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| Ben Birchall (driver)|
Tom Birchall (passenger)
FIM Sidecar World Championship is the international sidecar racing championship. It is the only remaining original FIM road racing championship class that started in 1949.
A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, producing a three-wheeled vehicle. A motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack.
The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme is the global governing/sanctioning body of motorcycle racing. It represents 113 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions.
It was formerly named Superside when the sidecars moved from being part of Grand Prix Motorcycles racing to being support events for the Superbike World Championship. In 2010 the FIM took over the management of the series from the Superside promoters, and the championship was called "FIM Sidecar World Championship". However, the FIM still uses the word Superside for promotion purposes, despite the demise of the Superside promoters.
Superbike World Championship is a motorsport road racing series for modified production motorcycles also known as superbike racing. The championship was founded in 1988. The Superbike World Championship consists of a series of rounds held on permanent racing facilities. Each round has two races and the results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for riders and one for manufacturers.
The championship is raced over a number of rounds at circuits mainly in Europe, although other venues have been included in United States (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), South Africa at Kyalami and Australia's Phillip Island.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
Kyalami Racing Circuit is a motor racing circuit located in Midrand, Gauteng province, South Africa. The circuit has been used for Grand Prix and Formula One races and has hosted the South African Grand Prix many times. Among the Formula One races held at the track the 1977 South African Grand Prix stands out, as it is principally remembered for the fatal accident that claimed the lives of race marshal Frederick Jansen van Vuuren and driver Tom Pryce. In recent years, the area surrounding the circuit has developed into a residential and commercial suburb of Johannesburg. More recently, Kyalami has played host to five rounds of the Superbike World Championship from 1998 to 2002 and later in 2009 and 2010, the season finale of the Superstars Series in 2009 and 2010, and the South African round of the 2008–09 A1 Grand Prix season.
In 2014, for the first time a Kawasaki-powered machine won the title with Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze ending an 11-year consecutive Suzuki run. In 2016 Kirsi Kainulainen became the first woman motorcycle world champion, as passenger to Pekka Päivärinta.
Tim Reeves is an English sidecar racer from Tenterden, Kent. He is a seven times Superside FIM World Sidecar Champion, twice with his younger brother Tristan, once with Patrick Farrance (2007) and once with Ashley Hawes (2012) as passenger.
Pekka Päivärinta is a Finnish sidecar motorcycle racer, who with passenger Timo Karttiala, was the 2008 Superside FIM World Sidecar Champion. Päivärinta rode a Suzuki GSXR1000 powered LCR as part of Team Suzuki Finland and is the first Finn to win a world sidecar title. Päivärinta also won the 2010, 2011 and 2013 FIM Sidecar World Championship, with Swiss passenger Adolf Hänni and 2016 with Kirsi Kainulainen.
The early years of the sidecar world championship were dominated by unambiguous, orthodox outfits where a sidecar was attached to a conventional solo motorcycle. Rigidity and strength were poorly understood and pre-war machines have been described as "scaffolding on wheels". Development was based around cutting weight, providing a flat platform for the passenger, and reducing drag around the sidecar wheel and at the front of the sidecar platform. 16 in (410 mm) diameter wheels. By 1953, this had evolved to include the complete redesign of the motorcycle frame, where the seat height had been reduced to the point where the driver now sat in a semi-prone position. This permitted the use of a one-piece fairing which enclosed the front of the outfit as well as the sidecar platform. The enclosure led to unfamiliar handling, and the advanced design was only used in practice for the Belgian Grand Prix and in the final Grand Prix at Monza, where it finished fourth in the hands of Jacques Drion and Inge Stoll. Throughout the year, other outfits experimented with more modest refinements such as additional braking via the sidecar wheel, sometimes linked to one or both of the other two brakes.When developments in dolphin and dustbin fairings on solo machines proved successful at reducing drag, it was natural to adapt similar streamlined enclosures for the sidecar outfits. A pioneer in this area was Eric Oliver who worked with the Watsonian company on the development of successive experimental racing outfits including such innovations as the use of
Watsonian Squire is a British manufacturer of sidecars and trailers for attachment to motorcycles. The original business was established in 1912 by Thomas Fredrick Watson as the Patent Collapsible Sidecar Company Ltd. at Balsall Heath, Birmingham, England.
Ingeborg Stoll-Laforge was a female German motorcycle racer.
Prior to 1977, the racing sidecars were similar to road-going sidecars. A traditional racing outfit was a road-going motorcycle outfit without the boot and with the suspension lowered. The bootless sidecar frame would have a flat platform. Both the battery and the fuel tank could be placed either between the motorcycle and the sidecar, or on the sidecar platform. Over time the subframe, struts, clamps, sidecar frame, etc. would merge with the motorcycle mainframe and form a single frame. But essentially the racing outfit was still a variant of the road-going outfit in principle.
