Sidecarcross

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The Holeshot of a sidecarcross race July mx 2004 holeshot sidecar moto01 01 jamie clarke.jpg
The Holeshot of a sidecarcross race

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. [1]

Contents

Sidecarcross outfits

Just as with road outfits, early sidecarcross outfits were little more than a solo bike with a sidecar [2] attached to its frame by metal tubes. As the sport developed, sidecarcross outfits became more integrated, although most retained a tubular structure rather than a monocoque chassis. Sidecarcross outfit configuration tends to echo national road outfits, with the sidecar fitted to the "nearside": UK sidecars are on the left, and European ones are on the right. Once riders are used to one arrangement, they seem reluctant to adapt the other layout. Many sidecar outfits (particularly the heavier ones) have leading link swingarm front suspension, as conventional telescopic forks are less capable of absorbing the stresses incurred.

Several sidecar manufacturers (for example VMC, Bastech and EML) in Europe make special chassis, usually with corresponding shocks, except for the engine, wheels, plastics, and other components from commonly available large-bore motocross bikes such as the Honda CR500, Kawasaki KX500, and large KTMs. There are also specialised "monster-size" 2-stroke engines such as the MTH 630, and 700cc Zabel which are made just for sidecar motocross racing. The Zabel and MTH are currently the top engines in the World Championship. HOCOB manufacturer of VMC chassis won the FIM award for the best manufacturer motocross sidecar 2007.

Handling characteristics

A Zabel engined outfit July mx 2004 no003 martin guilford and colin dunkley 01 jamie clarke.jpg
A Zabel engined outfit

Sidecarcross is carried out in the same way as regular motocross on broadly similar tracks. Just as with road outfits, the handling of sidecars is very different from solos, as the driver cannot lean the outfit in the turns to counter the centripetal forces. Instead, to ensure the outfit does not flip over, the passenger must lean out from the sidecar as much as possible in corners. The passenger (sometimes known as the "monkey") moves his whole body around continuously, and plays a much more physical role than the sedentary driver.

Sidecarcross racing

One of the most important aspects of sidecar racing is teamwork; the world's top sidecar teams have been racing together for many years.

A World Championship is held over several rounds at top motocross venues throughout Europe, with a season-ending Sidecarcross des Nations. The sport is very popular in Western and Central Europe, but the sidecarcross scene in North America and Australia is much smaller. The most successful sidecarcrosser in history is ten-time world champion Daniël Willemsen of The Netherlands. However, since Willemsen won six of his titles with four different passengers, the most successful team is Kristers Sergis/Artis Rasmanis.

See also

Related Research Articles

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A sidecar is a one-wheeled device attached to the side of a motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle, making the whole a three-wheeled vehicle. A motorcycle with a sidecar is sometimes called a combination, an outfit, a rig or a hack.

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Sidecarcross World Championship

The Sidecar Motocross World Championship is an annual event, first held in 1980. It is organized by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM). Before 1980, a European competition was held from 1971 onwards.

The 2007 FIM Sidecarcross world championship, the 28th edition of the competition, started on 9 April and finished after eight race weekends on 16 September 2007 with Daniël Willemsen taking out the title once more.

The 2008 FIM Sidecarcross world championship, the 29th edition of the competition, started on 20 April and finished after twelve race weekends on 14 September 2008. Daniël Willemsen and Reto Grütter were the defending champions, having won the title in 2007, and repeated this achievement in 2008.

The 2009 FIM Sidecarcross world championship, the 30th edition of the competition, started on 29 March and finished after thirteen race weekends on 13 September 2009.

The Vruwink MotorCycles company, short VMC, is a Dutch Sidecarcross frame manufacturer, having won eleven riders and six manufacturers world championships in this sport.

2010 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2010 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 31st edition of the competition, started on 5 April and finished after fourteen race weekends on 12 September 2010.

Wasp Motorcycles British motorcycle manufacturer

Wasp Motorcycles is a motorcycle and sidecar manufacturer based in Dinton, near Salisbury, England, that specialises in building competition solo and sidecar machines for motocross, trials and sidecar grasstrack, as well as the Wasp 3 Wheel Freedom for disabled riders.

2011 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2011 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 32nd edition of the competition, started on 3 April and finished after thirteen race weekends on 11 September 2011.

2012 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2012 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 33rd edition of the competition, started on 1 April and finished after eleven race weekends on 16 September 2012.

The 2003 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 24th edition of the competition, started on 6 April and finished after thirteen race weekends on 7 September 2003.

2013 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2013 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 34th edition of the competition, started on 1 April and finished after fourteen race weekends on 22 September 2013.

2014 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2014 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 35th edition of the competition, started on 13 April and finished after ten Grand Prix weekends on 21 September 2014.

The 2001 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 22nd edition of the competition, started on 1 April and finished after fourteen Grand Prix on 30 September 2001.

The 2000 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 21st edition of the competition, started on 19 March and finished after thirteen Grand Prix on 24 September 2000.

2015 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2015 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 36th edition of the competition, started on 6 April and finished after fifteen events on 20 September 2015.

2016 Sidecarcross World Championship

The 2016 FIM Sidecarcross World Championship, the 37th edition of the competition, started on 10 April and finished after eleven events on 18 September 2016.

References

  1. "Grass Track Adds to Thrills of Motorcycle Sidecar Race" Popular Mechanics, January 1936
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. 1989. "b. A vehicle designed to be attached to the (near-)side of a motor-cycle to accommodate one or more passengers. Occas. attached to a bicycle."