Last week I received a media release from British sidecar maker Watsonian alerting me to the fact that it is now offering a kit that allows folks to connect one of the company’s sidecars to a Suzuki V-Strom 650. Which begs the question: Why???!
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The stalwart V-Strom 650 is something of a cult classic – generally praised by those who own them and largely ignored or snubbed by those who don’t. It’s got a nigh-indestructible engine, albeit lacking in thrills, and the bike’s overall fit and finish is, you know, good enough. It’s sort of an adventure bike but sort of isn’t, usually winning the most praise from people who use it to commute every day, or Canadians who are happy to tour North America on the thing because, well, they’re happy to tour on anything. They’re happy any time it’s warm enough for them to feel their hands.
But I find it hard to believe that even the most hardcore of Strom enthusiasts would think to him- or herself: “Golly, I wish I could put a sidecar on this thing.”
Watsonian, it seems, disagrees.
“Craftsmen at Watsonian’s Cotswold factory have engineered a subframe that fits below the Suzuki’s twin-spar aluminum frame, providing mounting points for the four arms that attach the sidecar to the motorcycle,” explains the media release.
The kit costs some £1,500, which would be in addition to an actual sidecar. Looking at Watsonian’s website, the cheapest sidecar model it sells is the low-frills International model, which rings in at £3,995. (The sidecar pictured in this article, by the way, is the £5,250 GP Manx model.)
So, bare minimum, you’re looking at roughly £5,500 to add a sidecar to a V-Strom 650. A V-Strom 650. A V-Strom 650. The starting price on a brand new V-Strom 650 is £7,599. However, a quick look on the internet brings up – among many other examples – a 2018 model with just 1,800 miles on the clock for £5,000. So, you know, you could have an almost-new Wee Strom with sidecar for “just” £10,500.
That still doesn’t answer the question of why in the great googly moogly anyone would want such a thing. I mean… WHY?????
I’m racking my brain here.
I get why someone might want a sidecar rig. They look like a lot of fun and provide enough space that you could effectively live on the road for the rest of your days. I’m not questioning the legitimacy of sidecars, I’m questioning the legitimacy of a V-Strom 650 with a sidecar. Help me understand. The more I try to figure this out, try to contort my mind in such a way that I could even begin to comprehend the mindset of a person who would look at this thing and think, “This is exactly what I want in my life,” the more confused and disoriented I feel.
Is there any truth anymore? Is anything real? Perhaps George Berkely was right and we are all just figments of our Creator’s imagination; and the V-Strom 650 sidecar rig is evidence that God is drunk.