There are a number of benefits and disadvantages to riding offroad with a sidecar. For what you gain in stability, you lose a bit of maneuverability. For adventure riding with a passenger in wide open spaces, or on trails with enough space for the extra width, however, it can be a lot of fun. Here is Helge Pedersen, a guy that spends almost half of the year riding around the world, to tell you a bit more about how his Big Red rig works.
Pedersen’s aftermarket sidecar was created by DMC Sidecars with some really trick bits to make sure the sidecar can go where it needs to. The first really cool bit is the electric trim suspension. With a quick button press, the sidecar’s suspension will raise or lower to adjust for loads and conditions.
The second thing that is really neat is the wheel and tire setup that DMC created for Big Red, allowing for a more durable car tire on the rear wheel, the original rear wheel to fit on the front, and the sidecar wheel with an adapter to fit a car tire, should you need to source a tire somewhere in the middle of nowhere.
After a walkthrough of his bike’s build, Helge talks a bit about how sidecar bikes need to be ridden differently from a solo bike. For one thing, you can’t steer with weight transfer on a sidecar bike, you need to actually use the bars to turn. There are also some tricky weight management techniques that need to be kept in mind when riding with a third wheel.
Adding a third wheel to a bike doesn’t sound very appealing to me, but for some adventurers it adds a bit more to the struggle of a long road trip. Pedersen says “Just give it a try.”