Honda Side-by-Side

This is what you want, right? This is what you draw on napkins.

You're one of those people who wants the most pure, intense, four-wheeled driving experience and you'll stop at nothing to get it. Maybe your significant other won't let you have a motorcycle, or maybe you're opposed to the idea of donning leather for a trip to the cheese shop, so you're looking for alternatives.

Motorcycle engines in cars? Ha! There are too many to count. But place the engine beside the driver, strip away everything else, and you're in a pretty exclusive club. This week, that club gained a new member, the exotic and visually intense Project 2&4, which is the result of putting a superbike and '60s Formula 1 car in an 11,000 rpm blender.

Honda is a two-time member of this club, by the way, a feat that even Smokey Yunick couldn't manage. In 1997, it debuted the Side-by-Side, the jewel at the centre of a one-make racing school…itself at the heart of its brand-new and (still) state-of-the-art Twin Ring Motegi complex. 

With 50 made, it's definitely the world's most successful side-by-side, even though they weren't exactly offered for sale at your local dealer. Its poise and balance must have been exceptional, owing to the perfect weight distribution, even left-to-right if you weighed as much as the 742-cc V-twin bolted down next door. Before its driver strapped in, the Side-by-Side weighed 390 kg (860 lbs), even less than the company's 2015 reinterpretation. 

Power was certainly not on par at only ~57 horsepower, so the Side-by-Side would deliver, what, about 1/4 the speed of the Project 2&4? One quarter of the speed is roughly equivalent, Honda says, to a Formula 1600 car—surely rapid enough to keep the cheese from spoiling, no?

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