This is seriously one of the finest sidecar rigs we’ve ever had the opportunity to find a new home for. Sure, we’ve been fortunate enough to build plenty of brand new EML’s, ARMEC’s EZS’s and Hannigan rig’s and Bob himself even owns one of the most exotic – a Duetto from Switzerland. And we’ve probably had every possible used sidecar rig imaginable over the years that were attached to nearly every mode of BMW from /2’s from the 1960’s to exotic high performance rigs built around K series models. But we’ve never had a scratch built rig like this one.
When it first arrived as a possible trade for a very sweet K1200RS & ARMEC Tremola II rig that was available Bob was at first skeptical. That was until he walked around the corner of the dealership and saw the outstanding design and build quality. But it was the lengthy test ride that he took it out on, putting it through the paces as if he’d owned it as long as his Duetto or his other high performance scratch built rig that told Bob we would be pleased to accept this unique rig in trade.
We do not take lightly our responsibility in determining the general fitness, safety and road worthiness of any specialty machine we might take in trade or purchase. And when it comes to sidecars and trikes our inspection process gets even more critical. This outfit truly exceeded every standard Bob’s has for design, build quality, fit and finish and of course perhaps most important how the damn thing goes down the road with or without a passenger. Bob really did say “wow, does this thing handle well” when he came back from that first ride.
So let us start by sharing some simple facts. It is an all-aluminum constructed sidecar body and the craftsmanship in amazing. What the attached images show is nowhere near as impressive as it is in person. But do look closely at the ones showing the tubular steel chassis work triangulation and the others showing the smoothness of panel finish. Every part that attaches to the bike is overbuilt exactly as one desires when combining a motorcycle and sidecar. The chassis offer perfect alignment and is the exact width it needs to be to offer a highly stable ride even without a passenger. Steering is both easy and controlled and the upgraded suspension on the sidecar really works well offering control for the operator and comfort for the passenger. It does not hurt that there is an automotive size and style wheel and tire on the outside either.
The storage compartment is gigantic and easily accessible from behind the spacious and comfortable passenger seat. There is plenty of leg room as well and the windscreen allows lots of protection while allowing enough air to pass under it (just like BMW does with their electric screens) so as to prevent one from getting too warm on a hot day. The step into the sidecar is smooth and easy and because of the construction you can pretty much hold onto anything you want to – it’s all solid as a rock.
On an overall cosmetic level this rig is absolutely beautiful and it has not even been detailed, it’s still as ridden and having just been serviced. Bob wanted it on the website ASAP and said ”it’s clean enough; someone looking for a great sidecar at a great price will want to know about it sooner, not later” and so photos were taken and now you are reading about it. But it will look even better when you see it in a week or so after the professional detailing is complete. The paint match to the stunning Atlanta Blue BMW color really is perfect and if anything the paint quality exceeds that of BMW. Look at the reflected view of the right side of the bike in the left side of the sidecar body!
And for the car enthusiasts out there be sure to take a close look at that classic American Racing alloy wheel on the sidecar – we bet there are plenty who would like to have another 3 to install on their classic 1970’s era muscle car. It’s the real deal and they cost over $200 alone. The look could not be more perfect for this BMW roadster sidecar rig. Look at the quality of the wiring inside under the sidecar seat – that’s as professional as it gets. Even the way the lower and upper portions of the seat fits is very impressive.
And then there is the very sweet and none too inexpensive custom YSS suspension system installed front and rear to insure that this rig handles well and down the road this is a rebuildable set of shocks so unlike stock bits they are there for life – worth close to $1,500 if you had to buy them right now.
All the stuff on the bike is in equally fine condition, especially for a bike that is now a dozen years young. Hardware is excellent, wheels are flawless, the seat is in near perfect shape with firm foam and subtle vinyl. The gauges are in great shape all easily readable as are the controls and switches. The Leo Vince Titanium exhaust canister adds a perfect look and slightly more authoritative note to the machine visually blending in perfectly with the finish of the driveline coatings. Even the BMW heated grips are in great shape.
Mechanically it arrived here in pretty excellent shape with a good history of care (last full service was fall of 2013) but we always want a fresh start for the next owner so we did the following: installed new front & rear Metzeler ME880 tires which are perfect for a sidecar rig, did a full 24,000 mile - Inspection II with Biannual service which covers just about everything. We also found a few very tiny leaks and so we replaced the oil pressure switch and the vacuum nipple caps and even the oil filler cap o-ring. We also replaced one of the sidecar tail lamps as it was burned out. The sidecar tire was manufactured 2412 and was installed in late 2012 when the last service was done and is in perfect condition. A new Progressive shock which operates the sidecar suspension was also replaced in October of 2013.
And I guess we should at least tell you that this is an ABS equipped machine built by BMW in October of 2001 as an early 2002 model which also has what they called the overdrive transmission and came stock with heated grips. The BMW bag mounts and factory luggage rack came later as did the BMW windscreen and full set of Runnin’ Lights. Should you find that the trunk does not hold everything you wish to take along on your future adventures we’d suggest purchasing a new right saddlebag body and oversize touring lid from Bob’s BMW and have us key match it to the bike so you have one key for everything. We suggest this because unlike most sidecar rigs there is not only room for a full size interior bag but easily one with the larger capacity touring lid and we think keeping the left or outer side of this beautiful rig devoid of luggage enhances the overall appearance and makes it that much sportier. Plus if you add weight to a sidecar rig this is where to place it to keep handling at maximum levels.
And so to have just a little more fun before it is offered up Bob took his brother who was visiting him out for a ride to attend the Mods and Rockers event in Baltimore this past Saturday. Unfortunately the weather was less than ideal but the rig was superb from both Bob’s perspective and his brother Alan as passenger in the 50 mile ride – all in the rain. This rig really rocks. And one more thing Bob wanted to share – he preferred the stock tall seat he found on the parts shelf that did not arrive with this rig so now that we know we have a tall and low seat the new owner will get a choice of one or the other for their needs.
So whether you are just starting out as a new sidecarist or have lots of experience and are simply looking for an exceptionally nice turnkey outfit this rig should be seriously considered. It has 2 factory ignition keys that also fit the seat lock, owner’s manual and the complete (under the seat) BMW tool set as supplied when new. This is easily a sidecar rig that in Bob’s very knowledgeable opinion should be worth in excess of $22,000 but it’s being offered for a heck of a lot less so don’t delay in arranging a personal inspection, test ride or decision.
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