December 6, 2010


This World War II German Fighter Plane Sidecar is one-of-a-kind. It is a World War II  Messerschmitt ME109 fighter plane, attached to a Yamaha Wild Star cruiser. Built by Henrik Toth.
 We will be featuring an interview with the awesome Mr. Toth in early 2011. Meanwhile, visit his website at:

November 23, 2010


Sent a tweet to Jay Leno asking him if he
had a sidecar..."Of course," he tweeted back and sent this photo of his magnificent vintage bike and sidecar.

Check out Jay Leno's Garage at:

November 15, 2010


A MAIN STAR of the latest, much-anticipated Harry Potter blockbuster due to be released nationwide later this week hails from the north Cotswolds.

The stunningly savvy pale blue Royal Enfield motorcyle and Watsonian sidecar which features in the seventh Harry Potter movie- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 -have been supplied by Blockley-based company Watsonian Squire.
The uber cool motorcycle/sidecar combo skips and flies across London, piloted by Hagrid, played by Robbie Coltrane, while Harry, played by Daniel Radcliffe, rolls with the punches.

Ben Matthews, director and co-owner of Watsonian Squire, which is based at Northwick Park Business Centre, said the firm’s 20 workers were excited about the new movie opening November 19.

Ben said: “We were contacted by the company that sources vehicles for films.”
Originally the film makers only wanted sidecars but when they saw the Royal Enfields they ended up buying seven complete motorbike and sidecar 'outfits'.

“One ended up in a lake, one was made lighter for a flying scene and one was modified for a stunt,” said Ben, whose team has had to keep quiet about the movie tie-in for the past 18 months.
“It all very exciting, ” said Ben, whose sidecars are expected to be used at the London premiere today. “We have been helping get them roadworthy,” he added.

Ben, who lives in Evesham, said he has never read the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies, though his son, Troy, aged 12, is an avid fan.
“I will have to take the kids to see it,” said Ben, whose firm has also supplied sidecars for The Two Fat Ladies TV cookery show and Charlie Boorman’s travel documentaries.
Film star Ewan McGregor recently bought one of the Cotswold firm’s sidecars which was shipped to his home in California. A version of the “Harry Potter” motorbike and sidecar will feature on Watsonian Squire’s stand at the upcoming Motorcycle Live exhibition at Birmingham NEC.

November 8, 2010


This charming VW sidecar was built by Jason Dyer of Resto Tec in the United Kingdom. Note the sidecar is on the left side of the Lambretta scooter.  It was featured in June 2007 issue of the UK published Scootering magazine. The issue is available via back order:

November 1, 2010


Sidecar Racing was formalized in 1949 with the inaugural World Championship won by Brits--and sidecar racing innovators--Eric Oliver and Denis Jenkinson.  The next year, Oliver moved his sidecar wheel 10 inches forward, a full 11 inches ahead of the rear axle line. In 1953, Oliver appeared at the Belgium Grand Prix in a unit designed and manufactured by Watsonian Sidecars. The frame was a single rigid unit with smaller wheels, shortened forks and sleek bodywork. "The Kneeler" Sidecar was born!  The driver wasn't sitting on the machine, but was in a semi-kneeling position with feet behind. Driver/Pilot and Co-Driver/Co-Pilot must work together to be successful. 

World Championship Sidecar Racing is enjoyed all over the world, The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM, International Motorcycling Federation) is the governing body of motorcycle racing. The U.S. has sponsored Sidecar Racing events (Laguna Seca). There are three types of races: Match, Sprint, Gold.
Innovations continued in the racing machines: four cylinders, overhead cam wave, fuel injection. Tires are wide with a flat profile; the sidecars are often called "worms."
FIM Sidecar World Championship is raced over a number of rounds (5 in 2010) at race circuits, mainly in Europe. The current world champions are Pekka Paivarinta and Adolf Hanni (LCR-Suzuki GSX-R 1000).

Here is an example of sidecar racing posted on youtube:

October 23, 2010


Francois Knorreck, of Saint-Etienne, France, is a
master motorcycle designer who works as a hospital technician by day.

