One lazy Sunday afternoon, many years ago now, I had a nap… as uncanny as it may sound, when I awoke I had the words “BMW sidecar” running like a movie through my mind.
You see I had only recently started riding with my girlfriend on the dusty backroads of Riebeek Kasteel where I lived at the time, we had a BMW 650 Dakar and had often commented on how sad it was that we had to always leave my big German Shepherd doggy 'Tau' at home while we took off on a ride.
Always one to follow intuition when it appears I made myself a cup of coffee, sat down with my laptop and googled BMW sidecar and right there on top of page one was a wonderful story of Ara and Spirit, a man and his dog riding around the back-roads of America, the idea of this captivated me.
When I saw Ara’s story the idea stuck like mud to a blanket. I had been looking for something new, exciting and meaningful in my life at the time and it seemed the inspiration I had been patiently waiting for had arrived, it was mad, it was crazy, it was expensive and as far as I was aware giving everything up and riding around SA with your girlfriend and dog on an extended camping trip with a sidecar had never been attempted in this country before, it filled me with a fear of the unknown and nervous energy… it was brilliant!!
I searched the web and found a sidecar made in Holland, I was able to source one of these in kit form from a local distributor for R 68 000 that fitted to a BMW 1150 GS, I showed my girlfriend, we looked at Tau… we decided then and there, let’s do it! So I sold my 650 bought an 1150 GS Adventure and now came the task of putting this idea all together.
So began my journey into the weird and wonderful world of sidecars… I will always remember those days of riding and camping with Tau and my girlfriend as one of the most carefree and enjoyable times of my life, with Sylvia riding pillion behind me and Tau in the sidecar we rode around South Africa for about 6 months together creating smiles wherever we went.
The imported sidecar served the purpose at the time but wasn't really made for our offroad conditions and took a real beating, it was this that started me on the road to designing and building my own rigs for our local conditions.
Below are some pics of our adventures.