The purpose of a motorcycle sidecar is to allow a motorcycle to carry more passengers or cargo than a motorcycle alone can carry. Sidecars also improve the stability and handling of the motorcycle on slick or snowy roads and while making left turns. The additional wheel on the sidecar keeps the motorcycle from falling over. Due to the extra load, sidecars can require more frequent motorcycle maintenance.
The sidecar was invented in the late 1800s for use on bicycles and was patented in England in 1903. It became extremely popular throughout Europe in the early 1900s. Hugo Young, of Loundonville, Ohio, invented a new sidecar with a flexible mount in 1913. It provided the driver and passenger with a much safer and more comfortable ride.
Both sides used sidecars heavily during World War II. Many German troops were transported to and from battle zones on BMW and Zundapp sidecar motorcycles. The Soviet Union and Britain used sidecars as well. Many of the models had a drive mechanism for the sidecar wheel that improved its performance on difficult terrain.
Motorcycles with sidecars handle much differently than cars or motorcycles without sidecars. Drivers need to take a training course and practice in a safe area before taking one on the road.