Museo Scooter Part Three
With Phil Aynsley
Originally established in 1874 as a bicycle manufacturer, Excelsior started to produce motorcycles in 1896 – ceasing in 1965. The Monarch scooter was introduced in 1959 and was a rebadged DKR (also a British company, that used a Villiers motor in their Dove scooter) fitted with an Excelsior 147cc 2-stroke.
In 1960 the MkII model, seen here, was launched. It featured new bodywork, all in fibreglass, and 10-inch quickly detachable wheels. The same 147cc motor and three-speed Albion gearbox were used. This is an original unrestored example.
First announced by Edward Turner in 1958 the Triumph Tigress/BSA Sunbeam didn’t enter production for over 12 months, in late 1959. Uniquely the scooters were available with two completely different engine types – a BSA Bantam derived 175cc 2-stroke single or a newly designed 250cc 4-stroke twin. Both were fan-cooled.
The 250 used a gear driven gearbox rather than the 175’s chain. Both types used a chain final drive. Some 250s were fitted with a 12v electrical system and starter. The 250 was the more successful version and had a top speed of 105 km/h. However build quality proved to be a problem. It was discontinued in 1964 with the 175 following the next year. The example seen here is a Sunbeam B2 250 twin.
The Cezeta scooter was built by CZ from 1957 until 1964 in what was then Czechoslovakia. The long (over 2m) torpedo shaped body had a large luggage compartment under the seat, while the fuel tank was positioned above the front wheel behind the headlight.
On the original 501 model (1957-59) the rear wheel was supported on one side only and suspended from a rubber block. The 502 model employed a swingarm and dual shock absorbers. A CZ 175cc 2-stroke motor with a belt-driven fan was used. The Druzeta sidecar was available as a factory fitment, with about 900 produced.
Strangely a New Zealand assembled version of the Cezeta, the N-Zeta, was built for a few years around 1960 using a 200cc motor. And interestingly in June 2013 the Cezeta 506 Lithium battery powered scooter entered production, retaining much of the originals styling.
The prototype Innocenti 98 motorcycle from 1970. It was developed in conjunction with Motom.
The 125cc FB was the first three-wheeler made by Lambretta. It was only produced from February 1949 to March 1950 with 2,001 built. It was followed by the FC, still with the single wheel behind the rider.
It wasn’t until the FD model, seen here, that the far more stable conventional tricycle wheel arrangement appeared. 4,841 were built during 1952-53.
The Velocette Viceroy was introduced in 1960 and was quite an innovative design. A 247 cc flat twin 2-stroke motor was mounted just behind the front wheel with the rear-mounted clutch and 4-speed transmission driven by a prop shaft for optimum weight distribution. The fuel tank was mounted under the leg shield.
An electric starter and 12V power (via two 6v batteries wired in series, located under the seat), as well as a large windscreen were standard fitment. The frame was comprised of a single large diameter tube that ran from the headstock back to the seat. Production ceased in in 1964. Power was 15 hp with a weight of 137 kg. Cruising speed was 105 km/h.
Originally produced from 1949 by Dr. Balbaschewski in Reutlingen, Germany, the Walba Deluxe was the most significant of a range of scooters. It had several advanced features including identical front and rear suspension and the an engine/transmission unit that moved in opposition to the rear wheel (eg. when the wheel moved up the engine unit moved downwards) that provided a 50/50 weight distribution and excellent handling.
The brakes were hydraulic and a jet engine intake was a futuristic styling touch. An ILO 197cc 2-stroke motor was used. The Walba company was sold in 1952 but the scooters continued to be produced under the Faka name. This is an original condition 1954 Tourist model, with power at 9.6 hp, good for a top speed of 93 km/h.
The Maico Mobile touring scooter was produced from 1950 until 1958 and marketed as a “car on two wheels”. A tubular steel space frame was clad with steel and alloy panels, which at the rear, incorporated built in panniers. Suspension was via telescopic hydraulic forks and swingarm. The large dashboard had a glovebox and provision for a car radio!
Originally powered by a 150 cc 2-stroke motor with three speeds operated by a twist grip, a 175 cc was fitted from 1953 and a 200 cc (with a foot controlled four-speed gearbox) was an option from 1955. This version produced 11 hp and weighed 150 kg and is a 1953 175 cc version.
KTM’s first scooter was the Mecky. In 1962 the Ponny was released. It had cast alloy 12 inch wheels and dispensed with the Mecky’s pedals. A Sachs 50cc 2-stroke motor was fitted. The metallic paint and stylised rear rack are noteworthy. This Ponny De Luxe came from the KTM museum and is in original condition.
In 1955 the Austrian Lonher company expanded its range with the L 125. Powered by either a Sachs or Rotax 125 cc 2-stroke motor, the design was characterised by the large compartment built into the front leg shield. Power was 5.5 hp, with a top speed of 85 km/h.
Established in Pilsting, Germany in 1895 by Andreas Glas as a repair shop for steam-powered agricultural machinery, the enterprise expanded to Dingolfing in 1905.
It was here that the company began to manufacture Goggo scooters in 1951. Over 46,000 were built before production ceased in 1956 and construction of the famous Goggomobile cars commenced.
The Goggo scooters were available with 125, 175 and 200cc ILO 2-stroke motors. This original condition example is a 1953 200 De Luxe, with a power output of 9.5 hp, and weight of 132 kg. Top speed 90km/h.