How to Build a Motorcycle Sidecar

Updated April 11, 2017

Motorcycle sidecars can be difficult to find when they are required to be from a specific time period on stage and expensive to purchase -- especially if they are antiques. However, if you are in need of a motorcycle sidecar as a stage prop you can make your own. The project requires only a few supplies, some simple construction techniques and a few days of your time to complete.

Draw out your design for your motorcycle sidecar on paper. Be sure to draw the side views, front view and rear view of the vehicle, including any details that you want on the sidecar.

Mark your design with the measurements for each part of the sidecar, depending on how large you want the sidecar to be. Determine the side measurements first, then the front and back measurements. Remember that you will also need measurements for the bottom of the sidecar even if you do not have a real bottom so that you can construct the axle.

Transfer your sidecar design to cardboard sheets with a pencil, drawing out each section using your measurements. The side sections should be increased in size by about 2 inches all the way around. The extra 2 inches will allow you to make a flap to connect the other pieces to.

Cut out the sidecar sections with a utility knife.

Fold over the 2-inch excess cardboard on the side sections of your sidecar panels, making a definite crease along the edges. Then attach the front and back sections of the sidecar to the 2-inch flap around the side sections with glue or duct tape.

Paint the body of the sidecar with acrylic paint and a paintbrush, adding sidecar details with paint as needed. Allow the paint to completely dry.

Measure the inside bottom of the sidecar and cut two 2-by-4-inch pieces of wood to match these measurements with a table saw.

Attach one of the pieces of 2-by-4-inch wood at the front of the sidecar on the inside bottom of the body, connecting it to both sides of the body with nails and a hammer. Attach the other piece of 2-by-4-inch piece of wood at the rear inside bottom of the body in the same manner.

Use your measurements for the width of the bottom again and cut two sections of 1/2-inch thick dowel rods that are about 6 inches longer than your measurements.

Turn the sidecar upside down and centre the two dowel rod axles on each of the wood braces on the front and back of the car, allowing the dowel rods to extend from each side 3 inches.

Cut four circles out of cardboard the size that you want your tires to be, then cut 1/2-inch holes in the centre of each of the tires with your utility knife.

Paint the tires as desired with acrylic paints and a paintbrush, and allow them to dry.

Slide the tires onto the dowel rod axles, one on each side of each axle, and secure them with glue. Allow the glue to completely dry before turning your sidecar right side up.


Place a small stool inside the sidecar for your actors to sit on, covering the legs of the stool with black fabric so that the legs cannot be seen from the audience.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Cardboard sheets
  • Utility knife
  • Glue
  • Duct tape
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • 2-by-4-inch pieces of wood, 2
  • Table saw
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • 1/2 -inch thick pieces of dowel rod, 2
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About the Author

Patrice Lesco has been a writer since 2001. Also a certified teacher, she writes for newspapers, magazines, books, theater and film. Lesco holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater from Michigan State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in education and theater from Methodist College.