In 1977 George O'Dell won the championship using a Hub-center steering sidecar called the Seymaz, however during that season the Seymaz was rarely used. The Seymaz had been built by Rolf Biland, however O'Dell used his old Windle frame for much of the year. Then in 1978 Rolf Biland won the championship using a sidecar called BEO which was a rear-engine rear-drive trike. To keep up with technological innovations, in 1979 the FIM split the championship in two: One for traditional sidecars (B2A), another for prototypes (B2B). The B2B championship was won by Bruno Holzer using an LCR that turned the act of motorcycle riding into the act of car driving, including sitting on a driver's seat and using foot pedals and a steering wheel. Neither the BEO nor the LCR required much participation from the passenger. The former only required Kenneth Williams to sit on his seat, while the latter only required Charlie Maierhans to lay flat down on the passenger platform. Due to the high cost of technological development, the non-active participation of the riding passengers, and the fear that sidecars would eventually become something that has nothing to do with motorcycles, in 1980 the FIM banned all prototypes. But in 1981 the FIM reversed its decision due to protests from competitors, and allowed prototypes again. However the FIM and the competitors reached a compromise involving the rules: A sidecar must be a vehicle that is driven only by a single rear wheel and steered by a single front wheel, the driver must use a motorcycle handle bar as opposed to a steering wheel for steering, and there must be active participation from the passenger. The only ban that still exists today is the ban of using trikes or cyclecars.
Hub-center steering (HCS) is one of several different types of front end suspension/steering mechanisms used in motorcycles and cargo bicycles. Hub-center steering is characterized by the steering pivot points being inside the hub of the wheel, rather than above the wheel in the headstock as in the traditional layout. Most hub-center arrangements employ a swingarm that extends from the bottom of the engine/frame to the centre of the front wheel.
The Morgan Motor Company is a family-owned British motor car manufacturer that was founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan.
The 1981 rules remain largely unchanged to this day, with the exception that during the late 90s the FIM finally allowed the use of car-type suspension for the front wheel, such as the wishbone suspension. Sidecars that are outside of the technical rules can still compete in racing events, but would not be able to score or record their positions officially. An example would be the team Markus Bösiger/Jürg Egli, who achieved several high placings in the 1998 season using a sidecar in which Bösiger sat driving instead of riding. Even though they were allowed to race, their results were not classified in the official records. They would have finished third in the championship.
The traditional racing sidecars remain popular in several countries, especially the United Kingdom, mainly due to lower cost. They also have lower top speed but better maneuvering capabilities. They are now commonly called Formula Two Sidecars (600cc Engines) which are mostly used in true road racing events like the Isle of Man TT race. This is to distinguish them from the modern post-1980 Superside machines which are now called Formula One sidecars (1000cc Engines).
Between 1981 to 2016 Sidecars raced in Superside are modern high tech machines related to motorcycles only by the engines that are used. The chassis are purpose built and owe more to open wheel race car technology and the tires are wide and have a flat profile. They are sometimes known as "worms".The basic design remains unchanged since 1981. However starting in 2017 the engine capacity was reduced to 600cc, a conscious effort to lure more F2 chassis to participate on equal terms. However, the championship was still dominated by F1 chassis. The highest placing of an F2 chassis in the final classification was 12th by Eckart Rösinger and Steffen Werner on their Baker-Suzuki GSX-R600.
Under FIM regulation, the word "Rider" applies to both the driver and the passenger. The driver is positioned kneeling in front of the engine with hands near the front wheel, while the passenger moves about the platform at the rear transferring their weight from left to right according to the corner and forward or back to gain traction for the front or rear. The passenger also helps the driver when it comes to drifting, and is also usually the first person to notice any engine problems since he is next to the engine while the driver is in front of it. The two must work together to be a successful team. Nowadays it is common to call the driver the "Pilot", while the passenger has several nicknames: the "Acrobat" used in North America which is no longer in use, and the now common term "Monkey" which originated from Australia. Occasionally the words "Co-Driver" or "Co-Pilot" are also used.
The most successful sidecar racer in Superside has been Steve Webster, who has won ten world championships between 1987 and 2004. The most successful chassis is LCR, the Swiss sidecar maker, whose founder Louis Christen has won 35 championships between 1979 and 2016, with a variety of engines, originally Yamaha and Krauser two-strokes, more lately Suzuki four-strokes. The BMW Rennsport RS54 Engine powered to 19 straight constructors titles from 1955 to 1973, the most by any engines.
Since 2005 the organizers have created a new format in which there are now three types of races. A championship round can have all three type of races. But sometimes there is only one type of race (the Gold Race) in one round, usually when the round is a supporting event of a major meeting such as MotoGP.
|1977|| Windle-Yamaha TZ500 |
|1994||LCR-Swissauto V4||ADM **|
|Sidecar World Cup|
|500cc 2-stroke or 1000cc 4-stroke|
|1999||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2000||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2001||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2003||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|Superside World Cup|
|2004||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2005||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2006||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2007||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2008||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|2009||LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000|
|Superside Sidecar World Championship|
(F2 World Trophy)
|2015||LCR Suzuki GSX-R1000|
(F2 World Trophy)
|2016||LCR-BMW S 1000RR|
(F2 World Trophy)
|600 cc 4-stroke|
|2017 ||LCR-Yamaha YZF-R6|
|2018 ||LCR-Yamaha YZF-R6|
** After the withdrawal of Michael Krauser GmBH from racing, former employee Auf Der Mauer took over and branded the engines as ADM.
