Model: Course Paris-Vienna
Displacement: 344 cc
Engine type: 4-stroke / aiv
Bore / Stroke:
Frame number: 731843
Engine number: 731843
The 1901 Werner is generally acknowledged as the first powered two-wheeler to carry its engine in the frame where the bicycle’s bottom bracket and pedalling gear had been located, and thus is credited as the progenitor of the modern motorcycle. In actual fact, Gottlieb Daimler’s Einspur prototype of 1884 had mounted its engine in the same position, as had various other manufacturers prior to Werner. The latter though, was the only firm with the foresight to patent the idea. Paris-based Russian émigrés Michel and Eugene Werner had built their first motorcycle in 1896 by the simple expedient of mounting a single-cylinder petrol engine, designed by Hippolyte Labitte, in front of the steering head of a bicycle, directly above the front wheel, which it drive via a belt. One of the first practical motorcycles, the Werner Motocyclette proved an immediate success and the brothers abandoned their cinematograph business to set up a factory to build it. Harry J Lawson acquired the British rights to the design and in 1900 Werner sold a staggering 1,000 machines. The Werner, however, was not without its shortcomings, not the least of which was the dreaded ‘sideslip’, a consequence of the design’s high centre of gravity, whereupon the hot tube ignition would cause the fallen machine to catch fire. It is not difficult to imagine what an immense step forward the 1901 design must have seemed. Werner catalogued the model “Paris-Vienna” for 1.100fr.
The history of this outstanding Werner is known until the Second World War. It comes with a pioneer certificate and a lot of records. It was featured in the magazine “The Classic Motorcycle” issue Dec.1986. It has been restored to highest standard with care only with original parts and comes with some pics in unrestored condition. This Werner we offered here is equipped with a bulb horn and a Lucas acetyphote lamp.
It is a rare opportunity for each collector of pioneer motorcycles.