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Cool Sidecar

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Two Badass Bookworms in nice hats, on a Cool Bike, with one of these. What more could you want?
Mariner: A sidecar? Even in your fantasy, you're not driving?
Boimler: Driving's scary. I'm a natural passenger.
Star Trek: Lower Decks, "Mining The Mind's Mines"

Badass Bikers with their Cool Bikes that aren't part of a gang, are usually stereotyped as loners thanks to the fact that their rides are usually good for about 1 or 2 people. Some nix that though, and add a Cool Sidecar as an option for their rides. Allowing them to have another passenger or at least let their current companion have something more comfortable to sit on. Still loners have the option to just use the sidecar as extra storage, mainly because there's only so much cargo a bike itself can carry.

When some good old blood-pumping action is required, passengers of these sidecars have to fend off pursuers hot on their tail or people on the front trying to blockade their escape, letting the biker focus on making sure they don't crash along the way. There's also the good old Gangland Drive-By too. Usually the rider of the sidecar has to be armed in some way, most of the time they are just armed with some kind of firearm (preferabbly a rapid firing one), although some wield a melee weapon instead for some unorthodox Motorcycle Jousting.

Some bikers however, take an extra step and decided to mount some guns on their sidecars. Allowing the passengers to be their gunner. Usually the mounted armaments is a type of machine gun, mostly because motorcycles are naturally made for Hit-and-Run Tactics with some good old spray-and-pray. Although in some rare cases however, the sidecar itself is turned into a weapons platform with no need for a gunner.

The idea of mounting weaponry on sidecars was popularized way back in World War II, thanks to Nazi Germany of all people. They got the bright idea of repurposing their BMW motorcycles, by sticking a sidecar onto them and turning them into light reconnaissance vehicles. Thus, expect BMW R75 or the competing Zündapp KS 750 with an MG42 machine gun-bearing sidecar attached for good measure, to make appearances in World War II-related media, usually being rode by those Nazi Bikers. Although just because it's used by bad guys doesn't mean it has to be exclusively for them. Sometimes our heroes decide they want a piece of that action and commandeer one for themselves, using the mounted MGs on the Nazis themselves.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Big O: Norman's bike's sidecar has a missile launcher.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Officer Jenny from Viridian City briefly uses a police motorcycle with one of these to get Pikachu to the Pokémon Center.
  • Ah! My Goddess: Keiichi Morisato's Beemer, the only luxury he owns, has one. Curiously, it was installed to the bike long before Belldandy, its only seen passenger, came to his life.
  • Hyper Police: Natsumi's Police Trike is a motorcycle with an integral sidecar.
  • Two Car: is all about 2-man kneeling sidecar racing. The sidecars are an integral part of the bike.
  • Vash is frequently seen riding in Wolfwood's sidecar in Trigun Maximum.
  • In the Fatal Fury 2 TV special, Terry has a bike with a sidecar for Tony to ride along with him.

    Comic Books 
  • Nightwing has a sidecar for his Wingcycle that has gone through some rather unfortunate appearances over the years, but generally matches the Cool Bike it belongs with. Also, as a Batfamily vehicle, it is generally stocked with some very neat gadgets.

    Fan Works 
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: Johto Elite Four member Karen owns a customized motorcycle that includes a sidecar for her Umbreon to ride.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Batman: Assault on Arkham, the KGBeast rides a motorbike with a sidecar that detaches to become a missile he uses to blow open the gate of the army base he is attacking.

    Films — Live-Action  
  • Batman: The Movie: After the Penguin steals the Batmobile, Batman and Robin take the Bat-Cycle to Gotham Airport, with Robin riding in a sidecar. As they approach the Bat-Copter, the sidecar detaches a "Go Cart" carrying Robin, which proceeds on its own to the other side of the Bat-Copter.
  • Henry Jones Sr. & Son in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ride a motorcycle with a sidecar while avoiding nazis.
  • In The Spy Who Loved Me, the bad guys chase James Bond with a sidecar that becomes a detachable missle steered by a joystick on the motorbike.
  • His Excellency's "car", in the Marx Brothers film, Duck Soup. After being twice left behind by Harpo in the detached sidecar, Groucho insists that this time he's driving. Cue Harpo driving off in the sidecar, leaving Groucho on the immobile motorcycle.
  • In Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, the German flying machine is out of control, and the American hero (Stuart Whitman) is attempting to help by pursuing it with a motorcycle with a sidecar. The German colonel (Gert Fröbe) jumps in the sidecar. When they get close enough, the hero jumps from the motorcycle to the flying machine, leaving the colonel in the sidecar. Eventually, the cycle and sidecar fly into the sewage farm.
  • Inverted in The Sidehackers: the sidecars of the protagonist's bikes are nothing more than a wheel, a plank, and a pole for the person on the sidecar to hold on for dead life while they kneel on it. As crazy-daring that it is to ride like that during a race, and the film likes to show it a lot, it does nothing to offset how boring the rest of the movie is.

