Motohistorians, it is time for yet another Motohistory
Quiz. All you have to do is identify the brand of
this engine and its nation of origin.
the first person to submit the correct answers and you
will recieve a personalized Motohistory Know-It-All Diploma,
sure to bring you fame, fortune, and a higher level of
to your keyboard now and send your answer to Ed@Motohistory.net.
Martin Jack Rosenblum's fertile mind, there has never
been much distance between music and motorcycles. Born
on August 19, 1946,
Rosenblum has been fascinated with motorcycles for as
long as he can remember. He explains, “There was this
motorcycle gang in Appleton
that had its HQ
not too far from our house. I was just a little kid, but
they let me hang out. I remember watching the Harley guys
and the Indian guys race each other up and down the street.”
So in love with bikes was the youngster that one day he
walked right up to a cop on a Harley Servicar and asked
him for a ride. “And he did it!” says Rosenblum. “He sat
me right up on the box behind
him and gave me a
ride all over town.” “Can you imagine something like that
happening today?” he adds.
Rosenblum was observing life on the street with his mentors
in the biker gang, at home his mother, Esther, was providing
a somewhat more refined influence. “My mother loved music,”
he recalls, “and our house was filled with it. She liked
Gene Krupa and Benny Goodman, and was always playing jazz
and big band music on the stereo.” Because he was interested
especially in the big band music, Marty started
taking trumpet lessons. However, in the evenings he was
in his room listening to his short wave radio, reaching
out to southern cities and an earthy kind of music that
was more akin to the street-wise world of his biker buddies.
He says, “I was picking up performances of country music,
delta blues, folk music, and rockabilly. No trumpets here.
Instead, the music was driven by guitar, rich and grinding
musical horizons expanded, thanks to the fact that his
father, Sander, got upset about some money he was owed.
Marty's grandfather was a tailor, and that business evolved
into a women's clothing store owned by his father. Among
Mr. Rosenblum's customers was a music store owner whose
wife had a dress bill long overdue. Marty recalls, “I
used to hang out and help at the store, and one day my
father said, ‘Come on, we're going to collect a debt.'”
He continues, “We marched down the street to the music
store, walked in, and dad leaned right across the counter
in a very assertive way and said, ‘Your wife owes me 32
bucks, and I'm taking it out
in trade!'” Then he turned to Marty and said, “Take anything
you want that's worth $32.00.” Marty picked up a $32 guitar,
that strange and exciting instrument he had been listening
to on the radio. He concludes, “We walked out with my
new guitar, and at the door my father turned and said,
‘Paid in full!'”
and Esther Rosemblum were not so supportive of Marty's
other interest, motorcycles. Strictly, motorcycles were
forbidden, but at 14 Marty acquired a well-worn 1959 Harley-Davidson
Sportster. He explains, “I had an understanding grandmother
who let me hide it in her garage. Later, I got a Triumph
Bonneville and did the same thing, keeping it a secret
from my parents.” But the budding biker's luck did not
hold up. He recalls, “One day I came flying around the
corner on a friend's Ducati Diana and found myself looking
right through the windshield of an approaching car at
the faces of my father and mother. They didn't like
it, discovered that I had a bike, and made me get rid
of it.” He adds, “I got busted and I wasn't even riding
my own motorcycle.” We can only imagine what the elder
Mr. Rosenblum said: “Lord, Esther, where have we gone
wrong? The boy listens to Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent
all day long, and now this!”
continued to pursue his musical interests, made his first
recording at 15, and built a stellar academic career and
reputation as not just a scholar, but as a creative musician,
song writer, and poet. He graduated with distinction with
a B.S. in English Literature from the University
in 1969. In 1971
he earned his M.A. in creative writing at UW Milwaukee.
He began a teaching career there, helped launch a new
creative writing program, and in 1980 completed his Ph.D.
in literature and history. This curriculum might seem
odd for one deeply interested in music, but for Rosenblum
it made sense. He explains,
“Formal musical training would have entailed studying
150 years of music made by white guys in Europe.
