Spanish Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Ardilla Motorcycles

Built in Barcelona by Industrias del Plata SA from 1950, these machines had 3 speed 125cc two-stroke engines believed to be manufactured in-house. In 1952 swing-arm suspension was adopted, and that year the company changed its name (or was purchased), moved to Madrid and the marque became the Raid, fitted with Hispano Villiers engines. In 1956 the company returned to Barcelona and continued to market the machines under the Raid brand.

One of the company's main markets was Argentina (reflected in the name of the company which relates to Río de la Plata), to the point that most of its production was exported to that country. In those difficult years during the Franco regime the country experienced famine, and the fascist regime needed large quantities of wheat and meat which they chose to import from Argentina, paying for many of the imports in kind, with manufactured goods that were not abundant in Argentina). On many occasions, payment was made with entire consignments of Ardilla motorcycles.

Sources: OTTW,,

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