bender up sidecar on series b rapide

james r

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has anyone got any advice on setting up a sidecar on a rapide from scratch? i acquired a Bender Florin that has been on a 1970 triumph bonny and don't know where to start,should i cut the old mounts off the frame and start again or is it possible that somewhere i can acquire appropriate brackets or is there a learned gent on the east coast of oz that can help me?


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I suspect that you can get what you need from a variety of sources. Four photos of the four fittings on the sidecar would produce useful answers. The top two should be quite easy as they are usually eye bolts and the Vincent is designed with front and rear upper sidecar mounting holes on the UFM. The lower mounts a a bit trickier. A front lower mount can be bolted through the side stand pivot under the mag cowl.

The lower rear sidecar mount depends upon whether it is a left or right sidecar. assuming it is left and there is no kick starter problem, the lower rear mount is bolted onto the passenger rear foot plate. Some of these are aluminum and you would need to replace it with a steel one. Depending on the mount, a new hole is usually drilled in the center of the plate.

I strongly prefer BMW style ball mounts on the bottom fittings. I fabricated a few many years ago. I liked them because I could position the sidecar within a few inches of mounts. I could then reach over the seat and pick up the sidecar frame rail and move the sidecar up and forward an inch or so to rest the open and extended ball clamps on the ball ends. I could then screw the clamps shut, securing the two lower mounts. It was then easy to line up the upper mounts. The lower mounts can be eye bolt mounts, but they must be aligned up and down so the camber can be adjusted. This makes it much hard for to do it alone.

Make sure you set the Girdraulics to the sidecar position and change rear springs if planned, prior to mounting the sidecar.



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A rare beast is the triangular sidecar rear lower sidecar fixing, Sidecar Section organiser 'Sidecar Grandpa' Dave Johnson sent me one when I was building my trials sidecar. If in doubt send him a e-mail he is in MPH section reviews. One thing everyone will disagree on is sidecar wheel lead I think mine was six inches in front of the rear wheel. My first sidecar I put on for the winter was back in the sixties that was so well sorted (by accidento_O) that in the snow I could do a u turn so tight that within a bikes length and a bit I could be coming back out on the tracks I had come in on -boy I wish I had measured that lead and setup but I thought all sidecars were like that...

Bill Thomas

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Hello James, You say it's a "B" ?, Has it got Brampton forks ?, If so they maybe a bit week for a Sidecar. Cheers Bill.


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Set up is almost a matter of choice. In Richardson and the Riders manual, sidecar wheel lead is probably given as 4" - 5" but mine are both about 12" because the sidecar looks better alongside the bike. You may be able to use or adapt the fittings that you have. As a basic start, put the bike on it's side stands propped up to give a slight lean out then bring the sidecar alongside. The Bender has probably similar fittings to the Steib, in which case it may be better to have it a bit more rearward so that the top rear fitting does not hinder your left leg. Good luck and keep your patience. Hope someone can help. Sidecar Grandpa, Dave.