The music I liked
was not being studied in academia at that time. I was
interested in the vernacular, in music reflective of our
culture with ties to American folk music, blues, and our
earlier, about the time young Rosenblum was mooching his
first motorcycle ride from an Appleton
policeman, he created
in his active imagination The Holy Ranger, an imaginary
friend who traveled far and wide, righting wrongs. Like
the mythic American cowboy on which he was based, over
time the Holy Ranger would morph into a latter-day motorized
cowboy whose reason for being became inseparable from
his Harley. As he progressed in his academic
career, Rosenblum maintained his interest
in motorcycles, specifically Harley-Davidsons. He says,
“I was buying my motorcycles from Jerry Renner's House
of Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee
and active in his
HOG chapter. I compiled some of my motorcycle poems into
a book that I thought members of the chapter might enjoy.
I didn't want to get sideways with the Motor Company over
some licensing issue, so I called Tom Parsons and asked
if it was okay to do the book. He said something like,
‘What the heck. Go ahead. Nobody reads poetry anyway.'”
the project proceeded with informal permission, but no
licensing agreement with Harley-Davidson. Out of curiosity,
Willie G. Davidson was at the shop the day of the book's
debut. Rosenblum recalls, “We printed 500 copies of “The
Holy Ranger Poems,” and we had 700 people there wanting
to get one. It was a real eye-opener about what Harley
riders are interested in.” When Willie G. reported this
astonishing success back to the Motor Company, Parsons
encouraged Rosenblum to expand the work and re-publish
it as an official Harley-Davidson product. In 1989, “The
Holy Ranger: Harley-Davidson
Poems” appeared, published by the Motor Company. Twenty-thousand
copies were printed and sold, and the book was acclaimed
in The Library Journal as the top-selling book
of poetry in America
also invited Rosenblum and his band to perform at special
events. In the mean time, the Motor Company had discovered
that its path to success was through nostalgia and invoking
its own traditions with a huge crop of Baby Boomers who
were coming back to motorcycles after building careers
and raising families. There was at its Milwaukee
a room referred to as “The Vault.” For decades, through
either neglect or foresight—who knows?—the Motor Company
had been stashing its business papers, advertising, photographs,
and other documents in The Vault. Because he was a researcher
and a scholar, Rosenblum was retained as a contractor
the deep secrets of The Vault to identify images and ideas
that could be used for new, but nostalgic, H-D-branded
found what he regarded as far more valuable than the seeds
of commerce. He explains, “I was the first person allowed
into The Vault with a scholar's point of view. I was on
sabbatical from the University at the time, so I threw
myself into it almost fulltime for a year.” Rosenblum
explained to Tom Parsons that this was an historical goldmine,
and that the documents were so neglected and unprotected
that within a decade they would probably all be gone.
Parsons expanded Rosenblum's duties to organizing, cataloging,
and planning how to protect the material in a proper archive.
Then, in 1993, when he was asked to undertake the project
as a fulltime Motor Company employee, Rosenblum jumped
at the opportunity and walked away from his academic career.
He also scaled back his performing schedule to be home
more with his wife, Maureen, and two daughters, Sarah
Terez and Molly Dvora.
remained with Harley-Davidson until his retirement in
2007, creating a state-of-the art archives and moving
the company's hundreds of historical motorcycles from
storage in York,
back to Milwaukee.
As the Motor Company grew, so did Rosenblum's project,
and finally a full-block shopping center near the Juneau
was bought by Harley-Davidson for employee parking. Rosenblum
was given its cavernous basement to assemble and organize
the company's history. In
1997, a state-of-the-art facility with a complete restoration
shop and environmentally-proper storage for documents
was created at the headquarters on Juneau Avenue as Harley-Davidson
began to lay plans for its spectacular museum, opened
just this last summer on the Milwaukee lakefront (see
Motohistory News & Views 10/22/2008). Throughout this
time, Rosenblum continued to write poetry and music, and
to develop his performance career. In the final five years
of his employment
with Harley-Davidson, he gravitated back toward academia,
work as a lecturer for night classes at the University
Department of Music.
