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Website Refresh
It is some years since embarking on this website mullarkey. Like all of us "oldies" it seemed high time for a refresh. Over the months several option were considered, including using a different website software package. There was even a situation where a completely new website layout was taking shape. It has to be said, taking up more time than could truly be justified. In the end, being very disappointed due to faults with the new software, the project was abandoned.
That might have been the end of it, but then along came the pandemic and there was available time, but especially with a need for some diversion. So here we are. Nothing dramatic, but some long desired amendments.

Sidecars On Line Issue 48
The August 2020 issue of
Sidecars on Line is available to download.

Oscar's Odyssey looks at the enthusiasts who enjoy the merits of towing with their sidecar outfit. The Motorcycle Action Group keeps up the pressure in the constant battle with bureaucracy. Sidelines focus is on part of a response to a UK government consultation over the proposed phased introduction of electric cars and vans.
Also, a nostalgic look back a few decades to the United Sidecar Association's 1979 sidecar rally held in Bland, Missouri. Plus, insight into the tools and other stuff carried on a sidecar outfit.

Motorcycle Racing Returns
World championship motorcycle sport has resumed after many months of waiting. However, both MotoGP and World Superbikes (WSB) are very different as they have to operate according to strict coronavirus restrictions. Masks, regular cleansing procedures ans social distancing are the order of the day.
As expected the events are held behind closed doors. No crowds and all that goes with the usual spectator involvement is apparent, although viewed, as most do on television, there is no loss of the spectacle and potential for excitement.
As this is written, reigning MotoGP champion has missed scoring in the first two rounds held on successive weekends at Jerez in Spain. After an early off track near miss, which left Marc Marquez last in the field, he rode a near impossible ride to a podium position. Sadly, a fall soon followed and left him with a broken arm. His dramatic return from surgery just five days later saw him practicing within one second of the other front runners. However, racing on the Sunday was likely considered too big a risk, so another no score round of the championship.
Fabio Quartararo on a Yamaha was left to win both of the first two races. A strange start to the shortened series for sure, but it would be wrong to suggest that the final result of this pandemic affected season has been decided just yet.

Harley Struggles Continue ?
Perahps it's been accepted for a time in some circles that Harley Davidson, the undoubted iconic American motorcycle company, has been struggling. Despite clear efforts to expand the product line beyond the traditional vee twin models, it could be said that it's too little too late.
The problem appears to be that for too long the dedicated HOG population has settled on what they already have and marginal updates, plus cosmetic variations, have simply not opened wallets. A well loved bike with those important personal adornments have become members of the family. No point divorcing one "partner" to simply acquire a metaphorical change of hair colour.
The strategy of completely different models such as the 750 vee twin and a presumed different customer target has disregarded that those elusive "new" customers have plenty of other model choices with similar credentials. That Harley has also presented its own take on adventure and electric motorcycles perhaps illustrates something of desperation. That cistomers have not appeared to be responding tells its own tale.
The latest reports hint at lack of interest from stock market investors. Not a positive sign. On the new model front, the much publicised electric Harley, the Livewire, has hardly encoraged positive noises for the company despite being featured in another Ewan McGregor/ Charlie Boorman "Long Way" endeavour.

Norton Motorcycles Update
Things move along on a regular basis with a press report that the previous owner of the company, Stuart Garner indicates that money owed to company pension funds will be forthcoming. For the sake of those affected it is hoped this will be resolved soon.

Chaostours - Sidecar Couple's New Venture

Kerstin and Kevin Holford, our German based friends' spent three and a half years on world trip through Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Problems prevented carrying on into Central America, North America, and Africa, but the whole exercise still proved to be an epic, life changing experience.
On their return the pair have embarked on a business providing mobile catering based upon the culinary experiences gained whilst in many lands. The added ingredient is that the venture incorporates their love of motorcycles and sidecars.
We wish them well.

Site last amended Aug 04 2020 |

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