In the fairly recent motorcycle world it is teeming with forgotten, or once famous, historical brands that appear with a lot of noise and joy ... And disappear again or again with a bang.
It is the trade in illustrious names
It's about trademark rights. Juristics. Somewhere in those pathways a huge amount of money has to be burned. Is it idealism? Is it large-scale money laundering? That could just be.
Sachs, which has recently become best known for producing motorcycle suspension and damping, started again in 1997 with the production of motorized two-wheelers, first with light two-stroke machines, and the four-stroke Sachs MadAss later made in China became cult. Then the world was stormed with an 650 and the 800 cc Roadster. It never became the Sachs 1000 ... Too bad.
At the time, Sachs was a mass manufacturer of two-cylinder two-stroke engines. Sachs, Fichtel & Sachs and Hercules became names that were gleaned throughout history. The former motorcycle production of Hercules was renamed "Sachs Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik" with a number of brand remnants swept together and sold in 1998 to the Dutch Winning Wheels Group (Koch-Kleeberg Group) of Rob van der Linden. That route came to a dead end.
Restart in 2001
In 2001 a group of Hercules managers acquired the remains of the group and that became "Sachs Bikes". In 2004, production in Germany was stopped and outsourced to China. There, 50-125 cc machines were made with Honda (clone) engines. Including that MadAss.
The Sachs 800 Roadster was proudly presented in 2000 under the exciting English name Sachs Bikes (sex bikes). Our copy is from 2001 and is therefore officially a young timer. But one with potential. And rare.
Sachs joined forces with Suzuki for motorization
Suzuki was - just like Villiers in the meanwhile very distant past, and Sachs himself afterwards, starting from 1930 - engaged in the sale of engine blocks to third parties. The design of the Sachs 800s came from Target Design.
The looks had a touch of Suzuki Katana-like
No wonder: the trio Hans Muth Jan Fellstrom and Hans-Georg Kasten had also designed the Suzuki with which the Hamamatsu company wanted to sharpen its reputation. Very critical spirits also thought that the Sachs looked a bit like the Suzuki VX800. But the Sachs had sufficient quality and face of their own not to be a clone or copy.
Back to the engine supplier
For Suzuki, think of Aprilia, Bimota, Cagiva and Laverda and Gilera. So it didn't depend on the engine blocks. The V twins from Suzuki's Intruder series were beautiful, good blocks. Sachs was able to distinguish itself from the mass four cylinders.
The Sachs adventure did not end well. Despite the choice of high-quality components from respected suppliers. The hand-assembled Roadster 800 was beautiful, good and even more positive. But he wasn't good enough, not fast enough. The Roadster was a nice 'imminent' with pleasant touring capacities and room for two.
But he missed the 'Wow! Factor'
And actually had nothing to offer that others didn't have. Except for its finish and exclusivity then ... The Sachs was seen as a 'bit of everything' motorcycle. That can be deadly in a world where "CHARACTER!" only spelled with capital letters.
Sachs put its 800 series with three types on the market, two of which were sold in any case. In the Netherlands, apparently, three Sachs 800 Roadsters ended up with an owner. We found one of those in Loods 8 in Arnhem, the incredible company of Kiat Que.
Kiat's 'Loods 8' is open when open, but on Thursday evening Saturday after 1300 hours, the chance of hit on an open door is the greatest. Nowadays, Kiat is even on FB. Contacting beforehand is always handy. Kiat sells Papua art objects, old audio, books, automobilia with a preference for the former East Germany. In his shop you will find LPs, Scalextrix items, motorcycle parts, ceiling lights, art deco stuff, a hand hair clipper, a beaded curtain, handbows, a cane, a piece of 40 used bikes, old MZ Tssen and ETZs that he once took over from a friend. A few classic trial engines, old telephones, leather motorcycle bags, a BMW gearbox, the muffler for a very old Guzzi single-cylinder, a whole set of old cast-iron bases for patio tables ...
And so one of the three Sachs 800 Roadsters sold here in the Netherlands.
In the 'store' the Sachs is a bit lost.
It is a copy from 2001, so a young timer. There are some scratches on a muffler end. But with such a rarity that should of course not be an issue.
The choice for the then not so recent Intruder block was probably one of the bookkeeper. At the time, testers dreamed about what the Sachs would have been like with an SV650, TL1000, Honda Firestorm / Varadero, or Ducati 750SS block. The entire Sachs 800 Roadster exudes stylish, solid civilization. Only the wide aluminum handlebar gives some toughness points.
Sachs was not faint when purchasing the components
Fritz Egli designed the frame. The fork came first from Marzocchi, later it became a USD from Paioli. The brakes are for double, floating Grimeca discs of Ǿ 320 mm and the calipers are four-piston Grimeca's. After 2001, by the way, they lost their cheerful red coat and simply turned silver. The rear suspension is provided by Bitubo twin rear shocks. Quite strange that shock absorber and suspension specialist Sachs did not use anything from their own warehouses for the suspension and damping of the 800 cc.
The machine has a pleasant seat height of only 770 mm. The position of hands and feet is purely touristy, with some cross feeling due to the wide handlebar. The unsprung mass of the cardan drive system has a negative effect on the spring and damping behavior at the rear. The sound from the beautiful dampers is quickly drowned out by the intake sound from under the buddy.
But the beautifully finished Sachs is a wonderful partner for languid wanderings on winding secondary roads. The slim-cut tank gives a nice narrow grip at the knees and guarantees a classic riding style and position in the corners. If we compare the Sachs with the Suzuki VX800, the much livelier steering behavior is particularly striking. If we look in the similarities with the Intruders: many Suzuki V-twins easily turned over the barrel when properly maintained.
Thanks to Kiat Que, Loods 8, Arnhem