Contact Info

SportMax Sidecars
136- 14 Street North
Lethbridge, Alberta
T1H 2V7
Phone or Text: (250) 882 8256
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Installation, Riding and Sidecar Information

Riding (Operating) a Sidecar Outfit

Present-day sidecarists and enthusiasts won't need to be told, but it may be useful for the general reader to point out right at the outset that operating a sidecar outfit is NOT difficult and NOT dangerous. And - another important but easily overlooked point - operating a sidecar is NOT the same thing as riding a motorcycle. This last point means you don't need training and experience riding motorcycles to successfully operate a sidecar outfit.

Many are the well-meaning experts who will adopt a sternly cautionary tone when advising on the operation of a sidecar outfit, but the heart of their message is usually that operating a sidecar outfit is not the same as operating a motorcycle. This is true, but not helpful to the new operator who has no motorcycle background! And in any case, experienced sidecarists simply do not confuse riding a 2-wheel motorcycle with driving (and "driving" is the best term) a 3-wheeled vehicle consisting of motorcycle and sidecar.

How do you operate a sidecar outfit? Operating a sidecar requires that the controls of the motorcycle be learned and mastered. Like learning to operate any new vehicle, this takes some instruction and some practice. But unlike learning to ride a 2-wheeled motorcycle, there is no need to worry about falling off if you stall, miss a gear change, or brake suddenly! The operator can relax the outfit is sitting solidly on 3 wheels! No leaning or counter-steering - just turn the handlebars to steer.

On the road, a sidecar outfit does not fall over if the brakes are locked up in an emergency stop. It does not fall over on wet or slippery roads. It will exhibit one behaviour your car doesn't: the sidecar has a tendency (due to centrifugal forces) to want to lift temporarily off the ground on right hand turns above a certain speed (the sidecar is mounted on the right side of the motorcycle in North America ). "Flying the sidecar" is easily avoided if the operator is paying attention; but it is also a predictable effect which, with practice, can be controlled and corrected calmly and easily when it is encountered.

Operators Licenses

In many jurisdictions, it is possible to obtain an operator's license for a motorcycle and sidecar outfit WITHOUT first obtaining a 2-wheel motorcycle operating license. In Canada, the sidecar outfit can be operated with an automobile operator's license provided the motorcycle/scooter is under 50cc, although we would ALWAYS recommend training and practice in the operation of the motorcycle and sidecar before undertaking operation on public roadways. Full motorcycle safety gear is STRONGLY recommended for operator and passenger(s) where it is not already MANDATORY.