DE DION-BOUTON – year 1897
Manufacturer: De Dion-Bouton et Cie, Puteaux, His, France
Founded in 1882 roku firma De Dion-Bouton & Trepardoux initially produced steam vehicles. Victory for the Marquis de Dion in the Paris-Rouen motor racing on a steam engine of his own design, made the company popular. After the first world exhibition in Paris, where the Marquis de Dion had the opportunity to get acquainted with the Daimler vehicles on display, the company began intensive work on a gasoline power unit.
W 1889 de Dion filed for a patent for a high-speed internal combustion engine, which he then installed in a tricycle. Small, lightweight four-stroke engine with automatic intake valve and surface carburetor, in version with 1897 years achieved, from the displacement 211 cm3 power 1,3 kW (1,75 KM). The drive was transmitted via a gear to the rear axle, equipped with a differential. The tricycle developed considerable speed, up to approx. 40 km/h. Albert de Dion and Georges Bouton chose a three-wheeled vehicle, because the bicycle seemed to them not to be stable enough for the motor drive. The tricycle uses a high-voltage ignition system with a spark plug and an interrupter, invented at that time., powered by rechargeable battery. The interrupter was actuated by a cam, which ensured the reliable operation of the ignition system.
For the new tricycle, the name "motorcycle” and this is how its category was given in motor vehicle sports competitions. Until the popularity of the tricycle "motorcycle” contributed de Dion with his result in the Paris-Marseille-Paris races, in which he took (driving on Michelin tires) great, fourth place.
Further successes of de Dion-Bouton include the Exelbergrennen motorcycle racing in the Vienna Woods in 1899 year, where Arnold Spitz (later patron of the Graf company & pen) had the best time on a vehicle of this brand. It was not only the first competition in Austria, but the first independent motorcycle racing in the world.
The de Dion tricycle spread quickly throughout Europe and were produced under license by many companies, especially English and German.