You may think you’re familiar with the world of competitive racing but I assure you, even if you’re the world’s biggest NASCAR or Formula 1 aficionado, there’s so much more out there. Ever since 1949 the exciting sport of Sidecar Racing has grown slowly in the shadow of more popular motor racing events. Today it’s the only remaining original FIM road racing championship class sport still active.
As you might imagine this kind of racing is very dangerous is much different from what you would expect to see in motorcycle competitions. The sidecars themselves, or “superside sidecars” as they were once called, are three wheeled bike hybrids that require both a driver and a passenger. The driver is responsible for acceleration and breaking while the passenger needs to use their body weight to keep the vehicle balanced. Due to their odd design, these bikes always drift during acceleration and breaking so remaining in control over them is quite the challenge.
Today the sport has found new life on the Isle of Man. Although there are different competitions and leagues, the average race is 37-miles with 200-plus turns and almost no run off space. The sidecars are released onto the tracks at 10 second intervals and interaction between them is largely avoided. This is because even the smallest bump at racing speeds can easily prove fatal to everyone involved. Few racing sports stress the need for cooperation and the danger or miscommunication like Sidecar Racing.
For a look at these sidecars in action check out the video below.