WATSONIAN SIDECARS’ MIDSUMMER BARBECUE

ImageWatsonian Sidecars are hosting a summer barbecue at their factory in the Cotswolds on Saturday 28th June.

The company has been making sidecars in the Heart of England for 102 years and this year is the 30th anniversary of their move to the current location, near the market town of Moreton-in-Marsh.

Attractions at the event include a barbecue serving freshly cooked local produce, (prices start at just £1 per item), an opportunity to see how a sidecar is made inside the historic factory and a chance to take a sidecar driving skills test on Watsonian’s specially created obstacle course, with a prize for the most talented driver.

Watsonian are also the franchised dealer for Royal Enfield motorcycles and Peugeot Scooters in the Cotswolds and there will be a selection of demonstrators to ride on the day (visitors will need to bring both parts of their driving licence and appropriate riding wear).

Free parking is available on site and prizes will be awarded for outfit and solo bike that have been ridden from the furthest distance. Visit Watsonian on Saturday 28th June between 10am-4pm. Click here for address and map.

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Sidecars on Tour

DEAUVILLE-MONZA-LRWatsonian report increasing demand for sidecars from touring bike owners. The British manufacturer, now in its 102nd year, recently developed a fitting kit for the Triumph Trophy and now offers attachments for the Honda NT700V Deauville too.

Fitting sidecars to modern touring bikes is difficult, because lighter beam frames have replaced traditional steel tubing, so there are no mounting points for the arms that connect chair to the motorcycle. Therefore the design team at Watsonian created a bespoke sub frame for the Deauville to provide perfectly positioned attachment points for the sidecar.

The combination pictured features the Monza, colour-matched to the motorcycle and in DL trim with a 10” alloy wheel.  First introduced in the 1960s, the Monza was originally conceived as a sports sidecar and has remained popular thanks to its excellent road holding and comfort. Prices for the Monza sidecar start at £4995 including VAT. With more than 100 years experience, Watsonian offer fittings for a wide range of both modern and classic motorcycles, a factory fitting service and tuition for novice drivers. Visit the Watsonian factory and see their range of sidecars at the company’s Summer BBQ on Saturday 28th June. For more information call O1386 7OO9O7 or visit www.watsonian-squire.com.

Coming to America

WatsonianUSAWatsonian Squire is delighted to announce the appointment of a specialist distributor for the USA.

Based in Ft Myers, Florida, Watsonian Squire USA will offer American customers access to the complete range of British-built sidecars, with full factory support, as well as expert guidance from Doug Bingham, of The Side Strider sidecar company.

Watsonian Squire USA is in the process of recruiting certified dealers throughout the territory, giving customers improved access to local service centres. If you are interested in becoming a stockist for Watsonian Squire, or simply would like to put a sidecar on your existing bike, please contact Christopher and Tina Kehl at Watsonian Squire USA, 16770 Link Ct Unit 101, Ft Myers FL 33912. Tel: 239-400-1289239-400-1289

Watsonian Meteor Sidecar back in production

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Watsonian re-launched their Meteor sidecar at this Year’s Motorcycle Live show, more than sixty years after production of the original version ceased.

Only 601 of the initial Meteor were built by Watsonian, between 1946-’49, using a batch of RAF Mosquito bomber reserve fuel tanks that they had bought from the Air Ministry shortly after the end of the Second World War. Made from stretched and spun plywood, the tanks were were light and aerodynamic, so Watsonian adapted them to use as sidecar bodies.

The body shell of the modern Meteor is produced from glass fibre, using a mould taken from one of the original plywood bodies. It sits on a tubular steel chassis, manufactured in Watsonian’s Cotswold factory, which is uprated from the 1940’s design with addition of a shock-absorber and 16″ wheel. Measuring 2100mm x 1000mm, the Meteor has a 390mm wide seat. A fold-down screen is mounted on a cast aluminium bar in front of the cockpit and the seat tilts forward to provide access to storage space behind.

Priced at £3995 including VAT, the Meteor is available in a range of gel coat colours. With more than 100 years experience, Watsonian offer fittings for a wide range of both modern and classic motorcycles and can provide a factory fitting service.

For more information call 01386 700907, visit www.watsonian-squire.com

Sidecar sales soar

Demand for British-made sidecars is increasing. Watsonian, who have been making sidecars in the Heart of England since 1912, report that sales rose by 30% in the six months from March to August this year, compared to the same period in 2012.

ImageDemand is coming from a wide range of customers; recent fitments include a 1950’s BSA Golden Flash, Harley Davidson Sportster, Triumph Bonneville and Thunderbird and Suzuki Burgman maxi scooter.

“We’ve recently experienced a resurgence of interest in our Monza sidecar” says Watsonian sales director Ben Matthews. “It’s been in continuous production since the 1950’s, when its was considered very modern, and seems to have come back into vogue”.

