Today in Motorcycle History

Wasp Motorcycles

Wasp are motorcycles that have been in production since 1964, from a firm based at Berwick St James, near Salisbury, Wiltshire, founded by Robin Rhind-Tutt, who was originally employed by the Ministry of Defence as a engineering apprentice.

This company built itself up on the request for replicas of a successful competition machine, originally built for sidecar scrambles and grass-track events and known as the 'side-car-cross'.

The early machines used Norton twin engines and were sold either complete or in kit form. To begin with they used trailing-link forks, but then changed to leading-link.

1971 They were most successful - winning the European Championship and many more.

Mid-1970s. Wasp dominated the sport for some years, using other engines as well as the Norton, a stock of which they had purchased from the factory when Norton-Villiers ceased trading. When those ran out, they had a DOHC 8-valve engine designed and built by Merlin Engineering. A forum post on reads: "They made it to use in sidecar cross and it led to them making the Wasp engine for Robin Rind Tutt."

Other products came along over the years, both solos and sidecar combinations, all built made to a high standard. Current models include their RT3 MX and RT4 Trials, and Wasp BSA Scrambler.

Thus far some 5000 frames have been built in 47 models for brasstrack, motorcross, speedway and roadracing. See Wasp Motorcycles at

Sources: Graces Guide,, Bonhams

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