Recently, motorcycles have been the preferred mode of transportation for many people because of its convenience. The smaller size makes it easier for motorists to glide through traffic and also makes maintenance simple. Spare parts and fuel for motorcycles are relatively cheaper too.
Sadly though, the number of people that a motorcycle can carry is very limited. Therefore, it's not advisable when one needs to carry at least three or more passengers, or some additional baggage. To remedy this, some motorcycle owners install a sidecar.
Sidecars are one-wheeled vehicles that provide additional seats and wheels to motorcycles. Some sidecars also have a rear trunk that gives more room for other stuff, and some have a rooftop, windshield, and door. Sidecars are often made up of strong fiberglass or steel.
Before, sidecars can be removed from the motorcycle when necessary. Nowadays, it is generally attached permanently. Police, army, specifically German troops, are the known habitual users of motorcycle sidecars after it became popular around the 1950's. Today, sidecars are now featured in motorcycle races.
Despite a sidecar's practicality, installing one may also pose danger to its riders. Sidecars make the handling of the motorcycle asymmetrical which therefore causes unbalance to the vehicle. If there is no brake on the wheel of the sidecar, it will pull towards the bike under braking and towards the sidecar under acceleration.
The position of the rider and his passenger, and the additional weight brought in by the passenger or luggage has an effect on the handling of the bike especially on uneven terrain. While the extra wheel on the sidecar and the widening of the bike's wheelbase act as safety features, it also affects the vehicle's center of gravity. If the motorist is not used to the changes brought by the sidecar, the possibility of an accident increases.
Safety against sidecars and motorcycle accidents can only be provided by the biker and passengers, especially since the Highway Code does not even require the passenger to wear a helmet. Then, there's always the danger of the surrounding traffic. Know more about the proper use and riding techniques for sidecars by checking the state or local Department of Transportation.