The Sidecar

The image of a Sidecar attached to a motorcycle is one that lasts in most people’s memory, coming from a movie, a book or some classical motor show. Less seen in present times, Sidecars actually pre-date their better half! Originally developed as a practical way to carry a passenger on a bicycle, the early design was very crude, making for a rather uncomfortable ride.

Later, the use of flexible connecting bars, independent suspension and dedicated breaks would greatly improve conditions for the passenger, turning the Sidecar into a well liked feature. It also offered advantages for military use, having been employed frequently.

The presence of a sidecar affects the stability of the whole vehicle, namely when negotiating turns, as there is a higher risk of tipping over to the side where the sidecar is attached. Conversely, the rider can increase speed on the opposite turns. This and other considerations required specific driving techniques and allowed for races with sidecars to be relatively popular.

There seems to be a revival of the Sidecar attached to a motorcycle, and nostalgia will keep bringing sidecars back from the past and into our lives.