  • Hagrid from Harry Potter has a flying sidecar. During a battle in midair, it ends up being accidentally detached, and then Harry makes it explode so that it can blow off their pursuers.
  • Surely the ultimate example: in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash, Raven rides around on a bike, the sidecar of which is a NUCLEAR WEAPON. A nuclear weapon keyed to explode if his heart stops beating.
  • In Robert Asprin's Phule's Company, Chocolate Harry rides his hovercycle, with Louis (a small, slug-like alien) in the sidecar — armed with a Sawed-Off Shotgun.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider 555: Kamen Rider Kaixa's Cool Bike, the Side Basshar, had a sidecar. The bike-and-sidecar ensemble could transform into a walker loaded with missiles.
  • While an example doesn't quite appear in Kamen Rider Drive, the Mid-Season Upgrade, Shift Dead Heat, is a Signal Bike/Shift Car hybrid based on this trope, being a fusion of the Main Rider's motif and the Secondary Rider's motif.
  • Super Sentai used to add sidecars to non-Red-Rangers' bikes, such as in Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger (the bikes never really made it to MMPR except for a stock footage slip-up). Especially notable is the sidecars from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, which connected end-to-end to form a catapult for launching the Red bike!
  • Several single-hero Toku series have sidecars on their bikes for the purpose of putting the Victim of the Week in them for escape purposes.
  • In the cooking show Two Fat Ladies (formerly on Food Network), the ladies toured the country in a motorbike and sidecar. Jennifer Patterson drove the bike while Clarissa Dickson Wright was in the sidecar.
  • In the On the Buses TV series, the family (except for Stan, who drives the bus) has only a motorcycle and sidecar to transport. There are many mishaps.
  • The Batcycle on Batman had one. It wasn't quite as cool for the hapless Burt Ward, though, who found himself holding on for dear life whenever Batman detached the sidecar!

  • To The Apocalypse in Daddy's Sidecar by Abney Park. The song was based on the songwriter's kindergarten-age daughter writing this as a response to the question "If you could be anywhere in the world, where would you like to go?" Let me remind you: this is a 4 year old girl saying this. Of course, "apocalypse" was misspelled.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, Space Marines can field assault bikes which have a sidecar with a mounted BFG.

  • BIONICLE: The Kaxium V3 consists of bike and sidecar, the latter of which has a Thornax Launcher and both can split from each other.
  • The G.I. Joe RAM cycle had a gatling gun for a sidecar. The later Silver Mirage included room for a passenger as well as a mortar cannon and two missiles. The bikes didn't get featured much in the cartoon, though, due to being overshadowed by so many other, cooler vehicles. There wouldn't be another new motorcycle toy with a sidecar in the line until 2003's Cobra Venom cycle, which had a detachable sidecar that could transform into a gun station. The most recent new toy is the 2009 movie line's Snarler. Both the Venom and Snarler sidecars featured cannons with firing projectiles.
  • The toys from Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen added a sidecar to the second of the motorcycle Autobots released, which naturally wasn't in the movie. (The sidecar, not the second 'bot...)
    • The bike girls had a unicycle design for their robot modes (balanced on one wheel instead of legs.) The sidecar included with the toy for one turned into a stand because it couldn't stand up otherwise.
  • The toyline for The New Batman Adventures eventually had a Batbike and detachable sidecar a la the movie mentioned above (it's Nightwing rather than Robin in the sidecar).
  • Something of a staple for Kenner: The Shadow had a Mongol dragon-cycle with missile-firing sidecar, and, when The Mask got his bike, Milo got a sidecar with a big, chomping Mask!Milo head.

