Getting your freedom machine to go backwards is not in itself unique to the fact your in a chair, all sidecars (except Urals) have this problem as standard. Being in a chair however does mean you can’t easily abandon ship if you hit the ice-burg as my mate “Bernie” found out one day. Riding his rampaging 80cc Nippi thru city streets behind a Semi, he found himself in the situation where the truck, not making it thru a set of traffic lights, started reversing back to the intersection entrance where Bernie patently waited! Bernie was blasting the Nippi’s feeble horn for all he was worth but may as well have been singing the La Marseillaise as that truck driver wasn’t hearing anything but AC/DC and the Nippi obviously wasn’t showing in his mirrors.
Bernie reckons he had time to discover religion, remember the location of his least liked late Aunts favourite cat’s grave and add two items to his grocery shopping list while watching that trucks increasingly large rear bumper approach.
Bernie survived thanks to the chorus of car horns from adjacent horrified drivers but vowed he would never ride again without access to reverse.
Not having had the same specific experience as Bernie, I have put 80 thousand km’s on my various outfits none of which have had reverse and sure, it would be nice, but it need not be a show stopper.
If your tug is a Ural or Goldwing with reverse as standard, then your laughing. Likewise adding a reverse gear to the box of some early BMW’s and Harleys is possible, for the rest the most common means of going backwards in the sidecar world is frictional rollers on the bikes rear or sidecars tyre.
The following are images and info from the excellent website ADVRIDER (www.advrider.com) but without specific permission which I’m chasing. Hence, they may disappear but can be found posted on ADVRIDER.
|Ok class look closely at this tasty machine from Europe to see the neat (even colour coordinated) commercial caravan reversing unit working on the sidecar’s tire.|
|In close up, the neatness of the installation is apparent, you pay a price but if space and funds allow, this can be the easiest means of going backwards.|
|A variation where the frictional roller/motor gearbox assembly rotates about a fixed upright pivot to make contact (at some slight angle) with the bikes rear tyre.|
|The more common horizontal pivot so the roller swing upto or down to the tyre. If you swing up then the frictional roller will pinch onto the tyre in reverse and be pulled away from the tyre by forward movement. In most cases the “best” option will be governed by available space.|
|A neat setup showing the motor, gearbox and pivot with the roller removed and,|
|with the roller in place.|