Sidecarland

The Fenland Rally and F2 Motorcycles

Steve’s first rally on his newly acquired outfit.

Article by Roy and Chris, pictures Skip and Roy

I had a really enjoyable dry ride on Thursday to March in Cambridgeshire to the Fenland Rally; however one of the riders had hit bad weather and got soaked through. One of the highlights of this rally is that the town holds its Summer Festival over the same weekend, so there is plenty to see and do. Lots of people were already on site when I arrived.

 

On Friday Dave Baker had organised a ride out to F2 Motorcycles, which is about 10 miles from the campsite. I was interested in the trip because I wanted to see the new Velorex Sport Sidecar. Dave Angel had some input into the design of this sidecar.

We had a nice gallop around the lanes (I had a lift in the Flying Banana) and fairly soon we arrived at F2 Motorcycles. Dave kindly laid on a BBQ for us, but we supplied our own burgers, etc.

I was impressed with the quality of the Sport GT model http://simplysidecars.co.uk/GT565.html – it looked really good. It has a lift-up screen, allowing easy access into the chair; another nice touch was the boot storage area. This is accessed by taking the seat base out, which then releases the backrest, thus allowing access into the boot space. This only takes a minute to do, and it’s just as easy to put back, and the seat base has a lock so that your kit is safe and sound. There is also a small storage space under the seat. I think that this is a well-made chair at a reasonable price.

New sidecars awaiting to be un-crated.

The BBQ went well, and several other riders popped in to see the display of motorcycles for sale, including a couple who were thinking about a buying a sidecar. Martyn and I spotted a great sign on Dave’s Trabant car it stated “F2 Motorcycles – unspoilt by progress“- a nice touch!! Eight outfits, two solos and one trike from the Fenland Rally turned up at the open day.

Friday afternoon saw me wander up into the town. The stalls were already set up for the carnival at the weekend. The music is a popular part of the weekend and it started at about 6.30 pm, with new local talent having a go. This sounded good and it could be heard from the campsite. The bonfire at the campsite this year was looked after by Mick. On the Friday and Saturday evenings he cooked a load of jacket potatoes – he was hoping to gain an “NVQ“in the subject!! The fire was pretty hot at times and he had to be quick at checking to see if the spuds were done properly. I reckoned that he passed his “NVQ” with flying colours, as my potato was nicely cooked.

Being TT race week on the island the “club house “at the camp site proved popular as the television kept us up to date with the racing. Lots of records were broken this year; the Birchall brothers won both sidecar events, and there was some very close racing indeed. Saturday evening we got a bonus on the tele, when they showed TT highlights and these included one of the sidecar races. Prior to the race Steve Plater, the sidecar racer, had a high-speed lap of the island course as passenger on the Birchall brothers’ outfit – as he said, “it got exciting”.

Saturday is the main day at the festival for me, with a parade of classic vehicles, together with walkers and floats. The theme this year was Disney Characters. This time the parade took a slightly different route than previously, but was still good. The vehicles returned to the park, where there were plenty of stalls to look at, with lots of fairground rides, a wide variety of food outlets and plenty of fun for all the family.

The bands started playing in the late afternoon with the final band finishing at 10.00 pm. New for this year was a dance tent set up for Saturday evening and on Sunday, also new, was some wrestling, which is all good fun to watch.

I pulled out for home on Sunday morning; however the festival continued with another full day’s events. Several units stayed on and left on Monday I believe.

The rally was as brilliant as usual. Well over 40 units turned up, plus some day visitors. Well done and thanks to the Fenland Club and to everyone who helped out. Unfortunately this is the last of these rallies. Dave, Shirley and Jim have decided to call it a day. Next year they can either go to a BSA rally, which is held on the same weekend, or perhaps go to the March festival themselves, which they have not been to for many years. Thanks for a great weekend.

For details of the new Velorex Sport GT and other Velorex sidecars visit: http://www.simplysidecars.co.uk

Some information on the Velorex Sport GT from your webmaster

The front section of the body lifts up to aid access aided and is supported by a hydraulic ram and there is a comfy looking seat. There is luggage compartment behind the seat and there is a small area under the seat.

Both compartments are secured using the single lock located inside the sidecar. Standard equipment includes full carpeting, padded interior, screen, hood, hood frame, front nudge bar and a small external rack.

The SPORT GT is equipped with a well braced swinging arm, 20 mm wheel axle, and a well braced chassis. The ride quality is going to be far better than some more expensive sidecars that are currently available in the UK. A brand new decent touring sidecar for under £3800 represents good value for money. Also there is a braked wheel kit available for only £75.

Of course this doesn’t include the fitting of the sidecar which can be done yourself, but you do need to be a competent home mechanic using an Universal 4 or 5 point (extreme duty) fitting kit, these are available from £595 http://simplysidecars.co.uk/fittingguide.html , or you can simply get Dave to do all the hard work and have it professionally fitted, safe in the knowledge that it has be correctly fitted, aligned, fully tested and ready to ride.

A few more pictures from the Fenland event