We all know how popular adventure sport and off-road style motorcycles have become. But what if you want to take more passengers or luggage than a motorbike can manage? Whether it’s for a round-the-world expedition or picking up the weekly shop? Well, now you can go trials style, with the new Watsonian International Sidecar.
The prototype version pictured will be close to the final release. It’s shown fitted to the Royal Enfield Himalayan, and Watsonian have also been hard at work creating a universal fitting kit for their current sidecars for the Enfield.
Although it’s got off-road trials style, the new Watsonian International sidecar has been created primarily to use on the roads. As a result, it’s got a glass fibre body to be durable and easy to maintain. But it does have aluminium panels to echo the style of the original International, which was around in the 1940s and 1950s. And there’s an aluminium mudguard holding the indicator and brake light.
There’s the off-road bench seat, under which you get your spacious luggage locker. And the the black metal rim for passengers to grab to keep them stable. Underneath the new Watsonian International sidecar is the tubular steel platform chassis Watsonian have been using for a long time, with elded joints and epoxy power coating.
To keep things comfortable there’s hydraulic suspension with a rising rate spring. And the sidecar is mounted on a 16″ stainless spoked wheel with a black powder coated steel rim and a Bridgestone Trail Wing dual sport tyre.
The new Watsonian International Sidecar will be available in Spring 2019 and will cost £3,995 including VAT. The Royal Enfield Himalayan Watsonian fitting kit costs £450.
The Original Watsonian International Sidecar:
Inspiration for the trials and off-road style of the new Watsonian International sidecar actually comes from the firm’s original creation launched in 1938.
The first International featured a lightweight all-aluminium body. But production was interrupted due to the outbreak of the Second World War. So it didn’t actually become available to buy until 1950.
But when the original aluminium Watsonian International did reappear in 1950, it competed in the International Six Days Trail at Llandrindod Wells. And was regularly used by the company management team of Ron Watson and Cliff Bennett in a variety of trials events during the early 1950s.
You can certainly see echoes of the original outfit in the new Watsonian International sidecar. And while it might not be suitable for off-road competition, it should be rugged enough to cope with whatever adventure you might fancy on the roads.
German BMW parts specialists Wunderlich must like the BMW R nineT. They’ve already built 10 custom versions of the bike using the products they make. And now the Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich is the eleventh, and probably most radical, creation.
The bobber style means plenty of changes to the stock BMW motorcycle. And it will all be something you can potentially achieve for your own bike in the future. Wunderlich is developing the individual parts that were custom made to be on sale from around Spring 2019. And there’s possibly also a complete Bobber kit in the works, although it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
The Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich starts with raised, wide handlebars. And lowering the Wunderlich suspension by 25mm. The challenge was to then convert the style of the bike without losing the defining elements of the BMW.
Head of Product Management and Development, Felix Wunderlich: “We wanted our bobber to be more powerful and lighter while at the same time emanating an air of nonchalance. The challenge was a demanding one, as traditional bobbers are usually based on transversely installed two-cylinder V or in-line engines, which present far fewer structural and design restrictions than the BMW Boxer due to the arrangement of the footrests alone”
The Wunderbob custom BMW R nineT Bobber from Wunderlich gets a minimalist dash display, which streamlines the front of the bike. And fits nicely with the new handlebars. And the dark blue metallic paint, which along with the black finish and saddle, gives a fairly subtle and classy look.
The fully adjustable footpeg system will help to make sure you’re comfortable in the new saddle position. Which has now been relocated with a tubular loop frame. That means the rear light and indicators are incorporated, and also cleans up the rear of the bike above the new rear mudguard. The mudguard itself was custom-made to accommodate the BMW swingarm, and wider Bobber rear tyre.
