As avid sidecar riders, we’re often asked what it’s like or how different it is from riding a motorcycle. Quick answer: it’s fun…and different! For a more in-depth answer, we made this video explaining why we think riding a sidecar motorcycle might be easier than you think. Enjoy this video, get out and practice, then plan an adventure near or far!
To learn more about the Ural cT sidecar featured in this video and these pics, visit Ural Motorcycles. If you get the urge to pony up for a new rig, check out our dealership of choice, Heindl Engineering in Eaton, OH.
Below is the script from the video plus a few extra tidbits; if you know of someone considering a sidecar, send ’em this article! This pertains to sidecars mounted to the right side of the vehicle, if you’re from a country where the sidecar is on the left, adjust accordingly!
Riding a sidecar motorcycle is easier than you think. It is not like wrestling a bear. Nor is it like riding a bull. If you feel intimidated, do not fear, you will adapt quickly.
First, put on proper apparel for safe riding. Then, familiarize yourself with the motorcycle. One quick check of tire pressure and you’re ready to ride.
The bike will track straight if set up properly. You might feel a little wiggle when you accelerate…or roll off the throttle…or when you brake. Over time, it will become natural and almost unnoticeable.
On right turns (if your sidecar is mounted on the right), the sidecar will want to rise. You must reduce as much speed as possible before you enter the turn. Lean toward the sidecar as far as necessary. It is important to avoid panicking when the sidecar begins to rise. Panic can lead to an unnecessary and dangerous overcorrection.
A sidecar motorcycle can carry more speed into left turns, but don’t go too fast, or the nose of the sidecar may dive and the motorcycle’s rear wheel may lift.
Flying the Chair:
Consider riding to an open parking lot to practice slow right turns until the sidecar starts to lift. An experienced rider can hold the sidecar wheel in the air with ease. Get to know this sensation so it doesn’t surprise you in real-world occurrences. This can prepare you to properly handle right turns.
Things to Consider:
• Throw a sandbag or two in the floor of the sidecar to add confidence when learning.
• Set up two soft objects a little wider than the width of the rig and practice riding through them.
• Avoid being in a hurry: This goes for shifting, braking, lane-changing and cornering.
• Prepare for UDF, Ural Delay Factor. People of all ages will be drawn to you and your sidecar motorcycle; plan on many delays caused by conversations with curious bystanders.
• While riding, don’t get distracted by roadside admirers!
• Before you carry ANY passenger, be it a pet or a human, you can never practice too much. The passenger depends on your mastery of the entire rig. Learn about all of its nuances before inviting a passenger into the sidecar.
You may ask yourself, why would one choose a sidecar motorcycle?
• For the extra carrying capacity
• They are less susceptible to toppling over in slippery conditions
• They can be ideal for people with physical limitations
• The sidecar passenger is more planted in the vehicle and has a less-obstructed view forward
This article is merely food for thought. We recommend pursuing any and all local motorcycle safety resources. We are not responsible for your actions and trust that you will determine what your skill level will allow. Don’t ride over your head. Ride safe…and always wear a helmet.
Have fun and enjoy the smiles ahead on your sidecar motorcycle!