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Belgian Motorcycles

Eole Motorcycles

Brief History of the Marque

Made in Belgium by A. WAFFLARD, rue bois Gotha 19 Liége, from 1899-1908 using engines from Fafnir and Kelecom, and those of their own manufacture.

    The name Eole is derived from Latin AEOLUS, the Roman God of the Winds, from the Greek AIOLOS. In Koine, common Athenian, "aiolos" means swift-moving. James Marchment

Eole 4: intentando esclarecer un enigma

Hace un tiempo, cuando escribí acerca de la Whiting V4, Rodrigo Peña me recordó que años atrás me había enviado algunas fotos de un motor de similar arquitectura que estaba aquí en Rosario en el museo del Instituto Politécnico Superior. Según las referencias que encontré en el libro de Juan Von Martin "Historia del Motociclismo Argentino" este motor perteneció a una Eole, marca belga ignota para mi hasta ese momento. Además, el siempre bien predispuesto Gustavo Agra también hizo sus aportes técnicos sobre el extraño motor, al que le calculaba una cilindrada de unos 750cc, válvulas de admisión por depresión y encendido por dos magnetos.

Eso hizo que me picara el bicho de la curiosidad y traté de averiguar algo sobre la marca y de este modelo en particular. La información es bastante escasa, sin embargo luego de enviarles mi inquietud a varios amigos de la Web, finalmente el "Vétéran Moto Club Belge" me tiró alguna pista. Me respondió Pierre Laumont, un socio que tiene una Eole monocilindrica con motor Fafnir y que conoce a un coleccionista en Bélgica que tiene un motor Eole cuatro cilindros y los moldes de madera que se necesitan para hacer las fundiciones del cuadro. Este socio me envió una foto de su Eole con la nieta de Wafflard en una exposición hace unos años atrás y también una foto de época (la única que se conoce) de la Eole Four.

Textualmente me comentaba que: "Para su información los Wafflard fueron inventores que patentaron todo tipo de invenciones, entre ellas varias que se aplicaron en las Eole. Parece que fueron a la quiebra cuando un barco que contenía una importante partida de motocicletas para Argentina fue hundido antes que se completara el pago!!!"
Eole era una histórica marca belga de motocicletas que existió entre 1899 y 1908. El nombre de la empresa era Ateliers A. Wafflard, Lieja.

En 1899 el Ingeniero Wafflard ya tenía patentada una motocicleta muy especial, donde toda la "parte activa" del motor estaba oculta en un tubo del cuadro. Desde afuera realmente no podía verse que se trataba de una motocicleta, se veía como una bicicleta normal. Incluso el tubo del cuadro en el que se situaba el motor no era mucho más grande que el de cualquier bicicleta. La transmisión era cardánica, así que tampoco había una correa o cadena visible.

Más tarde Wafflard produce motocicletas más convencionales, usando motores Antoine-Kelecom, Fafnir y también sus propios motores. Probablemente fue la primera motocicleta belga con suspensión. Las motocicletas que presentaron durante la exposición de Bruselas de 1906 estaban equipadas con motor Fafnir alemán y tenían horquillas con resortes.También encontré en un número de "The Motorcycle" de Diciembre de 1907 que mencionan la presentación en el Stanley Show de una Eole de 4 HP con suspensiones delantera y trasera, algo realmente de avanzada para la época, ¿Cómo llegó esta singular moto a Rosario? Una hipótesis probable que se me ocurre podría ser la presencia de empresarios belgas en nuestra ciudad, ya que a finales de 1905 el intendente Pinasco firma la concesión del transporte urbano a la "Compañía General de Tranvías Eléctricos del Rosario" (C.G.T.E.R.) de capitales belgas, concesión que duraría hasta 1932. La C.G.T.E.R. así como la "Societé d’Electicité de Rosario" eran empresas subsidiarias del mismo "holding" belga: SOFINA.

En marzo de 1906 llegaron al puerto de Rosario los primeros tranvías junto a varias toneladas de materiales, todo ello procedente de Bélgica. No es descabellado suponer que en alguno de estos viajes, entre todos los materiales y maquinarias, algún directivo belga haya decidido traer esta moto para su uso personal. La incógnita perdurara…. o nó.



The Eole Four: An Enigma

A while ago, when I wrote about the Whiting V4, Rodrigo Peña reminded me that years ago I had sent some photos of a similarly configured engine that was here in Rosario, in the museo del Instituto Politécnico Superior. According to the references that I found in Juan Von Martin's Historia del Motociclismo Argentino this motor belonged to a Belgian Eole machine, a marque unknown to me until that moment. In addition, the ever-helpful Gustavo Agra offered his technical opinion on the unusual engine, and he estimated a displacement of around 750 cc, inlet valves for depression and fired by two magnetos.

