Flexit Sidecar Owners Group

Flexit Sidecar Owners Group

Flexit Sidecar Owners Group

Some time back I wrote about flexible sidecars, the ones that lean with the motorcycle. It's a neat idea and, though they have been around for a very long time, they've never really taken off. John Goff, left several comments on that post over the months, it seems he's become somewhat knowledgeable about the leaners, especially the Flexit, and he finally set up a Yahoo group for anyone else that has that particular interest.

This group is open to all enthusiasts who have an interest in any articulated sidecars (lean capable sidecar attachments) regardless of type, era, country of origin, whether commercially manufactured or home built.

So, if you like sidecars but think real motorcycles lean in the turns, this group is for you.

Link: Flexit Sidecar Owners Group
Related: Flexible Tilting Sidecars


  1. pabsy says

    very cool thaks for the link !, terrible name but looks to be a pretty good idea
    this is how the canaam’s should operate to be functional…

  2. Scotduke says

    In the UK we had the Sidewinder leaning sidecars in the early 80s. They were briefly popular when the learner laws were changed. A lopphole meant you culd still ride a motorcycle and sidecar on an L plate, in other words without taking a test. I think that law was changed. I haven’t seen a Sidewinder in years. I rarely see sidecars in the UK for that matter – never ridden an outfit myself and can never remember how you’re supposed to corner with the things.

  3. marvin says

    Scotduke I had a sidewinder on a RD250 for exactly the loophole you describe, incidentally the way you are supposed to corner with a sidecar is gingerly.

  4. Marneyman says

    I have heard cornering to the left on a fixed sidecar rig and lifting the wheel of the sidecar is known as “flying the chair”. I read that in a Cycle World article about the new Ural T.
    The Flexit looks like something from the 1970s US television series Buck Rogers. It is terribly cool though. Imagine it motorized on it’s own with a gyroscope setup like a Segway. I’d pay good money to see that.

  5. steve w says

    I pushed a sidecar around for 10 years when the kids were small. I would like to try this but can’t see myself with another car unless i can’t ride 2 wheels. For sure I would rather have a sidecar then a trike. The trick with a standard car is to ballast it with weight under the tub so it handles empty or loaded.

  6. todd says

    I had a sidecar on a Trail 90 for a while. It was a blast but I remember looking down at the front wheel and the forks twisting all over the place when I was steering the thing and cornering hard. Riding around with two adults was akin to a circus act.


  7. Scotduke says

    Marvin – if the sidecar is on the left, do you accelerate or slow down on a left hand bend? I know the technique then reverses if the sidecar’s on the right – all too complicted for me and I’ll stick to two wheels.

  8. says

    Riding an East German MZ ES250, which may be the only post-war motorcycle ever designed primarily as a sidecar hauler, with the factory sidecar attached, I know they can be properly built. Still wonder though if the idea of mounting a sidecar to a two-wheeler would be acceptable, had the concept been introduced today instead of a century ago.

  9. says

    So what role does “leaning” play in _YOUR_ motorcycling?
    Is it important? Is it important to _YOU_?
    Does “leaning” and motorcycling go hand in hand?
    Would you say that leaning is at the core (the soul) of your motorcycling?
    If true – Why would you ever choose to give it up?
    Especially if you don’t have to?

    Now consider the question of adding a sidecar.
    Estimates vary, but perhaps 6% of the total motorcycling population will have a sidecar at some point in their riding experience – both short term and long term users.
    Reasons for wanting that additional hauling capacity vary also – To haul the kids, the dog, the elderly, cargo… For many the most common reason is the young family that wants to “keep on motorcycling” _AND_ take the little ones along.

    This is where public common knowledge often runs into an information vacuum.
    Most motorcyclists, if they know anything about sidecars, all they know about are ”rigid sidecars”.
    I think that 6% number would be a much higher number, if these first-timers considering a sidecar did not have to give their leaning motorcycle.

    If the “fun” of your motorcycling really requires “leaning”, the idea of strapping on an outrigger and enough bracing to PREVENT your motorcycle from leaning (as it was designed to do) is seriously UNAPPEALING!

    What if?…… What if there was more than one type of sidecar?
    A sidecar that allowed you ride your motorcycle like a motorcycle, the way GOD and the factory intended you to. For most people (both motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists) the knowledge that there are well designed, well made articulated sidecars available is “news” – a revelation.

    Now is it as easy and convenient as doing a traditional rigid sidecar with a sidecar shop in every major city across the country? No. It is not. BUT! It _CAN_ be done!

    Warm regards,

    John Goff, The World’s only known Flexit sidecar historian! :-)



    Portland, Oregon USA
    Email: jg@teleport.com

  10. mike says

    I recall the Sidewinder, remember them being advertised in ‘what bike’ magazine, think that’s long gone too, shame it was a great all rounder even did lots of learner bike reviews at the time I was on L’s and wee bikes.
    I remember once seeing some sports 600 screaming up a hill nearby with one on, they were utterly useless as a sidecar outfit as it was a flat frame with a wheel and a fibreglass tray, could maybe have bungeed on a couple of shopping bags.
    As the previous poster said, the law at the time had been not long changed from 250cc learner legal due to the screaming X7 and RD, to 125 but with a sidecar a learner rider could ride a bike of any capacity, even without a qualified passenger.
    A guy I knew did this with a 750, (fixed sidecar), until he did his test then it went.
    Got to say, while the fixed sidecar thing doesn’t really appeal to me regarding handling I do like the lok of the Urals, had an mmmmmmmm…. moment once or twice when I seen one for sale

  11. says

    You “remember” EquaLeans from the early 1980s? I owned 2 of them. As it happens virtually all of my personal sidecar experience has been with articulated sidecars.

    But you are correct in that articulated sidecars for motorcycles are not “new”, dating back to the first one by Hugo Young in 1914 – the Flxi Flyer.

    For me, it not about whether or not the idea is “new”. It is about how well done the idea is brought off. My EquaLeans “worked”, and were fun in their way. But really lacked any refinement or sophistication of design past the styling of the body. The one thing that EquaLeans had was the “perfect” name. Nothing explains a leaning sidecar attachment better in a single word: EquaLean.

    Warm regards,

    Flexit Sidecar Owners Group (FSOG)
    John Goff, web site owner

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Email: jg@teleport.com


  12. seecooper says

    Well I’m pretty new to the street bike thing, only 21, but already am movin on to my second bike, a 1998 Suzuki Bandit 1200. It’s a great cross-crountry kinda bike with great handling and power. I’ve always been interested in sidecars and 3-wheeled vehicles but have loved the freedom and thrill of “leaning” vehicles (2 wheelers). I think a modern day leaning sidecar, built with today’s technology would be a blast to cruise on hooked up to the Bandit.

  13. Garf says

    I rode a ridgid fixed sidecar in uk for couple of years absolute hoot ! powering into left handers with out steering and throttling off for right handers
    took me longer to get used to two wheels again than three as I’d got used to leaning off the bike into the corners .
    John question to you if your still reading this do they or rather did they do a left hand Flexit for uk use I would really like to get my hands on one and scare my mates silly with it ?
    sidecars really are much millined and miss understood defo the best fun ive had under 60mph