Remember the days of the sidecar? When you couldn't go more than a couple blocks around town before seeing a Harley retrofitted with a dingy carriage on the side, occupied by a disgruntled dog or girlfriend who was clearly thinking "this wasn't what I was expecting when he said he rode a motorcycle". Ok well the truth is, I don't remember them either. They have always been a novelty to me, something that the sight of would make me giddy with the thrice in a lifetime opportunity of seeing one moving down the road.
The truth is that I have always loved the idea of sidecars, a love that seems to be quite common among others. Fortunately for us, this is a love that has gone unspoiled by the experience of actually riding one. Instead we're free to dream of it without considering the almost surely uncomfortable experience of being holed up in an unsuspended steel shell rattling down the road. Or driving a motorcycle that neither brakes nor accelerates evenly (given that the sidecar wheel is traditionally not used for either, though there are exceptions), that has lost it's ability to turn effectively and more likely than not has lost nearly all of the qualities that made you fall in love with motorcycle riding to begin with.
But let's not think about that now. Let's talk about the dream that is sidecars. In the next few posts I'm going to cover sidecars, from their beginnings and importance in history, to their heyday in the 1950's, and finally to their place in the current motorcycle world. But first, some sidecar porn: