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…
Audi has scored a hat-trick of category wins at the What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards 2019. The German car maker won Used Family Car of the Year (Audi A3), Used Luxury SUV of the Year ((Audi Q7) and Used Coupé of the Year (Audi TT). However, the 2017 Mercedes E-Class Estate claimed …
The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering is not your average 16-year-old. Yes, the swagger is there but it’s less arrogant, more confident. And if she exhibits any aggressive behavior it’s in the way she is determined to please all within her intoxicating embrace, blogs photojournalist Jim Palam.
So how did I get so lucky to gather here in the manicured splendor of the Quail Lodge & Golf Course in Carmel, floating among the magnificent motorcars, bounteous buffets and beautiful people? Ah yes, I am here to shoot the pictures and tell the stories of the event, now in its 16th year, that many consider the Crown Jewel of all Monterey Car Week events.
So grab a glass of champagne and come-along with me for Part II of my three-part Monterey Car Week report – a peek into the pomp, polish and pleasure that is The Quail. The Rolex Circle of Champions – Best of Show 1953 Lancia Aurelia PF200C, above, was the first car I photographed, not because I’m a predictor of outcomes, but because it truly has magnetic appeal – and it was parked close to the entry point of the show!
You know you’re about to experience something special when it’s not even 8 AM and they’re handing out champagne under the towering entrance gate to The Gathering.
A feature of the show-winning Lancia that first caught my eye was the chrome bumpers where rear lights would normally be. With seating and controls far forward one appears to be piloting the Lancia rather than driving it.
“Everything Else Just Became Transportation.” The folks behind the Genesis Essentia Concept Car know how to write a good tagline – and how to dazzle the Quail crowd with a big-screen video backdrop that looped stunning high-definition black & white graphics and cityscapes behind their sleek and sinister showstopper.
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this icy-blue Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic Coupe – other than it’s more Pacific on display at The Quail – and a galactic gem wherever it dazzles!
Porsche hopes to flip the Sizzle-Switch again in 2020 with it’s all-electric Mission E Taycan, which sat book-ended with ‘48 Porsche No. 1 Type 356 on the heavenly white 70 Years of Porsche stage.
Jose Fernandez of Mexico City had a dream – to build a traditional, handcrafted, coach-built ‘Speciale’ as an homage to the Michelloti-designed, Vignale-bodied racing Ferraris of the early-1950s. With deep pockets, determination and the skills of The Creative Workshop, his Custom Coachworks 1966 Ferrari 330 GT Speciale was unveiled at The Quail. Simply WOW!
The heart of Mr. Fernandez’s dream car – a matching numbers, modified Ferrari 330 Columbo 60-degree V12, 3,967cc, SOHC, 24 valve motor. It’s a treat for the ears and eyes.
Ever been too early for something – like the unveiling of the custom-built Hennessey 7.6 Liter Twin-Turbo V8 engine capable of achieving more than 1,600 horsepower at 7,200 rpm? Me neither, until The Quail. I did get to photograph the awesome Supercar she’ll be powering though. I’m good with that.
You’re looking at Zora’s #58053, the first L88 Corvette prototype development car and Ken Kayser, the insider, one of its owners, and author who has written the definitive story (http://www.tachometerpublishing.com/order/zoras-58053) of this legendary build. It’s believed to be the first St. Louis assembled Corvette with the big-block Mark IV 427 RPO-L72 engine.
This impressive lineup of legendary Lancias sat ready to rally in front of the winner’s ramp at The Quail. The successful Martini Racing sponsorship with the works Lancia team lasted for over a decade, starting in 1982.
Chasing Classic Car’s Wayne Carini describes the size a wad of car restoration cash needs to be to bring a classic to The Quail in show-winning condition!
The gent representing the Jim Glickenhaus SCG 003S Supercar was somewhat tight-lipped about details. There’s nothing sleepy about this Sleepy Hollow, NY- based, 800-Horsepower, 2,700-pound Stradale.
This ‘78 Dome ‘Zero’ was one of the road-going Supercars developed in Japan by racing aficionado Minoru Hayashi. Dome prototypes were intended to offer an alternative to exotic European Supercars.
