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This is a reproduction of an article written in
POPULAR SCIENCE in December of 1969

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click on picture for larger view
They're stable - once you've practiced.
This trick is easy for an accomplished rider.

Take the Family Along
Add a new thrill to cycling with this 120-pound hack that even a 250cc bike can pull.
by Jim Davis

Motorcycle sidecars have usually been heavy, cumbersome and almost as expensive as the cycle itself - a situation that a California company named Side Strider is now changing with a unit that weighs 120 pounds and sells for $350 (in 1969)

It's here at the right time. The sidecar is making a comeback. An age ago, around the time of the first World War, sidecars filled the roads of America. Then for some reason, in the late twenties and thirties, while the motorcycle increased in popularity, the sidecar declined. That was the way things stood until the fifties, when the motorcycle really boomed and anything connected with motorcycling took off with it. That included the sidecar, or the "hack" as the true enthusiast calls it.

Sidecars make sense. What could be better for taking the kids to school or for going on a pleasant ride on a hot summer evening? It's illegal to ride three people on a motorcycle, but it isn't with a sidecar attached. The more you think about it, the more uses you can find for a sidecar. And they're fun to drive.

The owner of Side Strider, Douglas Bingham, is one of the leading U.S. sidecar builders and racers. He has put what he has learned in the last 20 years into his Bingham Mark I sidecar.
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click on picture for larger view

click on picture for larger view

Lightweight - only 120 pounds - the Bingham Mark I can be held in the air by the weight of the motorcycle. The frame is made of mild-steel tubing.

Seating is comfortable, and there's a roomy storage area in the tail - not big enough for a suitcase but ample for helmets, purses, and other small items.


click on picture for larger view

click on picture for larger view
Initial installation takes about an hour; after that, on and off takes no more than five minutes. There are four mounting points, visible in photo above. Mounts will fit almost any motorcycle made.

...with a SIDECAR

The body of the sidecar is of impact-resistant fiberglass, the frame of mild-steel tubing. The inside is handsome: well upholstered, with nylon rug material on floor and side panels, seat base and back covered with quality black Naugahyde. The seat back pops out to open a spacious trunk section where helmets and other accessories can be stored.

Initial installation and setup of the BIngham Mark I take about an hour. After that, once all the brackets are bolted on, you should be able to attach or remove the hack in five minutes. It's held by only four bolts, fits on just about any motorcycle made. (Side Strider will make mounts to order if you own an oddball.)

Most other sidecars, because of their weight, require suspension and gearing changes to the motorcycle. Not so with the Bingham Mark I. The maker claims that a 90cc motorcycle will pull this unit. My own guess is that anything under 250cc should have a larger rear sprocket attached; anything above that is on the safe side.

A word of caution! Did you notice earlier that I said "drive" a sidecar rig instead of "ride"? That's a warning for those of you who consider yourself accomplished riders. When you first get into the saddle of a sidecar rig, be careful you don't lean to go around a turn; you steer just as you do in the family car.

I consider the price of this rig downright cheap. It's well made and light, it's fun, and it's very useful.

   

 

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