Monday, April 27, 2020

1963 IWL Troll review

As briefly reported in Issue 1/1963, the first new "Troll l" scooter rolled off the assembly line of VEB Industriewerk Ludwigsfelde in January. The scooter "Berlin", which is an integral part of our street scene, has been replaced by a new development which offers considerably more in terms of driving comfort, driving performance, and driving safety. The starting point for this new development were demands for improved suspension, seating position and easier maintenance and repair options. In-depth studies of the city scooter "Berlin" showed that further development of the design was exhausted and a completely new development was necessary. To ensure trouble-free use, the greatest possible degree of standardization with the motorcycles of the VEB motorcycle factory in Zschopau was decisive for the technical design.

1. Frame
For the designers in Ludwigsfelde, guiding the choice of the chassis was the good experience that MZ has with the full-swing chassis of the large ES types (in addition, small types like the ES 125/150, were under development in Zschopau). This resulted in the design with front and rear long swing arms and the utilization of the shock absorbers of the ES 125/150 for the scooter "Troll l". In addition to the exceptional driving characteristics, this also has an economic benefit for our economy, which confirms the correctness of standardised development. With the spring travel of 100 mm for the rear wheel and 130 mm for the front wheel, the "Troll l" is at the top of all known vehicles of the same type.

The backbone of the new vehicle is a welded sheet metal frame that is manufactured in-house using our own welding systems. The basic profiles are welded in one operation by a modern multi-spot welding machine. This results in an absolute guarantee of flawless processing quality and economical production times. The front carrier, which comes from the MZ ES 125/150, and the rear body carrier are made of cast iron. The rear body support is also designed as a fender. The extremely torsion-resistant frame together with the hydraulically damped long swing arm suspension provide excellent driving characteristics of the "Troll l".

2. Motor
The MZ motors ES 125, ES 150 and RM 150/1 represent the modular series of the new standard motor. The RM 150/1 scooter motor is the only one equipped with a cooling fan. The performance of these motors could be further improved with further systematic development. Among other things, the connecting rod was improved with the use of a cage-guided needle bearing. The main bearings are externally lubricated by the gear oil from the clutch chamber, with the crankshaft seals now being located directly on the lifting discs. The alternator side is closed with a seal on the outside. The compensating holes required in the full lifting disks were sealed with plastic plugs to increase the pre-compression. To improve the thermal stability, light alloy composite cast cylinders with cast-in grey cast iron bushings are used, which are manufactured according to the Alfer method. The excellent heat dissipation for this type of cylinder enables operation with 0.03 mm piston clearance.

With the use of VK "Extra" (OZ 78) and the improved shape of the combustion chamber, the compression ratio could be increased to 9: 1, so that the RM 150/1 scooter engine now delivers 9.5 HP at a speed of 5500 rpm. Maximum torque is 1.25 kpm at 4000 rpm (Fig. 2). Intake and exhaust silencers have been carefully matched to the engine; the exhaust silencer especially has been completely redeveloped. The normal driving state diagram in Fig. 3 shows the gradation. The ratio of the primary chain drive has been changed to relieve the multi-disc clutch running in an oil bath. A new material is used for the primary chain, which guarantees a mileage of 25,000 km.

The housing cover shape was changed on the alternator side. Now you can get to the alternator by loosening just one screw and removing a small additional cover, which is particularly pleasant for making small adjustments on the way. The alternator is now vented through a plastic hose directly into the intake silencer.

3. Shape design and details
The rear hood has a modern three-part design, with quick-release, removable large side panels ensuring effortless access to the drive unit. Pictures 4 and 5 show the rear part with the side shells removed. The leg mudguards are high and wide and provide optimal dirt and weather protection. A comfortable, wide seat enables every driver to find the right seat position. It can be folded up to gives access to the control for the fuel tap. The fuel tank cap is also located under the seat. Other important details are the folding side stand and the exhaust completely hidden beneath the running board. Injuries from the hot exhaust, such as have previously occurred with the "Berlin" are therefore completely avoided.

There is a lockable box immediately behind the leg guards (Fig. 6). It offers plenty of space for storing tools, spares, etc. In addition, the anti-theft device, which is activated by a push button, is placed in this box.

The scooter "Troll 1" has become slightly higher than its predecessor "Berlin". This resulted from the large spring travel and the need to ensure sufficient ground clearance. However, the seating position is still within normal limits compared to other vehicles of the same type, although the slightly higher seating position is pleasant when driving. It gives the driver the impression of sitting on a motorcycle and gives extremely good contact with the road.

The accessories that are available commercially, such as luggage racks, unicycle trailers, etc., add to the vehicle’s versatility. The spare wheel is no longer supplied as standard but can be purchased as required. This fulfills numerous customer requests that reject the standard spare wheel as unnecessary ballast. In addition, it was found in tests of the frequency of breakdowns that a tyre puncture only occurred on average every 20,000 km, so that the constant carrying of a spare wheel did not appear to be necessary. An air pump is supplied as standard and is located in the upper part of the rear hood. Cautious drivers still have the option of taking their spare wheel with them.

The "Troll " is the first motor scooter with the asymmetrical dipped beam as standard! With a power consumption of 45/40 W and a light exit diameter of 136 mm, illuminating conditions of the road surface which were previously unknown in two-wheelers. Furthermore, this scooter has a flashing light and high-performance handlebar turn signals (15 W) as standard. A brake, tail and license plate light with a 95 mm light emission completes the electrical equipment.

4. Mileage
The powerful engine gives the vehicle a top speed that is still unknown in this class. With a max = 90 km/h, the character of the “Troll” touring scooter is a quick and easy way to cover long distances.

