German Motorrad

Today in Motorcycle History

Grade Motorcycles of Germany

A Brief History of the Marque
Manufactured 1903 - 1925
Hans Grade founded Grade-Motoren-Werke-GmbH in Magdeburg in 1905. He built cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes. The motorcycles were designed by Hans Plog and used 118cc and 132cc two-stroke engines built in the Grade factory. The firm's cars were also produced in Austria under the name Austro-Grade.

Germany's first two aviators were bicycle racers, August Euler and Hans Grade. There is a Hans Grade museum in Borkheide, and also an aviation club and a modelmaker's club of the same name.

Grade made the first powered flight in Germany, in 1908, and won a small fortune in 1909 when he was awarded the prize for flying long and high. He is credited with the design of the first airport, and founded Grade Flugzeugbau which produced some 80 aircraft prior to WWI.

He is famed in philately as the constructor of the aeroplanes which first flew airmail in Germany.

His list of accomplishments would certainly fill a book [1] - and a movie has been made in which Hans Grade starred as himself.

1. Karl-Dieter Seifert Hans Grade. Ein Leben in stürmischen Zeiten, Magdeburg 2008

Sources: wikipedia,,, et al

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