As some of you will be aware already, I own a Honda Rebel CMX1100.
I had one on long-term test last year (when I was running Bikers Nod before we went through the current conversion to The Gonzo Biker), and when the time came to part with it, I couldn’t do it, so contacted Honda and asked if I could purchase it. Which I did. Additional add-ons include heated grips, mini batwing fairing and soft saddlebags.
I have pretty much used it as my go-to bike this year for club rides, IAM outings, café runs, day rides, etc., and enjoyed every moment. I did have it in the workshop recently as there was some weird lurching going on at lower speeds, as if the power would suddenly drop off, or someone was tugging it from behind. The nice guys at RWM Motorcycles in Clifton Street, Lincoln, road tested it and couldn’t find anything wrong! Doh. Made me feel a bit of a prat, but that’s nothing unusual.
Anyway, talking of current rides, I recently purchased a 2018 Ducati XDiavel S. Hell, what a machine. If ever there was a muscle cruiser, this is it. As a result, the Honda has been left twiddling its thumbs. Which is a shame, because I still love it.
So what a turnup when I received news that Watsonian had developed a fitting kit to attach any of the sidecars in its range to the Honda Rebel CMX1100! The kit features four powder-coated tubular steel arms with clamps that bolt on to specially selected points on the cruiser’s frame. This is essential to ensure the sidecar can be fitted with the correct axle lead, toe-in and lean-out, for optimum stability and predictable handling. All parts are manufactured by Watsonian at its Cotswold factory, where it also builds its sidecars.
The picture you see here before you is not my Rebel, but another shown with the lightweight Watsonian Prescott sidecar. The body shell is manufactured from fibreglass, with a gloss gelcoat finish, and it sits on a steel platform chassis, with independent suspension. A 16″ spoke wheel is fitted as standard, with an option to fit a 17″ cast alloy wheel. The Brooklands-style aeroscreen shields the cockpit and the upholstered seat folds down to give access to the luggage space behind.
And do you know what? I think it looks brill! I never thought I would say that about a bike and sidecar. Has Gonzo gone loopy! Delusional? A sidecar! There is just something about this that strikes a chord with me. Perhaps there’s a resurgence going on. A biker round the corner from me has an old grey Ural in which he carries his son around in the sidecar, complete with German-style helmet. They often turn up at biker nights and always draw an enthusiastic crowd.
The thing is… am I tempted enough to, er, put my Rebel through the ignominy of having a sidecar fitted? That’s probably a bit harsh, but you know what I mean. And then there’s the cost to consider. The fitting kit costs £595 (including VAT) and prices for the Prescott sidecar start at £5395. Watsonian offers a full factory fitting service if required. In my case, that would be well advisable.
I’ll keep you updated as the pondering continues, but it could make for some interesting commentary and future footage as I head off on my future travels!
If nothing else, a visit to Watsonian might be in order for a profile. I could even become an ambassador for the brand. Yeh, right Gonzo!
- For information on the range of Watsonian sidecars call 01386 700907 or visit www.watsonian-squire.com.