I have chosen to name this website Smiling in the Wind for nothing I've ever done has rivaled the sheer number of smiles collected while riding with a sidecar... put your honey, your best friend doggy, a child or a granny in the chair with a pair of doggles or goggles and it just get's crazy! I love riding motorcycles but for many reasons I love riding with a sidecar attached even more.
For me there are many benefits to attaching a sidecar rig to your bike, here I have attempted to list my top 10 benefits as I have experienced them. Remember.... this sidecar can be mounted or dismounted simply by removing two bolts, then your bike is back to a solo again.
1.) "SHARE YOUR PASSION"... for me this would be the most obvious one, motorcycle riding is essentially a solo endeavor, now you get to share it with everyone... and the dog.
2.) Riding safely on dirt roads... this a big one for me, my passion has always been to get off the beaten track onto the dusty backroads where the real beauty lies. The awesome thing with a rig is that you can ditch all that heavy riding gear as you are not going to fall over... encountering mud, soft sand and pebbly riverbeds becomes enjoyable rather than nerve wracking, both you and your sidecar passenger can enjoy the scenery, with a rig you can travel at 100 km/h on the dirt or 1 km/h.
3.) NEVER stop riding.... BMW Motorrad in George invited me on two occasions to showpiece my rigs to their clients... the reason being these big motorcycles are beasts and at a certain point they become too heavy for an elderly guy or gal to pick up if they drop them, by fitting a sidecar to their beloved bike they never again need to worry, they can now ride on into their twilight years in style.
4.) Giving rides for extra income... this is self explanatory, people are always asking for a ride in the sidecar and are happy to pay for the experience, its that unique.
5.) Riding with physical disabilities... in my time building sidecars I made two up for guys that had been involved in bike accidents, they thought their riding days were over... they were happily wrong. Also a father with a young child with cerebral palsy who loved riding with his dad but had to be tied on around his father's waist as a pillion, no worries with a sidecar and a seatbelt fitted. I have also sold a few to men who's wives had always ridden with them on adventures but had regrettably been diagnosed with MS or similar ailments, they started riding together again after fitting a sidecar that their ladies then made their own.
6.) Teaching someone to ride... not one that is often thought about but it really works, its a great way for a first timer to get on and learn the basics of pulling away, throttle control and braking with the experienced biker sitting behind giving instruction. I know a lady who rode pillion for 30 odd years with her husband, she now rides and he sits in the sidecar having a nap on long trips.
7.) Smiles, smiles, smiles... they're everywhere when you ride a sidecar, its a weird and wonderful thing and strangers of all ages light up when they see one.
8.) Getting towed after a breakdown... another one you don't normally think about but is always a concern with such a heavy motorcycle but something you never have to worry about if you have a sidecar, a farmer and a tow rope and you're good to go.
9.) Additional luggage space.... sooooooo much space... my SW sidecar design has a 240 litre waterproof and dustproof luggage compartment in the back with a lockable luggage rack securing it, this rack also doubles as a table when opened. the rig has also been designed with space for your standard panniers on your bike to remain.
10.) Using your bike as an everyday vehicle... My rig is my only vehicle and I use it everyday, from going to the shops for groceries to going fishing or surfing to adventuring on extended camping trips into wilderness. If I have a long trip to take, if I don't need to carry a lot of luggage and I need to get there fast I just clip the sidecar off and I'm back to enjoying a solo bike again.