With a 300 cc engine delivering 22 HP and 22.3 Nm of torque, the Vespa GTS is well-suited to sidecar work, however finding suitable attachment points is challenging.
Watsonian developed a special chassis and sub-frame to attach the sidecar to scooter’s pressed steel frame, and fitted it with hydraulic suspension and a 12” Vespa front wheel for a balanced appearance and ride.
The design of the GP Manx dates back to the 1960s, although the octagonal nose was inspired by the Watsonian Sports sidecar of 1930 (so it was retro 50 years ago). Its fibreglass body offers 53 inches/1346 mm of leg room and the cockpit is 18 inches/457 mm wide, making it comfortable for passengers of most sizes. Access to the boot is achieved by tilting the seat forwards.
Prices start at £4500- including factory fitting. A tonneau cover is also included in the price and a hood is an optional extra.
Watsonian build sidecars in their factory in the North Cotswolds and are the UK’s largest and longest-established manufacturer (founded in 1912).
Meet at the the Flag & Whistle Cafe, next to the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway station in Toddington. The post code is GL54 5DT. Please try to arrive by 10:30 am so you’re in time for the briefing (and a cuppa).
Leaving at 11:00 the ride will follow a 40-mile route through the North Cotswolds to the Watsonian sidecar factory in Blockley (post code GL56 9RF).
On arrival at the factory showrooms there will be a charity BBQ and raffle (first prize is a pair of tickets to the final round of British Superbikes at Brands Hatch).
The Mike Ellis Memorial run is held annually in memory of our workshop manager, who died in April 2012, when he was involved in an accident involving a reversing lorry.
The ride is FREE to join – a suggested donation of £3 per bike would be gratefully received – and all money raised on the day is donated to the Mike Ellis Memorial Fund, providing life-saving equipment in rural communities.
Register here to join us on Sunday the 4th September for this year’s run.