Above pic supplied by Dave Richmond
Above pic supplied by Dave Richmond
above pic supplied by Dave Richmond
Tehuelche with Alberto Gomez 1964.
Tehuelche was an Argentine motorcycle that was presented to the public in March 1957, and produced only until the middle of 1964. The “Tehuelche” was a source of great pride to Argentina, although it disappeared from the memory of following generations of Argentines.
Other attempts were made, mostly unsuccessful, to produce an Argentine motorcycle; however, the Tehuelche was the only motorcycle that was mass-produced continuously in its seven years of manufacturing in Argentina. This motorcycle had its own design and did not copy any other. It competed at a local level with other “Argentine” motorcycles, which were produced under license from European models and companies: the Puma Primera and Puma Segunda (from Guericke), the Zanella (from Ceccato), and the Gilera, among others. The Tehuelche distinguished itself not only by the characteristic sound of the gear train (SOHC engine), but also for its excellent performance in its racing career.
The creators, designers and manufacturers of the Tehuelche were Juan Raffaldi and Roberto Fattorini who arrived in Argentina from Italy in 1949, just after the Second World War. They came with a friend and a colleague, Carlo Preda, specifically for this project. Unlike many other immigrants from Italy, these men brought money and machinery with them to invest in the budding “Made in Argentina” industry, especially in the area of motorcycle manufacturing. They were encouraged by friends who were already established in the new country. During 1955, and after having worked on the design of a motorcycle that could be mass-produced, Raffaldi created a four-stroke engine of 50 cc displacement (single overhead camshaft- SOHC). This design was a little unusual for its time, because until then, it had been used primarily in racing motorcycles; further, it had no oil pump and it was made totally out of aluminum. Soon this engine was ready to participate in regional races, and showed its prowess with the impressive results that it obtained.
With a few partners, Raffaldi and Fattorini started the task of mass producing a motorcycle with this brand new engine. For this purpose, they raised the engine capacity to 75 cc, with the purpose of entering a new market category. This first partnership barely lasted two years during which just over 1,200 motorcycles were produced. A new partnership, with the addition of other members, continued the production until the middle of 1964 by manufacturing approximately 3,500 motorcycles, bringing the total number of Tehuelches ever produced to almost 5,000. Of this total, no more than two hundred survived and about seventy are still functioning, making it a highly collectible motorcycle.
In the almost seven years of manufacture, some of the colors and the decals of the Tehuelche were changed. In 1962, two models were produced: the Sport and the Super Sport, the latter bearing a speedometer. In addition, since the second partnership had the rights to import the Legnano motorcycle from Italy, a model of the Tehuelche was introduced that was called “Legnano”, with the motive of increasing sales. This model appeared on the market with a different gas tank and painted red and white. Finally, in 1964, toward the end of production, the camshaft that had been driven by gears was changed to a chain drive camshaft.
Legnano with Tehuelche engine- single overhead cam with chain drive distribution
Many factors led to the end of the Tehuelche. On one hand, there was inflation; the cost of beef, for example, rose 250% in 1959. On the other hand, there was the instability of the government. The continuous change of government during those years did not ensure any kind of permanence. Tired of coping with these circumstances, Rafaldi and Fattorini decided to abandon the partnership. They established their own workshop dedicated to prepare the same engines for racing motorcycles, and to cater to their clientele generally. In that workshop, they manufactured the “tapa 100”, a cylinder head which was bigger in size than what had been available and with better cooling capacity. They also incorporated into the motorcycle an oil pump, chain distribution for the camshaft and other details that improved the performance of the Tehuelche.
Legnano with Tehuelche engine- single overhead cam with gear drive distribution
Motomel S.A. is a brand of Argentine motorcycle, based in Buenos Aires Province; founded in 1992 by the La Emilia investment group.
