Having won in World and British Superbike Championship races, fan favourite Chris Walker is having something of a second career, taking to three wheels, although he’s recently had a major accident. And as a fan of ‘Swedish Gold’ throughout his career, his choice of suspension was obvious.
Remembered by many for an epic last to first WSB win at Assen in heavy rain, ‘Stalker’ as he is known also came back to British Superbikes and won a race in again sketchy track conditions.
These days he runs a Kawasaki dealership but also keeps his competitive urges going in the ultra competitive Hyundai British Sidecar Championships. Recently however he had a nasty accident at one of the events, breaking his back.
Chris Walker is a good talker, so we leave him to explain what drives him;
“Its been a breath of fresh air to be honest, I’ve ridden Superbikes of different flavours for 20 years but now its like learning all over again. The feeling is so different as your movement and weight doesn’t make any difference as the driver… its down to power delivery, lines and the passenger.
“I’ve been racing sidecars for 18 months now and this is my first crash, it’s a shame it had to be a big one, the bike was a real mess! I don’t miss the solos as I know that unless you are on the absolute top of your game and in a top factory supported team you are onto a loser in WSB or BSB as it is so competitive. I also love the fact that the pressure is less. It’s more back to when I started racing, the rider and a mechanic and a learning experience . Superbikes now is so serious with data guys, PR commitments and so much else.
This is my second year and I want to make the step up to be fighting for wins but I still have a lot to learn. I think you can ride for a longer time as the physicality is slightly different than on a solo, we’ll see, obviously the crash was a pretty big ‘speed bump’ for my progress!”
Chris Walkers outfit is an LCR, which stands for Louis Christen Racing, and Swiss engineer, started with monocoque racing cars. LCR sidecars have won 24 World championships. A monocoque chassis from aircraft aluminium is glued and riveted and Chris demands Öhlins suspension. The platform for the passenger is a carbon/ aluminium honeycomb sandwich. Brakes are AP brake calipers, front and rear 4 piston, differential bore. Total sidecar weight is 225kg.
Öhlins Racing wishes The Stalker good luck to his future rides on three wheels!