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2023-06-14 19:19:44

The 160 Mph Acrobatics Of Sidecar Racing _ Insider Cars

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It's unlike any motor sport you've ever seen .

Sidecar racing involves two people operating a three wheeled motorcycle that can go over 160 MPH while one person sits behind the throttle and break the other uses nothing but their body weight to help steer the vehicle .

This requires a degree of acrobatics .

You don't often see in motor sports teams race at circuits worldwide including the mount Everest of motorcycle racing .

The isle of man tourist trophy races as expected , there are plenty of ugly crashes since 2010 sidecar racers have been killed during different stages of the competition .

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Most people associate side cars with the campy , even cartoonish bubbles that attach to motorcycles , but the machines used for sport are nothing to smirk at .

These vehicles are built to be high powered single units and look more like futuristic three wheeled motors bikes , but they handle much differently because of their asymmetrical wheel setup which changes the vehicles balance completely .

That's why unlike motorcycles , they're equipped with wide racing slips that resemble the tires you'd find on a formula one race car with these tires and the massive car brakes on all three wheels , they can outbreak almost any superbike and achieve far more grip when navigating corners .

But with such an awkward shape , it's not enough for drivers to optimize their lap time without flipping off the track in this sport .

The key to success lies with the passenger inside car racing .

There's no room for fear when you're riding shotgun .

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These competitors don't have time to coast or even really a seat to kick back in their side car is nothing but a handle to grasp and a platform to kneel on when they aren't hanging their body off one side of the bike or the other .

The passenger has one crucial role to stabilize the vehicle .

That's necessary because of the imbalance that the third wheel creates when turning .

This means climbing up behind the driver on a right turn to keep the weight on the inside tires or hanging so far off the bike on a left hander that their back almost scrapes the pavement .

This is all done while clutching onto handles placed strategically throughout the vehicle .

Things can get chaotic for the passenger quickly depending on how difficult the track is on a fast straightaway .

They may be forced to duck as low as possible to minimize the aerodynamic drag on the bike .

Seconds later , the team could be coming to a tight corner , forcing the passenger to pop into a different position to ensure the bike stays planted .

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This dynamic of a driver relying on their teammates shifting body weight to safely navigate race tracks requires an enormous amount of trust from both parties .

The driver has to trust that the passenger will be where they need them to be at exactly the right moment and the passenger has to trust the driver to navigate the track as skillfully and as safely as possible .

But even for skilled racers , things don't always go to plan .

This is especially true at the isle of man .

The 38 mile long circuit boasts over 200 turns and little to no runoff spaces and has been home to some of the motor sports ugliest crashes in 2020 two's isle of man .

Tt three sidecar racers were killed in crashes including a father and son .

Team , frequent tragedies like this are why many of the riders hug their loved ones before even taking so much as a practice lap at the isle of man .

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Every type of motor sport from stock cars to super bike racing involves some degree of risk , but only sidecar racing features two people relying on one another's every movement to keep from veering off the track .

This symbiotic relationship is what sets the sport apart and what ultimately can be the difference between triumph and tragedy .


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