M. Knorreck invested 10,000 hours, 10 years & 15000 Euros to create
SNAEFELL, named after the Iceland Volcano. The SNAEFELL sidecar is
powered by a triple-engine 1000cc Laverda engine on a car chassis made
of parts from a Volkswagen GTI, an Audio 80 and taillights from a Citroen Xantia. The headlight is from a Kawasaki 1000RX bike.

Click To Enlarge
The SNAEFELL is signed with the Francois Knorreck logo, a reversed F in a K. 
Among many creations, M. Knorreck built The Amphibian Motorcycle (on a Yamaha base) and used it to cross the Loire river.


October 19, 2010


Farmers and shopkeepers in Nottinghamshire, the Dunhill family moved to London to establish a linen drapers business in Oxford Street. Capitalizing on the number of horses in London, they soon branched out, and built up a successful harness business on Euston Road that also sold accessories for gentlemen including pipes and tobacco.

 In 1893,  innovative Alfred Dunhill, 21, took over his father’s saddlery business. It was the dawn of the motorcar era, and Alfred zeroed in on the opportunity, converting the horse carriage accessories shop into Dunhill’s Motorities, providing ‘Everything for the car but the motor’. This first collection included car horns and lamps, leather overcoats, goggles, picnic sets and timepieces.

In 1915, Alfred Dunhill's Motorities patented and began manufacturing a triangular form of motorcycle sidecar chassis, catering to the gentleman motorcyclist. Dunhill created superior quality products from home furnishings to jewelry, timepieces, pens and more. The company pays tribute to Alfred Dunhill's sidecar with its Sidecar Pen and Leather Goods collection. The collection's torpedo design is homage to Alfred's sidecar design.

The company is currently owned by Richemont.

October 3, 2010


Many of us associate sidecars with fun and recreation, but these workhorses have served in the military for almost a century. We've seen movie stills or faded black & white images of German soldiers in World Wars I & II riding on the VW-166 Schwimmwagen and (shown below) the BMW R/75 746cc motorcycle equipped with sidecars.

The U.S. military also used motorcycle sidecar rigs, the first appearing in WW I combat as a machine gun-equipped sidecar unit. The two-man crew consisted of  rider plus gunner who fired from a seated position in the sidecar.

Thousands of motorcycles were furnished to the armed forces and other government agencies during WW I. About 41,000 of these were Indian's. The first 20,000 had been contracted for by the War Department at $187.50 for solo machines and $47 additional for the sidecar. Harley-Davidson made some 15,000 motorcycles for the war effort while a lesser number were Excelsior's and Cleveland's.

By the 1920’s, mass production and assembly techniques used in the American auto industry drastically cut the cost of building cars. This enabled car makers to price their products within reach of ordinary working people.  As a result Jeeps displaced motorcycle/sidecar units in our military.

Around the world the Marine Corps began to use motorcycles primarily for messenger, convoy & military police duties.

The primary manufacturer of motorcycles for the U.S. military during World War II was Harley-Davidson who began producing the WLA in their Milwaukee, WI factory in 1940. During the war, Harley-Davidson produced more than 88,000 WLAs, shipped to U.S. forces as well as to Allies (especially the Soviet Union) under Lend-Lease.

Equipped with Model UA Harley-Davidsons sidecar rigs, the Motorcycle Marines delivered machine guns, ammunitions and first aid supplies, transported the wounded and escorted convoys of ammunition trucks in conflicts ranging from The Vietnam War to The Persian Gulf's Desert Storm, where terrain issues often favored a motorcycle with sidecar over a wider Jeep vehicle.

Currently the U.S. Army employs Kawasaki KLR250 D2 (four stroke and Sidestrider machine gun carriers) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

September 25, 2010


Bob Probert, who played for Detroit in 1985-94 and the Chicago Blackhawks from 1995-2002, died suddenly in July, 2010, while boating on Lake St. Clair.  He was 45.  The casket carrying Probert arrived at the church on the sidecar of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, part of a procession of about 60 motorcycles — some owned by Probert — led by a police escort. The photo shows Bob Probert's casket leaving Windsor Christian Fellowship church on a motorcycle sidecar after a memorial service.