California Sidecar Model I.D.

Here is a description of each sidecar model California Sidecar has made since 1974 to help new sidecar owners identified the California Sidecar model they have.

This is a California Sidecar Commuter Model. It was one of the first two sidecar models that CSC made when they started out in 1974. It has four mounts. This one pictured I could tell from the serial number was made in about 1988. It weighed 100 lbs. In 1986 it went up to 120 lbs. The Commuter was discontinued in the spring of 2001. 

The Commuter was designed for middle-weight motorcycles 220 c.c. to 650 c.c. The Commuter came standard with upholstered bucket seat, trunk, carpeted interior, wind shield and torsion bar suspension with a 4.80 x 8 inch wheel. Sold new in 1980 for $1150.00. In 2000 the length was 60'', Height 36'', width 24'' weight 120 lbs, load capacity 200 lbs, track width 41'' and it still had a torsion bar/roller bearing suspension with a 13'' aluminum wheel with a 14SR13 radial tire. A brembo brake was an option.  


This is a California Partner Sidecar. This is the second sidecar that CSC started with in 1974. It was made for the Vespa P200 motor scooter. Compact in size but room enough for an adult. The Partner Sidecar weighed 95 pounds. Standard equipment included carpeting, bucket seat, windshield, body molding, torsion bar suspension. The Partner Sidecar was discontinued after 1985. The Partner Sidecar sold new in 1980 for $800.00

Partner Sidecar frame with floorboard mounting plate.



This is a California Sidecar Tag-A-Long model. It was developed in 1980 and weighed 85 lbs. Made for the Honda C-70 Passports. Also fit Elite, Riva, and many other scooters. Standard equipment included molded seat and carpeted leg area. 4.80 x 8'' wheel and torsion bar suspension. Discontinued in the late 1980s. Sold new in about 1981 for $600.00.



This is a California Sidecar Companion model and Frame. In 1974 California Sidecar purchased The Spirit Of America Sidecar Company and they had two sidecar models. SOA Eagle Sidecar was renamed The Companion. The Companion frame has a torsion arm suspension and the fender bolts to the sidecar body. The SOA Eagle Sidecar has a coil over shock suspension and the fender is molded onto the body. The Companion Sidecar was made for motorcycles 500 c.c. and up and came standard with an upholstered bucket seat that leaned forward for access to the 2.33 cubic foot trunk in rear. Also carpeted interior, windshield and 8 spoke mag wheel. It weighed 150 pounds. The windshields in the pictures are not stock. The Companion used a windshield like is on The Commuter Sidecar. The light weight Companion was replaced in the 1990s with the heavy duty Companion GT. In 1980 The Companion Sidecar Cost $1500.00 new.

These two pictures show the very first Companion Sidecar style from 1974. CSC reworked the Spirit of America, Eagle Sidecar body molds. CSC changed the back of the fender so their Peterson PM 300-15 taillight would fit and also reworked the bottom mold to get rid of the indent in the bottom of the body for the swingarm pivot assembly because CSC now used a torsion suspension. This Companion still has the fender molded into the body so it is easy to mistake it for a SOA Eagle Sidecar.



This is a California Side Kick Sidecar. It was made for the scooter market and fit the Elite, Riva, Vespa and the Honda C-70. There was a early version and a later version of the Side Kick. One weighed 85 lbs and the other was 100 lbs. They both had torsion bar suspension. Length 59'', width 27'', body height 28'', leg room 36'', hip room 19'', ground clearance 7'', tire size 4.80'' x 8''. It had a  2'' steel tube frame. The Side Kick sidecar was discontinued after 1989. In 1985 it sold new for $995.00. 

A California Side Kick Sidecar on a Yamaha Riva Scooter.


This is the other model that CSC received when they purchased Spirit Of America Sidecar Company in 1974. It was called the American Spirit and was made from plastic. CSC renamed it The Friendship and made it with fiberglass and used a torsion arm suspension. Later on it was called the Friendship I.    

The Friendship was the top of their product line for many years. Designed for 650 c.c. motorcycles and up the Friendship came standard with upholstered bucket seat, large rear storage area, carpeting, windshield and 16'' mag wheel and later a 4 lug 13'' mag wheel (pictured). Weighed 190 pounds. and had a load capacity of 300 lbs. The body was made wider in 1989 to make room for the new coil over shock suspension. Overall length 6' 5'', overall width 32'', overall height 46'', ground clearance 6'', hip room 18'', leg room 50''. The FS I was discontinued at the end of 2002. Cost new in 1980, $1750.00. New in 2001 $3000 base price plus paint, shipping, etc. 