Although the majority of new business is coming from British customers, Watsonian are also benefiting from demand in emerging markets and have just established a distributor in Indonesia for the first time.

Watsonian will be unveiling a new sidecar model alongside updates to current lines on their large stand at Motorcycle Live this November.

Visit the main Watsonian Squire website

Mike Ellis Memorial Run Sunday 22nd September 2013

Mike Ellis Memorial Run 30.09.12 012 (640x480)This year’s Mike Ellis Memorial Run will depart from the Watsonian sidecar factory near the Cotswold market town of Moreton-in-Marsh on Sunday 22nd September 2013. Held in memory of the company’s workshop manager, who died in a tragic accident in 2012, last year’s inaugural outing attracted more than 70 motorcyclists and this year organisers hope to increase the attendance to one hundred. Setting out from the factory at 10:00 am the group will follow a circular route around the North Cotswolds to the Malvern Hills, aiming to return at lunch time. Suitable for riders on most machines, marshals will be provided by the Cheltenham and Cotswold Advanced Motorcyclists group so that participants can travel at the pace that best suits them. Riders need to arrive at the Watsonian factory by 9.30am to sign on and a donation of £5 per bike would be welcome, all proceeds going to the Mike Ellis Memorial fund, raising money for life saving emergency equipment. For more information call 01386 700907 or visit www.watsonian-squire.com.

Factory Open Weekend 2013 – Review

Stan Dibben opens new showroom

Stan Dibben opens new showroom

Former World sidecar champion Stan Dibben was guest of honour at Watsonian Sidecars’ annual factory open weekend on 22nd-23rd June. Stan, who won the 1953 world racing championship in partnership with Eric Oliver on a Norton motorcycle/Watsonian sidecar outfit, officially opened the company’s refurbished and expanded 1200 square foot showroom in Blockley, near the Cotswold market town of Moreton-in-Marsh.

Now in its eighth year, the event drew visitors from as far afield as Scotland and Germany. Local photographer Irene Jutton was snapping away over both days and has uploaded more than 200 images to her website at http://www.irenejutton.com/. There are a wide selection of pictures showing the people and machines that made the weekend so special. In order to view the photos you’ll need to use the password sidecar.

As well as a chance to see inside the factory where Watsonian have manufactured their sidecars for the past 30 years, guests had an opportunity to tackle the new sidecar driving skills test. Using one of Watsonian’s demonstrator sidecar outfits, contestants had to tackle several challenges, including knocking a tennis ball from a post into a bucket by nudging it in using the bike’s front wheel!

Other guests at the event included the Chester Belter London Leatherworks, a new business designing handmade leather pieces using traditional skills, and automotive artist Martin Squires, who could be found sketching the more eye-catching bikes and sidecars in the car park. Motorcycle author and world traveller Gordon May also made a welcome return.

Local produce featured prominently at this year’s open weekend; there was freshly cooked food from an award-winning Worcestershire butcher and hand-made treats created by the Cotswold Chocolate Company from nearby Stow-on-the-Wold.

Prizes were awarded on both days for the best sidecar outfit and solo motorcycle ridden to the event, won on Saturday by a 1938 J-series Royal Enfield paired with a contemporary sidecar that had travelled from Buckingham. For more information call 01386 700907 or visit http://www.watsonian-squire.com.

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Sidecar driving skills test

Dates for next year’s open weekend will be announced soon.

Watsonian returns to the TT

TTpractice-2013

TTpractice-2013

Watsonian sidecars will be supporting Dave Molyneux for his Isle of Man TT campaign this year, as part of the British company’s investment programme following last year’s centenary celebrations.

During the post-war sidecar boom, Watsonian was actively involved in motorcycle racing, sponsoring 1954 TT champions Eric Oliver and Les Nutt, followed by Chris Vincent partnered by Eric Bliss in 1962. However, the development of modern Formula Two sidecars in the 1980’s meant that the competition machines had little in common with road going outfits and the company pulled back from sponsorship.

This situation changed when Dave Molyneux, the most successful sidecar racer at the TT, was invited to Watsonian’s centenary rally last year.

With 16 wins to his name, Dave has a huge following and is really passionate about sidecars ” explains Watsonian director Ben Matthews. “We realised that sponsoring Dave was a great way to remind the public that Britain still has a thriving sidecar manufacturer”.

Ben adds; “Dave also makes racing sidecars, for himself and other racers, and in the future we may well incorporate some of that technical know-how into our frames, suspension and aerodynamics.”

This year is the 90th anniversary of sidecar racing on the Isle of Man, and the 2013 TT sidecar races are planned for Saturday 1st and Wednesday 5th June.

For more information call 01386 700907 or visit watsonian-squire.com.