Monday, December 18, 2006

A Little Something On The Side

In a little over forty-five years of motorcycling I have almost always owned two bikes, a solo bike and a hack. A hack, of course, is a motorcycle with an attached sidecar. This is sometimes also referred to as an “outfit.” You can see a tiny picture of my current outfit in my profile over in the right panel. The bike is a BMW K1200RS. It is very fast.

Sidecarists (say, sigh-DECK-a-rists) are generally looked down on, or askance at, by solo bikers. The attitude of the lookers-down is either pitying or

The pitiers: “Poor old Bill got married and lumbered with rug rats. The poor guy’s old lady made him tie a tub to his motorcycle and now all he can do is putt around the neighborhood.”

The condescenders: “You got to hand it to gramps. He’s still out there in the wind, even though he’s too old and feeble to ride a real bike
any more.”

We tend to get the sideways look from bikers who tried siDECarism once with less than satisfactory results. “Geeze, I tried one of those things once and it scared the #%*& out of me.” There’s a reason for that response, which we’ll examin
e later.

Sidecar driving is one of the great motorsports. It is both very different from two-wheel biking and at the same time very like it. Working a hack at speed along a looping mountain road can be a real challenge and great fun.

Sidecaring has changed a lot over the years. The current Grand Prix racing sidecar is pretty exotic, and the racing competition is between two-man teams, which you’ll see, in the following clip.

1000cc engines and top speeds of 170 miles per hour. We don need no stinkeen stock cars. (Click)

1 comment:

Tedski said...

You forgot that the sport was documented in the Ross Hagen classic "Five the Hard Way," known to MST3K fans as "Sidehackers."