Frank Hoffmann, Wunderlich Managing Director: “Our portfolio of concept bikes ranges from the Wunderlich G 310 GS, which we are giving away here during the Intermot, to our Pikes Peak hill climbing motorcycles. With the WunderBob we are presenting the first Wunderlich Bobber, which also represents our eleventh R nineT conversion. Anyone who knows us, knows we thrive on difficult challenges – indeed we go looking for them! Half-hearted solutions are frowned upon for us. Especially half-hearted retro! We have transformed the R nineT into a bobber that is a contemporary reinterpretation of the Bob Jobs of the 40s and 50s, while losing nothing of the R nineT‘s iconic appearance.“
So the Wunderbob Custom BMW R nineT Bobber From Wunderlich gives you a mix of retro and modern style. Plus you get German reliability underneath it all. And the BMW badge has become a pretty familiar part of the modern custom motorcycle world.
As mentioned above, if you want to create something very similar, you should be able to buy the parts individually from early 2019. And Wunderlich might also offer a complete conversion kit if there’s enough demand.
So what do you think of the modern BMW Bobber? Good, bad or indifferent? Drop a comment below to share your opinions…
DBZ Centenary Collection showcases DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and DBS GT Zagato, with production limited to 19 pairs. None sold separately.In 2019, legendary Italian design house Zagato celebrates its centenary. For 58 of those hundred years, Aston Martin and Zagato have enjoyed a remarkable creative partnership. One in which these two iconic brands have created some of the world’s most desirable and stimulating cars, from the first DB4 GT Zagato to the latest Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.
To commemorate this landmark year, Aston Martin and Zagato are continuing their historic partnership with a truly unique collaboration: The remarkable DBZ Centenary Collection pays tribute to an icon of the past and creates a future classic.
Andy Palmer, Aston Martin President and Group CEO, added: “The partnership between Aston Martin and Zagato is one of the most fruitful and enduring in the automotive world. With Zagato celebrating its centenary next year, what better way to celebrate this landmark – and the long-standing bond between our two great companies – than creating these 19 pairs of cars. As an engineer I would always say my favorite Aston Martin is the next one, but I have to say I’m struggling to think of a finer two-car garage than this!”
Andrea Zagato, head of the Milan-based design house, founded by his grandfather in 1919, continued: “Great Britain has always appreciated our work. In particular, I must say I’m honored and very proud that Aston Martin has chosen to celebrate our long-standing partnership with this unique DBZ Centenary Collection.”
With a build run strictly limited to just 19 pairs, this exceptional duo comprises a new, track-only DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and a new, road-legal DBS GT Zagato. The DB4 GT Zagato will be built at Aston Martin Works, Newport Pagnell – the original home of the DB4 – while the new DBS GT Zagato will be produced at Gaydon, Aston Martin’s global headquarters. Perfectly bookending Aston Martin and Zagato’s shared history, the DBZ Centenary Collection will be sure to take their place among the most coveted cars in the world.
Built to race against the might of Ferrari in the 1960s, the DB4 GT Zagato was a thoroughbred machine. Evolved for the rigors of motor racing and blessed with breath taking beauty, just 19 were built. Drawing on Aston Martin Works’ unrivalled knowledge and expertise, DB4 GT Zagato Continuations will be completely authentic and meticulously crafted cars that are true to original Zagato-bodied DB4 GTs produced by Aston Martin and Zagato in 1960.
Originally built as an evolution of the short-chassis DB4 GT, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation follows the same recipe, with thin-gauge aluminum body panels, dressing a lightweight tubular frame. To improve the accuracy and consistency of the panels, the continuation car’s bodywork uses state-of-the-art digital scanning technology, before being hand-finished. Beneath the bonnet sits a version of the celebrated Tadek Marek-designed straight-six cylinder engine with two spark plugs per cylinder, transmitting 380 horsepower to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, for an authentic and unforgettable driving experience.
Paul Spires, Managing Director at Aston Martin Works, said of the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation: “It has been my pleasure and privilege to oversee many exceptional projects here at Aston Martin Works, but creating nineteen DB4 GT Zagato Continuations as one half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will bring all our hand-craftsmanship and expertise to bear in building these 19 Continuation cars, sympathetically incorporating the very latest engineering advancements and performance enhancements, but remaining true to the purity and authenticity of the original design.”
