Why are they called suicide doors?

Suicide knobs have already been addressed here, but what’s with the name for “suicide doors?” Also, what is a suicide clutch and why is it called that?

Suicide doors were before my time, but that doesn’t keep me from guessing. I think that since they are hinged in the rear, they may have been able to open into the slipstream. If you were sitting next to one and were holding onto the armrest, it could yank you out at high speed. Thus, it was suicide to sit next to them. Anyway, that’s my guess.

Johnny L.A.'s right. I had a '37 Plymouth with said doors. They were better for getting in and out of the car, but murder (well, suicide) if you opened them while in motion.
I too would like to know about suicide clutches. They were on some motorcycles, right?


Suicide Clutch = “Years ago, the HD clutch used to be located at the left foot pedal (rather than the left handle bar). They were known as a suicide clutch for several
reasons but probably mostly for coming to a stop in gear. You better be leaning to the right to put your foot down. If you lean tothe left, and that foot is holding the clutch
in?? Well, I’ll let you take it from here. Luckily I never dropped my old 45, but it easily have happened. Incidentally, the gear shift was located to the leftside of the tank. But
it was a great bike all in all”. courtesy of Mac.
“Suicide Clutch actually refers to a modified footpedal that did away with the H-D pedal system in favor of an In and Out, push-to-disengage, release-to-go pedal like on
a car that some hot rod bikers and the chopper guys got into later on. Simply in and out, and you did have to have your bike in neutral before putting your foot down at a
stop sign.” Also see “Hand Shift, Foot Clutch” Courtesy of Gerry Lyons.

You don’t need a suicide clutch to ‘lay down’ a Harley. I once saw a 1%'r stop at a light without putting down either foot. By the time he realized what was up it was too late.
He got up, kicked his bike, called it a bitch, got back on and rode away.
Ain’t meth a wonderful thing? :smiley:
Thanks for the info, heptapod.