Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau
350cc Type E - 1926
The convoluted history of the Diamant ("Diamond") marque began in 1903, with the production of lightweight bikes with single-cylinder and V-twin engines. In 1905, Tri-cars appeared with the space between the front wheels occupied by an armchair for the passenger. Motorcycle construction halted in 1908 and was not resumed until 1926.
The GnÃ¤dig era
Shortly after WWI, Franz GnÃ¤dig created Â– with the Krieger brothers Â– the KG 500 shaft-driven, overhead-valve single. After Cito (the maker of the KG) was taken over by Allright, GnÃ¤dig found himself on his own in Berlin, where in 1925, he created an ohv 350cc, which Diamant built in its factory at Sigmar-Schonau. GnÃ¤dig was appointed director of the firm in 1927. The engine was made by KÃ¼hne of Dresden, who also built the overhead-valve 500cc engine that was fitted in Diamant machines. British-built JAP engines were another option for Diamant.
Opel Takes Over
After a merger with Elite, Diamant was then acquired by the car maker Opel in 1928. Until 1930, Diamant built the 500 Motoclub Â– with a highly-original duralumin frame, built under license from Neumann-Neander Â– for the RÃ¼sselsheim giant, which had become part of General Motors in early 1929. In 1931, Diamant produced the prototype of the "EO" ("Elite-Opel") 350 and 500 range, with three overhead-valves per cylinder and the Neander name, which was designed by Richard KÃ¼chen. Between 1933 and the outbreak of WWII, the works made Fichtel-Sachs-engined autocycles of 75 and 98cc.
Engine: 343cc air-cooled KÃ¼hne single-cylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition
Power Rating: 17 hp @ 3,300 rpm
Fuel System: carburetor
Transmission: 3-speed hand-shift, chain primary and final drives
Suspension: Druid girder forks (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes: drum (front & rear)
Designed by engineer Franz GnÃ¤dig, this 350 was the best Diamant model to be built before the company was acquired by Opel.