The second half of the DBZ Centenary Collection is the DBS GT Zagato, which takes Aston Martin’s most potent series production car – the brand new DBS Superleggera – as the starting point for Aston Martin and Zagato’s latest and most exclusive offering. Created to embody the next evolution in Aston Martin Zagato design language, the exterior of the car will be characterized by a new proportion featuring a fresh interpretation of the iconic double-bubble roof. Together with a striking front grille treatment and a dramatically truncated tail the DBS GT Zagato will present an amplified physique and an unmistakable presence that combines classic Zagato hallmarks with spectacular new signatures. Paired to the build run of 19 DB4 GT Zagato Continuations, the DBS GT Zagato will also be the rarest of all the modern-era Aston Martin Zagatos.
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer, said: “Aston Martin and Zagato is a uniquely dynamic union. One that unites the former’s love of proportion and clean, simple forms with the latter’s daring and maverick eye. Never afraid to push the boundaries, the partnership has resulted in some fabulous cars including the quartet of Vanquish Zagatos – Coupe, Roadster, Speedster and Shooting Brake. However, Zagato’s centenary demanded something extra special, and the Zagato Collection is just that: One car that pays tribute to a timeless icon; another that writes a fearless new chapter for future generations to admire.”
The DBZ Century Collection will be priced at £6m (approximately $7.9m USD) plus taxes. First deliveries to customers will commence QTR 4 2019 for the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and QTR 4 2020 for the DBS GT Zagato.
For the latest luxury-performance vehicles from Aston Martin, please visit https://global.astonmartin.com/en-us/
The new Buffalo Atom textile motorcycle jacket aims to be durable and long-lasting. And at a relatively low price. To do that, Buffalo have combined 600 denier Ripstop Nylon with full-grain leather panels. So it should be pretty hard to split the Atom in normal riding conditions.
Along with the nylon and leather outer is a waterproof, windproof and breathable drop lining. And you get a removable 120-gram thermal quilted lining for when things get cold. For warmer weather, there is ventilation at the shoulders, upper arms and the rear of the Buffalo Atom.
The new Buffalo Atom textile motorcycle jacket comes equipped with CE-approved shoulder and elbow protection. And there’s space to add an optional back protector. Along with inner cup reinforcement on the shoulders, you also get some external sliders.
What else is there to note about the new Buffalo Atom textile motorcycle jacket? Well, there’s an adjustable twin belt system to sort out the fit around your waist. And Velcro adjusters at the collars and cuffs. You also get further adjustment on the arms to prevent air going up your sleeves. Plus, there’s an 8-inch connecting zip for matching trousers to keep your lower back covered.
When it comes to storage, there are two external hand-warmer pockets. And three internal pockets for all your treasured valuables.
The new Buffalo Atom textile motorcycle jacket is available in sizes S-3XL in Black, and costs £139.99. The optional CE-approved back protector is an extra £14.99, and matching Buffalo Endurance trousers are £99.99.
Probably not what you want to wear for your next track day. But the new Piaggio Summer gloves for cooler scooter riders should work for quick trips into town. Or low-speed commuting. And they’re a much better choice than bare hands. Even speeds of 20-30 miles per hour can do serious damage to unprotected fingers and palms. You don’t even need to fall off, when stones and debris get flicked up at your from the wheels of other vehicles.
The Piaggio Summer Gloves have a palm made mainly from leather-alternative Clarino. It’s broadly equivalent to cow skin, but has an advantage in being microporous. So it’ll allow heat and sweat out.
The short length gloves also have mesh panels on the back to help with ventilation. And there’s stretch fabric to you stay comfortable whilst riding. To keep the Piaggio Summer Gloves secure are a Neoprene cuff and Velcro closure.
And for protection there are thermoplastic rubber knuckle protectors.
At £49, the Piaggio Summer Gloves won’t break the bank. But they do remove any excuse to ride with bare hands. Or to subject a pillion to the risk. Both things we’ve seen regularly every summer, including at motorway speeds. And that’s enough to give us nightmares about what could happen, to be honest.
If you want to stay safer, the Piaggio Summer Gloves are available in sizes S-3XL in classic Black, with the subtle Piaggio logo on the wrist. You can order them via Fowlers.