c.1983 Waddon Rotax 247cc Racing Motorcycle

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Lot 352
c.1983 Waddon Rotax 247cc Racing Motorcycle

£ 7,500 - 8,500
US$ 9,800 - 11,000
c.1983 Waddon Rotax 247cc Racing Motorcycle
The development of the Rotax Type 256 tandem-twin two-stroke engine gave independent manufacturers the opportunity to compete effectively in Grand Prix racing’s 250 class from the early 1980s onwards. Cotton, Decorite, EMC, Hejira, Armstrong-CCM and Waddon were among UK manufacturers that used the Rotax engine and there were countless others from Continental Europe, most famously Aprilia.

The rare machine offered here is one of a handful produced by Waddon Performance Products of Croydon, Surrey during the early 1980s. The Waddon was launched at the start of the 1981 season and featured a tubular spine frame similar in layout to that championed by famous motorcycle suspension designer, Tony Foale. Two-stroke engineer Dr Joe Ehrlich joined the project to help develop the Waddon’s Rotax engine, his work paying off when Con Law won the 1982 Junior TT race for the Surrey-based manufacturer. Sadly, that would turn out to be the highlight of Waddon’s achievements. The firm folded soon afterwards and Ehrlich went his own way, reviving the defunct EMC name for his own Rotax-powered racers, one of which, ridden by Andy Watts, scored a magnificent 2nd place at the 1984 British Grand Prix.

We are advised that this particular machine is the Waddon factory’s 1983 test-bike and has the development motor from the successful 1982 season. Its whereabouts tracked for 25 years, the machine was eventually rescued from a stable in Sussex in 2009 by the current owner, who has spent the last 12 months restoring it to former glory. The engine has been rebuilt recently with new pistons, rings, water pump, ignition coil, etc and features a pair of Ehrlich cylinder heads, Ehrlich-tuned cylinders, expansion chambers and disc valves. The rolling chassis likewise has been extensively restored and retains all its original Waddon factory-made parts, fittings and fastenings.

The bike comes with written provenance from the Waddon factory’s Director of Racing & Retail for the period 1982/83 together with some unique Waddon promotional literature and studio images. A quantity of engine and cycle-part spares that includes a pair of Waddon magnesium yokes for the Yamaha TZ forks and a 16" Dymag wheel comes with the machine also.

Other noteworthy features include Brembo Goldline brakes; Yamaha TZ 36mm forks; De-Carbon rear shock; Motoplat ignition system and tachometer; Yamaha steering damper; Dell’Orto 36mm carburettors (ultrasonically cleaned); geometry adjusted custom fork yokes; new steering head and swingarm bearings; new Avon AM22/23 tyres; all new cables, grips, clip-ons, hose clamps, drive chain, etc and a genuine Waddon paddock stand.

The machine will be supplied with the genuine 1983-type, all-in-one tank/seat unit and matching fairing in black. (Not illustrated as they were still at the paint shop). The Waddon aluminium rear disc rotor illustrated is for display only and will have been replaced with an alternative Brembo item by time of sale.

Offered with sundry restoration invoices, this Waddon Rotax represents a unique opportunity to own a rare piece of British motorcycle racing history, eminently suitable for the increasingly popular Classic Grand Prix class.

Saleroom notices

  • Since going to press we have been advised by the vendor that the aluminium rear disc has not been replaced by a steel Brembo rotor as stated in the sale catalogue and that the rear brake hydraulic lines have not been bled with fluid. Thus the machine is sold with the aluminium rear brake rotor, which is only suitable for display purposes, as it cannot safely be re-plated. The petcock fitted to the fuel tank has developed a leak and may not be fit for purpose. A new (non-Waddon) petcock has been ordered and it is hoped that this will have corrected the fault prior to sale. The original petcock has been sent away for repair. The restoration invoices for this machine will be forwarded after the sale.
c.1983 Waddon Rotax 247cc Racing Motorcycle
c.1983 Waddon Rotax 247cc Racing Motorcycle
c.1983 Waddon Rotax 247cc Racing Motorcycle
Auction information

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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
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