Now if you haven’t heard of Ossa there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Odds are that you’re not hugely into vintage trials, motocross, or old men with broken bones and long beards. For the record, Ossa produced all manner of motorcycles from the 1920s through to the early ’80s. They did some road bikes, budget commuter motorcycles but they were most famous for their off-road motos.
In the glorious halcyon days of motocross and before the Japanese came in and curb-stomped European manufacturers into submission, Ossa enjoyed international success with their line up of enduro machines. They were reliable. They were simple. And they were bloody fast.
So it’s no surprise that for the next project, the team at Fuel Motorcycles didn’t have to look further than a locally-sourced, free-range Ossa. The 2-stroke Pioneer 250 was hugely popular throughout the ’70s in Europe and America and had a reputation as a bit of a winner. And the guys at Fuel wanted this custom to be competitive as well as good-looking – with the bike due to make its debut at the ‘El Rollo’ flat track event as part of the French ‘Wheels and Waves’ festival.
Our inspiration was the old Triumph dirt trackers of the 1970s,” says Karles Vives, head of the Fuel workshop. “The main idea was to make a motorcycle as simple as possible, with only the essentials needed to run”.
So the first thing the team at Fuel did was to source a Triumph Trackmaster fiberglass fuel tank, as well as a retro single-seat and metal rear fender. To fit this to the Green Wasp, Karles and the team had to modify the rear of the subframe to ensure a snug fit, essential to giving the bike a ‘semi-stock’ appearance.
Underneath all that things get a little trickier. At the front twin, 41mm forks were adapted from a Kawasaki. It runs 19” wheels at both ends, with the front hoop laced to a modified Beta 80 hub and disc assembly, connected to a master cylinder from a Ducati. At the rear, the hub and brake assembly are also taken from a Beta 80, with Mitas dirt track tires sported at both ends. A YSS rear shock keeps the back-end under control.
Finally, the bike went in for a gorgeous layer of green chili metal flake, executed by local paint maestros the Bip Bip Boys, rounding out a motorcycle that is every bit as good-looking as it is competitive. And how’d it gone at El Rollo? Well, the team managed to get the bike all the way into the finals. “We were incredibly happy with the performance,” Karles says.
Text: MARLON SLACK
Photos : Arnau Puig and Jordi Cortes