Corona Motorcycles

Corona Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufacturer: Corona-Fahrradwerke und Metall-Industrie Actien-Gesellschaft
1902-1911, 1923-1924 (1)

Founded in 1891 by Adolf Schmidt, the company made its name with bicycles.

Built in Brandenburg, early model Corona motorcycles were powered by Antoine and Fafnir engines as well as their own in-house engines which may possibly have been ZL-licenced units.* Motorcycle production ceased around 1911, but they continued with a tricar powered by Fafnir with a 2-speed gear using belt drive to the single rear wheel. It had brakes on all three wheels.

After the first war motorcycle production was briefly resumed with machines powered by longitudinally installed 338cc horizontally opposed twins (2), built in 1923-1924.

In addition to motorcycles, Corona built utility tricycle vans and passenger 3-wheelers. The first of these were along the lines of the De-Dion, but in 1904 they produced the Coronamobil based on the front half of their motorcycle. Powered by the same Fafnir engines of 3.5 to 4.5 hp, it had a steering wheel and a bench seat. The following year two larger three-wheelers were produced.

The firm built large numbers of bicycles - some 40,000 were built in 1926, at which time the company had some 500 employees.

In 1929 moves were afoot to close the plant down due to the extremely difficult economic climate, and the firm entered liquidation in 1932.

A version of the company still exists, with the addition of Corona to its name.

1. Sources differ on the dates, with some giving 1902-1909 & 1922, and another 1904-1909 only. One source also mentions Zedel engines. However a catalogue for 1911 shows several motorcycles.
2. It is suggested that this was a BMW engine, and elsewhere that the engine was of their own manufacture.

Sources: Tragatsch, Wikipedia NL, GTU Oldtimerservice,,, Axel Oskar Mathieu Archive.

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