The Tao of Tigger: Unique sidecar rig made in Washington

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The Tao of Tigger

Dauntless sidecar rig is a one-of-a-kind – for now

 In the early 1980s, Benjamin Hoff served up Taoist philosophy by contrasting western thinking to Winnie-the-Pooh. It worked with his Tao of Pooh book release. Hoff was lured back to the pen in the 90s to complete the job with the Te of Piglet. …Didn't work so well…

But in 2003 Jay and Tara Giese ofDauntless Motors in Covington had an idea - and what a clever one it was…

The dual sport sidecar concept has been gathering steam as of late. The Giese's are some of the better-known creators of sidecar rigs in Puget Sound. The idea was simple – take a Triumph Tiger, add a Ural sidecar and a clever paintjob and voila – You have a Tigger!

Lots of people have ideas for sidecars. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. There are those who go with a standard setup, and others who attempt to make something out of nothing. The results can be great, or …ennnhhh...

But when an idea for a three wheeler actually turns into a winner, it's an occasion to celebrate. For the Giese's the Tigger concept worked.

Think of all the times you've seen sidecars. The epitome of a sidecar rig is to be able to look at both the bike and the car and say 'these belong together.' If you can't say that, then the rig may have merit in terms of efficiency, but lack in terms of artistry.

To look at Tigger is to wonder – this rig is so classic, yet so obvious, isn't there someone out there producing these in quantity. The answer is no – for now.

"We do these one-offs because it's both interesting for us and our customers, and it's good for our business," commented Jay Giese from his shop in Covington, a town near Kent, Washington. As Giese has developed his business he has always had an eye peeled for the new and the different.

The clever paint job was executed by Russ Foy of Custom Classic Paintworks. Besides the Ural sidecar attachment, the Triumph Tiger is outfitted with a dual D&D exhaust system, so this Tigger truly has a growl (see left). The entire transformation came close to $20,000.

Driving Tigger requires a bit of Taoist technique, as does all sidecar driving. Want to turn right? That's not so easy in a sidecar rig, but Tigger has a segregated right wheel brake, simplifying the maneuver. And with two passengers on board during our test ride, it was even easier when everyone figured out to lean right into the turn.

There were actually two test rides. One with the 90-pound Grace Emily doing her best to be ballast and no rear passenger (not easy, and I recall Grace's comment as we left Dauntless – 'are you sure you know how to drive one of these'). Then a second ride with both a rear and car passenger. The later was the more pleasurable experience from the operator's standpoint – once we got in the groove of those right turns.

And we put Tigger to the test. We took Tigger north of SR18 to the land of Twin Peaks at Snoqualmie Falls, then further to the Mill Pond Road and even up Mt. Si Road to the end of the pavement. What a blast! I'll never forget driving the ladies (test #2) through Issaquah with them waving at the pedestrians like it was some inaugural parade. This is what having a sidecar is all about. And of course Tigger is a head turner so there's no lack of attention if that's what you need.

The ultimate test came on the Issaquah-Fall City Road. Those of you who have ridden its entire length know it is loaded with twisties. Great if you've got a sportbike, a bit more of a challenge with the three wheeler. And Tigger passed with flying colors (once we got the groove of those right turns).

As a person who holds a license to operate a side car, has been through the sidecar safety training offered by the state, but still has no intention of owning a rig due to space limitations, I'd have to say – Tigger has gotten me several steps closer to considering the investment and finding the space.

TM/Summer 04

Jay & Tara Giese build sidecar rigs in Covington, Washington. For more information visit

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