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Bitsa's and Bastaards: Self-built engines

"Just make a motorcycle yourself". Nowadays you would be summarily executed for it. But in the past it was not a strange thing to build another engine block in a motorcycle. Of course, most of us know the British crossings: Tribsa, Norvin, Triton. Those types of machines where the idea was that a better steering bicycle part was equipped with a better block. At Norvins, I think it was all about the appearance and appearance. But that is also worth something.

Cees Fick and de Konigen Zelfbouw

The constructions of our own Cees Fick were of an extravagant originality. A Harley Davidson 750 cc side valve block with Matchless head valve heads? Beautiful! We do! Later he made an estimated 600 cc block from a Honda 250 cc twin. This machine roamed the Hardenberg motor show for a number of years. In the sixties and seventies, the Koning Zelfbouw competition 1.0 was held. There, the air-cooled NSU four-cylinder engine was boldly constructed as it ended up professionally in Münch Mammuts. But we also saw water-cooled Renault blocks and VW boxer engines that were tied in a frame and on a newly made transmission. And that the license plate used was at most indicative of the boundlessly creative whole? Who paid attention to that?

A passed station

That kind of key work is now far behind us. Very occasionally there are people who lock themselves up in the garage and who throw themselves up in a tsunami from blind passion to motorcycle manufacturer. But the craftsmanship to work with metal and the current state of technology and legislation make that very rare exercises.

For people who feel brave: choose a license plate for 1975. In that year the type of approvals came into the picture and you could not get away with it by declaring: "That is how it should be". The last after effects of this form of self-reliance can still be found in the hardcore corner of the Ural and Dnepr drivers. There, the original Russian power sources are sometimes replaced by BMW, 2CV or DAF blocks.

But those are really the last of the Mohicans.

If you consider adopting such a bastard, you should consider that your not so pure-bred sweetheart may actually be of limited legal value. And the value of something so unique? Established 'brands' such as the British Bitsa's have their price, But for the creations of genuinely free spirits it is "what the fool gives for it".

Automobilia 2022 (copy)



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