Bitten by the curiosity bug I sought information about the brand and this particular model. The data is scant, however after I contacted several friends, finally the "Veteran Motorcycle Club Belge" gave me a clue.

I corresponded with Pierre Laumont, a friend who has a single cylinder Eole with a Fafnir engine and who knows a collector in Belgium who has a four cylinder Eole engine and wooden moulds required to build the frame. He sent me a photograph taken at an exhibition a few years ago showing his Eole accompanied by the granddaughter of Wafflard, and also the only known period photograph of the Eole four.

I was saying, and I quote: "For your information Wafflard patented inventions of all kinds, including several that were implemented in the Eole. It appears that they were bankrupted when a ship that contained a shipment of motorcycles for Argentina was sunk before payment had been completed."

Eole was a Belgian motorcycle which existed between 1899 and 1908*. The name of the company was Ateliers A. Wafflard, of Liège.

In 1899 the engineer Wafflard already had patented a most unusual motorcycle in which active parts of the engine were hidden within a section of the frame. From the outside one could not really see that it was a motorcycle - it looked like a regular bicycle Even the frame tube concealing the engine wasn't much larger than that of a bicycle and had shaft drive transmission so there was no drive chain visible.

Later Wafflard produced more conventional motorcycles, using engines from Antoine Kelecom, Fafnir and also their own. It was probably the first Belgian motorcycle with suspension. Motorcycles that appeared at Brussels Exhibition of 1906 were equipped with German Fafnir engines and had spring forks. I also found in a December 1907 number of "The Motor Cycle" a mention of the Stanley show about an Eole 4 HP with front and rear suspension, something really advanced for the day.

How did this unique motorcycle find its way to Rosario, Argentina? A likely scenario I can think of could be the presence of Belgian entrepreneurs in our city, because at the end of 1905 the mayor, Pinasco, signed a contract granting urban transport rights to the Company General Electric Trams del Rosario (C.G.T.E.R.). The Belgian firm which gained the contract, which lasted until 1932, as well as the Société D ' Electicité del Rosario were subsidiary companies of the same Belgian holding company - Sofina.

In March 1906 Rosario greeted the arrival of a ship from Belgium bearing the first tram along with several tons of material. It is not unreasonable to assume that with one of the shipments, among all the materials and machinery, some Belgian manager brought this motorcycle into the country for his personal use. The puzzle will no doubt endure.

Notes

1. The well-researched book on Belgian motorcycles cited below gives manufacture dates of 1899 to 1908. Tragatsch says simply "c1900", and Henshaw "c1900-1907". Originally this page read "...1903 until 1914 when manufacture ended at the onset of the First World War", information based on correspondence accompanied by a photograph of an Eole dated 1913.

2. Sergio writes: "Eole was probably the first Belgian motorcycle with front and rear suspension. Look at the rear suspension, looks like the ASL ones (but surely not pneumatic)"

Sources: Sergio Scalerandi

Bibliography: A-Z Belgian Motos, Historia del Motociclismo Argentino


Sat Nov 26 2016
James Marchment
Tout à fait remarquable, les Gars! Merci pour ce renseignement. Et la moteur FAFNIR! Toujours la MYTHOLOGIE. Eole, Dieu des Grecques, et FAFNIR des Sagas Icelandiques, les EDDAS, adapté au Moyen Age par Wolfram von Eschenbach en Der Nibelunglied, modifié enfin par Wagner, DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN.

I'll avoid Old Norse, where Brünnhilde is no Walküre but a Princess of Iceland, Fafnir and Fasolt twins, Ice Giants from the age before Odin and all Asgard reigned in Heaven and over Middle Earth. Made mad by lust for the Rheingold, Fafnir murders his brother, and becomes a FIERY DRAGON, perfect for powering a mighty steed called EOLE, but slain by Siegfried with the Sword Nothung, mere millennia before Belgium's birth. Fafnir has been staged, flames and all, for near a century and a half at the Schauspielhaus.
No Fafnir, though, this clever, compact EOLE V4. Looks as modern as today (F-head aside). It'd grace a modern frame - bigger fins, all cam-operated valves  ("operated BY depression" ie PAR rather than POUR = opened by atmospheric pressure OUTSIDE exceeding low cylinder pressure in Otto Cycle's intake downstroke.
ADD bigger fins or waterjackets, best modern metallurgy, e.f.i., and BY ZEUS, I'D TUNE AND RIDE ONE!



Fri Dec 14 2007
lydie_deceuninck at hotmaildot com
Eole of Belgium
Will anyone who have or know something about the Belgian motorcycle EOLE make contact with me on lydie_deceuninck at hotmail.com
Belgium



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