Motocross motorcycle side cars
The MX motorcycle side car, & side car cross.
Motocross Motorcycle Side Cars - Racing with a Difference.
It is hard enough controlling a bike with one rider. Now imagine extra equipment and another person.
Now we are talking about sidecar racing and the two experienced, skilled and strong riders that make this kind of MX excitement happen.
The unique thing about motocross motorcycle side cars is that one person is the driver and the other is the passenger, also referred to as a swinger or a monkey.
The passenger is responsible for at least half of the handling performance. The rider has very little control of the sidecar and relies on the passenger's precision timing and skill to get them around a turn successfully. Watching the method is thrilling and carries the usual risk of extreme sports.
As with all types of racing, motocross motorcycle side cars have been modified and changed for the better in an attempt to improve both speed and safety. Lowering the center of gravity, the driver now was seated just over the engine.
A platform became the carrier for the passenger, rather than a basket. This allowed more mobility from the passenger and allowed the tires to stay on the ground while the bike went faster than before. Better aerodynamics would have been welcome but the best thing at the time was adjusting the fenders. Most of these sidecars were homebuilt, seen now in vintage class races.
Now that quality companies manufacture sidecars, issues like weight and stability have improved. Building materials include carbon fiber and aluminum. Suspension is definitely more reliable.
Single swing arms make it easier to change a wheel. After contemplation, it was determined that slick tires brought stability, much like a racecar, on the motocross motorcycle side cars.
The formula 2 or F2 sidecars position the motors under the drivers. Maximum engine displacement for motocross motorcycle side cars is 500cc for a 2 stroke or 600cc for a 4 stroke. The wheelbase, shorter than an F1, offers better handling on short tracks.
Neither the F1 and F2 sidecar wheel has suspension. The engines can be fuel injected or carbureted. Not allowed are shaft drive engines; the engines must be belt or chain driven.
Some background on offroad side cars .
Larry Coleman, another 2010 Motorcycle Hall of Fame inductee, discovered motocross motorcycle side cars road racing while stationed in Germany in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was entranced with the idea of mandatory and essential teamwork to achieve success in sidecar racing.
After discharge, he returned home to the States and got into racing. Coleman drove a Kawasaki 500 H1 sidecar with Wendell Andrews as his passenger. They just missed the AMA Championship, finishing in second place.
In 1974, the pair imported a sidecar racing chassis from England and upgraded the engines. Dominating the US, they won two AMA national Championships in 1976 and 1977.
Traveling to New Zealand during the winter of 1976 - 77 for the Marlboro Series, the team came in second. Andrews retired from racing at the end of the 1977 season. Mark Bevans then joined the team.
One of their golden moments was winning the Long Beach Grand Prix in 1981. Coleman retired from full-time sidecar racing at the end of the 1981 season. He still competes at Bonneville Salt Flats with a racing sidecar.
Coleman is a three-time AMA Roadracing Sidecar Champion and a land-speed record holder in sidecar divisions. He is a legend in motocross motorcycle side cars.
If you have seen an advert for a "used" side car for sale – you’ll know that prices are fairly reasonable. But should you be considering a dirt bike and side car for sale ; see if YOUR local tracks race motocross bikes and sidecars, because if they don’t – you’ll have no one to compete against.
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