Mick Payne opens up a discussion about the merits or otherwise of fitting a brake to your sidecar wheel – and he’d like to know more about your own preferences.
Although the sidecar has been around almost as long as the motorcycle itself, there wasn’t a TT race for them until 1923, 16 years after solos had first raced on the Island in 1907.
Interestingly, the very first sidecar winner was quite an unusual machine, a Douglas flat-twin fitted with a banking sidecar that could be controlled by the passenger. The rider was the well-known Freddie Dixon, who’d taken a Brooklands Gold Star that same year with his
‘co-driver’ Walter Denny.
Not only was the lean of the chair controlled by Denny with a large lever, but the bike and sidecar were also fitted with disc brakes – very unusual.
Although I have ridden a banking outfit myself, it’s the aspect of braked sidecar wheels that are the subject of this piece. While writing my monthly sidecar piece for Motorcycle Sport, I was lucky to be entrusted with many hugely varied machines, from rigid vintage combos to a state-of-the-art Suzuki Hyabusa and a Honda Blackbird.
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