OSSA 250 MAR & TR280i
What we have here are two firsts from the same company (kinda) 29 years apart.
O.S.S.A or Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anónima, was founded in Catalonian Spain in 1924 by Manuel Giró and made cinema projectors. After WWII the company began manufacturing motorcycles with the first production bikes coming on the market in 1949.
Their first competition success came in 1967 in the prestigious Barcelona 24 Hour race where they finished first and second. They went on to compete in the 250 World Championship with rider Santiago Herrero, winning four GPs before his death at the IOM in 1970. OSSA withdrew from road racing at that point.
Here is the water-cooled version of the 250 Monocoque GP bike.
In the off road field they had success with Dick Mann developing a 250 dirt track bike for oval track quarter-mile AMA racing.
However it is with trials riding that OSSA is best known. They employed Mick Andrews to develop a trial bike to compete with Bultaco and Montesa and the 1972 Mick Andrews Replica was the result. Andrews won the 1971 & ’72 European Trials Championship as well as the Scottish Six Day Trial in ’70, ’71 & ’72 on OSSAs.
The 250 MAR was the first design to use an open double cradle frame in the class. The bike made 18hp at 6,000rpm and had a dry weight of 87kg. About 7,000 were produced.
OSSA made a wide range of road, trials, enduro and motocross bikes over the years but the company closed in 1982. Fast forward to 2010… when a group of Spanish businessmen purchased the trademark and OSSA was back in business!
The 2011 TR280i provides an interesting contrast to the 1972 MAR. Still a 2-stroke, the new design used fuel-injection to defy pollution limits.
Other innovative features included a cylinder slanted to the rear to allow the fuel tank to be located in front of the motor, with the radiator between it and the cylinder.
The frame is a mixture of CR-MO steel and cast alloy bonded together. Dry weight is 72kg. Factory rider Jeroni Fajardo finished the championship in 5th in 2011.
Since then though the company has fallen on hard times and motorcycle production appears to have finished. An electric bicycle, the Spinta e.CP20, was announced in 2017.