It’s rare to see dogs riding on a motorcycle sidecar because it depends on how well your dogs are trained and whether or not they are comfortable with the sound and crowd around them.
It can be quite challenging if you do it for the first time. But there is nothing to worry about because this guide will tell you everything about the motorcycle sidecar for dogs and how to train them.
You might have some curious questions like how to train your dog to ride in a sidecar or how to make a bicycle sidecar for dogs or may be what is the best sidecar for large dogs?
Well, here is a brief explanation of how you can achieve that.
How to train:
- Introducing The Sidecar To Your Dog
- Using The Treat Method
- The Moving Sidecar Method
- Start With Short Rides
How to make a motorcycle sidecar:
- Tools And Supplies You’ll Need
What Is The Best Sidecar For Large Dogs?
- Ural Motorcycle Sidecar
- Custom Made
- Harley Davidson Sidecar
With that being said, I will be explaining in further detail everything that will assist you to have a better understanding of motorcycle sidecars for your dogs, so make sure to read until the end.
What Is A Motorcycle Sidecar? Can A Dog Ride In A Sidecar?
A motorcycle sidecar is an extra seat attached to your motorcycle, it is used to carry one or maybe two passengers, but you can also use it for your dogs as most people do as they can sit in and ride comfortably.
Since the motorcycle sidecar has an additional wheel, it makes your motorcycle a three-wheeled vehicle. Remember that this specific extra seat cannot be used for children because it can put their lives in danger.
However, it is not illegal in some states, but I would still highly recommend not doing that. Other than that, it is worth mentioning that these sidecars were built in the ’80s, and now they are commonly used for dogs to ride in.
But make sure that your dog is big enough since it is mainly designed for the bigger dogs as they can fit well and adapt quickly because it is quite comfortable for them.
If you would like to ride a motorcycle with your dog safely and legally, then I highly recommend you to read this article.
Are They Detachable?
Yes, motorcycle sidecars are easily detachable. It will give you a great opportunity to ride as a cargo bike or simply as a regular bike. Some sidecars are constructed using fiberglass, which makes them durable and lightweight, so it would not be a hassle for you to install or uninstall.
It also ensures safety for your dog, which should be the number one priority for you. Other than that, one brand called the Ural produces a motorcycle with a sidecar attached to them, and it can also be easily detached.
Are Motorcycle Sidecars Safe To Use?
Yes, motorcycle sidecars are safe to use as long as you use them for the right purpose. Even though the sidecars do not have their driving wheel, it will still not affect how your motorcycle is ridden.
You should also take into consideration the weight limit allowed on the sidecar. This way, the sidecar will make sure to turn the right way and would not make it unstable or heavy from one side.
Other than that, you will also be happy to learn that installing a sidecar is a great addition to your motorcycle because it makes it a lot more stable than riding just two wheels, so it is certainly a safer choice. Plus, you can take your buddy along with you or use the extra seat for storage according to your preferences.
Besides that, it is also important to consider your dog’s comfort because if he/she is terrified to ride in the seat, then it can risk the safety of your dog. This is why training your dog before using the sidecar is essential.
Motorcycle Sidecars For Your Dogs
Before you plan to purchase or build a sidecar on your own, it is crucial to look into the types of sidecars available in the market that is the perfect match for your breed.
In this situation, the size of your dog matters a lot because you cannot make a small dog sit in a big sidecar as that will not keep them secured in place, the harness will be loose for them, and they can easily jump out of the sidecar.
When riding on a sidecar, the main concern is safety and comfort because you would want your pet to be seated and stabilized in one place while driving the motorcycle.
So here are some options for you!
1. Backpacks And Slings
The backpacks and slings are mainly designed for smaller dogs. Your dogs can be placed inside the backpacks or slings. Besides that, slings or backpacks are attached to your chest while riding on the motorcycle. These are similar to the ones that parents use to carry their babies in when traveling.
There is nothing to worry about because your dogs will surely be comfortable and secured in place. Besides, the plus point is that they can also enjoy the view around them while riding.
You might, however, have to train them before and find the right backpack side so it is not uncomfortable for them because dogs can get anxious easily in small places.
2. Custom Dog Seat
You might have seen numerous people have this custom dog seat installed on their bikes. This is mainly designed for people who travel around regularly and take their pets along with them.
The great thing about this seat is that your dog of any size can fit in perfectly since you are building it specifically to match your dog’s size, weight, and height.
It also allows you to have a ride of a two-passenger seat safely and securely, so there is nothing for you to worry about. Just make sure to train your dog first.
