Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Sidecar-Cross racing, also known as Sidecar Motocross, is very similar to regular, "solo" motocross but with a different type of motorcycle chassis, and with a team of two people riding together instead of one, a "driver" and a "passenger".
Several sidecar manufacturers (for example VMC and EML) in Europe make special chassis which, except for the engine, wheels, plastics, and other components from commonly available large-bore motocross bikes such as the Honda CR500, Kawasaki KX500, and large KTMs. There are also specialised monster-size 2-stroke engines such as the MTH 630, and 700cc Zabel which are made just for Sidecar Motocross racing. The Zabel and MTH are currently the top engines in the World Championship. HOCOB manufacturer of VMC chassis won the FIM award for the best manufacturer motocross sidecar 2007.
Sidecarcross is carried out in the same way as regular motocross on very the same tracks. Handling is different due to the sidecar. Thus the driver cannot lean over in the turns to overcome the centrifugal forces, instead, to make sure the sidecar does not flip over, the passenger leans out (of the sidecar) as much as possible in the corners. The passenger does much more physical work than the driver since they move their whole body around continuously.
One of the most important aspects of sidecar racing is teamwork; the best sidecar teams in the world have been racing together for many years.
A World championship is held over several rounds at top motocross venues, throughout Europe, with a season ending Sidecarcross des Nations. The sport is extremely popular in Eastern Europe. There is a much smaller scene in North America and Australia. The most successful sidecarcrosser in history is the Dutchman Daniël Willemsen, who has become worldchampion six times so far. The most successful team in history however is Kristers Sergis / Artis Rasmanis, since Willemsen won his six titles with four different passengers.