**** First woman to become an FIM world champion in any discipline.
* Werner Schwärzel and Karl Heinz Kleis was the first team to win a race (1974 German GP) using a 2-stroke engine (König), Steve Abbott and Jamie Biggs was the last team to win a race (1999 World Superbike Championship round 8 Brands Hatch) using a 2-stroke engine (Honda).
** Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes won the first race of the reason in France (Le Mans) using a German-made Adolf RS-Yamaha sidecar, thus ended LCR's winning every single race for the last 15 seasons dating back to 2003 , the longest winning streak in the history of the championship by a single constructor.
Jock Taylor was a Scottish World Champion motorcycle sidecar racer.
Grand Prix motorcycle racing refers to the premier class of motorcycle road racing events held on road circuits sanctioned by FIM. Independent motorcycle racing events have been held since the start of the twentieth century and large national events were often given the title Grand Prix, The foundation of a recognised international governing body for motorcycle sport, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme in 1949 provided the opportunity to coordinate rules and regulations in order that selected events could count towards official World Championships as FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. It is the oldest established motorsport world championship.
A go-kart, also written as go-cart, is a type of open-wheel car. Go-karts come in all shapes and forms, from motorless models to high-powered racing machines. Some, such as Superkarts, are able to beat racing cars or motorcycles on long circuits.
Sidecarcross racing, also known as sidecar motocross, is a branch of motocross. Regular motocross riders use solo machines, but a sidecarcross outfit has a different type of motorcycle chassis operated by a team of two people, a driver and a sidecar passenger. The earliest articles appear to show that sidecarcross started in the UK in the 1930s.
Steve Webster MBE, is an English sidecar racer who has won a record ten FIM Sidecar World Championships, making him the most successful sidecar racer ever.
Motorcycle Grasstrack is a form of motorcycle racing which typically, in its current form, takes place on a flat track consisting of two straights and two bends usually constructed in a field. It is one of the oldest types of motorcycle sports in the UK with the first meetings having taken place in the 1920s.
Motorcycle racing is the motorcycle sport of racing motorcycles. Major genres include motorcycle road racing and off-road racing, both either on circuits or open courses, and track racing. Other categories include hill climbs, drag racing and land speed record trials.
The Sidecar TT is a motorcycle-with-sidecar road race competition held over two legs which takes place during the Isle of Man TT festival, an annual event at the end of May and beginning of June. Between 1954 and 1976 this race was part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing world championship.
Dave Molyneux is a Manx professional Sidecar racer. He is the most successful Sidecar competitor in the history of the Isle of Man TT races, achieving 17 TT victories and 30 podium finishes. His race wins place him fourth on the all-time wins list, behind solo bike racers Joey Dunlop, John McGuinness (23) and Michael Dunlop.
Sidecar Speedway is a motorcycle sport involving 4 crews of a rider and a passenger competing over 4 laps on an oval shale surface. Rules are governed by the national speedway federation and are not dissimilar to conventional speedway rules.
Rolf Biland is a Swiss former sidecar racer. He is known not only for his seven FIM Sidecar World Championships and 80 Grand Prix wins, but for his experimentation and innovation with new types of machine, like the Seymaz, the BEO and the LCR. His success was not limited to Grand Prix tracks, as he finished second at the Isle of Man Sidecar TT at his first attempt. Biland was instrumental in the development of the Swissauto V4 engine and won his last world title using it.
Chris Vincent is a former motorcycle sidecar road racer who was very successful in short-circuit (tarmac) racing in the 1960s and early 1970s. He entered Grands Prix using BSA, BMW and URS engines. He also rode solo motorcycles, particularly in the smaller race classes and production-machine categories.
Helmut Fath was a German sidecar racer and engineer. He won the Sidecar World Championship in 1960 and 1968. His early racing was on BMW R50 sidecars with a chassis of his own design. After a bad accident in 1961, he took time off and returned with his own design URS four-cylinder machine to win the title in 1968. The URS engine was also used in solo competition as well as powering Horst Owesle/Peter Rutterford to the 1971 World Sidecar Championship.
Egbert Streuer is a Dutch former professional sidecar driver and arguably the most successful Dutch motorcycle racers of all time.
Rolf Steinhausen is a German former motorcycle racer, winner of two Sidecar World Championships.
Ben Birchall and Tom Birchall,, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, are English motorcycle-with-sidecar road race World Championship-winning competitors in both F1 category and F2 category and again in the 2017 season – when all competitors used 600 engines.