Today in Motorcycle History

Erlich Motor Co

Erlich Motor Company of Park Royal, London
  • EMC were motorcycles produced from 1939 to 1953 and from 1983 to 1990. The company was owned by Dr. Josef Erlich, an Austrian from Vienna
  • 1939 Having arrived in the UK in 1937, Joe Erlich was, by now, testing a machine that was fitted with his 240cc twin-piston, split single, two-stroke engine.

    1941 The Stewart-Ehrlich concern offered a machine to the War Department for testing. This was refused, but on 15th October 1941 they tested a version with a larger engine. The military did not place an order, but development of the machines continued. [1]

    1947 After World War II Erlich built a 345cc machine with Dowty Oleomatic front forks and a rigid frame.

    1951 Erlich built a road racing model fitted with a 125cc Austrian Puch engine.

  • 1952 A model was built with a 125cc JAP two-stroke. This was exhibited at Earls Court.
  • 1953 The company was wound up and Erlich moved on to new fields, but remained involved with racing for many years.

1958 Joined De Haviland where he further developed the EMC racers which were campaigned by Phil Read (12th 125cc 1961), Mike Hailwood (5th 125cc 1961) and Paddy Driver (10th 125cc 1962). Left De Haviland in 1968.

1972 A 650cc two-stroke triple was built which delivered 102hp. The engine for this was used in snowmobiles in the US. [2]

  • 1982 After a long gap, Erlich became involved with the Waddon Engineering project and soon had the machine on form.
  • 1983 The machine became an EMC, with Rotax tandem-twin, two-stroke engine unit. It won the Junior 250cc TT that year.
  • 1984 and 1987. Both years saw further TT successes.
  • The make gradually slipped from favour as Honda and Yamaha motorcycles moved ahead.

1. Stewart-Ehrlich is mentioned only briefly in the BFM book. There is a remote possibility that this is Col. Neil Stewart of Trump-JAP, one of the husbands of Gwenda.
2. Wikipedia NL.

Sources: Graces Guide, British Forces Motorcycles.

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