Sidecar Rides

November 1, 2018

If you grew up during WW2 or the 1950s, it would have been more than likely that your a motorcycle with a sidecar attached was the "family car". During the mid 20th Century, car ownership, as we know it today didn't really exist. It was either public transport or motorcycles for the majority.

Many is the time that I have had people approach me when they saw my Harley Sidecar and regaled stories about how the family all piled into their father's sidecar as the family main mode of transport. Most of these people have fond memories of those days when times were 
different. Nearly 70+ years later motorcycles with sidecars attached have disappeared into the realm of a few who keep the old tradition alive, as cars became cheaper and mainstream.

 

Motorcycle's, once the mainstream mode of transport were quickly overtaken in the 1960's and '70s. This was the era when motorcycles developled a bad reputation. It was the era when Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs began to evolve. Motorcycles, seen as dangerous and only for the adventurous created a sub-culture. If you rode a motorcycle, it was assumed that you belonged to a "Club". Clubs were seen as anti-social because they didn't fit into the "rules of society" because they wore leather and tended to look scruffy. 

 

The 1960's and early '70s saw Baby Boomers, most then in their teens and early 20's attracted to motorcycle ownership. This period coincided with the post WW2 entry into the market by the Japanese manufacturers Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki who now competed with British marks Triumph, BSA and Royal Enfield as well as Europe's BMW, Ducati and 
several minor manufactures.

In the USA Harley Davidson had won the 
battle for supremacy over Indian. Harley Davidson almost went out of business in the '80's only to be saved by its workers who purchased the company and worked a marketing miracle to develop it as the Iconic Brand it is today.

Fast forward to the 1990's. Sidecars had now become and oddity. This was the decade 
when Harley Davidson began its market resurgence. This was the decade when owning the iconic Harley Davidson brand was something many aspired to but which few could afford. Baby Boomers now had young families and motorcycle ownership was either out of their financial reach or just something which they couldn't fit into their busy family commitments.


The Emergence of Sidecar Harley Rides. It was during the early 90's when Harley Rides appeared. Because they were rare and iconic, people were attracted to the experience.

Some canny riders quickly appreciated that attaching a sidecar to their Harley's opened up an additional market and multiplied the value of their business. So emerged the Amusement Rides for schools fetes and festivals. In the 90's demand for Harley Sidecar Rides was high. Many current motorcycle owners/riders and Harley owners can trace their path to motorcycle ownership back to the day when, as a young child, they had their first contact via a Sidecar Ride at a school set or local community festival.

 

Today sidecars are used for more than just amusement rides. They are perfect for people with disabilities. The law now requires that children must be over 8 years of age to ride on the back of a solo bike, which necessitates that they sit in a sidecar for the Harley Ride experience.

Where do people use sidecars? Here are the options:

 

a. Children's Birthday Parties. One bike fitted with a sidecar arrives, all the children line up for short rides around the block for an hour. One sidecar can take 30 people (children and adults) for a shout ride over the period of the hour.

b. School Fetes. Always popular and over 4 hours at say $8 per person (taking up to 3 at a time) generates revenue.

c. Corporate Events. They come in all forms, most common is the annual Family Xmas party, where people line up to go for free rides on bikes hired for the day. 


d. Large Groups. Moving a large group is made cheaper by incorporating sidecars. It also allows for people who may not feel comforatble riding on a solo bike, or who for certain reasons this is an appropriate option.

e. Something Different. Hens nights are a common theme where sidecars are the chosen option.

f. Just for the Memories. Many is the time when we have been called in to take someone senior in age down memory lane in a sidecar. 

This video demonstrates the numerous ways that one can utilise a Harley Davidson Sidecar

To organise a Harley Sidecar Ride call phone 0419359628

 

 

 

 

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Blackburn North VIC 3130

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