Watsonian Squire

R 18 Classic Sidecar

Founded by T F Watson in 1912, Watsonian has been involved in building a variety of sidecars for over 100 years. 

From producing sidecar ambulances to developing world championship racing outfits, the skilled craftsmen and engineers at Watsonian continue to build sidecars the traditional way - that being said, the BMW R 18 Classic could be their perfect match. Ben Matthews (Managing Director) tells us more about the build and inspirations behind it.

“A significant number of our customers, here in the UK as well as in Europe and the USA, attach our sidecars to modern classics. As soon as we saw the R 18 Classic we knew it would be the perfect partner for a chair, both in terms of power delivery and styling. In fact, we were so excited about it that we decided to use a new bodyshell we've been working on for the first time.”

When starting a sidecar build, the bike should ideally have a traditional tubular steel frame, providing four solid mounting points for the arms that attach the sidecar. The engine needs to produce sufficient power to cope with the extra weight, with quality brakes and suspension too. All a big tick with the R 18 Classic. And finally, style. Watsonian offer a range of sidecar body shapes, but they are all traditional designs, because that's what proves popular. Watsonian look at the lines of the bike to see which shape of sidecar will complement it best.

“We chose a new body shell that we've been developing, partly because its lines match those on the bike and because the shape is evocative of BMW sports cars of the 1930s. Every sidecar we produce is built to order, so we can incorporate features specific to the motorcycle. In this case, we used an R 18 front wheel for the sidecar and added the mudguard, tail light and front spotlights too, which creates a consistent impression from all angles. The seat is upholstered in similar fabric to the saddle and we've added a heat shield to the sidecar, where it sits close to the exposed engine cylinder.”   

Find out more about Watsonian Squire, click here.

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The vehicles shown may be equipped with accessories from third party suppliers and/or components that are neither manufactured nor distributed or tested by BMW. The BMW Group accepts no liability for the installation, characteristics and use of these components. ATTENTION: the installation of third-party accessories may also impair the riding characteristics! Riding modified vehicles and/or with the installation of the foreign parts shown here is at your own risk.