MV Agusta sidecar

MV Agusta sidecar – owner built 

I’m at a loss writing about this outfit as it is of a standard that can only be achieved by a person of great skill or a person with a money-is-no-issue expense account. In this case the outfit is built by the owner who not only has the talent and resources but also the experience having evolved similar, show winning sidecar outfits. Yeah, and he’s a para.

MV Agusta, Shark sidecar, owner built centre-hub and sidecar suspension. Note twin brake levers.

and again:

and again from the rear:

Braided lines carry bikes coolant, note peg ends to keep riders feet in place.

Starting with a wreak of the beautiful F4 MV Agusta the owner, German Roland Herbig, built this outfit including the sidecar suspension and frame, the bikes centre-hub  front steering / suspension  and the bikes rear car tyre conversion. Roland rides the prize winning unit by transferring onto the bike and storing his wheelchair in the sidecar. He has a website describing the build process of this and previous outfits at and we reproduce some of his pictures, with permission, here at

The heart of this bikes front end is the steerable hub that carries the axle, brake rotor and calliper and is suspended by a forward facing swingarm with a horizontal coil-over dampener located low between the bike and sidecar. Builders mostly adapt a car hub for this type of steering however here Roland has given full reign to his talents and has milled 15kg’s of high strength aluminium (AiZnMgCu) down to the 3kg heart of the hub.

Components Roland has used in his front end include a turned-down ventilated disc rotor from a BMW-M3, a calliper from a Porsche with a second opposing Tocico 6-piston calliper. All this with appropriate spacers and carriers fit neatly inside the car rim.

In the picture below the hub assembly is being located with respect to the bike for construction of the swingarm, look closely and you will see construction guidelines for lateral alignment and for calculation of the trail. For this outfit  Roland has settled on 20-40mm trail which will lighten the steering considerably while straight line tracking will be aided by the profile of the car tyre.

Eventually the hub will be steered by a knuckle extending near vertically over the front mudguard and attached by tierods to the downtubes cut-off just below the triple-clamps.

Rolands artistic and technical skills are again evident in the beautifully bent and braced front swingarm.

Being a sports bike from the factory, a F4 MV Agusta has a minimal frame designed to achieve a certain stiffness with minimum weight. To mount a sidecar to such a frame requires a substantial subframe taking the chair loads to multiple points on both sides of the original frame.

Sidecar suspension is constructed in the same meticulous manner by Roland and includes a beautifully machined hub and bearing carrier with quality tube work again evident in the bends of the swingarm. Toe-in is adjusted at the bearing block. Braking of the sidecar wheel is with twin Brembo callipers. I admit to not knowing the brake linkage arrangement that Roland rides with. Evident in some of the pics is twin brake levers so I suspect the bikes and sidecar callipers operate independently giving insane cornering capabilities!

 For a boat, Roland chose the Ruko Shark and makes use of the slotted nose to take care of the bikes cooling. A F4 has the radiators and oil-cooler behind a full faring but Rolands bike had wreaked its fairing in the original crash besides which both the new steering and subframe cluttered the original radiator location. A new half fairing has been made from the upper portion of an original and shows off the beautiful tube work of the front of the bike.

An awesome piece of art, pictures do greater justice than my inadequate words, check out Roland’s website at and Richard-Nl’s report on ADVRIDER at

Thanks Roland!

9 thoughts on “MV Agusta sidecar

  1. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering issues with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  2. Crazy contraption, perhaps an idea for a “Wallace and Grommit Gone Completely Bonkers” movie?

    As an F4 owner, I feel sad for the bike, since it is designed to handle a maximum of 325 kg. What on earth did the builder think when ruining the F4’s capabilities, by hinging a third wheel to an extremely well-balanced piece of artwork?

    Besides, under “2.1.2. SAFETY RULES” the owners manual reads: “Do not attach a sidecar, a trailer or any other accessory to the motorcycle. Failure to observe this warning may make the vehicle unstable and cause serious accidents.”
    (For our German Friend: “Kein Sidecar, Anhänger oder anderes Zubehör
    an das Fahrzeug anbauen. Die Nichtbeachtung dieser Vorschrift kann zum Verlust der Fahrzeugstabilität mit schwerer Unfallgefahr führen.”)

    • Hi,
      No no no, you are wrong wrong wrong! This was a wreaked F4 before Roland saved it from a non-life as parts, as recycled rubbish, as a dust covered sadness in the corner. This is magnificent, the pinnacle of the art of motorcycle design and fabrication. Do you think a guy in a chair, a guy with Rolands obvious skill and knowledge is going to follow the rule book? See the strength in the subframe, imagine the work at the rear to fit that wheel, tyre combination, there is no doubt the bike can carry that chair.
      Celebrate this master piece, all hail to the master!

  3. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this moreover taking time and actual effort to make a very good article but what can I say I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get one thing done.

  4. A sidecar outfit is the most tricky of 3 and 4 wheel vehicles to meander on public roadways. Its less safe than even a harley trike. 1f2r trike! Lucky, in California, you don’t need a motorcycle licence to “drive” a 3 wheel vehicle.

    I don’t have a CA motorcycle license and have been driving my sidecar outfit for 10 years, even after an unexpected off road excursion that required a tow truck to pull me out of iceplant. I can’t even take a motorcycle license test because the CA DMV won’t sit in the car or ride on the pillion seat for my trike test. Motorcycle tests are for 2 wheels in CA, anf FU if you have a mototrike. Dumb California that doesn’t figure out how to test mototrikes.for licenses so we could at least ship our trikes to Europe and have road rights with a “California license for MotoTrikes” for international use.

    Yah, Ewan McGregor was a famous movie star, Doubt I could ride my outfit across Europe etc. to catch a plane to the US.

    • Man, those are fighting words! I’d rather be riding my sidecar on wet or slippery roads than any 2 wheel moto-transport and I feel safer in my sidecar with both hands on the bars totally balanced then with one arm steering / one arm throttle/brake like my car!
      Trikes are an unnecessary waste of space, sidecars can do it all, cheaper and more efficiently.

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