Sarolea 1936 “36 F” Monotube 348.5 cc OHV production racer frame & engine# 170374
The firm was established in 1850 at Herstal (Liege) as an arms factory by Joseph Saroléa. In 1892 the production of bicycles was started.
Joseph died in 1894 and under the management of his sons the company grew bigger and bigger. In the early years of the new century the company started to develop motorized bicycles and soon Saroléa was a force to reckon with: around 1907 the firm employed some 200 labourers and had 4000 m2 of production facilities.
In the early years of the century Saroléas were sold in Britain under the “Kerry” brand.
Both singles and V twins were made and the firm supplied engines to a number of firms in several countries. In turn, Saroléa used a number of British components such as Sturmey Archer gearboxes and AMAC carburettors. In the 20s the firm got successfully involved with long distance runs, reliability trials and hill climbs.
From 1927 on the company made its own gearboxes and early in 1929 the factory was extended to some 6000 m2.
Nearly all components of the bikes were made in-house now and the production capacity grew to 50 machines per day. Later in 1929 a brand new state-of –the-art production facility was commissioned which brought the production capacity to 75 machines per day.
Saroléa was ready for the new decade and in this decade a line of successful racers was developed.
At first the engines had double exhaust ports, but it was found that single port versions developed more power: the “ Monotube” ( “single port”) was born!
This racing model was available in capacities of 350, 500 and 600 cc.
The engines had longstroke configurations, close ratio gearboxes and a Bosch racing magneto. This 350 version has bore x stroke of 70 x 90.5 mm which gave a top speed (on a petrol/benzol mixture) of 145/150 kilometers per hour.
The machine has a 20 litre petrol tank and weighs 140 kg.
This amazing original machine was bought in May 1936 by Franz Arthaber from Vienna and has had only three owners from new.
Its interesting history was featured in ‘Motorrad Klassik’ of November/December 1990.