Watsonian are launching two new sidecars for 2016 at Motorcycle Live.
Continuing the company’s tradition of naming sidecars after Warwickshire settlements, the Meriden has been developed specifically for fitting to all models of Triumph Bonneville, from 2000 – ’15. With its tubular steel frame and smooth parallel twin motor, the Bonneville has proved well-suited to sidecar work.
Based on the popular Monza body shell, which dates back to 1965, the Meriden is offered with a choice of wheels to match those fitted to the Triumph twin; either a 19” type with stainless steel spokes or a 17” cast alloy design . The mudguard is styled to echo the front guard fitted to the bike, with front & rear lights to match the Bonneville’s tail light unit. Cockpit width 46 cm, with generous leg room of 135 cm and a lockable boot space measuring 58 x 40 x 40 cm. Overall weight is 90 kg.
Another introduction for 2016 is the Zanzara, a version of the lightweight Meteor sidecar, designed to be fitted to the GTS 250/300 scooters from Vespa. Zanzara is the Italian word for mosquito, a reference to the sidecar body, which was originally based on the shape of reserve fuel tanks from the famous RAF Mosquito aircraft. It also seemed an appropriate name for a sidecar designed to be fitted to a ‘wasp’ (vespa means wasp in Italian).
Watsonian had to develop a special chassis and sub-frame to attach the sidecar to scooter’s pressed steel frame, and fitted it with a 12” Vespa front wheel for balance. The mudguard is the deeply valenced Classic shape, which first appeared in 1955, and the fold-down aero screen completes the period appearance. The seat tilts forward to provide access to storage space behind. It weighs approximately 65 kg.
Watsonian have been making sidecars in the Heart of England since 1912; both the Meriden and Zanzara have glass fibre body shells, which are available in a wide range of gel-coat colours. A painting service is available for customers who want to colour-match the sidecar to the machine. All sidecar chassis are welded tubular steel that is powder-coated and hydraulic suspension is fitted as standard. Prices vary according to specification.
See the new models at Motorcycle Live, 28th November – 6th December 2015 at the NEC Birmingham. Stand 2E10 in Hall 2.
With more than a century of experience, fittings are available for a wide variety of motorcycles. Popular ‘mules’ include retro machines, such as the Triumph Bonneville, Royal Enfield Bullet and Harley Davidson Sportster, as well as more modern bikes, like the Triumph Trophy, Yamaha XJR1300 and Suzuki GSX1400. Watsonian can even attach a sidecar to machines as diverse as the BMW R1200GS adventure sport bike and Vespa PX200 scooter!
All sidecars are hand-built in Watsonian’s Cotswold factory, with durable and easy to maintain glass fibre bodies, steel frames and independent suspension. The current range includes lightweight single seaters, like the GP Manx and Meteor, and larger versions, capable of carrying and adult + child or two children, like the classic GP700 and contemorary GT4.
If you’re new to the world of three-wheels, Watsonian can provide instruction for novices at their factory showrooms.