German Motorcycles

Brennabor Motorcycles

Brennabor Pacer c.1901, Zedel Engine

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A Brief History of the Marque

Manufacturer: Brennabor-Werke, Brandenburg
1901-1912 (or 1916*), 1933-1940

Brennabor was established in 1871 by the brothers Carl, Adolf and Hermann Reichstein who produced baby carriages as their main product and became Europe's largest manufacturer. When the English bicycle craze hit Germany they were not slow to adopt and soon were building 20,000 units annually. The factory employed some 2000 workers and exported to the four corners of the earth. In 1902 they began production of motorcycles and cyclecars fitted with Fafnir and Zedel V-twins, and these continued to be marketed until shortly before WWI*.

In 1933 they again built motorcycles fitted with externally manufactured Fichtel & Sachs two-stroke engines of 48cc and later 98cc. These were in moped fashion, a style later termed disparagingly the Hermännchen..

The machines were well received, but ceased production in 1940, after which factory output contributed to the war effort.

The factory was dismantled by the Russians after the war and taken to East Germany where it resumed, after a fashion, the production of baby carriages. Other Brandendburg businessess which suffered the same fate included the Opel plant, practices echoed by Russia 70 years later during its invasion of Ukraine and other invaded or "annexed" Eastern European nations.

The firm was also a major producer of fine automobiles including the Brennabor Juwel, for which they are well known.

* Wikipedia gives a date of 1916 for end of the first phase of motorcycle manufacturer. Two other sources indicate 1912.

Sources: Bjorn's Story, GTU Oldtimerservice, et al

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