manuals Page
I am looking for used California sidecar FS I and FS II tonneau covers and convertable tops and also convertible tops for FS III sidecars. If you have one you would like to sell please call or e-mail me! I also buy used sidecar mounts and parts.
HOW TO BUILD A MOTORCYCLE SIDECAR FRAME; BASICS, Booklet WITH SIDECAR Blueprint & Plans. In Stock Now
Here is a review of a few motorcycle sidecar movies I can recommend.
Bridget & Sidney's Cross- Country Sidecar Adventure...
For their honeymoon Bridget & Sidney take 33 days to ride a dirt bike with a 562 Velorex sidecar over dirt roads from California to the Mississippi river. A great travel movie with lots of country side beauty!!! I purchased this movie when I was thinking about buying a Velorex. You must take this movie with a dose of salt, because they beat the hell out of the sidecar going down dirt roads and broke it a lot. I never had that kind of bad luck with my 562 Velorex sidecar.
URAL Motorcycle Sidecar Movie:The Legend lives II & Sovietski Patrol...
A movie that URAL America made to show the history of the URAL motorcycle and sidecar and how it is made over in Russia. I got this movie after taking a test drive at a Ural dealer in about 1999. I called the Ural American factory out west and they sent me this movie, I have never seen it for sale any place. It is a very interesting movie!!!
Griffith Park Sidecar Rally- by Molly Reeves.
Shows all the motorcycle sidecar outfits at the rally out in California. It was made by a High School girl for a class project, and has no narration, some times you can hear people talking in the back ground but it is hard to tell what their saying and most of the movie is filmed from the motorcycle side so you do not get a real good look at the sidecar, but if you want to see a lot of unique sidecars check out this movie. I purchased mine on e-Bay from the film makers Dad, and you can still find it there occasionally .
A Motorcycle Sidecar Book Review Of: AMERICAN BORDERS By Carla King
In 1995 Carla talks the Ural Motorcycle Sidecar Importer in Washington state into loaning her a new Russian sidecar outfit to travel around the United States borders, zig zaging constantly crossing the border with Canada and Mexico , more so with Canada. And in return she helps Ural to find the problems that need improving on the Ural which are many. Like three new gas tanks that start leaking in the same spot and more serious break downs than I can count, out in the middle of nowhere with many parts falling off as she is riding down the road. And getting help from farmers and a few nasty, sleazy tow truck drivers and meeting a ton of good Samaritans. A lot of the book is about her previous personal relationships with boyfriends and talking about family and friends from her youth growing up in North Carolina and California but the tails of her serious mechanical problems and the interesting characters that she meets while broke down make this a good motorcycle sidecar book to read. But for any one considering purchasing a new URAL you may not want to read about the quality of this bike in 1995 because its reliability has been much improved now.
SIDECAR BOOK REVIEW
THREE WHEELING THROUGH AFRICA
By JAMES C. WILSON
In 1927 Two Americans set off to be the first men to ride across Africa on motorcycle sidecars. At that time, no one had driven any kind of vehicle across Africa. Each man rides a Triumph 5HP 3 speed motorcycle with sidecar loaded with spare parts, cans of gas, food and water. With almost no roads they ride, push their way from military outpost to military outpost.
Through unending sand dunes, dry river beds, and brush with sand spurs so sharp they put dozens of punctures in the tire intertubes so they had to line the inside of the tires with thick leather to stop the sand spur holes. They suffer the heat, sun, and more break downs than I could count, like having to make a piston wrist pin, fix broken spokes, swing arms, wheels, sidecar springs, etc. They lose a very small but important ignition part in the sand and have to go back over the last quarter mile and sift through the sand to find it. They make a forge out of a can and make a soldering iron in the middle of nowhere to fix a leaking gas can with the can still full of gas by using a hot sodering iron. How they managed not to blow themselves up I have no idea. They get in more jams, meet more characters, and have more parties thrown for them!
We get a good background history of Africa and the Tribes they meet as well as the military men in the outposts. In my opinion, the worst part is the many four foot wide mud puddles they had to drink out of with dead animals, bugs, and slime floating in them by boiling the mud slime water and yet they still vomited from the stench and taste. It’s a good book, if you want to read about how Africa was in 1927-1928 and the kind of Sidecar outfits they had way back then.
See Our Sidecar Accessories page for auxiliary sidecar lighting. Our intent is to produce the best quality sidecar products available.
(SEE OUR T-shirt & Parts PAGE FOR T-shirt Ordering.)
Currently we have T-shirts available in different sizes and colors (sizes Medium-XL in Orange, Tan & Light Blue). We will be adding items to our product line to enhance the sidecar lifestyle! We welcome suggestions and comments on our guestbook page.
Orange, Tan & Light Blue Motorcycle Sidecar t-shirts.
New sidecar turn signal kit on our sidecar accessories page.
Sidecar Trunk Lid Handle.
Motorcycle Sidecar Air Vent Kit Floor Mount on our Sidecar Parts Page.
Sidecar Dog Restraint Anchor On Our Sidecar Parts Page.
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