Dutch Motorcycles

Kaptein Motorcycles

Manufactured 1949-1973

Founded by Willem Kaptein in 1922 as a bicycle repair shop, by 1925 he was an importer of Ariel and later dealt in Calthorpe, Imperia, Puch, Norton, Husqvarna, TWN and possibly others.

He took over the import licence for Motobécane in 1938 and met considerable if brief success before Adolf's stolze Jungs sashayed down the cobblestones.

Post-war, he established a factory in a ruined power station in Arnhem where he built 125cc and 175cc machines with SV and OHV engines of his own manufacture, under licence from Motobecane. The motorcycles were closely based on the Z2c and D45A.

The D45A machine had a 125cc side valve engine with a three-speed transmission, and a top speed of 65 km/h. It had a parallelogram front fork, and a rigid rear end. It was priced at 1020 guilders.

The other motorcycle was almost identical to the Motob├ęcane Z2c, and was much more modern. It had a 175cc overhead valve engine, a 4-speed gearbox with foot shift, telescopic front forks and plunger rear suspension. The top speed was 95 km/h and it was priced at 1475 guilders. This machine had several problems, and sales were affected.

Production was hoped to be as high as 50 units per day, around 12,000 per year. Competition from other manufacturers put paid to these expectations, and production ceased in 1951 after about 800 were built.

The firm once more imported completed Motobécane machines, and they are credited with developing the immensely succesful Mobylette. These they produced in a new factory until 1965, and marketed as Kaptein. From then until circa 1973 all of their mopeds were imported from France and rebadged.

Condor Club Netherlands, Motorpaul NL

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