3. Tail Or Tank Carriers
Now coming to this carrier, this is mainly designed for smaller breed dogs. This can easily carry them around and fits faultlessly, so your dog can also be comfortable in it. (Check the best dog carriers for your motorcycle).
This carrier is used to install on either the tail or tank of your motorcycle. It is highly suggested that you use a carrier that consists of windows and ventilation so that your pet can see around and feel relaxed while riding.
4. Motorcycle Sidecar
This is considered the best option for dogs, but it is mainly used for bigger breeds of dogs. This will provide the best experience for your dog as well as you.
It will also keep them in the right location and harnessed well. Though you must know that this sidecar is the most expensive option, so if it fits your budget, this is the right choice for your dog.
Other than that, you must train your dog before letting them sit on this sidecar as it is an open seat that gives them access to get out easily.
This is why extra interest and care is required since it will draw a lot of attention from other people to you and your dog while you ride your motorcycle, so your dog needs to be well trained.
How To Train Your Dog To Ride In A Sidecar
Before you start your dog’s training, you must make sure that you are not stressing your dog and pushing him/her into doing this. It is highly suggested that you not strap your dog and put them in the sidecar. Some steps must be followed before putting them in the sidecar.
Therefore, you should also take your time with the training process so your dog does not get terrified, which can be quite dangerous once riding on the road in the sidecar.
Your main priority should be for your dog to feel that he/she is seated in a safe space and have a fun and enjoyable riding experience.
When Should You Start The Training Process?
This is not something you should be concerned about because it is stated that you can train your dog at any age.
However, it is suggested that the best time to start the training is early when they are still puppies since they will be open to learning new things, they will also adapt to these things easily and take the training as a fun activity.
Other than that, make sure that you have these supplies with you.
- Treats for your Dog
- Safety Harness by Canine
- Dog Helmet and Goggles for Safety
Steps To Follow For Training
Read these steps carefully and follow them step by step until your dog is finally trained, as it will be beneficial for you. There are also some methods that you can follow to make things easier for yourself.
Step 1: Introducing The Sidecar To Your Dog
Ensure that your motorcycle is turned off and placed safely in your garage. You need to introduce the sidecar to your dog by slowly leading him/her towards the seat. You can encourage your dog to get closer to the sidecar and let them inspect the seat by themselves until they are comfortable enough.
Step 2: Using The Treat Method
This is also another introduction method because you will be using the trails of the treats to let them discover the sidecar.
You can place the treats inside the sidecar and once they willingly get into the seat, make sure to praise them and reward them with the treat. They will be happy because they will correlate the sidecar with their delicious treats and gladly hop in the seat.
This way, they will also learn that the sidecar is a safe and happy place for them, making them comfortable. Other than that, you can also give them their meals inside the sidecar, which will make them gladly jump inside the seat in eagerness for their next meal.
Step 3: The Moving Sidecar Method
Once dogs are comfortable with the sidecar in the parked mode and with the engine off, it is time to slowly change and get them used to the engine sound while they are inside the sidecar and feel comfortable. Make sure to wait and allow them to get used to the smell and sound of the engine before letting them inside.
Take things slowly by building their confidence with the help of the treats. If they get inside the sidecar willingly, that is a plus point for you, so make sure to still give them their greats and meals inside.
Step 4: Start With Short Rides
This will help build the confidence of the dogs. Start by taking your dog around the neighborhood or maybe anywhere where there aren’t many people, which will give some time to the dogs to get used to riding in the sidecar.
Every dog needs to be strapped we’ll and securely seated in place and is wearing its goggles for safety. You might also have to train them with this equipment, which they will learn eventually.
Do keep in mind that this process will take the longest and will require you to be patient as this is something new for your dog to get used to, and if you pressurize them into doing this, then it can be dangerous on the road as there will be high chances for accidents.
3 Things You Should Not Do
You should not be doing certain things while training your dog to sit in the motorcycle sidecar. This is because it will discourage the dogs from getting inside as they might think it is a threat. If you force them into the seat, it can create a hazardous situation for you while riding.
Training is something really important. If you have even the smallest doubt, do not ignore it and work on it until you are 100 percent sure and until your dog is fully confident. Here are some things you need to be careful about.
1. Do Not Punish Your Dog
This is something owners think might train their dogs to behave well but instead discourage them even more, and they start to hate the sidecar. If your dog is reluctant to get inside the sidecar, then do not punish him/her at all.
