After enjoying his time racing a vintage BSA outfit at Sellicks Beach earlier this year, Royce was given the opportunity to take on some extra horsepower with a ride on a road racing sidecar at Mac Park recently.
A big thank you goes out to Scott Deslandes (former Australian Champion sidecar passenger with Gavin Porteous) for organising the practice run, and Grant Howarth for bravely allowing Royce the use of his outfit.
About five sidecars were present at Mac Park on the day, and all the teams were impressed with how Royce rode so smoothly on his first attempt, given they are totally different to a solo.
After straining to grow a beard and fit in with the other sidecar crew, Royce and his furry lip had this to say, “I had a ball on the classic bike In April, but winter then came along and put bit of a dampener on getting out and testing my body on the bike. Still spending a lot of time in the gym in the cold months working on my joints and strength has definitely been helping.
“I’m wanting to get back into some competitive racing, though I’m still not where I’d like to be on the modern solos with my hips limiting how much I can hang off the bike.
“So, what’s the difference between a poorly dressed man on a sidecar and a well-dressed man on a motorbike? Attire.
“I’ve been keen to find out if my body would be able to handle racing a modern sidecar.
“My first session out, I was swinging to get an idea of how everything works and a bit of fun. Grant took it easy all of one lap before his long time racing buddy Jock went past us and the pace picked up.
“Trying to be smooth and not upset the bike, I learnt quickly… that I had to be quick. With the fast direction change after coming around the water tower, climbing back to the other side of the bike, Grant got on the gas as I was leisurely making my way across for the far handle. Nearly toppling backwards under acceleration I reached for the middle handle and held on for dear life. It was a great rush and to be climbing around the outfit at speed, it certainly was an experience.
“I then had a couple sessions in the driver’s seat with world-class Scotty swinging for me. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, with my only experience being on an old BSA and Pa’s Ariel. Both felt like wrestling a truck to turn corners.
“I was surprised how nice the modern sidecar was to steer around corners. With each lap I was slowly becoming more spatially aware of the extra width I now had, I don’t think Scotty spent too much time in the dirt. Then there’s getting used to all your braking done with one foot, controlling all of the three brakes, slightly different lines, not hanging off the bike, always being tucked in, oh and did I mention it has three wheels?!
“With each lap getting quicker and quicker, I could definitely see myself taking this on as a new challenge welcoming the complexity of something completely different. I can’t wait for my next outing.”
We are exploring the purchase of an outfit but is likely to be a long process as we must look to the UK to find something.