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Sidecars are Making a Come Back


Harley-Davidson Military Sidecar by WLA (1940 Model Year)

In the 1800's a bicycle meant for safety with an additional sidecar was patent. The idea was originally constructed for a man to be able to accommodate a lady next to him as he pedaled. This same bicycle eventually evolved and became motorized and like the motorcycle too came the sidecar. Around 1913, the sidecars contained four attachment points to the motorcycles which used a leaf spring suspension system. By 1914, the motorcycles and sidecar were classified ad a three wheeler and Harley Davidson even got in on the action. It was not long before the United States Army took notice to how useful sidecars were. During World War I, the soldiers were issued sidecars for dispatch duties. The war was responsible for making the sidecar affordable and this began the decline of sidecar companies.

The Ural sidecars are said to be the most durable with exceptional performance in the mud and rain. It is the largest and trendiest company manufacturing sidecars. There are only a handful of sidecar brands that are still in business selling sidecars as well as sidecar kits. Ural has made sidecars for motorcycles since WWII. In the year 2000 a small group of young Russian entrepreneurs purchased Ural and kept the manufacturing company in Russia. Although, they moved their headquarters to the United States. In Seattle, they began to market bikes to young riders full of wanderlust. This strategy paid off in a big way. Over half of Ural's annual sales are from American domestic purchases.

URAL Gear-Up

Ural makes four different models of sidecars; the 2WD Patrol, the Gear Up, the CT, and the M70. All have proven to handle muddy and rocky terrain. The sidecar seat is solid due to the third wheels stability. In order to properly control a wider car much force is required when steering, less speed is mandatory when taking a corner and different from a normal motorcycle you must lean into your turns. The CT has a 4 stroke engine that is 749 cc air cooled with 2 cylinders. The engine reaches up to forty one horsepower and forty two pounds of torque. It also contains a manual transmission with four speeds. In addition, the motorcycle and sidecar combination is equipped with a reverse gear as well as a kick start ignition lever. Side cars are also well equipped to withstand snow as well - with its eighteen inch tires completed with aluminum rims and hydraulic shock absorbers with double sided swing arms. Lastly, the CT model contains a hydraulic piston and rod damper comparable to the one you will find on a Ducati motorcycle.

URAL CT

Not to mention, you can achieve thirty five miles to the gallon and reach speeds around seventy miles per hour, all while using 91 unleaded octane fuel. There are many add ons to sidecar motorcycles like LED searchlights, wind visitors, and extra longs seats that allow for more than one passenger. The trunk alone is large enough to hold a dog as well as a large passenger, or a tent with camping equipment, or beer and a golf bag. But, yield with caution - Ural's are not ideal for long highway cruising due to its gas mileage and uncomfortability at riding over fifty miles per hour. They are also measurably more expensive than the common motorcycle and a lot heavier. Additionally, the Ural's are large and pose a challenge when parking. Although, if you are a social cyclist then you are in luck, you will always be able to have a right hand man or women next to you while riding.