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: