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About Us 3

Nine years of ownership saw many enjoyable rides with our BMW K1 Saluki sidecar outfit. An early problem with a leaking petrol tank was soon resolved, thankfully before the rocketing petrol price increases of mid 2008. Additional rear lights in the shape of LED versions on the sidecar have proved worthwhile.

We suffered a breakdown early on. Returning from a weekend away the rear bevel drive bearings failed, a not uncommon problem we soon learned even on solo K model BMWs. Advice and invaluable assistance saw the necessary repair completed. However, the removal of the over wide rear car tyre proved very difficult. A mixture of concerns, the likely load on the rear end by the tyre, plus simply getting the thing on and off, justified replacement with a more sensible, narrower tyre size. In due course the tyre width was further reduced with clear benefits.

The excellent HID headlight was replaced despite its performance. Problems with switching from main to dip beam, and the high cost of bulb replacement saw a return to a normal H4 bulb, along with LED replacements for the pitiful standard bike sidelight. A pair of quadoptic spot lights have been fitted to back up the headlight, and provide good illumination in daylight to indicate our presence to other road users Issues with the accuracy of the BMW speedo saw the fitting of a pedal cycle computer. This speedo proved far more accurate, both in terms of indicated speed and distance travelled. Again, good old LEDs illuminated this speedo at night.

The bevel drive failure ultimately justified seeking a possible solution, specifically a twin sided swing arm arrangment. The thinking being to reduce some of the pressure on the bevel drive bearings, presumed inherent when the bike has a sidecar attached. A search revealed various attempts had already been made, but information was scarce. Some efforts were very much one offs, as well as quite basic. In the mid 1980s, EML sidecars produced a twin sided modification, but this was no longer available when contemplating modifications.

The search for assistance was initially fruitless, but an introduction put us in touch with a motorcycle enthusiast, who also happened to be a good engineer. An account of the conversion follows in
Converting the K.


Site last amended Jun 23 2017 | info@sidecarjohn.co.uk

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