The Saga of “SidecarsArkansas”: Part I—DMC Kenna with a 2004 BMW R1150RTA
Gary W. Jones
As a professional filmmaker since 1963--the year after I traded my Cushman Husky motor scooter for my first female-friendly automobile, I usually let pictures tell my story. However, I have no photos of the many hours of The Sidecarist perusal, internet research, and email correspondence on the subject of adding a sidecar to my 2004 BMW R1150RA.
Without ever having even seen a sidecar up close—much less driving or riding in one, I put my trust in Jay and Tara at DMC Sidecars and plunked down the PayPal for an “entry-level” fiberglass Kenna sidecar. It showed up in Arkansas a month or so later, having made the trip from Enumclaw, WA in well-crated style.
The hack took an hour or so to uncrate and four hours of so to do the basic installation. The “fit” was flawless.
I used part of the shipping container to fabricate a locking trunk cover. That chore—along with some exterior pimping—took another day.
All in all, I was feeling fairly proud of my progress in a “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” sort of way. Then came the first test runs—which were not too bad—except for running into things on both my first exit and first reentrance to my parking garage. Oh, and there a couple of “curb checks” while I twigged to the fact that I got my “sidecar legs”.
However, it took 16 or so hours over the next two weeks before I got the rig set-up properly with a more-or-less accurate toe-in and lean angle.
First official stop on the inaugural “SidecarsArkansas” tour was the President William J. Clinton Presidential Park.
The next stop on the abbreviated “official” test run was a visit to the Arkansas State Capitol.
Although I have been continuously and gainfully employed for over 48 years, I have not worked a day in my life since I left the farm as a teenager. Filmmaking is simply too darn much fun to call it “work”. The Kenna will be outfitted with a battery of GoProHD cameras and used as the subject of—and camera vehicle for--a tourism web video series to begin production next spring. By the time the rig hits the road for “lights, camera, action” it will be completely festooned with tourism-related stickers and decals. Stay tuned.
Thanks again for the exemplary customer service from DMC Sidecars (www.dmcsidecars.com -- 866.638.1793). And thanks to countless contributors to The Sidecarist for their inspiration and ideas. There will be more of the DMC “saga” photos and palaver at www.facebook.com/SidecarsArkansas.