About

Welcome to Formula Sidecars, this site is operated by the Sidecar Racers Association-West Inc.  We are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and support of sidecar racing.
The SRA-West is a collection of sidecar racing teams from all over the western United States who race together across the country.  The club participates in motorcycle road racing club events in Washington, Utah, California, Nevada, and more.
 
There are three classes of racing sidecars, though  the SRA-West groups all three into a single class for scoring purposes.  Each type of machine is unique, though they can all be distilled down as a purpose built frame with a platform for a passenger, using a motorcycle engine for power and handlebars for steering.
 
The most unique feature has to be the passenger, as no other motorsport gives two people simultaneous control at speeds exceeding 150mph. With the driver controlling throttle, brakes and steering, the passenger is really more like a co-driver, climbing around the machine to keep it balanced and deciding which tires need traction at each moment.

VINTAGE sidecars most resemble a typical shortened and lowered motorcycle.  They are most similar to the original cars of 1903, but still employ a platform rather than a seat for the passenger. Original or reproduction parts keep these machines similar in look and function to the 1950's-1970's sidecars they mimic (or sometimes are).

FORMULA 2 (F2) or "short cars" mostly retain the look of a motorcycle, but usually have tires and brakes from auto racing.  These machines are typically restricted to 600cc motorcycle engines, but the SRA-West allows them to use 1000cc engines for closer parity with the Formula 1 sidecars.

FORMULA 1 (F1) or "long cars" no longer resemble a motorcycle, but are instead more of a three-wheeled race car.  With this type, the engine is moved back behind the driver, and the tires, brakes, and suspension are closer to that of an open-wheeled racing car.

 

One of the main separations between sidecar and solo bike (two-wheeled) racing is the aspect of teamwork.  A sidecar team consists of the driver, or pilot, and the passenger, also called co-pilot, "monkey", or "swinger".  Both the driver and passenger have intrinsic roles in the operation of the vehicle, and both must have absolute trust in one another in order to successfully and quickly complete laps around the track.  The driver is responsible for controlling the steering, brakes, gas, and shifting.  This part is very much like the operation of a standard, racing motorcycle, and, would lead one to believe that the passenger is just along for the ride.  The truth is quite the contrary.  The passenger, by shifting their body weight from the right-to-left and front-to-back of the outfit, is responsible for not only counter-balancing the g-forces and keeping the car from flipping, but also has control of the steering by weighting each of the three tires at different times during a turn.  
 
Sidecar racers carry this attitude of teamwork and camaraderie from the track to the pits, even helping competitors with maintenance and repairs.  The SRA-West is not only a club, but truly a family of racers.