Rosenblum has not yet
had an opportunity to see the new Harley-Davidson
He currently teaches eight classes with 1,000 students
for which he has designed the curriculum and written the
text books. And he remains active with his musical work,
sometimes performing with members of the Violent Femmes
and Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band, and with Eric Burden
and the Animals. Somehow, he also finds time to serve
as historian at the Les
Discovery World, and as archivist for Dick Dale, the creator
of Surf Music. While he still works with traditional American
themes and lore, and remains influenced by blues and folk
music forms, with his current band, Werewolf Sequence,
he has moved in a decidedly experimental direction. To
date, Rosenblum has released more than 20 albums and written
more than 30 books of published poetry
and scholarship, including four books about the Harley-Davidson
phenomenon. His work, on the grand scale, is to create
the pedagogy of American vernacular music. As a result,
students today can seriously study the works of Howlin'
Wolf, Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, and other
bluesmen and rockers including Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
They are no longer
limited to the music
written by “white guys in Europe,”
as Rosenblum was when he began his academic career. And
as for us motorcyclists, one might argue that without
Rosenblum's years in The Vault, Harley-Davidson might
not appreciate its own history as much as it does, or
yet have its magnificent new museum.
reach Rosenblum's web site, click here.
For more about Werewolf Sequence, click here.
For much more about the prodigious output of Martin Jack
Rosenblum, click here.
top to bottom:
Rosenblum in concert, 2008.
on the streets of Appleton , 1958, coifed as Gene Vincent.
with his father, who bartered for his first guitar, 1960.
with guitar, 1963.
photo for the Holy Ranger book of Harley-Davidson poetry.
a Harley K in 1987 at the space Rosenblum would convert
into Harley-Davidson's first archives.
“Terminator Two” Robert Patrick at the H-D 105th Anniversary,
John Eddie's guitarist, Andy Palin (left) and Bruce Springsteen's
E-Street Band member Steve Van Zandt—also of “Sopranos”
fame—(center) at the H-D 105th.
Springsteen manager Wayne Lebeaux at the H-D 105th.
Sequence from the album cover of “Ice Thorn.” Photo taken
with a Civil War era camera.
with guitars: Professor, poet, song writer, musician.
photos courtesy of SpiritFugitive LLC.
1927 500cc TT Cotton-Blackburne
of Man successes
in the 1920s allowed Cotton to emphasise the middle two
letters of its name in advertising. One of Britain's
smaller makes, the Gloucester
factory was a pioneer
of frame design and a TT marque to reckon with. F.W. ‘Bill'
Cotton patented his radical frame design in 1914. Its
triangulated structure broke with the bicycle-based frame
favoured by most motorcycle builders of the era. Cotton
went TT racing in 1922 with ohv 350cc and 250cc single-cylinder
engines from Burney & Blackburne, a Surrey
factory that also
made aero engines. Sound handling on the rough Manx roads
helped, as did two doughty factory riders from Dublin.
One was Stanley Woods, still rated as one of the greatest
TT racers, and the other Paddy Johnston, a horse racing
jockey as well as a motorcyclist. Apparently, Bill Cotton
didn't like that
and told him: “You're paid to break your neck riding for
us and not on some horse.”
(pictured here) won the Brooklands 200-miler in 1922 and
Woods scooped the next year's 350cc Junior TT, but the
factory's finest hour was taking first, second, and third
places in the 1926 250cc Lightweight TT, a controversial
race because Guzzi rider Pietro Ghersi was cruelly disqualified
from second place for not using his specified make of
spark plug. By then, overhead camshaft engines were coming
into vogue. Velocette used an ohc engine to win the 1926
Junior TT, and four other
makes in that year's races had cams “upstairs.” Blackburne,
built an ohc 350cc engine to take a Flying Kilo record
at over 100mph in 1924, announced a suite of 250cc, 350cc,
and 440cc ohc single race engines for 1927. Explaining
the latter size, the company claimed that a full 500cc
was no longer necessary for the premier racing class.
