We are one of the largest producers of sidecars in Europe with healthy worldwide sales. The company is a unique amalgamation of the oldest and best-known sidecar manufacturer, Watsonian, and Squire, the most successful of modern producers . We place great emphasis on personal service, giving advice on both technical and practical aspects of sidecar ownership. Our depth of experience and commitment to sidecars since 1912 provides our customers with a choice of quality products that are second to none.
We make a wide range of sidecars, both classic and modern; whether you own a scooter, a tourer, a cruiser or a classic bike, we have the sidecar to match. Sidecar bodywork was originally wicker or aluminium, mounted on an ash wood frame. Today high quality glass fibre (GRP) is used, which is available in a wide range of gel-coat colours. Alternatively we can paint the sidecar body to match your machine.
The body is mounted onto a welded, powder-coated tubular steel chassis, which carries the suspension and fittings that attach it to the motorcycle. We offer a factory fitting service for most steel-framed motorcycles and can also supply bespoke parts for home fitting.
There is a choice of wheel/mudguard on several Watsonian models; the CLASSIC is a 10″ steel wheel with SS trim; the JUBILEE usually has a 16″ alloy rim with SS spokes and the DL is a 10″ aluminium wheel.
The following sidecar info may be helpful to anyone considering buying an outfit.
The rules covering motorcycle licences in the UK (and Europe) changed on 19 January 2013. As we understand the situation, you need a full (Category A) motorcycle licence in order to ride a motorcycle & sidecar combination.
You can only use a motorcycle with a sidecar for your test if you have certain disabilities. The rules for a motorcycle with a sidecar are the same as for a solo motorcycle, but:
For more information visit The motorcycle practical riding test.
According to the BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) helmets are compulsory and must be marked BS 6658 1985 or UN/ECE 22-05. A sidecar driver and pillion passenger must wear a helmet but sidecar passengers do not require a helmet. At Watsonian Squire we strongly recommend that all passengers travelling in a sidecar always wear a road legal motorcycle helmet.
Most sidecars are attached to the motorcycle by four arms; because the forces placed upon the bike are large, careful consideration of load paths and triangulation are essential. Fitting a sidecar is a skilled job so factory-fitting is recommended. Home-fit is possible, but should only be undertaken by technically-competent individuals. Beware of advice from armchair ‘experts’ and ‘engineers’. Handling is affected mostly by three factors;
1. Toe-in – the sidecar wheel should point slightly inwards to the front
2. Lean-out – the bike needs to lean away from the sidecar
3. Axle-lead – the sidecar wheel should sit in front of the bike’s rear wheel
The following advice is taken from Safe Driving For Life, produced in partnership with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
You’ll need to use a different riding technique when you have a sidecar attached to your motorbike. The sidecar will affect the braking, steering and overall dynamics of the machine.
Most motorbikes used in sidecar combinations are specially adapted for this purpose – for example, the suspension settings or tyres may be changed. If you want to ride the motorbike without the sidecar, it’s likely to need changing again so it’s suitable to ride on its own.