c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270

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Lot 209
c.1908 Werner 230cc
Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270

Sold for € 8,855 (US$ 9,836) inc. premium
c.1908 Werner 230cc
Frame no. 1911
Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
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. 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 in front of the steering head of a bicycle, directly above the front wheel, which it drove 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. This restored Werner was purchased in Germany from a Dutch private collector last October. The machine is powered by a Swiss-built MAG engine with inlet-over-exhaust valve layout, while other noteworthy features include direct belt drive, trailing link sprung fork and acetylene lighting.

c.1908 Werner 230 cm3
Cadre n° 1911
Moteur n° 1C10CN-201270

La Werner 1901 est généralement considérée comme la première moto dotée d'un moteur placé au bas du cadre à l'endroit où se situe l'axe du pédalier à l'intersection des tubes avant et de selle, ce qui lui valut le titre d'ancêtre de la moto moderne. Émigrés russes résidant à Paris, Michel et Eugène Werner construisirent leur premier motocycle en 1896 en montant simplement un petit moteur monocylindre à essence devant le tube de direction, au-dessus de la roue avant qu'il entraînait au moyen d'une courroie. Une des premières motos d'usage pratique, la « Motocyclette » Werner connut aussitôt le succès et les deux frères abandonnèrent leurs activités dans le cinéma naissant pour créer une usine de production. Harry J. Lawson acheta les droits d'exploitation du modèle pour le Royaume-Uni. En 1900 Werner vendit mille machines, un chiffre étonnant pour l'époque. Mais la Werner n'était pas sans défauts, le moindre n'étant pas le redoutable dérapage, conséquence de la hauteur du centre de gravité de la moto, à l'issue duquel le tube d'allumage incandescent mettait souvent le feu à la machine tombée à terre. Il n'est guère difficile d'imaginer le grand progrès représenté par le modèle de 1901. Cette Werner restaurée fut achetée en Allemagne en octobre dernier par un collectionneur privé hollandais. Cette machine est équipée d'un moteur suisse MAG semi-culbuté, d'une transmission à courroie directe, d'une fourche avant suspendue à roue tirée et d'un éclairage à acétylène.

Saleroom notices

  • c.1905 'Werner' Frame no. 14037 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270 It has not been possible positively to identify this machine as a Werner. We are advised that the frame dates from circa 1905 and the MAG engine from the 1920s. The machine might best be described as an interesting 'special' equipped with Vintage/Veteran accessories, including a Peugeot chain wheel.
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
c.1908 Werner 230cc  Frame no. 1911 Engine no. 1C10CN-201270
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