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Classic Velocity Blog

Filtering by Tag: Anker

Anker

Classic Velocity

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The Bielefeld region was a rich center of industry in the late 19th century, and gave birth to several industrial manufacturers that turned into motorcycle manufacturers. Among them are Durkopp, Goricke, Meister, and Rixe. Anker was another, but they had a softer entry into the production of motorcycles. Founded in 1876, they soon added cash registers and bicycles to their sewing machines, and were content with those through both wars. They did produce a motorized bicycle as early as 1902 equipped with a Fafnir engine. Later motorized bicycles were fitted with Fichtel & Sachs engines, but they remained more of an incidental side business. One Anker bicycle innovation that never caught on was the "sickle" fork, so named because of its shape which allowed some suspension travel at the front. Although distinctive, this feature was not deemed solid enough for the suspension needs of a motorcycle.

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In 1949, they began to produce small displacement motorcycles that were equipped with both Sachs, and JLO engines. The first was a 125, but they quickly added variations from 50 cc to 350cc. Anker machines were solid and reliable, but they were competing in a very crowded space, and struggled to make a profit. Their assets were purchased by PAMAG, a subsidiary of Paderborn in 1952 which continued to produce machines under the Anker brand. PAMAG was in turn purchased by Pantherwerke AG in 1953, and the Anker brand survived on mopeds for a few more years before being retired. 

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On the Trail of the Panther

Classic Velocity

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Panther is one of those brands that seem to have been used by a motorcycle manufacturer on almost every continent. England, France, Indonesia, Argentina, etc. In this case, Pantherwerke AG of Madgeburg began producing motorcycles equipped with Fichtel & Sachs engines in 1896, making it among the earliest manufacturers. However, bicycles and sewing machines were also among the early products. The firm stopped motorcycle production after WWI and resumed in the 1930s until WWII when they ceased motorcycle production again. After the war, it took some time to rebuild a new factory, but they resumed production in 1948. Small motorcycles and mopeds were the new products, powered once again by Fichtel & Sachs, but joined in some cases by ILO engines.

In the early 1950s, Panther developed a machine which was a cross between a motorcycle and a scooter. It had large wheels with a step-through design and ample storage. However, it was a strange looking machine, and never made it to production. In 1953, Panther acquired rival brand Anker and began to produce badge-engineered versions for each brand. Panthers were also produced in England under the brand Leopard Bobby, due to a conflict with the British P&M Panther. Models like the Panther KS150 and the KS175S sold well in Germany. However, tough economic times took their toll, and Panther eventually ended motorcycle production in 1962. Bicycle production continued and the Goricke brand was acquired (see Goricke). Panther remains in business today producing bicycles. 

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