    Video Games 
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin has the Bike unit that has a sidecar with a machinegun mounted on it.
  • XCOM Apocalypse has hoverbikes, with top engines slightly faster and more nimble than the VTOL fighter plane. Its sidecar provides one weapon mount good enough for most of fighters' weapons. As in, an autocannon or missile with miniature fusion warhead.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, near the end you sit in a side car and gun down Mooks in a pretty epic chase scene. It also contains a lot of ammo.
  • Wes from Pokémon Colosseum has this attached to his Cool Bike. His Espeon and Umbreon sit there in the beginning, but are demoted to pokeball travel when Wes gets a Sidekick.
  • An odd example appears in Kingdom Hearts II when, for some reason, Sora and Riku get a space-motorcycle-thing to fight the final boss in one of his many forms. It's less of a sidecar and more of a platform that happens to be on the side of the vehicle, sacrificing basic safety measures for having enough room for Sora to smack things around with his keyblade.
  • Foxhole has the patrol bike, a light recon motorcycle with an attached sidecar. The passenger can use any secondary equipment like pistols or binoculars.
  • Medal of Honor: Underground has a the mission, "Sidecar Shootout" where you ride in the sidecar of a motorcycle (driven by your resistance ally) while equipped with a mounted machine-gun, going around shooting enemy Germans. Widely considered one of the best missions in the game.
  • Red Alert 3: The Soviet's Mortar Cycle is a motorcycle (hyuk hyuk) with a sidecar that can deploy a collapsible mortar or throw a Molotov Cocktail.
  • Thundercade is an old arcade game where you get to kick ass in a motorbike with a mounted sidecar, capable of firing projectiles at enemies. You can occasionally pick up a second sidecar to double your firepower.
  • Mr. Grimm's motorcycle from most Twisted Metal games has a sidecar attached, which holds a gatling gun.

    Western Animation 
  • The Piranha from M.A.S.K. was a sidecar that launched from the motorcycle and acted as a one-man submarine.
  • Transformers: Animated: Prowl's Samurai Armor becomes this in vehicle mode.
  • Metalocalypse has the Murdercycle, with a total of 4 sidecars, 2 on each side, so the whole band can ride it.
    • And it takes up three lanes of traffic - how cool is that?
  • The Aristocats: "You may not believe this, but I think it's a one-wheeled haystack!"
  • Darkwing Duck had one on his motorcycle. Interestingly enough, it was capable of detaching while the motorcycle was being driven and could operate on its own.
  • One episode of The Real Ghostbusters had Ray using the Ecto-3, a motorized unicycle, of all things, that stored inside a rear fender of Ecto-1; it had a sidecar scaled for Slimer.
  • Batman's motorcycle in Batman: The Brave and the Bold has a retractable side car built in for Robin. The now adult Robin is embarrassed of it and sulks both times he has to ride in it.
  • The Murdercycle from Western Animation/Metalocalypse is ridden by Nathan Explosion and even comes with four totally metal passenger pods for the rest of the band. It even has the same pods for its snowmobile variant, with added skis.
  • The sidecar in the Wallace & Gromit short A Close Shave can also double as an airplane. It also comes with a retractable rapid-fire cannon that the heroes usually use to shoot soapy water up onto windows they're cleaning from ground level, but during the climax Gromit loads it with extra thick porridge to fight the villain.
  • The Raccoons: Aunt Gertie from the episode "Power Trip!" owns a blue motorcycle called Bessie that has a sidecar with a yellow stripe on it for Bert to ride in.

    Real Life 
  • These were used a fair amount during World War II. The Germans in particular became especially notorious for showing up in them.
  • Sidecars were very popular in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc during the first post-WWII decades. Cars were out of reach for most working people, while the sidecar motorcycle provided the needed transportation for people and goods. Factories stuck to dated pre-WWII designs for being rugged and easier to maintain.
  • Tricycles (i.e. motorbikes with sidecars) are a common sight in suburban Philippine roads, but they don't hold a candle to this cool bike with an equally cool sidecar that resembles an actual cool car.
  • Several American companies makes sidecars that will carry a wheelchair. At least one takes it a step further, and modifies both sidecar and motorcycle so that the wheelchair-bound person can operate the motorcycle from the sidecar, thus allowing a person with missing or paralyzed legs to be a Badass Biker despite their handicap.