Author Topic: Inder sidecar review  (Read 2806 times)

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on: January 07, 2017, 10:00:05 am
Like a lot of us out there, especially those who appreciate the esthetic of motorcycles made of metal rather than plastic, I always wanted a sidecar. Of all the bikes have have owned, my royal Enfield Classic, a 2013 C5 seemed like the one to finally get hitched.

I narrowed down my choices to Wastonian, Inder and  Kozy.
Wastonian are superb but costly.
Kozy seem pretty good but only came in black.
Inder was super affordable but I would get it colour matched for a price I could afford.

I went for an Inder Royal Retro.

Ordering the inder directly from india was challenging. Bank draft, shipping documents, container bill of lading, this was all new to me. Communication with the manufacturer was not great; lack of clarity, slow replies, generally not confidence inspiring.

I got the sidecar in Toronto, straight from punjab after about 4 month. Custom and warehousing fees stung a bit but hey, I was getting my sidecar!
It comes in a sturdy crate, fully disassembled with no instructions whatsoever. The fender was not the model I wanted, the optional sidecar tail light and seatbelt I ordered were not included and the colour match was almost there but not quite (I am picky). The mounting hardware is made for Royal enfield and luckily was included.

The sidecar build is good and sturdy. The paint is nice. The details and finish less so. The swingarm includes a needle bearing that got painted over at the factory! The paint gunked the needles and I had to replace it. A bushing  appears to be missing to hold the bearings in place and generally the bearings are a mess. There is no dust shields so lots of grease is required to properly install that swingarm and keep the bearings protected. The suspension was also missing a spacer. The upholstery is very cheap and the wrong colour.

I installed it the best I could using google image search to figure out how to mount the thing. The first drive was terrifying. I realised I had a problem. Having never ridden a sidecar I couldn't tell if I did a horrible job of installing it or if that’s how sidecars are supposed to be. Turning, especially into the sidecar, demanded a herculean effort. The other side was tippy. The wheel wobble insane.

I went through 3 separate rounds of mounting the sidecar to get it right. My first install was a mess. The second one was done by a professional but was not quite there. The third iteration done by me again after about 1000 km of riding was the good one.
My wheel to wheel is 115cm
Frame to frame distance 27cm
Toe in 1.5cm
Lead about 4.5cm

My initial mistake was trying to get too much wheel lead. A lot of sites advise for larger leads in the range of 20+ cm. This is just not needed with this setup. I tried it for a while and it became harder to steer.

Other thing I had to do:
Replace the handlebars to get a more upright position with more leverage
Install a taillight on the sidecar
Put a 20KG sand bag ballast in the trunk for when I ride alone.
Tweak the sidecar swingarm and fabricate a bushing to remove the sidecar wheel lateral play
Replace the front brake pads with HH pads for stronger stopping
Mount a steering damper
Up my tire pressure to maximum

So how does it drive: fantastic.
I can keet up with traffic, up to about 110kph and cornering feels natural.  Fuel consumption is barely affected, it’s quite amazing really. I am impressed how the enfield can lug this extra weight with such ease. There is no need to swap the front sprocket. The brakes are also surprisingly capable. Only when carrying a lot of weight in the sidecar to I feel like I am reaching the limit of that single disk.
Now that the setup and geometry is correct I have virtually eliminated the steering low speed shake and I am considering eliminating the damper this spring.
The front suspension bottoms out occasionally and feels undersprung for the extra weight. I plan to open the fork this spring and add a spring spacer to stiffen it up.

What have I learned from this whole adventure:
An enfield with a sidecar is a blast.
Kids love it.
If you like attention on the road or when parking, get a sidecar.
Setting a sidecar to drive correctly is a labour of love and patience.
Getting used to a sidecar is also a labour of love and patience.
Inder sidecars are fine for the price if you are mechanically inclined.
A stock C5 is perfectly suited to the sidecar and doesn't strain at all.
2013 C3 inder sidecar


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Reply #1 on: January 09, 2017, 03:58:23 pm
Interesting review. I would recommend sidecar rated fork springs and rear shock springs. Try the site host for these. If you fit them you may have to adjust the settings slightly, but it does make a huge difference. For ballast I use a folding 5 gallon water container. It gets emptied and rolled up when carrying weight and is easily refilled when running with the sidecar empty.
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Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 08:06:01 am
I have been looking for firmer front fork springs but I can't find any. All the springs seem to be for the pre UCE enfield or for the early UCE fork with the offset wheel attachment (2009-2012). Can anyone suggest a place to get springs for the newest forks 2013-present?
2013 C3 inder sidecar


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Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 09:31:10 am
If you know the diameter and length of your current springs you could search the K-tech catalogue (for example) to see if you could find a pair that'll fit in the weight you require, or if not available in the correct length, a slightly shorter set and add a spacer/s which will also permit some adjustment for sag.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 09:37:10 am by portisheadric »
'18 Bonneville T120. Green & White