German Motorcycles

Kalich Schwenker Sidecars

A Brief History of the Marque

The business was founded in 1989 in southern Germany by the brothers Peter and Ralph Kalich, sidecar aficionados since the early 1970s when they were still in their teens. That same year Peter died.

The brothers had been building custom sidecars to order since the early 1980s, and many of their outfits utilised the 'Schwenker' system which allows the motorcycle to lean into corners as if it were a solo machine whilst the sidecar remains upright.

This system was patented in 1935 by Heinz Koster, an engineer for the Imperia Motor Cycle and Side-car works in Cologne.

Ralph's speciality is the BMW late model boxer twin, which to a conventional sidecaristi would seem an unlikely choice of mounts but for his system works exceedingly well. As an owner or R259 machines for over 15 years (and many other BMWs before, including an R69S/Steib combination) I would dearly love to give the Kalich creation a workout.

The machines pass the stringent German TÜV and are built to a very high standard. It is said that the latest combination, dubbed the Swing, can be converted for solo use in just a few minutes. Best of both worlds in a single machine!

Sources: JF

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