Arco Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Arco Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

1922-1927 Arco Motorradwerke Augst & Co., Speyer
1927-1929 NV Arco Motorenfabriek, Amsterdam

Arco (an abbreviation of Augst, Reichert & co) were first built in Speyer, Germany, and later in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Arco began producing motorcycles in 1922, a year before the economic boom of the 20s resulted in hundreds of new German manufacturers appearing, only to see most vanish again mid-decade. Most of these companies built light, inexpensive machines using two-stroke engines from other manufacturers. Despite the fact that there was an economic crisis in Germany, it is interesting to note that the firms which made the more expensive motorcycles tended to survive the roaring twenties.

Arco used watercooled four-stroke engines of their own manufacture, initally OHV 250cc units and from 1925 also an OHV 350 cc which became their most popular model. It had a 348 cc engine (bore x stroke: 74 x 81, compression ratio 6.1:1, 12 HP at 3600 RPM).

In 1927 the company was acquired by NV Arco Motorenfabriek, Amsterdam which in 1929 built a single cylinder OHC 498 cc machine. The stock market crash later that year brought production to a halt.

Little is known about the number of motorcycles produced or sold. Presumably they were only sold in the regional market.

Some sources list the marque as late as 1932.

Sources: Sergio Scalerandi, GTU Oldtimerservice
Mike Jordan of Motorrennsport-Archiv kindly supplied images to Sergio for this article. The site contains a wealth of information and is well worth visiting.

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