How to Attach a Cozy sidecar to a Vespa

2006-I decided to get a 10" Cozy sidecar for my 1979 Vespa P200E.  Not being able to find any really good instructions on mounting this sidecar, I decided to take some pictures and make some hopefully useful instructions.   The install of the sidecar took me 5-6 hours, grinding the bracket was a good hour, readjusting the toe-in took a few more hours.

Check your shocks before you install the sidecar, if you need to replace them do it before mounting the sidecar. After replacing the shocks you may need to readjust the toe-in and lean if the sidecar has already been mounted. I would also suggest doing any repairs/upgrades/maintenance on the scooter before mounting the sidecar. It is much easier to work on with no sidecar attached.

Before the sidecar

Scooter, 1979 Vespa P200E

Sidecar in the crate


Windshield, seats, cover                                        Fender, wheel, luggage rack, crashbar for fender

The bracket, mount it with the wider part (on the left in the picture) to the rear of the scooter.
The metal plates will be on top of the scooter floorboard, so it should be (from bottom to top): sidecar bracket, scooter frame, metal plate.

Attach the sidecar to the scooter

Pic of bottom of scooter before sidecar hardware is mounted

Lay the scooter down and remove the centerstand.  Attach the sidecar bracket to the scooter, fit the rear bolts of the sidecar bracket to the two holes of the centerstand.  Refit the center stand with the longer portion of the clamp to the rear of the scooter (or leave the centerstand off).

After mounting the bracket, the brake lever does not return all the way home

Drill new holes for the remaining bolts of the sidecar bracket (use 3/8" bit) and attach bolts

Scooter with sidecar mount

Tilt the scooter rear wheel towards the sidecar wheel (this was in the Cozy instructions but I didn't understand what it meant so I didn't do it).  I think it means to tilt the whole bike slightly.

Assemble the side car wheel (parts are laid out in order).  Grease the bearings too. 

Be sure to use the cotter pin on the outer nut and bend the tabs over the nut on the inner nut

The wheel is on

Attach the sidecar with the 4 bolts and rubber washer.  Better get help on this one.....thanks to my wife Jasie.
Tighten the main bolts.

Attach the sidecar stay to the seat bolts of the scooter.  Had to do a bit of bending to get this to fit right, I don't think the scooter crash bars are helping anything, they may have to be removed.

Remove the scooter's rear shock absorber and fit the distance piece.
This was in the Cozy instructions but I didn't do this since there wasn't a "distance piece" to fit.

Uh-oh!  Extra parts.   Updates were made after calling Scooterworks
  1. I know the top piece is the steering damper.
  2. The plastic rings were the same as used for the wheel so maybe they are extra.
    Update: The plastic rings are extras for the wheel
  3. The 2 extra cotter pins I'm not sure of
    Update: Just extra cotter pins, there is no where else to use them
  4. The 2 rubber spacers? No clue....
    Update: The rubber spacers/collars must be from the packing (I don't remember if they were in the parts box or if they came later).

Really bad lean to the left, hopefully adjusting the toe-in will help.  It seems like the sidecar is too high but I couldn't figure out how to lower the wheel.

Adjust the toe-in (recommended is 3/4" to 1-1/4")

Check tire pressure in all tires
Front:  20-22 psi
Rear:  28-30 psi
Sidecar:  20-22 psi

Loosen the main bolts on the scooter (left picture) and the bolts on the sidecar (right picture).  Twist the tube (not easy at all).

 Lay a board or other stright-edge alongside the sidecar wheel  and a board alongside the front and rear scooter wheels.  Initial distance was 40.5" front 42.5" back

Measure distance between inside of rear wheel on the scooter and the inner edge of the board

Measure the distance from the inside of the front wheel on the scooter to the inner edge of the board

The difference in distance is the toe-in.  Twist the center connector to adjust the toe-in.  I went with 1" toe-in.  See updated toe-in adjustment below.

Adjust the lean

To adjust the lean, loosen the tie-rod bolt on the stay and push and shove and try and try to adjust the lean.  I still have a bit of lean (alot a bit) but not as much as previously.

Update:  I decided to try and fix the lean by readjusting the bracket and toe-in.  I also ordered new shocks for the front and rear.
Update: Put new shocks on the front and rear, I put a Sebac on the front and just a stock shock on the rear. I will need to adjust the lean in and toe-in again.

It rides really strange, it will take some getting used to.

Re-adjust the bracket and toe-in

Since the lean was too much I decided to re-adjust the bracket and toe-in.

Bracket before adjustment, both scooter and sidecar tube are roughly the same height.

This is the amount of lean I had initially, It was too much lean-out.

To adjust the lean and toe-in.
1.  Loosen the stay bracket (or disconnect it).  
2.  Loosen the four bolts on the scooter
3.  Lift the sidecar up, this will cause the scooter tube to rotate.  I rotated it up quite a bit.  The scooter will lean over alot.
4.  Tighten one bolt on the scooter.
5.  Loosen the bolts on the sidecar tube.
6.  Adjust the sidecar down so it is somewhat level (front to back).  Now the scooter and sidecar should be even and the lean should be alot less.
7.  Check the toe-in (see above).  
    This took quite a bit of readjusting, I spent at least an hour on it.  You may have to repeat steps #2-7 several times.
8.  If the toe-in is good and the lean is good, retighten all the bolts for the bracket tubes.
9.  Retighten the stay bolts.
10.  Ride it and see if the adjustment is good, repeat if needed.

This is the bracket after adjustment, now the sidecar tube is higher than the scooter tube.  This helped the lean-out alot.  Now the toe-in is 1-1/2".  I will have to re-adjust it again when I put new shocks on.

Lean-out after adjustment, the scooter now sits with a slight lean-in.

"Modify" the bracket

Since the bracket was causing the brake lever to not seat properly, I decided to modify the bracket.  A quick search gave this page:

Bracket with tape showing where the bracket needs to be ground off.

I used an angle grider with a cut-off wheel to remove the part of the bracket that was hitting the brake lever.  Be careful with this, I ground a bit from the brake lever and hit the scooter body

Bracket is "modified", now I need to get a different bolt.  The brake lever is now hitting the bracket bolt.  I will just get a recessed bolt of some sort.  It doesn't look as nice as Buellers but it will work.

Connect the light

To wire the light, just run wires from the light on the sidecar and connect to the tail light (the wire that is for the running light not the brake light). I ran the wire along the sidecar frame and the scooter's crashbars, then inside the rear fender and through the hole for the tail light wires.

Where to get a sidecar

St. Louis Vespa
American Scooter Center
Garners Classic Scooters

Setup instructions and helpful hints from
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