Founded in 1938 by J. Laan in Tallinn, Estonia, the firm built motorised bicycles using Sachs 98cc engines. During the Nazi occupation of Estonia the factory was destroyed during a Soviet bombing raid in March 1944. No machines from the era survive.
The marque reappeared in 2010 with an attractive cafe-style machine powered by a Moto-Guzzi transverse V-twin. The project appears to have faded away around 2015. It is not clear how many were built.
In 1938, Estonian entrepreneur J. Laan founded a motorized bicycle manufacturer in the capital city of Tallinn and called it Renard Cycles. Renard is French for “fox”, and a fox's head formed the original Renard logo. The first Renards were simple pipe-frame motorized bicycles, equipped with a 98cc Sachs engine. Renards were visually similar to their contemporary, a motorcycle called the Wanderer, although some of the components had a different look; the frame, mudguards and petrol tank were painted black and decorated with gold stripes.
In the devastating bombing campaign of March 1944, the factory received a direct hit and was completely destroyed. The emerging Estonian motorcycle industry became nothing more than a memory.
In 2008, a group of Estonian entrepreneurs, designers and racing engineers joined forces to revive the Renard brand. In April of 2010, the first “modern” prototype was successfully unveiled at the Hanover Technology Fair – the Renard Grand Tourer -- and will go into production next year.
The Renard Motorcycles development team includes: Andres Uibomäe, Kaarel Kivikangur, Kaido Karjus, Mait Mahlapuu, Karl-Eerik Unt and Siim West.
The Renard Grand Tourer 2010 prototype is a sporty power cruiser, a symbol of individuality and power, with best-in-class handling and built in quality. The DNA of the Renard Grand Tourer is engineering intelligence – an ultra-light composite unibody, longitudinally mounted V2 engine and components that represent the cutting edge of the motorcycle industry.
The Renard GT's carbon-fiber monocoque weighs only 11 kilograms, and is reinforced with Kevlar, to make it resistant to impact and vibration. Thanks to an increased cross-section, the composite body is stiffer than a regular pipe frame, and thus ensures very precise steering. The unibody integrates the motorcycle's frame, gondolas, petrol tank and air box into a single load-bearing structure. The sleek, no-nonsense exterior gives the Renard its distinctive appearance. The GT's suspension is adjustable in three dimensions, and tuned to perfection.
The Grand Tourer's lightweight, hardened-aluminum (aircraft aluminum) components are designed and modeled in 3D, then milled from a solid block by CNC machines. These components provide quality, reliability and a sophisticated appearance.
The Renard's longitudinally mounted 90° V2 engine is strong and powerful, and produces sufficient torque at low revs. The Grand Tourer provides silky smooth acceleration from crowded city streets all the way through to the end of the lonesome straight away. The modern air-cooled engine produces approximately 130 hp at 8000 RPM, and the GT takes has a top speed of 250 km/h. The stiff body shell, reduced rotational masses and low center of gravity mean that the Renard GT rider will enjoy total control in every maneuver. This is a surgeon's blade on two wheels, providing you with a complete and powerful riding experience.
Engine type: V2 90° Moto Guzzi Quattrovalvole
Displacement: 1151 cm3
Wheelbase: 1450 mm
Trail: 97 mm
Caster angle: 23°
Dry weight: 190 kg
Peak horsepower: 125 hp (90kW) at 8000 RPM
Peak torque: 120 Nm at 6000 RPM
Top speed: 230 km/h
Source: renardmotorcycles dot com
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