Motorcycle Sidecar Racing Is The Craziest Type Of Racing

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Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos I find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.

Back in the 1970s, all sorts of crazy wings and suction fans were starting to make their way into racing, and everyone saw that it could only lead to Bad Things. Speeds would increase, G-forces would strain the drivers, and pretty soon every small crash would end up killing someone.


So Formula One, and pretty much everyone else, decided to ban what were called "moveable aerodynamic devices."


Nowadays, that line of thinking has been stretched and twisted, to the point where the Powers That Be that guide F1 have interpreted "moveable aerodynamic devices" to really mean anything in the car that moves, whether or not it's interacting with the air at all. Even things that concern weight balance, like Renault's mass damper and Mercedes-AMG's innovative suspension, have drawn the ire of the FIA.


The people that enjoy motorcycle sidecar racing have seen all that consternation, and laughed. And laughed, and laughed, and laughed. That's because motorcycle sidecar racing has long employed moveable aerodynamic devices, ones that even affect the weight balance of the car.

Those moveable aerodynamic devices are called "people."

Basically, it's the job of the guy riding in the transformed stump of the sidecar not to just sit there, but to clamber this way and that in order to guarantee that the weight balance on the vehicle is perfect for every turn, and to somehow get out of the way of all that air when they're headed down the straightaways.


And it is deadly. Just a few days ago, racer Enrico Becker lost his life, and his co-rider, Kurt Hock, is fighting for his own.

I'm not even sure you can convince me to get on one of those, riding on a skinny little board with really no semblance of crash protection whatsoever if things all go to hell.


But it's crazy to watch.