UK Nostalgia Project – Sidewinder Sidecar

In 3 Wheels, England by AbhiLeave a Comment

Alright, so it’s not a motorcycle, it’s in the UK, and it needs a little bit of work. But I think the Sidewinder sidecar is very interesting, and they’re hard to find. Why are they so interesting? Because they’re all about flaunting the rules.

In the 80s, British licensing laws stipulated that anyone on a Learner’s permit (you’ve surely seen the white placard with a red “L” on it) could only ride motorcycles with a displacement of 125cc or less. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Reader Rudolf E let me know that the change from 250cc to 125cc happened in 1983]. However, if the learner was piloting a sidecar, then the displacement limit magically disappeared. Enter the Sidewinder – it was a leaning rig that made no practical sense because it couldn’t carry a passenger, but it legally turned any bike into a sidecar. So, if you were a learner that wanted a CBX, you could just slap a Sidewinder on it and politely tell your local traffic cop to bugger off. The manufacturer claimed that the Sidewinder could lean 45 degrees in either direction, mounted in less than 30 minutes, and carry about 30 pounds of luggage. MSRP was just under 200 pounds.

For more about the Sidewinder (including a scan of a period brochure that you should definitely check out), check out this page on Red Devil Motors. This example has been sitting in the seller’s garage for 3 decades, but it’s said to mechanically be fine. You’ll want to powdercoat the frame, and there’s a crack in the bodywork, but it’s a fun piece of history (especially if you grew up in the UK).

Find this Sidewinder for sale in Aylesbury, United Kingdom with an unmet opening bid of 299.99 pounds ($392.09)