You want to be patient, take your time and think about what can make the sidecar more attractive to your dog. One way is by giving them treats, as I have mentioned earlier, which will enable them to approach the sidecar.
2. You Cannot Restrain Your Dog By The Neck
This is something that must be avoided no matter what. If you think that your dog might approach the sidebar by fastening your dog’s collar with the anchor point placed on the sidebar, you are wrong.
This is a sign of force that will make them start barking and accelerate. This can be risky for your dog because a sudden reaction might jolt the neck of your dog, which can cause serious injuries.
However, there is a better way which is by using a crash test-approved travel harness. You can use this and clip it securely with the seat belt anchor of the sidecar.
3. Do Not Ride At A Fast Speed
Do keep in mind that if your dog is sitting for the first time, he/she is not used to riding in a sidecar which also includes riding at a fast speed. They do not know how to expect corners and speed bumps on the road.
If you go fast, it can be a terrifying experience for them. Make sure to go slowly until they get comfortable with the jolts as well as jostling. And your dog will also be less likely to get hurt.
How To Make A Bicycle Sidecar For Dogs
This information will assist you in making a bicycle sidecar for your dog, so make sure to read until the end. Other than that, depending on your bicycle, you should match the measurements that will match accurately with your bicycle.
Tools And Supplies You’ll need
Here are some of the important tools you need to construct your bicycle sidecar. You can use metal which is aluminum, steel, or aluminum strips, or wood which is plywood and lumber.
Make sure that you have welding glue and paint for the finishing. You will also require bolt-style gate hinges. Make sure to get bicycle wheels that match your bicycle.
Keep in mind that everything listed here is required for the project to be successful. So make sure you have long lath screws, cotter pins, bolts with accurate lock washers and nuts, spray primer, flat spray paint, thick cushion foam, vinyl faux leather, polypropylene strap, metal bolt snaps, and metal slides.
Once you have everything you need for the formation process, you must take the measurements that match your bicycle. You can start by taking the wood and measuring, which will hinge together to clamp on the bike.
However, the measurements mainly depend on how big or small you want the sidecar. You can watch various YouTube videos for this process.
Keep in mind that you will also have to modify the bicycle a little, such as the height, to stabilize the bicycle and the sidecar for better handling.
The last step is the construction, this would not be hard once you take the measurements, cut out everything accordingly, and finally place the pieces together. Some people like the sidecar that can easily detach.
You can certainly make a sidecar that can attach or detach whenever you want. Just watch videos or contact a constructor to make it for you if you are not an expert in that area.
What Are The Best Sidecars For Large Dogs?
Let’s find out some of the best sidecar for large dogs below!
1. Ural Motorcycle Sidecar
The Ural sidecar model is one of the best choices because it assures comfort stability for your motorcycle. It is long-lasting and fits perfectly for larger dogs. This is a Russian-based motorcycle company which is the only OEM company that manufactures motorcycles with a sidecar.
These sidecars are also best known for their excellent handling ability, so they will surely provide a safer ride. Other than that, you can also detach the sidecar from your motorcycle whenever you want and clean it easily.
2. Custom Made
Many people make their custom-built sidecars because they are still a niche motorcycle community. Only one manufacturer is constructing these, which I have mentioned above. The great thing is that every motorcycle is prepared to take a sidecar next to it.
However, you might have to make some changes to the motorcycle, such as the weight and handling aspects, so it can be stable on the road while riding.
So you can either get a professional constructor to make one for your motorcycle, or if you have the mechanical ability, you can easily make it by yourself.
3. Harley Davidson Sidecar
Another great option for your large dog is the Harley Davidson sidecar. Do keep in mind that Harley Davidson does not make sidecars anymore. They stopped the production of the factory sidecars in 2011 because of the service and popularity of their Tri Glide models.
However, there is nothing to worry about because you can still purchase the used Harley Davidson sidecars in the market!
Just make sure that you look at the detailed information on these sidecars, such as their history, recalls, complaints and the features, etc. It is important because you do not want to end up with a problematic sidecar that no longer holds its value.
I hope now you know everything about motorcycle sidecar for dogs and can follow these steps to make things easier for you and your dog.
You might have heard that dogs are known to be a “man’s best friend” so one of the best ways you can spend your time with them is by touring and going on adventures with them on a sidecar.
Nonetheless, training will also be a great and fun experience for you and your dog. Just make sure to be patient and let your dog slowly get comfortable with the sidecar and never punish or force them because that can make things worse for you, and as a result, your dog will never get in a sidecar.