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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Opel Raketen Motorrad

The rocket racing enthusiast Fritz von Opel, a grandson of Opel founder Adam Opel was certain of building a rocket motorcycle and he intended to set a new absolute motorcycle world speed record in Freiberg.

Since early summer of 1928 when his brand named Opel Moto Club had been founded, so Opel decided made his first motorcycle on a 500 cc Neander SS (Super Sport) model as the basis of his proposed Raketen Motorrad (rocket motorcycle).
1928 Opel Raketen Motorrad. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XOM5E)
With a strong 22 hp OHV (Overhead Valve) one cylinder engine, Opel intended to accelerate the vehicle up to approximately 120 km/h (75 mph). Then, the six powder rockets attached to the rear fender (3 mounted on each side) with a combined total of 30 kg (66 lb) of thrust would gradually ignite with the help of a foot lever mechanism, sending the bike to a calculated top speed of 212 km/h (132 mph).
Fritz von Opel posed with 1928 Opel Raketen Motorrad. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XOM5E)
However, the plan was to break the current land speed record and reach a top speed of 132 mph was vetoed by the German authorities due to safety reasons. The rocket powered motorcycle went on to complete a number of demonstration runs and was used as a marketing tool by Opel for a number of years.
1928 Opel Raketen Motorrad on action. (Picture from: http://adf.ly/1XOM5E)
The successes of Opel’s four-wheeled rocket racing cars as well as a his light RAK-1 rocket plane, then ends the entire Raketen Motorrad project in 1929, when Opel withdraws himself from the project.
However, the Opel's Neander motorcycle still sold in Germany for a few years, while rocket motorcycle racing continued with the Opel Moto Club under Otto Luhrs. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SILODROME]
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