The Daimler Einspur


The Daimler Einspur

In 1876 Dr Nicolaus Otto and Eugen Langen of Deutz near Cologne Germany patented a working version of the 4 stroke engine first proposed by Alphonse Beau de Rochas as early as 1862. It was Dr Otto's assistants Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach who were first successful in building a working 4 stroke gas engine. This engine ran on domestic gas but Daimler suggested petroleum distillate or benzine which could be carried in a tank on a motor bicycle. Daimler built a rolling testbed for his engine which was high revving by the standards of the time. He was not interested in motor bicycles per se but in proving his engine design. His first engine was a 246cc single cylinder machine which was air-cooled. It had a automatic inlet valve and ran at up to 800rpm.

He built a wooden safety bicycle and installed the engine upright between the wheels. The seat was so high it needed outrigger wheels. having no cooling fins the engine grew so hot when first ridden on 10 November 1885 that the seat caught fire. Daimler's son however sucessfully rode the machine from Canstatt to Unterurkheim a distance of 12 kms. The Daimler is often thought of as the ancestor of the petrol engined motorcycle though there are other claimants to the title eg Edward Butler.


The Daimler Einspur

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Murray Barnard, Perth, Western Australia


1996 mbarnard