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Gottlieb Daimler graced the world with his presence in 1834 in the town of Schorndorf Wartenburg, Germany. Growing up he studied at Polytechnic in Stuttgart and apprenticed as a gunsmith. Luckily for the modern day biker, he was a curious man and wanted to increase his understanding of engineering, he set out on a journey to France that would eventually lead him to create the first gas powered motorcycle. The predecessor to the dreams of many and to the lifestyle enjoyed by those of us fortunate enough to have found love on two wheels.

two were so guarded in their development that even their families were unaware of what the two were up to in the greenhouse. Then something that any of us living in a small town can relate to happened… when you don’t have the inside scoop on what’s going down…you create your own reality, and of course spread it far and wide. Eventually a suspicious gardener, unable to convince the two men to divulge their secret, called in local law enforcement on suspicion of a money counterfeiting operation inside

Daimler’s work on the first gas powered engine began on the engine of JJ Lenoir in Paris and continued to the factory of Joseph Whitmore in Manchester. In 1872 Daimler settled into a position working for Nikolaus Otto at the Deutz-AG-Gasmotorenfabrik in Cologne, which at the time was the world’s largest manufacturer of stationary engines. It was here that Daimler met Wilhelm Maybach. Maybach was a designer, and would quickly become Daimler’s closest friend and co-conspirator. Daimler and Maybach spent their time focusing on gas engine development and partnered up in the business in 1882.

the converted greenhouse. Once the police were able to conduct their search, which turned up only tools and some drawings, the partners were allowed to continue their work uninterrupted.

In 1885 Daimler patented what is generally recognized as the prototype of the modern day gas engine. The so called “grandfather clock” set up had an enclosed crank case on which the air-cooled cylinder was mounted in an upright position. The single cylinder engine weighed in at a mere 132 pounds with a displacement of 264 cubic centimeters and developed an output of 0.5 horsepower at 650 rpm. This model’s intake valve Daimler and operated Maybach set automatically, up shop in a and the greenhouse exhaust valve that they was actuated converted by curved into a fully groove functioning control in workshop the flywheel. in Stuttgart. Daimler was The confident greenhouse that this became prototype’s the refuge low weight of the two and compact engineers. size ensured They worked its suitability day and for installing night in in vehicles. complete secrecy. The The next

20 - TRMI MARCH 2015

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Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa March 2015  
Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa March 2015  

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