Building a Leaning Sidecar Bike in the Middle of the Jungle

Drones & Vehicles Metalworking Workshop
Building a Leaning Sidecar Bike in the Middle of the Jungle

Retirement to the jungle gave me the opportunity to realize my 40 year old goal to build a Dual Leaning sidecar rig. Back in the mid 70s, my father Wally and I began our quest to develop a simple sidecar linkage system that would allow near-solo bike handling. Our efforts eventually produced the EQUALEAN leaning sidecar. My greatly improved new version works equally well as a single or a dual rig.

Building anything where I live (a remote Thai jungle) is a major challenge. I have to drive for an hour to even buy a roll of duct tape. The availability and quality of almost everything I need is nil.

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Designing and fabricating the mounts for a sports bike with a full fairing was a major challenge. I went to the Kawasaki dealer in Chiang Mai and took detailed photos of their bikes before I bought a brand new Ninja, but it was still a $7,500 gamble. My personal method is “Old School” with benefits. I can and do, use a computer for certain things it does well, but I personally like to sketch out my concept on paper first, then build a simple 3D model with sticks, cardboard, tape and super glue. Once I’m happy with it, I enlarge it to full scale, using cheap, easy to fabricate materials to work out the details. After that, I translate the design to steel, FRP and other costly materials for the actual prototype. I find this is the most cost effective way for ME to develop an idea and realize it.

back in the saddle hirez

It took me two years from conception to completion of the entire dual rig. I work in an old school process that I’ve developed over the decades. First I make rough sketches and simple scale models then I build a full scale mock-up model of foam and cardboard or plastic pipe. Once I’ve developed it to satisfaction, I replicate it in steel.

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I wouldn’t change anything and I also wouldn’t make it again. My curiosity was served and satisfied by this one.

My advice? Don’t even try.

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Ghraydon Wallick

I've been making things for over 60 years. It's the reason for my being and my happiness. I never let modest resources deter my vision and constantly seek to learn new skills. This simple system staves off the grave and keeps me young. I recommend it highly.

View more articles by Ghraydon Wallick
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