Detail
1920

MOBILIZATION MEANS
MOTORIZATION

Motorized bicycles, scooters and mopeds are in vogue

MOTORIZATION

Horse-drawn carriages are driven out by the bicycle around the turn of the century, and this ushers in a paradigm shift for whole swathes of the population. From now on, personal mobility is the order of the day for both men and women. The two-wheel sector becomes technologically sophisticated, the Rotax hub ensures that riding a bicycle is a reliable and comfortable experience. The only thing you have to do for yourself is turn the pedals. The rise of the motor vehicle industry comes in handy – these have long been popular in the USA but in Germany it is above all motorized cycles that ensure a flourishing market for Fichtel & Sachs and other producers.

It is mopeds that are perceived to have the greatest potential for growth. In 1932, almost half of the 800,000 motorcycles were mopeds with displacement limited to between 200 and 250 cc. From a legal and financial perspective, this percentage is logical: mopeds do not have to pay vehicle tax and can be ridden without a driver’s license up until the late 1930s. There is thus nothing to stop motorized bicycles becoming widely available.

MOTORCYCLES & CARS DEFY THE CRISIS

Not even the economic crisis of the 1920s can damage the surge in demand and the expansion of the automobile and motorcycle sector. Motorcycles especially are seen as status symbols. Over the next decade, having your own “machine” is the ideal to which everyone aspires. Infrastructure development, for example the construction of the Großglockner High Alpine Road, not only drives demand, it also creates many urgently needed jobs.

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