I understand different yokes were recommended, when fitting a sidecar. What is the difference, and is it obvious to the eye?
Sidecar Yokes are stamped SC although may be covered with paint .I know I have a slimline SC top yoke ,don't know what the difference is to std or even if differece's between slimline and wideline or if you can mix them. Did they make any SC yokes for the later wider forks?. Seems doubtfull.
Apart from the stamping, the physical difference between the solo and sidecar yokes is the angle of the stanchion tubes in relation to the headstock tube. on the solo type these are parallel to each other while the sidecar type have a small angle to push the wheel further forward making the angle of the forks shallower than the headstock. The yokes are not interchangeable with each other, so you need top and bottom as a set. I don't think you need any other different parts although you will most likely need a steering damper. The shallower fork angle makes the steering lighter and more stable, but you will need to try both sets to feel any improvement. I've never heard of wide (7+3/8") sidecar yokes but they might be out there.
Pushing the forks out whilst maintaining the same steering angle decreases the trail. This means that less effort is required to steer the bike as the self steering or castor effect is reduced. So the steering feels lighter. Equally the self centering forces to return the bike to a straight line are reduced so the bike will also feel more nervous. All a compromise..
Interesting. My '54 Dominator has very light steering. I am wondering if it was fitted with a sidecar, in the distant past, and the yokes changed. If so, where do I look for the SC stamp? If it does have SC yokes, are standard ones still available (at a sensible price!)? Thanks for the swift replies. John.
I had an ex RAC Slimline ES2 and it had the word sidecar stamped on each yoke.
Hi again John,
I found out one of my dad's old books this morning with some info on sidecar set-up which you might find useful, and have attached below. There seems to be many badly set-up outfits nowadays and I think people believe everything just bolts up equally without realising the forces involved. This is a very old book, but all the measurements are relevant to featherbed and all conventional framed outfits. Read fully and you will get an idea of how the castor angle and trail can be changed to stabilize and make the steering easier. If you are new to sidecar driving, don't overdo those left-handers !