Watsonian Sidecars

Today in Motorcycle History

Watsonian Sidecars

Watsonian of Birmingham

The Watsonian Squire group can trace its history back to 1912, when Mr Watson made his first sidecar, making it one of the longest surviving businesses in the British motorcycle industry. In 1984 they merged with the young Squire company to create the UK's largest sidecar operation, based in Blockley in Gloucestershire.

1912 Private company.
  • 1913 Name changed.
  • 1931 Name changed.
  • 1961 Motor-cycle sidecar manufacturers. 200 employees.

Watsonian produced a motorcycle in 1950.

The prototype had a 996 cc V-twin JAP engine. This had side valves and alloy heads and barrels which made it lighter. The engine was coupled to a Burman gearbox by a chain in an oil-bath case.
  • Dunlop telescopic forks were used at the front and, at the front and rear, large alloy hubs were used so that the motorcycle could stop quickly. The brakes were massive 9-inch drum.
  • The large battery was fitted behind the rear cylinder underneath the dualseat. The engine had coil ignition. Further to the rear was the oil tank situated between the right-hand chainstays.
  • It was an excellent sidecar machine but had limited appeal to the 1950s market and as JAP were not particularly interested in supplying engines to the project the idea was not pursued. Only one machine was ever built. The company then returned its attention to the production of sidecars.

Source: Graces Guide

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