in

Condor: Swiss top quality

Condor 580
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Originally French, but 'emigrated' to Switzerland on economic grounds: Condor. The Swiss brand is best known here for the Condors with Ducati engine blocks. But the ambitions were higher for that. Much higher.

Condor's first motorcycle was made in 1900. Like so many early motorcycles, it was nothing more than that: a bicycle with a 1,5 HP engine mounted on it. The first motorcycle without pedals was produced in 1914, footboards served as a footrest and all models now had a chain drive.


World War I was a difficult period for Condor. Firstly, almost all personnel had to arm themselves and what was produced was subject to very strict government control. But when peace broke out again, Condor picked up the thread again. Condor made almost everything for his motorcycles. Only the engine blocks were purchased from the best suppliers. Think of Motosacoche, Zedel and Villiers. And then the global crisis came in the 80s. Many Swiss engine manufacturers died. Only Motosacoche, Universal and Condor survived because they supplied motorcycles to the military. Condors even went into government service for about XNUMX% of production. With the army as a customer, the brand naturally received masterful feedback on quality.

Condor, 100% army bicycles

Because Condor's gate closer, the 580 cc A580, was typically a 100% government machine. Production costs were not considered at all. You can see that in countless detailed solutions. Pointless customization for minimal productions is 'killing' for the return. All the more so because in fact all parts had to come from within the Netherlands in the context of neutrality. The result was therefore: A unique motorcycle Swiss top quality, including high and low gearing. The Condor 580 was an exuberant technical tour de force full of expensive details.

Also read: Ex army motorcycles. Cheap classic driving

Comes from a lost collection

The copy in the photos is originally from the collection of Ben van Helden. Ben was captivated by the brand and the Swiss precision and reliability. At one point, he had a whole collection of Condors. That collection started to take up too much space. Ben thought that Condor, which was still active at the time, would be interested in setting up a museum with those machines. That turned out not to be the case.

Ben's collection became so scattered. And then came that phone call from an apparently freshly landed bobo at Condor: “Whether the collection was still for sale? For a company museum. ” We found this copy in Bedum, where Rik Diephuis mainly deals with another strange brand: Nimbus. The Condor looks like a well-maintained ex army machine should look like. And he does everything he has to do. The new owner will have to fill the two rifle holders himself.

Also read: Nimbus. Ever too expensive. Wanted now

The aforementioned Ben van Helden is indeed the man behind, and for a long time the only member of the Condor Club. If you google on bensbikes.nl you will see how a goldsmith can fill his free time.

From Hans van Dissels Motorcycles 1900-1960

Give an answer

The email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
cover 8 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

Citroën 2CV Sahara

Citroën 2CV Sahara. A Duck with 4WD

FAR NORTH CLASSIC. Classic Tour of Scotland in June 2021