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victoria motorcycles

I originally posted a couple of nice Victoria photos back in November, 2009. Victoria was a bicycle manufacturer founded in Nuremberg, Germany in 1886 that made motorbikes from 1901 until 1968.

1931 victoria kr50

In its early years Victoria used motors purchased from various manufacturers including Fafnir, FN, Minerva, Zédel and lastly, BMW. In 1923 Victoria started manufacturing its own engines. The first was an OHV 497cc inline twin. In 1925, Victoria built what many believe was Germany’s first forced induction engine and 1926 one of these motors achieved a motorcycle Land speed record of 102.5 miles per hour (165 kilometers per hour).

Throughout the 1920’s and ’30’s they produced many bikes with engines from 140cc two strokes to 600cc four strokes with twin carburetors, and sometimes imported the smaller motors from England’s Sturmey-Archer.

1939 victoria v99 fix

When the Nazis took power, they disallowed the import of foreign stuff, so Victoria cranked out their own motors and a wide range of motorbikes until Allied bombing almost destroyed their factory.

In 1946 they were able to produce a 38cc bicycle engine. Finally in 1950 Victoria produced a 247cc two stroke single motorcycle. A year later they produced a 99cc two stroke bike.

Victoria began production of a few other bikes and after three years of design and testing, the 346cc Bergmeister OHV four stroke v-twin engine, with a chain primary drive to the gearbox and a shaft drive to the rear wheel was introduced in 1954. The machine had success in hill-climb trials and was regarded as a suitable side-car machine.

1954 victoria bergmeister

The Bergmeister represents the pinnacle of post-war Victoria success, even though they produced the forward-looking 197cc Swing in 1955 as well as the scooter Peggy, a stripped-down version of the Swing which possessed both an electric start and electric push button transmission. Unfortunately, neither bike caught on.

With motorcycle competition form both European and Japanese builders, Victoria ventured into innovative automobile design, but went broke doing so. They were eventually acquired by one company, then another, making 50cc scooters for a few years until being discontinued and becoming one more historical point in motorcycle manufacturing history in 1968.

1942 victoria kr35 pionier


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