The La Emilia factory has its origins in 1892. Two brothers established the first textile factory in Argentina located in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, in La Emilia. As the company grew in the Argentine market, it started to manufacture other products within its facilities. In 1992 the La Emilia factory changed course and began to assemble Suzuki motorcycles under the name of Motomel.
As of 2017, Motomel is the largest company importing motorcycles in Argentina and these motorcycles are also being re exported to some other countries in South America. Motomel assembles almost 150,000 motorcycles per year.
Motomel CG 150 Serie 2 motorcycle.
1921 400cc ABC twin
The 1919 ABC
The British ABC of 1919 featured some of the most advanced specifications of any motorcycle up to that time. Front and rear suspension, front and rear drum brakes, 4 speed gear box, multi-plate clutch, and tubular double cradle frame. Delightful to ride, quiet and comfortable the ABC found many prospective owners. But tragedy struck the factory and only 2000 were made before the company faded away, the victim of post war inflation and minor teething problems..
Motor pace racing was glamorous but dangerous.
Falls were common, largely because bicycle tires tended to burst at speed.
The riders wore neither helmets nor gloves.
They depended on fast reflexes, the rude health of youth, and luck.
Speeds rose and accidents became frequent.
For instance,the American, Harry Elkes, died of his injuries from a crash in front of 10 000 spectators at Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
His rear tire exploded at 100kmh and he was thrown under another rider’s pacing machine which “crushed the prostrate man in a dreadful manner.”. George Lander, of Chicago, USA, said “Only the clumsy get themselves killed” before starting a race at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Leander was thrown five metres into the air after 80km, fell to the track, bounced into the seating and died 36 hours later.
A crash in Berlin on 18 July 1909 killed nine when a motorcycle went into the stands and exploded.
The biggest machines were built by the pacers, using parts from other motorcycles, with engines as large as 2,400cc / 150 cu.inch.
The pacers wore leathers, goggles and helmets but many riders wore a flat cap.
The world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale set regulations for pacing motorcycles in 1920.
Until then standards had been set by the police, or by the track promoters.
World championships were held annually, except during wars, for 100 years, often separately for amateurs and professionals.
The motorcycle for motor-pacing has a roller on a frame at the rear to create a uniform distance to the cyclist.
The pacer stands or sits upright to offer a maximum windbreak, and the handlebars are extended to facilitate the stance, in a standarized leather suit that allows for the same slipstream effect for any rider. Speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph) can be reached; the average is between 60–70 km/h.
The bicycles are steel, sturdy and have a smaller front wheel to let the stayer bend forward into the slipstream.
The whole pacer frame was specially designed to create a large slipstream for a racing bicycle and its rider.
This Pacer is equipped with a powerful BAC V twin-cylinder OHV engine.
It has a 2.4 litre / 150 cubic inch OHV engine with open exhaust.
Its magneto is well hidden behind the lower crankcases; the oiltank is fitted with a “drip feed” oil supply directly into the crankcases . This BAC Pacing monster comes from a privat French collection.
It has been used for many years on the cycle track around Europe.
The reason for the long term use of 1920s machines was that it was very difficult to find modern machines that could match their enormous flexibility: without clutch or gears such a machine could accelerate very steadily without jerking from almost walking speed to about a hundred kilometres per hour.
1953 125cc IFA – post war copy of DKW RT125
Folowing pics courtesy of Gabriel Iovescu
1957 350cc boxer engined shaft drive two-stroke machine -17 BHP
IFA motorcycles were built post war in communist East Germany in the former DKW factory. Most machines were single cylinder two-strokes although a unique two stroke flat twin with shaft drive was also produced. By 1960 IFA had become MZ.
The virtual encyclopaedia of motorcycles? The virtual Tragatsch? The virtual museum of motorcycles? This is just an honest attempt at a listing of all motorcycles to share with all motorcyclists. If you know of any that should be included please drop me a line and if you have any photos of any brand that could be used to complete the index please send them to me, thanks.
Going strong since 1996 but as site gets older so do I and updates take longer. Such is life!