Hildebrand & Wolfmüller
|Manufacturer||Hildebrand & Wolfmüller|
|Engine||1,489 cc (90.9 cu in) two-cylinder water-cooled four-stroke, surface carburetor|
|Bore / stroke||90 mm × 117 mm (3.5 in × 4.6 in)|
|Top speed||28 mph (45 km/h)|
|Power||2.5 bhp (1.9 kW) @ 240 rpm|
|Ignition type||Hot tube|
|Transmission||Direct drive via connecting rods|
|Frame type||Steel tubular|
|Brakes||spoon brake, friction against front tire|
|Tires||pneumatic, front 26 in (66 cm), rear 22 in (56 cm)|
|Weight||110 lb (50 kg) (dry)
The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller was the world's first production motorcycle. Heinrich and Wilhelm Hidebrand were steam-engine engineers before they teamed up with Alois Wolfmüller to produce their internal combustion Motorrad in Munich in 1894.
The motorcycle featured a water-cooled engine (the coolant tank/radiator of which is prominent over and around the rear wheel) mounted in a purpose-designed tubular frame. The rear wheel was directly driven from the connecting rods (a similar arrangement to that of steam locomotives). There was no flywheel other than the rear wheel, and it needed heavy rubber bands to provide the return impulse.
The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller patent of 20 January 1894, No. 78553 describes a 1,489 cc (90.9 cu in) two-cylinder, four-stroke engine, with a bore and stroke of 90 mm × 117 mm (3.5 in × 4.6 in). It produced 1.9 kW (2.5 bhp) @ 240 rpm propelling a weight of 50 kg (110 lb) up to a maximum speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).
Examples exist today in the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum in Neckarsulm, Germany, the Science Museum in London, The Henry Ford in Detroit, Michigan, the Wells Auto Museum in Wells, Maine, and the Museum Lalu Lintas in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Several hundred examples of this motorcycle were built but with a high initial purchase price and fierce competition from improving designs (this model was entirely "run and jump" with neither clutch nor pedals) it is not thought to have been a great commercial success. The Hildebrand & Wolfmüller factory closed in 1919 after WWI.
- Walker, Mick; Guggenheim Museum Staff (2001) , Krens, Thomas; Drutt, Matthew, eds., The Art of the Motorcycle, Harry N. Abrams, p. 103, ISBN 0810969122
- Pagé, Victor Wilfred (1924, 2004 reprint), Early Motorcycles: Construction, Operation and Repair, Dover Publications, pp. 23–25, ISBN 0-486-43671-3
- Brown, Roland (2004), History of the Motorcycle: From the first motorized bicycles to the powerful and sophisticated superbikes of today, Bath, England: Parragon, pp. 10–11, 14–15, ISBN 1-4054-3952-1
- Brown, Roland (2005), The Ultimate History of Fast Motorcycles, Bath, England: Parragon, p. 6–7, ISBN 1-4054-5466-0
- de Cet, Mirco (2001), The Complete Encyclopedia of Classic Motorcycles: informative text with over 750 color photographs (3rd ed.), Rebo, p. 121, ISBN 90-366-1497-X
- Wells Auto Museum Our Collection.
- "Kereta Setan" Bikin Takjub Warga (in Indonesian), 7 August 2009, retrieved 2011-07-11
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