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Motorcycles and Sidecars

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by mattb, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Motorcycles and Sidecars:
    Construction, Management, Repair

    "A comprehensive non-technical treatise" by Victor W. Page,

    Published 1920

    http://www.cyclesidecar.com/pdfs/Motorcycles and Sidecars.pdf


    Enjoy, and don't forget to check out Ixion's Reminiscences of Motor Cycling which Patb posted up a while back.
  2. WHAT a classic find :shock:!!!!

    Reading and comprehension thereof should be a compulsory part of every new rider's test :LOL:.
  3. Is there a chapter on transporting large quantities of beer?

    Coz that's the only reason to have a sidecar on a motorcycle, in times of peace.
  4. err, no

    many a man with a vexatious wife only FOUND peace by having a sidecar :LOL:.
  5. Sidecars?

    Safer in the real world re rain, ice, mud and all those cold tyres and oil patches that Netriders constantly come across.

    Capable of cruising along easily on the dirt, for miles and miles on this here roadbike!

    Can share the experience with friends who'd never want to be, or I wouldn't want to be, on the pillion.

    Traffic notices you and is typically more courteous, and tailgaitors and night-time animals worry you less on hazardous roads.

    Can build a custom car with a fold-down bed for camping and rallies, or just use its couchiness to kick back in the middle of nowhere and write, under the shade of a Gum, out on those long full-day rides.

    Transport lots of stuff.

    Cornering is a whole different bag of fun.

    Make the final one with roll bar and nice things and have two kids in the car and wife on the back and the whole family gets into riding together.

    And finally, they're just damn cool and fun! Reason enough in itself! Plus of course you can have the solo (my SR500) sitting there ready to go also.

    When I finally get the loan and get mine, the bike'll probably be a HD Sportster, so you'll have two things to bag! :wink: But I expect I'll be having a ball! :)
  6. Yeah, but so is this:
  7. I expected that would be the next post. There's a lot more to bikes, son, than is clearly contained within your (limited) philosophy / experience? :wink: (that's what Hamlet said! And he was the prototype for Brando, only with less balls and more brains)

    Meet some hack / outfit / sidecar guys: as breed you'll generally find they've been riding / working on bikes for years and basically in experience and km and soul smiply sh*t all over the plastic Johny come lately's who bag them!

    (I'm not being nasty there, but honestly it's a funny trend I've discovered, re the type of rider I meet who rides outfits, and the type of rider I hear bagging them. Any way I'm drunk, don't listen to me!)
  8. Check this out Matty, this caught my eye when i first saw it. I realise it may not be your cup of tea because it's not oldschool. But it's still impressive.

  9. No way bro, you can't do hektik wheelies with them AND there's not even space to write "Repsol". Lame.

    Nah, I kind of get the sidecar thing, they just seemed like odd reasons to recommend them.

    Sidecars are pretty cool, especially if they've got an old british bike attached. I guess it's nice to have the connection with the scenery that you get on a bike combined with being able to lug a bunch of stuff/people around.
  10. awesome pic chef.
  11. Chef, yeh I've seen that one - brilliant!

    Schwer, what's odd about those reasons?? You got one of my biggest reasons right - connection with the scenary, but about the others...aside from commuting (where I wouldn't use the sidecar) and touring (where I would, with a highway-capable bike unlike the SR500), I ride at least one day a week (more where I can) from first thing till after sundown, whether that be winter or summer (so long hours), generally on my own and no matter what the weather. If a thunderstorm is forming and it's 10 degrees, I'm still off into it. Now, the funny thing is that on a freezing blustery soaked winter's morning in the middle of the mountains you pass a BMW, then Harley...and that's about it! All the sports heroes have seemingly disappeared, as well as the guys who seem so ready to bag the sidecars. But look at it from the perspective of somebody who both will ride no matter what as I do, for long hours and as often as possible into unknown places, and who's very aware that paralysis or death are an easy result to the day, especially when you put yourself out there no matter what the conditions. Suddenly the first reason you quoted looks much less odd!

    Then consider that I like to go as far out of the way as possible, always preferring the most back routes, which are dirt, and I'm on a road bike and don't like dirt-riding at all, especially given that if I come off (which happens sooner or later) not only do I damage my nice bike but there's likely be no help for quite a while. There's the second reason making sense.

