Werner 1899 1 hp 217 cc 1 cyl aiv 2908
Werner 1899 1 HP 217 cc AIV engine # 684
The Brothers Eugene and Michel Werner start their experiments with a De Dion type petrol engine in 1896.
By the end of 1897 they consider their machine ready to be put on the market: it’s presented at the Salon du Cycle in December 1897 under the name of ‘motocyclette” and this word will soon become the generic French word for “motor cycle”.
The little 91cc engine with bore x stroke dimensions of 44x60mm is placed in front of the steering head and has a surface carburetor and hot tube ignition.
It has two solid external flywheels, it produces some ¾ HP and runs at a maximum of 1,000 rpm.
The cast iron crankcase is split horizontally and the engine and its accessories weigh some 14 kg.
The engine drives the front wheel through a round belt via a pulley that is fixed to the left side of the front forks.
The open-fire ignition system and the considerable weight in front of the steering head are a risky combination: on slippery or wet roads the machine is sometimes difficult to control and riders regularly experience their mount catching fire when they skid.
During a run, the position of the engine in combination with the crude exhaust system and the blow lamp for the hot tube ignition also create less desirable fumes close to the face of the rider.
In spite of these imperfections the motocyclette catches on and 300 are sold in 1898.
For 1899 substantial improvements are made: the engine is redesigned and made lighter, it now has a vertically split aluminium crankcase and lighter, open flywheels.
Bore x stroke are now 62x72mm, giving a capacity of 217cc and a power output of 1 HP.
In April 1899 another important improvement is made when the engine gets electrical ignition.
The makers claim a top speed of 40km for their 1899 model.
Werners show excellent results in competition and long distance runs and according to factory information 500 machines find a customer in 1899.
This rare, very early Werner is in as found contition .