The equally high torque ensures fast driving and fast acceleration. Conditions that bring the well-known great advantages to a two-wheeled vehicle in road traffic. 60 km/h are achieved from a standing start after 11.6 seconds and 80 km/h after 23 seconds. The fuel consumption is shown in Figure 7. Fuel consumption for regular road use has a favorable value of 3 to 4.41 / 100 km. The extremely rigorous testing of the "Troll 1", which was carried out in a non-stop three-shift operation in 1961 and 1962, demonstrates the maturity of this design and the quality of the product of vehicles produced. Finally, we explain how the name "Troll" came about. This name is the summary of the first letters from the word combination "Touring-roller-Ludwigsfelde". It is to be hoped that the "Troll" confirms itself as the good spirit of its owners.

This is my English translation of the 1963 KFZ review of the IWL Troll. The original can be found here:

Come with me for a quick walk around my 1964 IWL Troll scooter.

For more information about these interesting East German scooters and the restoration story of my example, check out the blog posts here:

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

1994 Irmscher Selectra - a two-stroke hybrid

Being the owner of a two-stroke powered motorcar, I have always believed that a two-stroke hybrid engine offers an effective solution to the problems of hybrid-electric vehicles. Modern two-stroke motors, combined with low smoke synthetic oils, can be made to run with significantly reduced emissions. A small capacity engine would enough to keep the electric motor fully charged and therefore significantly extending the range of the vehicle. The two-stroke engine would not need to be running all the time and would only kick in to keep the batteries charged.

Of course, I'm not the only person to have thought of this. In 1994 the German automotive tuning company Irmscher unveiled a hybrid-electric car at the Geneva Motor Show. The potential return of a two-stroke car to the market attracted the interest of the Auto-Union Veteranen Club, who featured a write up by Hubert Bertha in their October 1994 magazine. Below is my translation of the original German article into English. The original magazine can be found here:

"Two new two-stoke engine cars were presented at this year's Geneva Motor Show. The tuning company Irmscher developed the so-called hybrid car. The small petrol engine is used as a supplement to charge the electric generator which drives two asynchronous electric motors.

The petrol engine, a 90 cubic centimetre two-stroke, operates via an injection system with a catalytic converter. This environmentally friendly engine consumes only one litre per 100 kilometres.
The H 301 was developed by the Essen-based Finna Esoro in Switzerland, and is equipped with a parallel drive. Both motors, the electric drive and the petrol engine, are used alternatively depending on driving conditions. The petrol engine is also a modern two-stroke engine.
Both vehicles are still prototypes. lrmscher and Esoro are waiting for manufacturers to take over series production."

Neither the Irmscher or Esoro cars ever made it into production. Irmscher continue to customize electric vehicles and offer their own electric sportscar -
Esoro appears to still exist too -

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Australian Motor Manual April 1951 Motor Show Edition

If there is one thing that corona virus lockdown has done, it's given me time to work on projects and sort through masses of automobilia that I have collected over the years, put it in order and scan here. This is a good example.

Several years ago at an antiques fair I stumbled across a box of very yellow, very poor condition motoring magazines. Their condition was so bad that I walked on after a cursory glance, but then something caught my eye. The cover of one magazine mentioned the 1951 Melbourne Motor Show. Tatra showcased the Tatraplan at that show so I wondered if it was mentioned in the magazine. It was, so I purchased the lot for $5.

Australian Motor Manual was an automotive trade magazine (no longer extant). This special pre-motor show edition presents highlights of what is expected at the coming motor show. New cars on the Australian market are documented, including the Tatraplan. In addition to the motor show report, there are interesting reports about motoring developments during this important period.

In this edition:
  • Motoring News
  • Previewing the 1951 Melbourne Motor Show
  • Transition in Transport - Austin Motor Company
  • The new Alvis 
  • Aston-Martin
  • Henschel diesel engines
  • Austin's new sports roadster
  • Austin A90
  • Armstrong Siddeley
  • Bentley's on view
  • Buick, better than ever
  • Bristol, Britain's best continental type
  • Luxurious Chevrolet
  • Citroen reaches a new level of popularity
  • Daimler retains its dignity
  • Dodge and De Soto
  • Delage, Delahaye
  • Three different Fiats
  • Fords of all sizes but few for sale
  • Hillman - most attractive small car
  • Introducing the Hartnett
  • Australian Holden
  • American Hudson
  • English Humber
  • Ever prominent Jaguars
  • Jowett Javelin, an astonishing performer
  • Lagonda
  • Lanchester with fluid transmission
  • Lea Francis
  • Mercedes - back after years
  • Morgan Plus 4 with Vanguard motor
  • Morris 
  • Oldsmobile for looks
  • Plymouth, one of America's big three best sellers
  • Peugeot with overdrive
  • Pontiac
  • Renault can overtake in traffic
  • Riley
  • Rover
  • Simca
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Singer
  • Studebaker
  • Standard Vanguard
  • Skoda
  • Sunbeam Talbot
  • Triumph
  • Tatraplan
  • 1951 Wolsleys
  • Vauxhall
  • How do they go? An analysis of performance of some leading post-war cars
  • Birth of the Australian car
  • Training of engineers
  • Sales of new cars - last year's registrations
  • Maps of Australia
  • Holidaying in Australia
  • What you should know about Horsepower
  • Landrover, now convertible to a covered wagon
  • Trucks at the show
  • Tractors and diesels
  • Overseas developments
  • Motorcycle prices
  • Comparing car sales


Review of the Tatraplan in the February 1951 edition