Cape Sidecar Adventure in Cape Town

Who would have thought that on a Sunday afternoon in Cape Town you could don a real McCoy jet fighter pilot helmet with visor, oversized leather riding jacket and hop into a vintage World War Two sidecar? Well, this is exactly what you get when you book a tour with Cape Sidecar Adventures and they even throw in a scarf to complete the look.

The fleet of sidecars are scrapped Chinese cj750’s that have been lovingly rebuilt. The era in which they were built is clouded in mystery because the Russians and Chinese were super secretive, and consequently, there are all sorts of urban legends that have emerged. The most common is that this particular sidecar design was based on the 1956 Soviet IMZ M-72 Motorcycle, better known as the Ural. This Russian Ural was in itself derived from the earlier German BMW R71 military motorbike combo, which first went into production in pre-war Germany in 1936 and became a formidable part of the German war efforts during World War Two.

All this history just adds to the novelty of being whisked around Cape Town in one of these vehicles. All you have to visualise is yourself holding a machine gun, sitting abreast a staunch-looking fellow driving you towards your destiny as a hero… Well actually, there are no guns and only friendly drivers – in this case Deven – but I still let my imagination run wild as I pulled down the tinted shade on my helmet and hopped into the sidecar!

cape sidecar

At Cape Sidecar Adventures they have a fleet of 25 chauffeured cars, which are available for two-hour experiences, full-day Peninsula or Winelands tours, team-building events and more. We went for the two-hour experience and decided on a route from Claremont up Constantia Nek to Chapman’s Peak followed by a quick pop-in at Groot Constantia on the way home.

Chugging along the zigzagging roads past Kirstenbosch with the sun playing hide-and-go-seek through the trees, was totally relaxing and gives you a completely new perspective. Being on a bike is one thing, but not having to hang on or concentrate allows you to see a whole lot more. People waved as we passed, clearly amazed by our classic mode of transport. I felt completely safe in the sidecar, which actually ends up taking up most of a lane so you’re a lot more visible that just a motorbike on its own. Two hours was more than enough time to enjoy the glory of our Mother City and get a real feel for the car.