Photo ou archives : Veaudequin
685cc / EML Sidecar - 1992
The biggest two-stroke single
The first World Motocross Sidecar Championship in 1980 was won by the German Bohler-MÃ¼ller team. Not content with having scored points in every championship round Â– an unequaled exploit Â– they let the name of the man who had prepared their 980cc Yamaha be known throughout the discipline.
So Friedheim Zabel, former solo rider and 1977 National Motocross Sidecar Champion of Germany, began his career as importer and preparer of Wasp chassis and their 1000 cc twin-cylinder power unit, with which Reinhard Bohler was so successful in GP racing.
Switch to Two-Strokes
In 1984, Zabel switched to the preparation of the two-stroke singles that were beginning to make their presence felt in sidecar motocross. He began by working on the Maico 500cc single, whose displacement was increased to 610cc, then created, in 1988, his own Zabel engine. Assembled the night before the German GP, his latest creation won the race in the capable hands of the Netterscheid-Kassold team. Inspired by the Maico unit, the 620cc Zabel engine benefitted from being built within the limitations of the discipline. Two years later, Friedheim Zabel presented a second version of his engine, with a displacement of 685cc. With a 100 mm bore piston made by Mahle, the Zabel 685 engine was the biggest series-production, single-cylinder two-stroke. With a power rating of 82 hp and lots of torque, this engine was a benchmark in the discipline, and its creator was impatient to achieve his ultimate goal the world title on three wheels.
Engine: 685cc air-cooled single-cylinder; Motoplar. electronic ignition
Power Rating: 82 hp
Valves: two-stroke; Hewa exhaust system
Fuel System: carburetor
Transmission: 5-speed, chain final drive
Suspension: EML chassis; leading-link (front); swing arm (side and rear)
Brakes: disc (from & rear); no sidecar braking
Wheels: 21 inch (front); 1.8 inch (rear); 19 inch (sidecar)
Weight: 66 lb (engine); total 363 lb
The Zabel engine debuted at Holzerlingen in 1988, where it was victorious in a heat.