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Friday, December 18, 2015

The first motorcycles in Indonesia

Did U Know? - Motorcycles, since their inception and global dissemination, have played a significant role in shaping transportation history. According to historical records from the Koninlijk Instituut voor Taal, Land en Volkenkunde (KITLV), the first motorcycle to grace the shores of Indonesia, known as the Dutch East Indies in the late 19th century, was introduced by an Englishman named John C. Potter in 1893.  
This type of Hildebrand und Wolfmüller motorcycle was brought by an Englishman named John C. Potter in 1893 and later known as the first motorcycle in Indonesia. (PIcture from: Wikiwand)
He was employed as the
First Machinist at the Oemboel sugar factory in Probolinggo, East Java, also gained recognition as a car salesman trusted with delivering the Benz Victoria Phaeton, the first car in the country to His Highness Sri Susuhunan Pakubuwono X of the Surakarta Hadiningrat palace.
If John C. Potter indeed brought the Hildebrand und Wolfmüller Motorrad to Indonesia in 1893, it predates the motorbike's first introduction in America by two years, brought by a French circus performer to New York in 1895. (PIcture from: GridOto)
In the intriguing book titled "Krèta Sètan (de duivelswagen)," the story unfolds of how John C. Potter independently ordered a motorcycle from the Hildebrand und Wolfmüller manufacturer in Munich, Germany. The motorcycle arrived in 1893, a year prior to the arrival of the first car owned by His Highness Sri Susuhunan Pakubuwono X, marking Potter as the first person in Indonesia to embrace motorcycle usage.
The first motorcycle made by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach in 1885 named 'Reitwagen' or Riding car. (Picture from: BlackCat200)
It's worth noting that the world's first commercial motorcycle, known as the Reitwagen or Riding car, originated in Germany in 1885 by Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach but wasn't available to the public. The Hildebrand und Wolfmüller motorcycle factory in Munich, Germany, became the pioneer in selling motorcycles to the public in 1893. This two-wheeled marvel made its way to the United States in 1895, brought by a French circus performer to New York.
In 1899, French made three-wheeled electric motorcycle named 'De Dion Bouton Tricycle' used to pull passenger wagon also seen run in Nederlands(ch)-Indië. (Picture from: DaftarHargaDanSpesifikasiSepedaMotor)
Remarkably, even though the motorcycle wasn't introduced by an Indonesian native, it holds historical significance as the first commercial motorcycle globally, arriving in Indonesia just a year after its manufacture. This motorcycle, distinct for its direct rear wheel drive by the crankshaft without the use of a chain, paved the way for the evolution of transportation in Indonesia. 
In 1899, Indonesia saw the introduction of a three-wheeled electric motorcycle, the De Dion Bouton Tricycle from France, powered by batteries and used for pulling passenger wagons. This electric marvel gained popularity in its time.
In 1902, Belgian-made Minerva motorcycles are also used to pull the wagon seen in the Indonesian street. (Picture from: DaftarHargaDanSpesifikasiSepedaMotor)
Additionally, a 1902 Belgian-made Minerva motorcycle, initially designed for pulling wagons, showcased Minerva's engine, later adopted by other motorcycle brands such as Ariel Motorcycles in the UK.

Fast forward to 1906, where the Bantool (Bantul) Administrator's residence in Yogyakarta proudly displayed motorcycles and several cars. During this era, only the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, along with the noble native elite, had the means to acquire motorcycles.
In 1906, at the residence of Bantool (Bantul) Administrator named FW. Pijnacker-Hordijk in Yogyakarta seen to have a motorcycle and several cars. (Picture from: DaftarHargaDanSpesifikasiSepedaMotor)
In 1932, the Hildebrand und Wolfmüller motorcycle, belonging to John C. Potter, was discovered in a deteriorated state in his garage after 40 years of neglectWith the assistance of top marine mechanics in Surabaya, the motorcycle underwent restoration and stored in the editorial office of De Motor weekly newspaper.

In 1934, The antique motorcycle found its new home at the Museum of Traffic (Police Museum) in Surabaya. It was later donated to the Museum Mpu Tantular in Sidoarjo, under inventory number of 10.81, in category of science and technology but it gives a different description, and cataloged as a Daimler's vapor motorcycle.
1893 Hildebrand und Wolfmüller motorcycle known as the first motorcycle in Indonesia sat rusty in Museum of East Java Province (Museum Negeri Propinsi Jawa Timur) 'Mpu Tantular'. (Picture from: MuseumMpuTantular)
As time progressed, the number of motorcycles in Indonesia increased, giving rise to motorcycle riders' clubs. Notably, Jakarta witnessed the establishment of the first motorcycle club named 'Motorfiets rijders te Batavia' in 1915, primarily composed of brass planters and sugar mills officers.

The burgeoning motorcycle culture in the country is evident in the advertisements for various motorcycle brands published in newspapers from 1916 to 1926. One such company, RS Stockvis & Zonnen Ltd, not only provided spare parts for cars and motorcycles but also facilitated orders for cars from Europe and America.
The first motorcycle rider club in Jakarta or 'Motorfiets rijders te Batavia' in 1915. (Picture from: Jakartapedia)
Despite its centuries-old existence, the world's first commercial motorcycle possessed groundbreaking technology, including a horizontal twin-cylinder, 4-valve, water-cooled engine with a substantial 1500 cc capacity running on gasoline or naphtha. However, despite its robust engine, it generated a mere 2.5 horsepower at 240 rpm. Notably, the motorcycle lacked gears, magnets, batteries, coils, and electrical cords. Starting and stabilizing the engine took approximately 20 minutes, showcasing the stark contrast between historical and contemporary motorcycle technology.
Motorcycles in the Dutch East Indies in 1922. (Picture from: Jakartapedia)
In conclusion, the evolution of motorcycles in Indonesia is a captivating journey marked by pioneering individuals, technological advancements, and the gradual integration of motorcycles into the fabric of transportation history. From the arrival of the first motorcycle in 1893 to the establishment of motorcycle clubs and the evolution of technology, Indonesia's motorcycle history is a testament to its rich and dynamic past. As we look back on these historical milestones, we gain a deeper appreciation for the role motorcycles have played in shaping the cultural and technological landscape of the nation.

Kept spur your adrenaline on the power of two-wheeled monster and stay alive with the true safety riding. May God will forgive Your sins and so does the cops...... *** [EKA [18122015] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | JAKARTAPEDIA | GUDANG ILMU] | DAFTAR HARGA DAN SPESIFIKASI SEPEDA MOTOR | WIKIWAND ]
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