Sidecar driving is different

Sidecar ride

Sidecar driving is different. At the motorcycle store there was a combination that looked like it had driven at full speed into a fairly mature ditch. And look at that: it was like that too. But there is a learning moment in the story. Sidecar driving is a branch that has just as much to do with motorcycling as Monsterboard and the Olympic Games have to do with changing lanes.

Driving a sidecar?

That is why a professional sidecar seller will always properly instruct his client in advance and tell him that the first thousand kilometers are the practice kilometers. In fact, it is even of vital importance to follow a training course with one of the few Dutch sidecar specialists. Because unprepared sidecar driving is just as dangerous as being pampered orally by a pit bull terrier.

Practice first!

Practice first. Then lessons. Then really drive. And then it only becomes dangerous because, as a new-born tricycle driver, you have the idea that you understand the situation. Then it goes wrong. Because if something unexpected happens in the wild between the 1000-5000 kilometer of public road in that phase, the newly-fired sidecar driver will react according to the old scratches on his hard drive. That has been proven. And whether you then react like a motorist would do or react like a motorcyclist would do; then it goes cold.

Practice makes perfect

For those reasons I once drove an adult refuge to death. But the warning applies to the entire width of the tricycle. The example of all misery covered with duckweed and hit fish was more than proof of that. Because the driver of that had not even arrived at the first 1000 km.

But it can go wrong

In fact, things went wrong after the first few meters. The man had ordered his "free house" tricycle. Despite all the insistence of the seller to first come and practice on the local industrial site. There is still plenty of room in Genemuiden. The brand new owner had explained that he was an experienced motorcyclist and that there was a garden associated with his Groningen property that was larger than the whole of Genemuiden. Enough space to learn the craft of tricycle pilot.

Starting the tricycle went smoothly. Putting it in first gear too. Then the brave tricycle made a rocket start in which the driver briefly forgot what he had to do. The combination rammed the real concrete garden ornament with water-spitting trumpet angel, broke through the white fences behind which the horses stood and dived into the adult wetlands for the gentlemen's farm. The first ride was a hundred meters long and 1 meters deep and the owner broke an arm and a wrist.

It argued for the man that his combination could be made. And then take some sidecar lessons.

But sidecars are fun!

The trumpet angel did not survive the blow. The horses were shocked but not injured. And because of all those horror stories, you shouldn't let yourself be sidelined. Riding sideways is fun. But very different.

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Sidecar ride

Sidecar ride




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  1. Nice and recognizable article. 35 years ago I drove around with a Moto Guzzi with Moturist box by Ed Pols until our children felt themselves too big to sit in the cup and crawl on the back of the solo bikes of the MC Hoogeveen club members and I was traveling alone with the sidecar. Still had a good time with this sidecar.

    • Yes, this is a very enlightening story…. I have little or no experience with driving on "3 wheelers", so I wanted to give myself a few driving lessons before higher costs become known.
      who knows about a sidecar driving school in Belgium?
      thanks for that

  2. What nice reactions all but not entirely without danger those situations. For example, I had bought a smaller trike for my wife. When I tried it myself for the first time in our neighborhood on a mountain with a considerable road narrowing, my left rear wheel hit the hill in the middle. Hereby the wheel came loose and I had become an 2 wheel again. With a lot of luck (more than wisdom) I ended up on 3 wheels again, with a heartbeat. Trike was rejected by my wife and quickly sold. Now my baby is just behind again and she likes it :-).

  3. Sidecar riding is so much fun. Even if according to many it is a combination of the worst of both worlds; you are wet in a traffic jam. But I am afraid of curves to the right .. you should not send them in too fast because if you want to slow down, your team turns left and with some bad luck you look into the grille of a fully loaded Scania. The only option is to give full throttle and hope that you make the corner, but then you have to ignore all innate reflexes, that is not easy. So curves to the right? Relax in it ...

  4. Hi Dolf, truth as a cow in a sidecar. I have had an old xs1100 with Born cup for a few years now. What fun… ..yesterday I even made a kind of wheelie. Left corner, empty cup and a dash of gas gave me the XT500 feeling but different. Had taken a course quite quickly on advice and sometimes a bit overconfident but luckily always managed to keep the rubber underneath. Mothers, the wife and our 2 dogs think it is great anyway, so I don't think leaving. Greetings Richard

  5. It is true, sidecars are great fun, but very different.
    In the beginning I tried to take a right turn at a good speed because the gearbox was difficult to get up. At that speed it went so smoothly that I slid into a ditch on the left side (bucket up) and got stuck there.
    In addition to the material sheath, there is also a big thump against your ego.

    But you will learn from it….

  6. with us in the club we also had a number of sidecar drivers. Now only two. I myself drove a sidecar when both daughters were too small to be able to ride. But as soon as they had grown out of the sidecar, I started riding on two wheels again because you then have the advantages of an engine and not the disadvantages of the width of the combination. You can't get through the traffic jam, you can't crawl at a traffic light and you get much wetter on the sidecar than in the car. But the mistakes we have all made are very recognizable. I have never forgotten the slightly too enthusiastic bend to the right just to reach the traffic light. Even though everything went just fine. The driver of the car that I was just able to pass by may have thought back to that. A club member curled his combination around a lamppost, another curled a hefty bush along the way, and yet another went upside down into a dry ditch with his pregnant wife in the bowl. Fortunately, all ended well, but it may be clear that side-driving is something completely different than just riding a two-wheel motorcycle.

  7. Another nice story with urgent and good advice. If I ever get my sidecar linked to the Indian Enfield I will first take lessons ;-).

  8. In the past, when Motoport Hengelo was still just 'Wout Broer Motoren' (the sidecar), it was always wonderful to relax on his terrace.
    Especially when a motorcyclist took a sidecar 'to practice' ...
    Guaranteed fun for all spectators when the first corner came into view ..

    • Goos Bos, who has been Motoprt Hengelo for years, is also a sidecar enthusiast. He makes the Tripteq coffees and they go worldwide. My main supplier is Richard Busweiler from Genemuiden. Old Russians do that. And I think that is the nicest tricycle 🙂

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