This is a California Sidecar Friendship II. It came out in about 1984. The front nose hinges open about half way up the front end to make it much better for a person to get in and out of. Pictured is a sidecar with the options of a convertible top, gas tank in the trunk, luggage rack, rear view mirror and a rear chrome bumper with lights. The bottom picture shows the nose hardware that holds it open and also shows the air vent in the floor. In 1992 the FS II got reworked to have a trunk door on the back and got a new long taillight. Weight 205 pounds with a load capacity of 300 pounds. Started with a torsion arm suspension and it was replaced on most CSC models (not all) in 1989 with a coil over shock suspension.The FS II was discontinued when the FS II SE came out in 1994.



California Friendship III Sidecar . Two passenger model. First version with the smaller hatch and square taillight, pictured above.

Large front hatch open.

The first Friendship III Sidecars had this square taillight. Large trunk below.

This is the early version of the 1988 California Sidecar Friendship III with 8'' square taillight and smaller hatch, made from 1988-1993. 

This is a California Sidecar Friendship III later style with bigger hatch and larger taillight made from 1993-2010. In the late 1980s CSC arranged a license to sell the Dutch EZS Sovereign sidecar in North America as The Friendship III and that is why parts are hard to find because they have to be purchased in Europe. It is a two person sidecar. The first ones had a 8'' square taillight and a smaller hatch and was a little hard to get out of. The molds were reworked in 1993 to use a bigger hatch and a larger 20'' taillight. It weighed 225 lbs with a load capacity of 400lbs. It had a coil over shock suspension and many were ordered with the lean control option. It was made for 900 cc motorcycles and up. It was made from 1988 to March 2010. Base price in 2001 was $4295 and in 2009 base price was 4895. You can add another $2500 for paint, lean control, shipping and crate.

The Friendship III later version with long taillight made by Honda. This FS III has the OEM bumper, rear view mirror, step, convertible top and tinted windshield, all were options.



This is a 1994 California Companion GT. The standard Companion was rework to be a heavy duty match for the Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the early 1990s.  I know in 1992 CSC offered both the smaller Companion and the Companion GT in their model line at the same time.

      The 13 inch mag wheel was standard but most of them were ordered with the 16'' Harley wheel option that use a different swing arm. It had coil over shock suspension and you could order a disc brake or lean control. Weighed 205 lbs with a load capacity of 300lbs. Made for 900 cc and up motorcycles. Base price in 2001, $3000. Base price in 2010 was 4495. Production was stopped in March 2010. 

This is the last version of the Companion GT. You can see the indents (flairs) in the top of the nose. It also has them on the rear behind the seat.


CSC Friendship II SE with front hatch / lid open.

This is a California Sidecar Friendship II SE. In 1994 the FS II was reworked so the front nose would open from the very front edge and the body was made wider and it was renamed the FS II SE. Check out the cup holders on the trunk door. It used a large Toyota taillight. It weighed 225 lbs and had a load capacity of 300 lbs. It was made for 900 cc motorcycles and up. Made from 1994 to March 2010. Base price in 2001 was $3695. Base price in 2010 was $4695.This was the last sidecar model that California Sidecar came out with.

CSC Friendship II SE with later 5 lug mag wheel and optional convertible top and tinted windshield. The California Sidecar logo is engraved into the side of the windshields on all their late models. It can be seen in the corner of the windshield above.


California Sidecar also made two other sidecars from 1988 to 1990. This is the CSC Flexit Sidecar with the inventor Hannes Myburgh at the California Sidecar factory in 1989. The sidecar leaned with the motorcycle. CSC made just a few dozen before the inventor had a falling out with CSC. The Flexit Sidecar was also made in South Africa and Europe by other companies.

This Flexit Sidecar is missing the big bubble windshield.


California Sidecar Options that you could order through the years but you could not get them on all models, most just on Friendship models.


Black & white or color TV, intercom system, AM/FM cassette player, AM/FM 6 CD player, stereo speakers mounted, gas tank in trunk and fuel pump, chrome luggage rack, rear view mirror, cigarette lighter/12 volt access outlet, floor mat, interior light, storage compartment carpet kit, matching motorcycle and sidecar covers, seat belts, 5 position adjustable foot bar,  tinted windshield in lieu of clear windshield, air vent, convertible top, tonneau cover, color coordinated top and seat, chrome driving light with switch, chrome entry step, chrome wrap-around bumper front and rear with lights, brake, lean control, chrome frame, chrome mounting hardware, steering damper, Power Trak front end for Honda Goldwing 1500 and later for Harley-Davidson Touring and Softail models to make steering much lighter. Sidecar shipping & shipping crate were extra.