Derived from a radial three-cylinder aero engine, the
1927 design featured camshaft drive by a vertical shaft
with skew gears at the top and bottom. The reduction gears
at the crankshaft also turned a timed crankcase breather
as well as the magneto, via a shaft with a Simms coupling
for easy timing adjustment. The dry sump lubrication
system's plunger pumps forced oil up the hollow centre
of the cam drive shaft to the cam box as well as supplying
oil to the crankshaft.
machine seen here is Cotton's 1927 Senior TT entry with
the biggest (76 x 96.8mm) Blackburn
twin port engine.
Where the ohv single sat neatly into the frame on a tilt,
the ohc unit is vertical, with frame tubing modified to
clear the protruding cam drive. A three-speed Sturmey
Archer gearbox is used, hung from large rear engine plates.
A box-like fuel tank, with an internal oil tank, does
nothing for the machine's looks. Both Webb drum brakes
are applied by foot, the left-side pedal having a cable
connection to the front brake's operating rod on the Webb
girder fork. Due to be ridden by Johnston,
this bike passed to fellow Irishman Bill Colgan when the
team number one rider was injured. He retired with engine
trouble on the sixth of the seven laps, and that seemed
to spell the end for Blackburne's ohc engines. However
the company's designer, H.J. Hatch, would later create
two TT winning motors: the 1933 250cc Excelsior four-valver,
and, after joining AMC,
the AJS 7R3 “triple-knocker” that won the 1954 350cc TT.
surviving 1927 500cc Cotton Blackburne TT model was badly
damaged by fire at the National Motorcycle Museum in 2003.
During a long and costly restoration, an incorrect frame
was replaced with the original type, and a period fuel
tank was found to replace a replica. After an outing at
the 2008 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the machine is now
back in residence at the Museum. For more information
about the National Motorcycle Museum UK, click here.
photos provided by the National Motorcycle Museum UK.
a member of
Ack Attack pack
and writer Rocky Robinson is offering t-shirts commemorating
his historic ultimate speed record of 360.913 mph, set
in the Ack Attack streamliner at Bonneville earlier this
year. The shirts are available in M, L, and XL for
$20, and in 2X and 3X for $22.
more information, E-mail Robinson at email@example.com.
motorcyclists have heard of Big Sid Biberman, an expert
Vincent mechanic and historian whose wrenching and writing
have brought and kept Vincents and Vincent lore
alive over the decades. Fewer have heard of Matthew Biberman,
his son, who, lacking his father's mechanical gift, turned
his interests to literature and learning to become a Shakespearian
scholar, now teaching literature and creative writing
at the University of Louisville. Having traveled such
different paths, as adults Sid and Matthew rarely spoke,
but the reality of their kinship harshly imposed itself
when Big Sid suffered a near-fatal heart attack. Matthew,
panic-stricken by the event, sought to connect with his
father by promising him to help build a Vincati, a hybrid
consisting of Vincent's legendary engine in Ducati's superb
SS chassis. The result is “Big Sid's Vincati,”
by Hudson Street Press, a modern-day memoir reminiscent
of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” It is
an irresistible combination of step-by-step motorcycle
construction mixed with a powerful story of fathers and
sons. The book shows not only how the Bibermans built
their Vincati—debuted at Motohistory (see Motohistory
News & Views 6/4/2006) and later featured in Cycle
World and Classic Bike—but also how two
men reconstructed their relationship, one motorcycle part
at a time. “Big Sid's Vincati” will be released April
30, 2009. To reach the Hudson Street Press web site, click
To pre-order the book on Amazon, click here.
