Austrian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Apfelbeck Motorcycles

Ludwig Apfelbeck, born Graz 1903, died Graz 1987.
Apfelbeck built his first engine in 1922.
In 1931, he developed a water-cooled four-valve cylinder head based on the Rudge.
He joined BMW in 1939 where he worked on aircraft engine development.

Post-war, he built a variety of machines including a 125cc engine with a radial four-valve head.
During the early 50s Apfelbeck built a series of 500cc engines for Killmeyer brothers of Vienna, who achieved considerable success, winning some 240 races. In part due to the considerable attention awarded Apfelbeck as a result, he began working with Horex. He then worked with Maico for a short while before taking a position with the KTM racing department in Mattighofen. The Apfelbeck KTM DOHC 125 achieved a string of road-racing and off-road victories and appears on an Austrian postage stamp.
He also worked on the KTM Mecky scooter, the powerplant for which was the first production KTM engine. The story goes that there was some consternation when it was put on the test bench and achieved almost double the power it was supposed to.
In 1967 Ludwig Apfelbeck designed a BMW-based engine for sidecar racer Siegfried Schauzu. The engine was very advanced, with a central bearing on the crankshaft, DOHC with four radial valves per cylinder, achieving in the latter days 75bhp. Development ceased in 1971 due lack of funds.
See also Apfelbeck Speedway Bikes
Sources: bahnsporttechnik.de, wikipedia.de

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