Ardie Motorcycles

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History of Ardie Motorcycles

Nurnberg, Germany 1919-1958

The first 305cc two-stroke motorcycles had round and red fuel tanks, and were nicknamed "Minimaxes" after a fire extinguisher which the tanks resembled. Later they built 348cc two-strokes.

In 1922 the founder of the Ardie factory, Arno Dietrich, died during a test ride. In the middle of the twenties they switched to 347cc - 990cc JAP engines, among them 347, 498 and 990cc V Twin OHV racing models. Riders like Georg Thumshirn, Darl Dobberkau and Gerd in der Elst were very successful with Ardie racers.

Georg's brothers Hans and Konrad joined him a year later, and with Eugen Bussinger and Ernst Islinger formed the factory team which achieved considerable success. Georg won the Austrian TT races of 1926 and 1927, along with many in endurance events.

Many models with Ardie, Sachs, Sturmey-Archer, Bark and Küchen 123, 173, 198 and 500cc engines were built in the following years.

In 1938 Ardie built a prototype 350cc two-stroke transverse V-Twin. It featured a shaft drive, unconventional front suspension, electric start, and automatic transmission. It is believed that Norbert Reidel, designer of the Imme, was involved in this project. It did not enter production. (SF)

After World War II the factory built motorcycles with their own cross-flow two-stroke engines designed by Dr. Noack with displacements of 124, 172, 194, 246 and 344 cc. The larger engines were twn cylinder parallel two-strokes. Some of these engines were supplied to other manufacturers, including the Swedish Monark factory. In the final years Ardie belonged to the Durkopp factory.

Much of the information above is derived from work by Hartmut Schouwer

    Extract from FIAT FINAL REPORT NO. 654
    29 March 1946
    Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency

    5. 'Ardie Werke A.G. Nurnberg'.
    'In 1938 the Ardie Company listed 12 models in their line. These included three l00 c.c. models, four 125 c.c. models, four 200 c.c. models. The Ardie plant has been practically bombed out and catalogues and drawings of old models were not available. There was particular difficulty in obtaining the information wanted at this factory due to the disorganised condition here.'
    'Each year after 1938 the number of models was decreased until the line in 1942 included only two items, a 125 c.c. motorcycle and a 125 c.c. stationary motor.'
    'Model VF 125 has displacement of 123 c.c. two stroke with flat top piston in an aluminium cylinder, unit power plant. The clutch is placed on the engine drive shaft. A D.C. Noris generator is placed on the other end of the crankshaft and a battery is supplied.'

Found in the archives of the British Twostroke Club