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Classic Velocity Blog

Rixe

Classic Velocity

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The Bielefeld region of Germany was a rich source of manufacturers. In the early 1900s it included typewriters, sewing machines, bicycles, and motorcycles (see Meister, Goricke, Durkopp). It was in this stronghold of manufacturing that August Rixe decided to start bicycle manufacturing in 1921. Things progressed well and Rixe decided to introduce a motorized bicycle in 1935. Although the products were well received in tough times, war soon ended production, and it was 1948 before machines were once again produced.

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Rixe returned to using Ilo or Fichtel & Sachs engines in a variety of their own frames. Their largest model was called the Senator and it featured at 250cc Ilo engine, but also popular was the more sporting KTS-125 featuring twin carburetors. In the early 1950s, ricks introduced new models such as the 175 and an updated Senator which featured swing arm rear suspension, telescopic front forks, elegant fuel tanks, and attractive paint schemes. Towards the end of the 1950s when everybody was facing the general decline of motorcycles relative to cars, Rixe employed a smart strategy which allowed it to survive. It had developed a line of 50cc mopeds which it began to promote heavily. Sales remained strong on the very low end and Rixe emerged as a survivor in the 1960s. 

The company decided to concentrate on the small displacement end of the market and continued to produce very good machines under 100cc into the 1960s and 70s. The company finally ran into financial problems in the early 1980s, and was sold to a Chinese company in 1984.