Wednesday, June 01, 2011


I've often wondered if motorcycles with sidecars are safer than two-wheeled motorcycles. My biggest fear on a bike is someone not seeing me and making a left-hand turn in front of me. And I wonder if a sidecar helps those people see you.
For ten thousand bucks you can get this neat Russian bike that comes standard with a sidecar, the Ural T.
Another option is to simply get a bike and put a sidecar on it. Sidecars are less than $3000.

And the Royal Enfield Bullet has a list price of $5500.


DAVID FREY said...

I think the addition of a side car, while awesome looking, actually makes a bike more difficult to maneuver since you can no longer lean into your turns. Although the side car would make you wider, it is still rather small and low to the ground, so I'm not sure you would be any more noticable by a crappy driver. As an avid cyclist in the city, I would say, skip the side car, learn how to weave and lean in and out of turns, and stay on the outside of turning cars. Eventually it becomes instinctual

Andrew Bellware said...

The thing is that every rider I've known has gone down because of somebody making a left turn in front of them. Now, yeah, most riders say that their speed and flexibility are what keep them from getting hit. But it seems that eventually you'll end up on the ground because of some stupid making a left-hand turn.
I bet if those sidecars had headlights... hmm... that might be even better...

Michael Taylor said...

My feeling is that a bolting a sidecar on would destroy all that is attractive about motorcycles. I've been riding one motorcycle or another since 1967, and although sidecar rigs have a certain funky flower-power appeal, that's as far as it goes. Suddenly being as wide (and almost as heavy) as a Smart Car while having to steer into turns rather than lean removes all the appeal of a sidecar for me.

Safer? Maybe, but only because you'd be aboard a much bulkier, slower, and considerably less enjoyable machine. You'd probably ride it less, and thus expose yourself to less danger. But tied to the ball-and-chain of a sidecar would leave you with all the disadvantages of cars and motorcycles -- exposed to the weather, no mobility, and lacking a steel shell for protection -- but none of the advantages of either.

I don't know if that Royal Enfield is the 350 or 500 cc, but if it was 1500 bucks, I just might buy one. $5500 for such ancient, time-machine technology?

I don't think so.

Andrew Bellware said...

Everybody I know who rides hates the idea of a sidecar.
I actually kind of like them aesthetically.
Maybe they'd be safer if the rider in the sidecar had a machine gun.
Still, my fear of motorcycles (which should perhaps predicate my ever getting one) is going down because someone doesn't see me and takes a left hand turn in front of me.
So maybe I should stick to car and PRETEND I have a motorcycle.
I still think a headlight on the sidecar would work.