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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Brief History of the Weird and Wonderful Gasoline Bicycles

Throughout history, several manufacturers have experimented with making gasoline-powered bicycles. Here is a list of some notable historical manufacturers who ventured into this field:

  1. Hildebrand & Wolfmüller:

    • Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, a German company, is often credited with producing the world's first commercially available gasoline-powered motorcycle in 1894. Their motorcycle, known as the Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, featured an internal combustion engine mounted on a bicycle frame.
  2. De Dion-Bouton:

    • De Dion-Bouton, a French automobile manufacturer, produced motorized bicycles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were among the first companies to mass-produce engines specifically designed for bicycles, and their motorized bicycles gained popularity during that era.
  3. Werner Brothers:

    • Werner Brothers, a German company, manufactured gasoline-powered bicycles in the early 20th century. Their motorcycles featured compact engines mounted on bicycle frames and gained recognition for their innovative designs.
  4. Indian Motorcycle Company:

    • The Indian Motorcycle Company, an American motorcycle manufacturer, experimented with gasoline-powered bicycles in the early 20th century. They developed models such as the Indian Motoplane, which combined a motorcycle engine with a bicycle frame.
  5. FN Herstal:

    • FN Herstal, a Belgian firearms manufacturer, also dabbled in the production of motorized bicycles in the early 20th century. They manufactured motorcycles with engines mounted on bicycle frames, catering to the growing demand for motorized transportation.
  6. NSU Motorenwerke:

    • NSU Motorenwerke, a German company known for its motorcycles and automobiles, produced motorized bicycles in the early 20th century. Their designs incorporated compact engines integrated into bicycle frames.
  7. Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company:

    • The Excelsior Motor Manufacturing & Supply Company, an American motorcycle manufacturer, produced motorized bicycles in the early 20th century. They created models that combined bicycle frames with small engines, offering an alternative mode of transportation.

It's worth noting that these manufacturers and their ventures into gasoline-powered bicycles played a significant role in the evolution of motorcycles and motorized transportation as we know it today.


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Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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