You don't need a team mate to be a monkey, but you will need to get your race license. All you have to do to is sign up for sidecar school. It will be at Shannonville motorsport park in April. We are in the process of drawing up the schedule and will have details and a date in the next few days. Stay tuned, I'll repost here when it is confirmed.
My friend Greg and I signed up in 2015 and its been awesome! The people are great and it's a ton of fun. Even without a team mate, there will be opportunities to race throughout the season. If you've got a friend that might want to drive, there are some sidecars for sale... We can get you connected with the sellers.
Mad Monkey Racing #13
My work schedule is such that I do work weekends on and off but I have the ability to take and book time off, that being said if I do commit to race school what are the actual chances of getting ride time if I show up to events/races? I know it probably depends but maybe there's guys/gals here that have done the stand by monkey (if thats a designation) that could shed some light?
The passenger forum only had 2 requests in 2015 and 7 in 2014 for passengers being needed.
The passenger forum doesn't show much activity because the majority of the arrangements are sorted out directly between Monkey and Driver. I didn't have a full time ride during my first season, but raced on 2 of the 6 weekends. Could have been 3, but I couldn't make the 3rd one. Well worth it! Race school is only approx $150 (one time cost), and an SRA membership is only $100. Then you're ready to go!
Commit to the race school (you can't race without it). You'll meet just about everyone on that weekend... that will set things in motion.
Mad Monkey Racing #13
I wanted to chime in on this as 4 years ago I was in the exact same situation as you were in. I wanted to get involved in sidecar racing as a passenger but was worried I wouldn't be getting a ride. You can actually look back at my posting history and my first post was very similar to yours. Now I should mention that I recently was best overall team and had the highest passenger points for 2016. So I went from 0 to hero in 4 years Safe to say I can give a good honest opinion on the situation.
My path to sidecars was very unique in that I didn't have a ride so I just showed up to the school thinking I'll do the weekend activities and then my sidecar career will be over and it will be one of those things off my bucket list (kind of like going skydiving once just to say you did it). When I was there another driver's passenger actually quit right at the school, so when that driver approached me asking if we wanted to be a team boom got my full time ride. Now I'm not saying that will happen to you as well but I will say this......if you show up to the school, become a member of the club, get all the equipment and have a passport to race both in Canada and the US you WILL get opportunities to race....100%.
Sounds like I'm just saying lies I know....so lets look at the facts. If you look at the 2016 standings you will notice that not one single passenger (myself included) raced every single time last year. Also there was not one single forum post needing a passenger in 2016. Doesn't make sense right? Let me explain what happens in the sidecar community. Posting on the forum is usually a waste of time for drivers. If they post they need a passenger they get about 5 responses with people like yourself wanting to race. Great right...then they ask:
Do you have a race license? (need one or you can't race)
Have you paid a membership to the sra? (without it you can't race with us)
Do you have the gear required to race?
Are you able to race in either Canada or US?
If any of the above answers are no then that person can't race and the driver can't take them. So drivers don't want to go through that hassle. There are a few passengers that are part time. They have everything but either don't want to commit to a full season or haven't found full time rides yet. So when a driver needs a fill in passenger he will call the part time guys first and ask if they are in. Usually they say yes and the request never hits the forum. When you see a forum request for a passenger they driver is desperate.
If you get yourself sorted with everything you need to race, come out to the school and introduce yourself to everyone. You automatically put yourself on the short list of people to call when they need passenger. But without showing an interest and taking the necessary steps you will always be waiting on the sidelines. Lots of guys don't want to commit until they have a full time ride. Very understandable but you might wait a long time. Here is the perfect example:
I will not be racing next year with my passenger Russ due to the commitment and what I have going on next year. Russ did not post I need a passenger for 2016....instead he called a fill in (Shaun) and said "Shaun want to be my partner next year?" Shaun said yes and there you go. You need to put yourself in that same situation in order to get a ride either full time or part time.
I've never done this before but it is the holidays and I'm feeling generous. I'm so convinced that by listening to me you will get a ride I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is. You a betting man? haha
If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask
2016 best passenger ever!!!!
No matter what, the key to the entire process is getting your race license from attending school.
Then go to race events and get to know the sidecar crowd and see what the experienced passengers do.
Finally be ready when you have the opportunity to race.
Glad to see some interest in becoming a passenger or even driver if the opportunity arises. It is a learning curve for everyone (drivers & passengers) unless you have done it before. So, yes, you very well may get a ride, but the driver is not going to expect you to know what you are doing, or passenger like a pro.
I took my race licence in 2007. Passengered a couple of times for my hubby, and then he put me in the drivers seat of my F1, Baker which i raced for 5 years. My first year, i was lapped by many. My second year, on the odd occasion, by my 3rd year, no one caught up to me. So, yes it is a learning curve for everyone.
As Stephen Fletcher mentioned, come see the SRA booth at the bike show, you'll get to meet some of the sidecar family. You can also register for the race school at the same time at the "RACE" booth.
Looking forward to meeting you.
#69 - retired
Awesome!graves wrote:Got a chance to meet a few of the guys at the show. Thanks for answering my questions. I've just sent off the email to the president about signing up for the race school. Looks like I'll be seeing you all in April.
Mad Monkey Racing #13
I haven't gotten an email back yet from the board admin. Is there a different email out there? Also the Shannonville webpage doesn't have a specific sidecar race school. I hate to assume but is the motorcycle race school form http://www.shannonville.com/assets/file ... nglish.pdf the one to use for sidecar also?