As a young man
growing up in England,
Bill Cakebread had one desire, and this was to work with
motorcycles. This dream came true when he
secured an apprenticeship with Associated Motor Cycles,
Ltd., maker of Matchless and AJS. This job led him to
achievements he never imagined, even beyond the motorcycle
industry. Cakebread's tale, “Motorcycle Apprentice,”
by Veloce Publishing, gives a unique insight into the
atmosphere and excitement of working in a motorcycle factory
during the British industry's decline into oblivion. After
the demise of the motorcycle industry, Cakebread joined
Peter Berthon of ERA and BRM racing car fame, then eventually
used his engineering knowledge to become managing director
of his own company. In hard cover with dust cover and
more than 100 historical photographs and drawings, this
book is priced at £19.99UK or $39.95US. To reach
Veloce Publishing, click here.
The book is also available in North
America through Motorbooks International. To access the
MBI web site, click here.
“An American in Paris,” by Martin M.
Bogaert, is not about literature or music. It is the story
of the Indian Model 340 motorcycle, a 74-cubic inch military
machine that predates the famous 741 and that became a
financial windfall for the Wigwam when the French Army
ordered a batch of 5,000. Bogaert, a Belgian, is a
linguist with a Master Degree in Russian who spent nearly
20 years in the military and brings all of his experience,
learning, and personal love of motorcycles together in
what must be the most complete and exhaustive research
ever about a single model of motorcycle. No kidding, perhaps
only the tomes that have been written about the Harley
Sportster by an army of writers would equal this study
produced by one man about one Indian. Not only is this
book a definitive history of the Indian 340 as a model
produced in significant quantity, but it also traces the
chain of custody of a single machine over the course of
67 years. This book can also serve as the master restoration
guide for the 340 since the author explores minute manufacturing
changes through extensive photos and archival documentation.
And in the process of learning what appears to be everything
one can know about the 340 Indian, Bogaert explodes some
of our most enduring myths. For example, that whole shipload
of military Indians that was sunk by a German U-boat and
now lies rotting on the floor of the Atlantic? Never happened!
To our knowledge, the English version of this fascinating
book does not have a North American distributor. For more
information, click here.
meet impresario Will Stoner will kick off what he describes
as “a new era of family-style motorcycle swap meets” at
the Ashland County Fairgrounds near Ashland,
on February 8, 2009.
The inaugural edition of the new series, entitled Classic
Swap Meets by Will Stoner, will open its doors at 8
a.m. that day. It
will herald Stoner's return to his roots after a ten-year
stint as Special Events Director for the American Motorcyclist
Association, during which he helped build AMA Vintage
Motorcycle Days into the leading vintage bike festival
in the nation. About the transition, Stoner states, “I
am grateful for my time at the AMA, but I am very excited
about the opportunity to return to the development and
promotion of my own meets and some new projects.” The
meet will feature all brands of motorcycles, parts, literature,
memorabilia and accessories. Also included will be a vintage
motorcycle show open to all bikes manufactured in 1989
or earlier. Awards in over ten classes are up for grabs.
For more information, call Stoner at 440-543-0632 or E-mail
him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reach the new Classic Swap Meets web site, click here.
get tired of watching Steve McQueen —uh,
I mean Bud Ekins—jump that fence in “The
Great Escape?” Okay, click here.
enjoy Rick Salazar's TeamBultaco Owners Forum,
a new “centerfold” section featuring the beautiful and
bewitching. But be forewarned, it's bikes, not babes.
has created a new on-line edition for Classic
American Iron. To check it out, click here.
Peter Gagan of “Pete's Garage” visited
the Mallory Park vintage bike festival.
To view his report on YouTube, click here.
And while we are visiting Pete's Garage, if you
want to see and hear the start-up party for an Excelsior
twin board track racer, click here.
The 1919 overhead cam Excelsior was
arguably the most potent machine of its era, but was withdrawn
from competition when Bob Perry was killed during its
inaugural outing. No example is known to
exist today, but Paul Brodie has built a stunningly-beautiful
a lovely poster of Honda's screaming multis
(pictured here). Click here.
SuperbikePlanet has also posted a story, with photo,
about the 1954 Honda Dream Type E now
on display at the Honda Museum. Click here.