    The third is pretty self-explanatory to me - ever entered a corner at speed and had your mate on the back panic and try to fight the lean? I have - scary! Plus many people -friends and family - are simply too scared to go pillion, plus I have friends with serious heart conditions, one with cerebral palsy, all who frequently express the longing to experience a motorcycle. Plus, when I have kids on they go, and even now it's safer with the precious cargo of my beloved partner whom I couldn't bare to see hurt. I love sharing biking with others, so there’s a good reason!

    Fourth reason you quoted: pretty self-explanatory I should say. Sidecarists talk about how much better it is, but also in the context of riding those roads in all conditions, including after dark on a twisty road with the rain and every impatient sod up my clacker, it makes a lot of sense.

    My reaction was less at you than at the general criticism that's frustrating me, and which seems to come from guys who ride their sports bike or GS500s on a Sunday morning for three or four hours in good weather once a fortnight or often less(!), who know two other mates on R1s or CB400s but are generally completely unaware of the long-standing very serious bike scenes that include sidecars and where sidecars get much repsect for good reason – their riders eat these other newbs alive in the biking things that deserve respect, and whose lack of serious or deep immersion in the bike scene and in real committment to riding is something to which they're oblivious, and yet they're opinionated and dismissive toward so much that they simply, through that lack, are ignorant of. The Harley / cruiser bagging on here is often enough an example of that (not those who don't like Harleys, but those trolls who feel the need to criticise them and their riders; in teh same breathe I'm not criticising those who ride only a little and in fair weather, but those of them with such stupid attitudes). It's even more common when sidecars are mentioned, and it miffs me because of the attitude and ignorance out of which it is expressed. Bloody 'plastic crowd'!

    Wow! I don't usually get on here and rant! :grin:
  12. Wow, well you've certainly put up a good defence of them. Essentially, it seemed odd to me because those are the same things that I (and I imagine other people) say "pfft" at when they're mentioned by my car-driving mates.

    Out of interest, have you actually ridden a sidecar? Is it a lot more difficult than riding a bike? I always imagine it's like a less-balanced trike, which is a bit unnerving.
  13. What point is a side car unless you can have two-wheel drive and a reverse gear!



    I can picture that with a PKM mounted on the car...
  14. That bloke on the Dragon's tail looked like he was loving every minute of it. Glad you liked it.

    I like this one too. Bit of yesteryear shenanigans.
  15. Well I can't say I've ever ridden a bike with a sidecar but my Dad has back in Britain during the 60s. His opinion about them was quite clear, they're great so long as you only want to turn in one direction! From his history on them it seems clear you need to adjust your head space and ride them very differently as they can be unweildy in an emergency sitation. I guess you can always say though that their lack of manouverability is countered by their stability in adverse conditions. Anyone that rides gets my respect no matter what it is they ride.

    So what about Trikes then? Are they simply another modification to a bike like a sidecar is. Would people prefer to ride a Trike or a Bike with a Sidecar? It seems that this would also provide stability particulary for family and friends that want to enjoy riding but are nervous about certain aspects of it (like falling over).
  16. I've only been in a passanger in a trike, and it had a VW engine. If I had to categorise it (and to be honest I have no interest in categorising - part of the attitude I was talking about will usually repsond to talk of a sidecar, "They're not motorcycles!" Who gives a Ratzinger what they are!), then I'd say taht one had something of a motorcycle, and something else as well, almost like a farm machine built for leisure. I'd love to own a trike, but they don't have that allure that sidecars have, for me. Reading a book like Ixion's makes you see how blurred the line can be in automation, and how arbitrary are our definitional debates.

    I'm fortunate enough to have a fellow club member who can fit the sidecar, build leading link forks, and who has generally introduced me to teh whole thing. He's in his 60s and didn't get his car license till ten years ago! Been riding outfits for 40 years. Sidecars are more and less dangerous, depending on the situation and how you ride them (just take a look at youtube crashes in racing conditions - nasty!). Setting them up right, and with the right weight distributions and with a car that matches the power of the bike, makes a lot of difference. Plus there's the difference between cars - some with drive, most without, some more with brakes, most without. Your hurdle is the the car pulls left when you move, and right when you brake, and set-up and the car's design make a big difference to how much of a problem or not this is. I'll be taking it nice and easy with the car, as I do with my solo anyway.