Project Ossa – Part 1
Over the past 12 months I have been spending quite a bit of time riding Trials. Its a great challenge and something I am becoming pretty addicted to. I started out with a 2009 Beta Evo 250, a great bike that served me well. Late in 2011 an opportunity came up to sell the Beta and upgrade to a brand new Ossa TR280i (pictured below), I couldn’t resist the sleek lines and crazy engineering of the new Ossa so the deal was done. Since owning the Ossa I took some time to learn a bit about the history of the brand, in the 60’s and 70’s Ossa produced some fantastic bikes and tasted success in almost all disciples of world championship racing. The brand folded in 1982 and remained out of action until 2010 when a few wealthy spanish businessmen bought the rights to the Ossa name and rejuvenated the brand. The TR280i was the first bike released by the newly formed Ossa company, it is a pretty unique machine and the first production 2-stroke bike to be fitted with fuel injection. I have fallen in love with the bike, it has a few quirks but overall the performance in fantastic. I am excited to see the brand develop in the coming years, already the range of bikes has been expanded to include a 2 stroke enduro weapon.
One of the most iconic bikes produced by the original Ossa company would have to be the Mick Andrews Replica trials bike, in 1971 Ossa signed Mick Andrews as a team rider and set about developing their trials bike under his guidance. The bike became know as the Mick Andrews Replica (MAR) and went to to achieve great success including a couple of European titles and 3 Scottish Six Day wins. A few weeks ago I saw a 1972 Mk1 MAR on ebay, the price seemed fair and on an impulse I hit the “buy it now” button. Later that day I arranged to go and collect the bike, I was equal parts excited and nervous….had I bought a pile of crap or would it be a good bike? Turns out I think I got a great deal, the bike was in better condition that I was expecting and came with a heap of spares including a complete spare engine, extra barrels, heads, magneto’s, gearboxes, cranks, pistons…quite a bit of stuff. And so the project begins, the plan is to bring the bike back to life and to ride it in a few twin shock competitions before the 2012 season is over.
The bike pictured here is exactly as it was when I picked it up, many non original parts fitted but thankfully all the original stuff was supplied separately with the bike. The wheels are from a KTM and have been adapted to fit although I don’t think it has even been ridden with these wheels. I am going to rebuild the original wheels, I have the hubs and rims and they are in great condition.
Everything had been cleaned and sand blasted by the previous owner including most of the spare parts, good stuff as it saves me loads of effort. I dont think the bike has seen much hard use. the bash plate hardly has a mark on it, no dents on the frame, no busted fins….
Anyone want a Fantic seat? it kinda fits but its just not right, I will fabricate my own light weight seat to replace it. I am super excited about this build, stay tuned for more updates as I get stuck into it.