Buehner, the first president of the Penton Owners
Group, has posted on the POG forum an interesting
history about how the club was founded. To read it, click
month we reported on a festival of classic motorcycles
and historic riders at Spa Francorchamps
(see Motohistory News & Views 10/30/2008).
To see more of Ralf Kruger's photos of this event, click
you always wanted a Triumph Hurricane?
Now you can have the next best thing, a scale model. To
see Craig Vetter introduce the model
and otherwise act silly, click here.
video from Pepperell, 1968, '69, and
'70, click here.
Morini fans will enjoy the excellent and content-rich
web site of the Moto Morini Club of the Netherlands.
Just click here.
longest-running controversy in motorcycle history is the
issue of noise. Michael Rigdon
has been battling against excessive noise for
years, not just with messages but with products and services.
To check out his web site, click here.
was 50 years ago this month, on Nov. 8, 1958 that the
Zweirad Union was formed in Germany,
consisting of the Victoria, Express, and DKW brands. An
excellent web site with history and some wonderful historical
photos was recently created to celebrate the Union. To
see it, click here.
Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
has added to its web site a page entitled “Hollister
1947 and the Birth of the American Biker.” Great
period photos from the real event, plus stills from the
movie that made it famous. To check it out, click here.
And speaking of the roots of the American biker, Cyril
Huze provides a very interesting perspective
on his blog. Click here.
a cutie! Check out the vintage-style motor bicycle
that showed up recently on the Cyril
Huze Blog. Click here.
of the most interesting vintage motorcycle information
on the internet can be found on Paul d'Orleans'
Vintagent blog. To check out his recent series
of articles about DKW's road racing and land speed record
campaigns, click here.
Good history, great photos.
Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan, one of the nation's
most effective organizations in keeping trails open and
maintained for use by off-road motorcycles, has achieved
its 40th anniversary. Pointing out that the CCC
has functioned since
the earliest days of America's
off-road motorcycle revolution, off-road enthusiast Pete
Petrick wrote recently on the forum of the Penton Owners
Group, “Is it a coincidence that the Penton brand and
share the same anniversary year? I think not.” Petrick
went on to explain, “The CCC
of Michigan has
withstood the assaults on the off-road sport to become
a cornerstone of what it takes to make a successful state
trail system.” Within that system are over 3,000 miles
of trail that provide a diversity of experiences. Petrick
continues, “You can ride all week and never touch the
same piece of ground twice. Want a place to stay? You
can do everything from primitive camping to staying at
a lodge. Want special events? Kids Camps, Color Tours,
Family trailrides, enduros and more are hosted by the
year after year. Want a group that digs in for your right
to pursue happiness? The CCC
just this year worked through legislation to allow ORV
travel on public streets.” He concludes, “As an ex-Michigander
member, I use the CCC
as the benchmark
to judge other trail systems. There are few that can compare.”
To learn more about the Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan,
of St. Louis' newest restaurants, The Triumph Grill, has
opened adjacent to the acclaimed Moto Museum (see Motohistory
News& Views 3/26/2007 and 12/8/2007). Moto Museum
owner Steve Smith and his son Zach opened the new facility
to increase awareness of the museum and draw more people
to the downtown area
on Olive Street near Grand. The Triumph Grill features
American contemporary cuisine with motorcycle related
names, plus motorcycle art and decorations on the walls
and ceiling. With meals in the $15 to $25 range, Triumph
Grill has received rave reviews from local restaurant
reviewers. A menu can be found online at here.
For more about the Moto Museum,
To read Adam Claypool's review giving the Triumph Grill
five stars, click here.
are more motorcycle cards, distributed with Lambert &
Butler's cigarettes in the United
Kingdom in 1923,
from the Ken Weingart collection.
in a series of 50:
text on the back of the card reads:
one point seven Omega has been primarily designed and
produced to meet presentday conditions for a motor propelled
bicycle at a price within the reach of the average artisan.
