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Steve wanted some extra load carrying capability so he added a sidecar to his Nighthawk.

Sidecar installation by Steve:

PREFACE: Have you ever tried to strap a case of beer to your bike? Ever see a Honja Night-hack?? It's a Honda Nighthawk 750 mated to a Jawa Sidecar. And They Said It Couldn't Be Done!! I Bought the 95 Nighthawk with intentions of hanging a hack on it. The open frame of the Honda looked perfect. The only problem would be finding a place for the lower rear mount. So after months of research, reading Hack'd magazine, sending off for brochures and searching the net, I found the push I needed to spend $1500.00 on a Velorex sidecar. It was from Bob Darden, (bob@3wheels.com). He told me he had just mounted a velo on a new 750 Nighthawk. Bob also said "the velo is well matched, size and weight-wise, for this bike and it handled very well -- quite flat in the corners and accelerated like jack-the-bear. It was hard to steer in corners when traveling slowly, but not so difficult that it was unpleasant. After this customer had a month of experience, he had me build him a steering damper for the rig." So I ordered a Velorex 562 from American Jawa, 4 days later and $145.00 for freight I had a sidecar. This is my solution...
HonJa Night-hack: It arrived assembled -- all but bolting on the wheel and mounting hardware (Photo 1). Mounting hardware (photo 2) . After measurement I realized that the upper front strut and lower rear strut were going to be too short to get the proper lead (distance) from rear axle to axle of the sidecar. To solve this problem I went to my local welding shop and had them add a section to lengthen each strut (photo 3) at a cost of $20. The lower rear strut mounts to the frame cross member where the center stand would be bolted. Doing this gives excellent support to the rear of the sidecar. Photo 4 and 5 show the mounting positions on the frame of the bike. The upper rear mount, after assembly, will require notching the side panel to be reinstalled. Finishing up and adjusting alignment is tedious, but with small corrections you'll improve the handling (photo 6). After alignment the rig drove very well at mid to high speeds but suffered a slow speed wobble at about 20MPH. I installed a steering damper purchased from California Sidecar and it remedied the problem (cost $135). The sidecar comes with a brake. Hooking this up required nothing more than drilling a hole in the brake pedal arm (the cable has a hooked end) and hose clamping the cable to the frame of the motorcycle above where the swing aim is bolted to the frame -- then looping the cable to the sidecar brake arm. I used a black rubber bungie for a return spring on the sidecar brake-- it's not high tech but it works well.


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

Photo 5

Photo 6
FIRST RIDE: My first volunteer was my neighbor...we stress tested it! All 230 lbs of him in the sidecar and my 185 lbs. on the bike--the rig handled very well and the bike had plenty of low-end power to handle the hills. I found that because the sidecar is so light that you need to carry 80 lbs. of ballast in the trunk behind the seat when driving without a passenger. I've ridden it every day, weather permitting, for two months (1,000 miles) and have not noticed excessive tire wear or chain stretch.
JUNE 99 UPDATE: In the last year and 4,000 miles later, here's an update on the Night-hack with findings and some improvements I've made.
The improvements:
  1. 1. I've trimmed the windshield to give it a sportier look
  2. 2. I've bolted a steering damper directly to the pinch bolt on the sidecar frame
  3. 3. Adjusted the sidecar to 11 & inch lead (distance from side car axle to rear axle of motorcycle)
  4. 4. Painted sidecar base coat, clear coat using Spies Hecker paint
After tinkering with the sidecar alignment I've found that carrying 40 lbs of ballast behind the sidecar seat makes for better handling for right hand turns and a better ride overall. The rig can be driven without the ballast, but sharp right hand uphill turns will bring the sidecar wheel off the ground (but not uncontrollably). Also, without the ballast it's easy to fly the sidecar, which can be a lot of fun, but scares the hell out of on coming traffic! Ha Ha! I've experienced very little chain stretch and slightly more than normal rear tire wear.

All-in-all the original intention for this project, blasting around town, taking care of honey do's and any other excuse to ride, has been successful. Although never meant for a cross country hauler, I'm 100% pleased with the results of this project, besides it's just damn fun to drive!

Enclosed are the updated photos of the hack. Take care and keep the wind in your face.


Photo 4

Photo 5

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