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Wasp Motorcycles

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Wasp Motorcycles

Wasp Motorcycles
Type Private
Industry Motorcycle
Founded 1968
Founders Robin Rhind-Tutt
Headquarters Berwick St James, Salisbury, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Products Motorcycle sidecars and frames
Website Wasp Motorcycles

Wasp Motorcycles is a British motorcycle and sidecar manufacturer based in Berwick St James, Salisbury, England, that specialises in building sidecar motocross, sidecar grasstrack and solo motocross motorcycles,[1] as well as the Wasp 3 Wheel Freedom for disabled riders.[2]

Wasp first saw racing success in 1971, when it won the European Championship.[3] Wasp sidecars have been the winning chassis eight times in the FIM Sidecarcross European and World Championship.[4][5] In 1972, all of the top eight places in the European Championship were riding Wasp outfits.[6]

History

Wasp was founded in 1968 by engineer and off-road motorcyclist Robin 'Robbie' Rhind-Tutt,[6] who was originally employed by the Ministry of Defence as an engineering apprentice at Boscombe Down.[6][7] He designed and built a number of off-road motorcycle frames which he used in motocross competitions.[8] Other competitors were interested in Rhind-Tutt's frames and commissioned him to build specialist frames, so he decided to form Wasp Motorcycles Ltd. The company changed its name to Wasp Engineering Ltd in 1997,[9] but continues to trade under the name of Wasp Motorcycles.[10]

A Wasp/BSA motocross sidecar outfit ridden by former world motocross champion Dave Bickers was used in the 1979 World War II film Escape to Athena, disguised to look like a German military BMW R75.[11]

Products

Wasp manufacture and modify sidecar motocross,[12] sidecar grasstrack ('side-car-cross'),[13] and solo motocross motorcycles.[14] They also produce motorcycle leading link suspension for sidecars[15] and fork conversion kits for road bikes, which improve braking and handling; and manufacture Métisse frames pioneered by Rickman Motorcycles.[6][10]

Wasp 3 Wheel Freedom

The 3 Wheel Freedom is designed for use by disabled riders,[16] including paraplegic motorcyclists, and has an electrically operated ramp to help access. With a tubular space frame bonded to fibreglass body it has independent suspension and a twin piston brake connected to the motorcycle brakes. The design of the sidecar enables it to carry a wheelchair and can be attached to any motorcycle of over 500 cc.[2]

References

  1. ^ Bacon, Roy; Hallworth, Ken (2004). The British Motorcycle Directory: Over 1,100 Marques from 1888. Crowood.  
  2. ^ a b "The Wasp 3 Wheel Freedom". Wasp Motorcycles. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Wasp Motorcycles". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Norton Wasp". Norton Motorcycles. 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Sidecar-Cross racing World Champions History of the sport". sideacross.com. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d Westlake, Andy (2008). Off-Road Giants!: Heroes of 1960s Motorcycle Sport. Veloce Publishing Ltd. pp. 117–118.  
  7. ^ "Robin Rhind-Tutt". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Morley, Don (1986). Classic British scramblers: all post-war two-stroke and four-stroke scrambles motorcycles, AJS to Wasp. Osprey Colour Series. Osprey collector's library.  
  9. ^ "Companies in the UK". Companies in the UK. 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  10. ^ a b "Robbie Rhind-Tutt and Wasp". Wasp Motorcycles. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  11. ^ Crosse, Jesse (2006). The Greatest Movie Car Chases of All Time. MotorBooks International. p. 100.  
  12. ^ Nothcote, Bill (August 2001). "Dnepr / Russengalerie". Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  13. ^ Chadwick, Ian (2001-04-23). "British motorcycle manufacturers". Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  14. ^ "Twinshock racing in the UK - RT2 Wasp outfit". Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  15. ^ Axon, Jo. Sidecars. Shire Album S. Shire Publications Ltd. p. 27.  
  16. ^ "Riding for Wheelchair Users and people with ‘balance’ problems". National Association for Bikers with a Disability (NABD). Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
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