It is sturdily built, and the engine fitted to same is
quite capable of taking all main road hills, developing
for its size good speed and power.
in a Series of 50:
text on the back of the card reads:
P.&M. four-speed Panther is the latest model of the
P.&.M motorcycles, the machine adopted by the R.A.F.
and used all over the world during the Great War. The
machine has a particularly low saddle position, and on
account of its four-speed gear is capable of very high
speeds. It has the same general specifications as the
P.&M. machine which recently set up a world's record
by completing under official observation 1,000 of running
on the road without an engine stop.
response to our story about Roger Smith's award-winning
Suzuki X6 and Yamaha Big Bear Scrambler (see Motohistory
News & Views 10/20/2008), legendary off-roader Dave
Ed. To my surprise I read the article this morning about
Roger Smith receiving concourse awards with his Yamaha
Big Bear Scrambler and a “People's Choice” award for his
Suzuki X6 Scrambler. Here's some history on these
bikes: Jack Krizman and I built four prototype Yamahas
and four prototype Suzukis for those manufactures, converting
the original street models to racing machines.
We competed in AMA District 37 enduros with both.
These were “stop gap” models to fill the sales gap while
they developed 250cc 2-stroke singles for off-road use.
Attached is a photo of me riding my Suzuki X6 prototype
during the Cal
Those are Krizman spark arresters bolted onto the mufflers
because you can't ride in the National Forest without
approved spark arresters.
Dave, for this interesting motohistory and photohistory.
To read our Motohistory Special Feature consisting of
Ekins' account of Honda's first four years in America,
contributor Leo Keller writes us about the demise of a
company whose engines powered many brands during the off-road
motorcycle revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
as a motorcycle-producing brand, no longer exists. When
Mannesmann-Sachs, which bought Fichtel & Sachs, decided
to work only in the mobile phone business, they sold the
Hercules brand with the bicycle production and the former
Hercules motorcycle production to Dutch companies. The
motorcycle branch was allowed to use the Sachs name until
2008, but that's over now. They are now branded SFM. Now
the Sachs brand belongs to ZF Sachs.
kindly sent us some useful links. To reach the SFM web
site, click here.
You can still find on this site a classic bike section
built by Keller and Nicole Reidinger some years ago. To
view it, click here.
To reach the ZF Sachs web site, click here.
Thanks, Leo, for keeping us in touch with current developments
among the classic German brands.
Kershergen, webmaster for the Moto Morini Club of the
Netherlands, enjoyed our story by Ralf Kruger that contained
information about the 1963 Moto Morini 250 single grand
prix racer (see Motohistory News & views 10/30/2008),
and sent us a link to a story he wrote for the Italian
publication Legend Bike in 2004, translated here to English
for the Morini club web site. To read it, click here.
He also shares with us a link to a story first printed
in Motor Cyclist Illustrated in 1964. Click here.
Thanks, Tony, our Morini fans will surely enjoy
Our German regular contributor Ralf
Kruger sends us a photo of the 1936 DKW UL600 “Renngespann”
grand prix sidecar rig, the only example known to still
were lost after the war.
bikes and cars of the Auto Union racing stable were transported
to the Soviet Union after the war, and while some cars
have popped up since, the bikes remain missing altogether.
The 1936 UL600 sidecar rig was developed from the 500cc
piston, two-cylinder with Ladepumpe (a
two-way acting additional
piston and rod). The resulting 600cc engine produced 40
HP @ 5500rpm. Its top speed was about 105mph. The
bikes were never fully developed and discontinued after
the 1937 season in part because of some fatal accidents
with these sidecar rigs. I have also included a drawing
of the engine.
reports that the only known UL600 is currently owned by
Audi Tradition in Ingolstadt, and that it was displayed
this year at the Zweirad Museum in Neckarsulm. To reach
the Zweirad Museum on the internet, click here.
Thanks, Ralf, for sharing these images and very interesting
information about this rare motorcycle. For
additional photos on Kruger's Flikr site, click here.