Laurin Klement / Slavia - 1,25 hp Model B
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Laurin Klement / Slavia D2-492-87-16
Photo ou archives : H. Krackowizer

Capacity : 184
Model : 1,25 hp Model B
Production : 1900 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


1.5 hp Slavia Model B - 1900

First of a famous make

Engineer Vaclav Laurin and businessman Vaclav Klement joined together on January 1, 1896, to build bicycles under the name Laurin-Klement (or, in their native Bohemia, Slavia).

Bettering the Werner Brothers

On their return from a trip to Paris, where they had closely examined the Werner "motocyclentte," the two Vaclavs decided to venture into this new form of transport and build a more robust motorcycle than that of the Werner brothers, bearing in mind the atrocious state of the roads in Bohemia, then a northern crownland of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It became Czechoslovakia after the breakup of the empire in 1918.

Born With the Century

After building their first prototype at the end of 1898, L & K launched into production with the Model B during 1900. This very basic motorcycle was notable for its ignition system: It abandoned the dangerous hot-tube ignition in favor of a spark plug and a low-tension Bosch magneto, curiously located beneath the engine and driven by chain. Transmission was direct by leather belt and the engine had the conventional tum-of-the-century feature of an automatic intake valve opened by the suction of the piston descending in the cylinder. The L & K single was built in several capacities, from 184 to 500cc, the last of which was the Model L 3 hp of 1903. Well-received, the first Laurin-Klement model was built in quantity and sold under various names apart from "Laurin-Klement." It was Slavia in its Bohemian homeland, "Republic" in the rest of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and "Achilles" in Germany.


Engine: 184cc (60x65mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke; Bosch magneto

Power Rating: 1.5 hp

Valves: automatic intake, side exhaust

Fuel System: surface carburetor

Transmission: direct-belt drive; auxiliary pedal gear

Suspension: none (optional telescopic forks) (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: optional band (front); band (rear)

Wheels: cycle-type clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 106 lb

Maximum Speed: 20 mph

Fitted with the revolutionary magneto ignition, the 1900 L & K also bad a surface carburetor, a dangerous device warmed by the exhaust pipe to evaporate the gasoline!

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

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