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Aermacchi 250 Wisconsin

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Electric with ties to Brooks heads to auction

1978 Mk II prototype. Photos courtesy RM

Industrial designer Brooks may be best known for his automotive but his pen also sketched ideas for tricycles and motorcycles. Exactly how involvement Stevens had with the Transitron Mk II electric motorcycle unclear, but the prototype did spend in his collection before the designer’s in 1995. Later this the Transitron Mk II prototype will the block in Amelia Island, bidders a chance to acquire a bit of both motorcycle and electric history.

When the Transitron Mk II appeared on the in 1978, it was full of innovative The concept of an electric motorcycle was new, but the Transitron Mk II was far more just an electric motor to a drive wheel; its 24-volt, Baldor electric motor was via a primary drive belt to a automatic transmission. This was linked to the rear wheel via a chain, and the setup reportedly the Transitron to reach a top speed in the of 50 MPH while maintaining a range-friendly motor speed of just RPM.

Power came from a of four deep-cycle lead-acid which, when fully reportedly provided a run time of up to six (though it’s not clear if is at a sustained motor speed of RPM). They also a significant amount of weight to the which tipped the scales at 628 pounds. Weight being the of acceleration, the Mk II gained speed at a leisurely pace, even the proprietary four-speed automatic and period reports claim a run from 0-30 MPH took six and seven seconds.

A Harley-Davidson frame housed the batteries, electric motor and transmission, and of the bodywork (including a faux tank”) also came Harley-Davidson’s parts bin. The and drum brakes were units as well, but that’s Harley-Davidson’s participation stopped. Transitron was actively seeking and development partners, Harley showed no interest in pursuing or development of an electric motorcycle.

Aermacchi 250 Wisconsin

As electric motorcycle forum relates, Brooks Stevens interest in the Transitron Mk II, and worked builder Steve Fehr to test the prototype. While built the bike in Honolulu, Stevens himself allegedly up some 360 miles of on-track of the prototype in Wisconsin, and the Transitron Mk II ended up in Stevens’s own transportation in Mequon, Wisconsin. Following … in 1995, the Transitron Mk II through the hands of a few collectors ending up at the Wheels Through Museum in North Carolina, on from its current owner.

Today, many would that the electric motorcycle is an whose time has come, but wasn’t the case in 1978. had difficulty finding investors in and it’s not clear if any Mk II models ever produced (or, for matter, if Fehr ever the $70,000 he’d spent on the development).

Mike Corbin, who’d an electric motorcycle land record in 1973, saw only success with his Corbin-Gentry motorcycle, launched in 1974, and if much publicity couldn’t buy what chance did an unknown like Transitron have? never a commercial success, the Mk II serve as a reminder that the of the second “electric age” exactly something new, and RM the bike will sell $25,000 and $35,000.

The Transitron Mk II cross the block as part of Amelia Island sale, takes place on Saturday, 8. For additional details, visit .

UPDATE (10.March): The Transitron Mk II for a price of $11,000, including fees.

Aermacchi 250 Wisconsin
Aermacchi 250 Wisconsin
Aermacchi 250 Wisconsin
Aermacchi 250 Wisconsin

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