Once you hack, you never go back.


Siderider reminisicing from Jason Runnquist

Thursday, June 5th, 2008 Posted in SideRider | No Comments »
Hi there,
I happened to google Siderider the other day and came upon your site showing the 2 brochures.
I can offer you a bit more information. My father was a good friend of the designer which led to him getting the exclusive rights to distribute the Siderider in North America. The designer’s name I believe is Robyn Barns. I do know he was an engineer/designer at Lotus. He also had a soft-rock band which came out with a song entitled ‘Siderider’….it was pretty dire even by the standards of the day!  I remember hearing talk about negotiations to use one in a James Bond film but don’t think it ever came about. I believe there may have been a Matchbox (like Hot Wheels) toy version of the siderider in the UK.
The photos on your site make me feel a bit nostalgic. Although the siderider seems quite dated now I remember being very impressed as a kiddie by how cool it looked. My Dad had ones hooked up to a Goldwing, Kawasaki ZR1000 (think that was the model, early 80s shiny silver thing  ) and a Yamaha 1100 (again not totally sure of the model but it was the biggest beast around at the time). 
If memory serves I think it came into being in the late 70s (78 or 79) and my father was taking them to shows around Canada and the states for about 3 years. I’m pretty sure of the dates as I got to meet so many playboy models at these shows as a shy 14-15 year old. If only he’d done it for a few years more!
One humorous incident happened when the designer came over to Canada to work on the mounting brackets (or whatever the technical term is). They got a local blacksmith to make some to attach to the Kawasaki. While zooming down a country road to test them the sidecar detached, swerved off the road, through a ditch and a barbed wire fence, coming to rest about 30 feet in a field. I remember my Father (who was riding the bike) couldn’t stop laughing and Robyn, though completely unharmed, was white as a ghost and swearing at him that it wasn’t funny. The more he protested the harder my father laughed. The siderider came out of it with only a few scratches too!
Hope some people are still enjoying them out there.
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