1952 Rex FM50 Hilfsmotor

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The Rex

The Rex is probably my favourite German cyclemotor. I’ve always been a sucker for engines mounted over the front wheel with tank on the handlebars, probably because it looks to me the most like the original old turn-of-the-century pioneer motorcycles.

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…Our 1950s cyclemotors are, in effect, really just a postwar version of those earliest prototype motorcycles.

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Along with those pioneer-type looks of a front-mounted engine come various ‘pioneer-type’ disadvantages: there’s no clutch, and the front end takes a bit of getting used to as it’s considerably heavier than usual.

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Many cycle-attachments were not produced for long enough for their design flaws to be ironed out and updated; and many of the early postwar machines such were still more-or-less prototypes. However, most of the German machines were based on sound design technology and well-built – don’t forget that the Cyclemaster was originally a German invention. Despite its old-fashioned appearance the Rex is a well-made engine…

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…and, it would seem, is so light that a woman can carry it under one arm without even ruffling her clothes.

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1952 Rex FM50

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Here’s my 1952 Rex FM50.

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This model is the rarer – and faster – 49cc Rex.

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This is the only front-mounted Rex engine that had a clutch.

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I must admit I was inspired by the previous advertisement showing a woman carrying her Rex under her arm. So I carried my Rex up the steps to photograph it on the upper walkway at Madeira Drive. It was surprisingly light.

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Published on August 18, 2008 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  

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