Bitri: a Dutch scooter


We don't use scooters often Auto Motor Klassiek. There is nothing further behind that. You just can't get to some things. For example, we did not know at all that we had our own scooter factory in the Netherlands. Until Jan Eggink drew our attention to this, because he is a watch lover.

Made in Holland, well: Friesland

The 'bedspring factory fa. WW & HB van der Gang' was founded in 1905 in Aalzum (near Dokkum). After the end of the Second World War, a small car was worked on in an empty corner of the mattress factory. And of course a name had to be invented for that.

Bitri (BI-TRIumph) was a Dutch scooter brand, made at Nederlandse Scooterfabriek NV in Dokkum (1955 – 1964).

Bitri was created in the fifties when two motorcycle enthusiasts (Wim van der Gang and a Delft student Eelco de Vries) built a car by two 350 cc Triumphblocks (hence the suddenly clear name)Triumph) to forge into one vehicle. However, there was no market for this, say, beautiful car. But the approach to make a motor vehicle yourself has led to the development of a scooter with the well-known name Bitri.

As much as possible in-house

With the plan to do as much work as possible in-house, presses were purchased and an 120 cc scooter made of aluminum plate with a two-speed JLO block was introduced. The choice for aluminum was due to the easier processing, the weight and the corrosion resistance.

ILO and Rotax

Bitri started to build 150 and 200 cc scooters with ILO and Rotax blocks. A piece of inspiration was found with the Lambretta LD from 1952. Eelco de Vries, the designer of the Vribon, made the design of the scooter.

The scooter event disappeared as is known when many 'Jan met de Petten' could afford a car. Auto Motor Klassiek reader Jan Eggink was recently in Dokkum and spoke with Mr J. van der Gang where he was allowed to view some archive photos.

Smart machines

The scooter era was over. But bread had to be kept on the table. So Wim van der Gang and his brother Jacob started building very cleverly designed candy and cigarette machines. Bitri had built its own mechanical coin recognizer in those machines that divided the money between two drawers. Bitri made sure that the machines were always filled. The owner of the business where the machine was located had access to an order in which his share of the money fell. When smoking diminished its charm as popular entertainment in the XNUMXs / XNUMXs, the company stopped making cigarette machines.

A family with technical genes

His son, Wim van der Gang, is currently the owner and producer of van der Gang Watches in Dokkum (prices from € 10.000 to more than € 25.000). And thus it has been proven that techno genes are inheritable. And that quality has its price.

Rare, so wanted

Bitri scooters, which are now very rare, now have a degree adherence. But because the brand has not yet been discovered by ruthless investors, the prices for enthusiasts remain human.





The Vlieger Satiné costs around € 25.800.




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  1. "Valkenburg" You will have your answer by now. No idea whether this response has reached you yet, but Berini is indeed a (historical) Dutch moped brand. The name was derived from the first names of the founders BErnard, RInus and NIco. Later the founders got into an argument with the distributor ( Stockvis) who had the rights to the name, and production continued under the name Motorenfabriek Pluvier NV, Rotterdam Berini was also familiar with the "clip-on" motors, loose small blocks that you could connect to your bicycle, and thus motorized you move. Kind of ” Spartamet ” avant la lettre.

  2. I can remember the Bitri well; my father had a motorcycle shop "De Motorhut" in Tilburg and from 1952 also sold scooters, in increasing numbers up to about 400 Vespas per year. Sometimes a Bitri came in for maintenance or trade-in, which certainly made a good impression.
    The 50s had other scooter exotics: the Czech Faka, the German Dürkopp Diana and Zündapp Bella, the Belgian Sarolea Dzjin (with beautiful Italian engine, 125 cc horizontal 2-cylinder) and the Italian Appilia. The market leader was Vespa followed by Lambretta. I myself had to drive a Vespa Grand Sport at the time, but I also remained devoted to the BSA Golden Flash resp. Triumph Tiger 110.

  3. Nice family story! But I have something to add to - from the 50 years - namely that Bitri has produced a machine with the same mold as that of the petrol tank for (not frightened) dots of cheese spread! Who can confirm that?

    • Yesterday in Arnhem we saw a Bitri cigarette machine in front of the door. Sat 'cigarette boxes' in with 'art' for 2nd or so. It won't have been rambrandts. But the idea was nice. And that Bitri machine too

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