Runnin’ with the Devil in a sidecar rigid
Your normal shakedown cruise on a new custom is a test ride to make sure everything works well. Most of us are trying to break the bike in, not break it down. That means a nice run on the freeway, some side streets, and hopefully some roads with good curves to them. That’s industry standard to make sure all those bolts and welds are gonna hold up. Or you could punish the hell out of what you just created like Anthony Keeling and Chris McCormick of Chassis Design Company did with this rigid sidecar custom.
If you really want to know how good of a job you’ve done, run it through the Hell’s Highway that passes through roads in Mexico, like they did. It’s the sort of road test that beats your bike like it owes you money.
They created this sidecar rigid for the El Diablo Run. Time wouldn’t permit them to make two bikes, but they already had a sidecar figured out. It was the perfect motivation to finish the thing.
In four days’ time.
Figuring out the tracking and geometry was the hardest part of the gig. Having already done that prior to the four-day build fest really helped though. They had it dialed in to the point where it holds a straight line, even at 80 mph. You can even take your hands off the bars. That might not sound too unusual for a motorcycle, but adding a sidecar into the mix really complicates handling, as you can imagine.
At the end of four days’ time, Anthony and Chris hit the road from California down to Mexico. Their sidehack took every ounce of punishment the potholes and speed bumps threw at it like a champ. Each rider took a turn piloting the rig in 100-mile shifts. You’d think all those bumps would’ve killed their spines on a rigid, but they had the good sense to install airbag suspension under both the saddle and sidecar seats. That went a long way toward making the trip more enjoyable, as did the fuel cell they put on the back.
Not everything was perfect. There were just some aspects they couldn’t finish adequately in such a short amount of time: no paint and no powdercoat. Those two jobs were handled upon their return, as were all the little details that fine-tune any great custom bike.
Mexico’s roads are no joke. Anthony and Chris know that very well, especially after breaking in this sweet sidecar custom on a long trip at 80 mph over really bad roads. They don’t call the San Felipe trip El Diablo’s Run for show. The roads are as hot and punishing as Hell itself. At least, I think so. I’ll know for certain when I die and take my place in hell that I earned in my misspent 20s.
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|Shop||Chassis Design Company|
|Shop Phone||(909) 732-2798|
|Fabrication||Chassis Design Company (Anthony Keeling and Chris McCormick)|
|Build Time||2 months|
|Exhaust||Chassis Design Company|
|Primary Drive||Ultima 2-in. open belt||
|Year/Type||2014/Chassis Design Company rigid||
|Rake/Stretch||40º/6 in. up, 3 in. out||
|Front End||Chassis Design Company springer|
|Length||6 in. over|
|Triple-Trees||Chassis Design Company|
|Manufacturer||House of Kolor|
|Colors||Candy Red and metal flake|
|Plating/Polishing||Two Brothers Polishing|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Builder/Size||Ride Wright 80-spoke 21 x 3.5 in.||
|Tire/Size||21-in. Metzeler ||
|Calipers||Made in the USA|
|Builder/Size||Ride Wright 18 x 5.5 in.||
|Tire/Size||Metzeler 18 in.|
|Caliper||Made in the USA|
|Pulley||Made in the USA ||
|Rear Fender||Russ Wernimont|
|Gas Tank||Jesse James Villain, chopped up|
|Handlebars||Chassis Design Company|
|License Mount||Chassis Design Company||
|Seat||Chassis Design Company|
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