This is a California Sidecar sales brochure from about the late 1970's or early 1980's. They were building 13 to 17 sidecars a day back then.  Thank you to Asa W. for picture!


This is a California Sidecar Torsion Arm/Bar Suspension.

This is the pivot/hub for the CSC torsion arm and the square slot where the torsion springs sit in the frame. You can see the torsion springs are broken. They are 3/4'' wide and come in a few lengths. This is where the brass bushing or Needle bearing and race sit on this shaft.

There is a square slot in the torsion arm for the springs to sit in.

This is a picture of three sets of new California Sidecar torsion springs / bars. Cut down from springs off an old car. The sidecar just uses one pack. If you enlarge the picture you can see the two set screw holes that have been indented / drilled into each end and this is what holds the suspension on the sidecar.

   These torsion springs and bushing or bearing set-up should be regularly checked for broken springs, greased and maintained because the parts will get ovaled and the sidecar suspension will not hold a setting and the motorcycle will develop a front end wobble. Worst case scenario is the wheel falls off if the springs break but usually the wheel just settles against the inside of the wheel well.
This is a California Sidecar short, torsion arm, CSC part #F1-55-3 with measurements for a Friendship sidecar model. This arm uses 8-7/8'' long torsion springs. The Companion & scooter sidecars use shorter springs. I made a U-Tube video of the California Sidecar torsion arm parts.
California Sidecar torsion arm laid out in order of assembly.
This grub screw locks the springs in place and the bar keeps broken springs from falling out the end.
California Sidecar torsion arm pinch bolts 1/2". This is how you adjust the frame ride height because the various sidecar models do not ride at the same height.
This is the long torsion arm from a very early Companion Sidecar. You can see the outer edge of the lip of the brass bushing in the pinch bolt portion and the shorter 5-7/8" torsion springs. This assembly slides into the frame pivot shaft and is held onto the frame with one grub screw. This has the standard CSC 8 spoke mag wheel.

California Sidecar Serial Number Chart. The company did not keep serial number records,

so I have spent several years collecting California Sidecar serial numbers from people who purchased their CSC new or purchased it from the original owner who had the paper work to prove what year went with the serial number. There is no code to tell you what model of sidecar the serial number goes to but the serial number will tell what year your California Sidecar was made. I can help you figure out the year of your CSC if you call or e-mail me with the number and what components were used to make your sidecar like what type of brake it has or suspension or does it have a trunk lid, taillights, etc.
This is the early style manufacture's label that California Sidecar put on their sidecar frames. This one was on a Partner Sidecar on a Vespa. It is like paper and can wear off very easy. From 1974 to 1988 they had a factory at 1630 Oregon Ave, Long Beach California and it will be on the label. I am not sure if that four digit number in the lower right corner is a serial number but I know that Spirit of America did use a four digit serial number before they were purchased by California Sidecar and maybe they kept doing it that way.
In 1984 California Sidecar went bankrupt and closed and then was purchased and reopened in early 1985 by Patrick's Honda of Fairborne Ohio. And one of the improvements they made was to move the company in 1988 to a larger factory at 15161 Goldenwest Circle, Westminster California and to start putting 6 digit serial numbers on thin aluminum labels on the front left side of their sidecar frames. This label is from a CSC FS II made in 1989. Later in 1998 California Sidecar moved the factory to Arrington Virginia. So the address on the label will help to date your sidecar.

This is the very late style CSC serial number plate. They changed the way the number is laid out. Now it is a 4 digit number like this: CSC-S- 2085 (as pictured above). This plate is from a CSC FS II SE made in Virginia. The S means it is a sidecar. The 20 means it was made in the year 2000. The 85 means it is the 85th sidecar built that year. The old style was a 6 digit number.


A big thank you to Will W. who built every California Sidecar from 2003 to 2009. He does not think any were built in 2010.


I have purchased a truck load of NOS California Sidecar OEM Parts. On Dec-13-2018 I went to the California Sidecar factory in Virginia and purchased all their old stock of sidecar parts. The Trike show room is on the left.

Here I'm un-loading two large shipping crates of windshields for the Friendship III, FS II SE and Companion GT sidecars.

2 pallets of new old stock California Sidecar frames, FS III, FS II SE for GL 1500 bikes and many Companion GT frames.


I have new & used parts for California Sidecar models from 1974 to 2010.  I have many parts for California Sidecars listed on our Sidecar Parts Page. 

Please stop by my Sidecar Shop in New Port Richey, Florida and see lots of Sidecar parts & accessories.