Behold the Mash Side Force! It’s the sidecar you always wanted, if you wanted a Ural/Dnepr/Chang Jiang, or you were riding in the Afrika Korps! Except, this isn’t based on an R75 flat twin, it’s based on a recycled Honda engine design, made in China.
Looking at the Mash Side Force, it’s obvious where the designers drew their inspiration. At first glance, it looks a lot like the old R75 sidecars that the German military used in World War II. After The Big One, Communist countries (Ukraine, Russia, China) all started making copies of the machine. It hadn’t served as well its military users as well as the American Jeep did, but hey, it was cheap to make. Stalin, Mao and their chums were big on affordability!
In the decades since, Ural has made itself a name cranking out thousands of the vintage-style sidecar rigs, with incremental updates the past few years to keep in line with emissions. Alas, the price tag has also increased incrementally, and maybe that’s where Mash sees its opportunity with the Side Force.
The Side Force has a front suspension system that looks like a scaled-down Ural unit. Like the Ural, there’s a spare wheel strapped to the sidecar, over a trunk. The general look of the machine is straight from the ’40s, but if you look closely at the engine, it appears to be the same Shineray adaptation of the air-cooled XR400 design that SWM and other manufacturers are using. It should make around 30 horsepower.
Knobby tires come standard, a retro two-part seat, and a wide handlebar. Unlike the Ural sidecars, the Side Force has a chain drive (Urals use a shaft drive). There’s a five-speed gearbox, and from what we can tell, there’s a granny gear for slow-speed reverse work (the translated ad copy isn’t clear). Also, it appears the sidecar wheel cannot be powered, meaning this is a one-wheel-drive machine. In contrast, many Urals come with the option of powering the sidecar wheel, for two-wheel-drive when needed. At least Mash put a disc brake on the sidecar, giving the bike more needed stopping power. Dry weight is 342 kilos, after all!
The Mash Side Force is priced at 10,999 euros in the EU—less money than pricier Ural models, but certainly not cheap, either. For more details, check the machine’s specs on Mash’s French website. You can figure out the gist of most of the information, although it doesn’t translate very well.