Polish Motorcycles

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Orle Motorcycles

Orle 350

One of the little-known designs of Eng. Rafal Ekielski is the Orle-Villiers 350 motorcycle. The prototype of the vehicle was created in 1933 with the outstanding participation of Jan Tazarski, a multiple Polish champion in cycling and an excellent mechanic - practice. It was a two-seat touring motorcycle, equipped with the English Villiers 350 engine, known for its reliability. The constructor intended produce these in the "Motorcycle Factory - Orla - R. Ekielski" which he built in Krakow.

In February 1934, Engineer Ekielski began his efforts to obtain a production permit. At that time, he demonstrated the vehicle at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Warsaw, where he met with a kind reception. He obtained, among others consent to duty free imported parts necessary for the production of motorcycles - engines, gearboxes, bearings, etc. Therefore, the sale price was set at such a low level that the vehicle, becoming a real competitor to other machines on the domestic market, was basically available to a wide mass of recipients.

Ekielski also presented his work in the editorial offices of capital automotive magazines. Journalists gave Orlec a flattering opinion: "I got on with some reserve, familiar to every motorcyclist towards the new machine, especially since the road was quite wet and slippery, but all the more pleasant was the surprise that the machine gave. Good spurt, smooth running, comfortable and static position of the rider, and above all, excellent road handling, which the rider immediately feels and gains confidence. This is the result of a significant wheel spacing (1500 mm) and accurate calculation of the geometric scheme of the head, frame and front fork ...

I took a ride on the Orlec twice, the last time I gave it full throttle, apparently the maximum speed is not less than 80 km/h, which is more than enough for a touring machine.

Drive to the rear wheel was via a wet multi-plate clutch, a Burman three-speed manual gearbox and a roller chain. The motorcycle had a 6-volt electrical system powered by a Villiers magneto generator built into the engine's flywheel.

The vehicle was relatively heavy - in running order it weighed 125 kg.

Despite design advantages and high quality workmanship, the production of Orla motorcycles did not proceed. Reportedly, only a small trial series was built. This was probably because of the difficult post-crisis economic situation in Poland at that time, where the market was saturated with motorcycles of well-known foreign companies, and there was too little demand. This had a particularly unfavorable impact not only on the commercial intentions of Eng. Ekielski, but also on the activities of other brands.

Technical data
Engine: single-cylinder, two-stroke, drives the rear wheel by means of a chain
Bore x stroke / displacement: 70x90mm / 346cc
Power: 11.2 hp
Clutch: wet, multi-disc
Transmission: with 3 gears, manually controlled
Ignition: spark, magneto-generator under the engine flywheel
Frame: tubular, double, closed
Front suspension: trapezoidal fork with shock absorber
Rear Suspension: rigid
tyres: Polish Tyre Stomil 4.00x19"
Empty weight: approx. 125 kg
Maximum speed: approx. 85 km/h

Source: Polish History Archive