Rare early motorcycle set to go under the hammer

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London, Jan 15 (ANI): A late 19th century Hildebrand and Wolfmuller motorcycle is set to go under the hammer.

The 115-year-old bike is expected to fetch around 60,000 pounds at the auction.ccording to experts, the bike is one of the only 800 produced and is "exceedingly rare".

The rusty two-wheeler, last ridden in the 1930s, boasts of a 1488cc engine and could hit a top speed of 30mph.

It is believed to have been manufactured in Munich around 1895 and was part of the first powered bikes ever made.

It is also the first vehicle to be called a "motorcycle" for which the German name given was motorrad.

"The engines of the Hildebrand and Wolfmuller were very big - the equivalent now would be something like the Kawasaki Zr1400, which goes up to about 186mph," the Telegraph quoted Hugo Wilson, editor of Motorcycle News Classic department, as saying.

"The crucial difference is that even though the engines were the same size, the Hildebrand and Wolfmuller's systems, like the ignition, were very primitive, like - almost a toy, and not a viable means of transport."

Wilson added: "It would have broken down all the time and would have been very expensive too.

"Speeds of 30mph were certainly unheard of at the time though, so in that sense it was ground-breaking."

A spokeswoman for auctioneers Bonhams, said the Hildebrand and Wolfmüller was "the find of the decade"

She continued: "This wonderful machine represents the ultimate acquisition for the serious private collector or any museum devoted to the history of powered transport and is estimated at 40,000 pounds - 60,000."

"The Hildebrand brothers, Henry and Wilhelm, developed their motorcycle in partnership with Alois Wolfmüller and his mechanic, Hans Geisenhof."

She added: "Their design was powered by a twin-cylinder, water-cooled, four-stroke engine displacing 1,488cc, which until relatively recent times was the largest power unit ever fitted to a motorcycle.

"Despite a maximum power output of only 2.5bhp at 240rpm, the H and W was capable of speeds approaching 30mph, an exciting prospect at a time when powered road transport of any sort was still a novelty.

"Opinions differ with regard to how many machines were produced, figures range from as low as 800 to as high as 2,000. Survivors are, needless to say, exceedingly rare." (ANI)

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