When Curtiss Motorcycles CEO Matt Chambers unveiled the unpainted, all electric Zeus motorcycle at The Quail Motorcycle Gathering back in May he was wearing a suit, albeit without a tie. Just three months later he has added color and performance enhancements to the Zeus and ditched the suit. I like your style, Matt!
Even though there were only 435 Kaiser Darrins produced, many of you car guys are familiar with its quirky exterior design and sliding channel doors. So I thought you might enjoy this look at this ’54 K-D’s soothing Seafoam interior. Designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin, power came from 161-inch Six.
The Senna is the most track-focused McLaren ever built, delivering a power-to-weight ratio of 668 PS-per-tonne (659 bhp). Impressive – but not to the two ‘Twenty-Somethings’ standing next to it at The Quail. “Yeah, it’s fast but this one is just boring looking.” Apparently, the monotone color scheme left them wanting!
How to standout in a field of Porsches: Go small. This stunning ½-scale, gas-powered 356 ‘Speedster’ is a highly-detailed, fully-functional driver!
Croatian EV manufacturer Rimac Automobili brought its beautiful blue California Edition C–Two to The Quail. With a sticker price of over $2 million this hyper-EV delivers 1,888 horsepower, goes from 0 to 60 in 1.85 seconds and has an advertised top speed of 258 mph!
Well guys, I was hoping to finish this report with a cool shot of this wicked ’65 GT350 Mustang. But darn it, this visitor from Belarus walked into the picture. I’m sorry. Stay tuned for the final installment of my Monterey Car Week coverage – coming soon!
Bit short notice, but it’s worth mentioning that there are two special Triumph auctions at the 2018 Day of Champions on Thursday, August 23rd. The unique experiences are open for bids as part of the annual event to kick off the British Grand Prix round, and raise money for Two Wheels for Life. The official charity of MotoGP and the FIM, it’s part of the group you might know as Riders, or Riders for Health. Founded by former racer Randy Mamola with Barry and Andrea Coleman, it provides large-scale vehicle support for medical teams across the world.
The auction is part of the attractions at Silverstone for the 2018 Day of Champions, with live music, stunt displays, exclusive British MotoGP paddock and pit lane tickets and more. A limited number of tickets are still available on the day from £20. Sadly it’s a bit late to get tickets for the official ride-in, which includes two laps of the circuit. But you can still enjoy everything from 9am to 8pm, with interviews featuring motorcycling stars. And the charity auction towards the end of the day
Lots of stuff is up for grabs, and among them are the two special Triumph auctions at the 2018 Day Of Champions. One of which is a private all-access tour at the Hinckley factory where the British motorcycles are created. But it’s not just a trip for the winning bidder – nine friends can also join them. And in addition to getting to look around the headquarters, you’ll also get to spend time with the official Triumph design team. So you can try to find out more about what they’ve got planned, and then drop us an email with any exclusive information!
The other auction lot is the chance to join Triumph on a Global Press Launch. It’s your chance to go on an all-expenses paid trip to southern Europe to be one of the first in the world to ride a new Triumph motorcycle. And the only member of the general public with that opportunity. Which would get you pretty big bragging rights. It does have the downside of putting up with members of the motorcycling press, but they’re generally not a bad lot.
So make sure you take your wallet or cheque book along with you to Silverstone for the 2018 Day of Champions. And if you’re going to the British MotoGP round on Sunday, you’ll get the chance to see the new Triumph Moto2 bike in action. Former World Superbike champion James Toseland will be riding the new race machine for the first ever public parade lap.
If you can’t make it to Silverstone, you can support Two Wheels for Life online. You can find out about fundraising, volunteering and donating via their website. And they also have a constant rotation of online auctions with exclusive MotoGP items, and the chance to meet riders and teams. For example, you can currently bid to be a special guest of Team Suzuki Ecstar and meet riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins at the Misano round. Or spend some cash to not only meet the MotoGP racers, but also come away with their boots, gloves, or Iannone’s rear seat cowl. So it’s worth taking a look at the Two Wheels for Life auction page regularly.