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[img]The Hercules company was founded in 1886 by Carl Marschutz. It began producing motorcycles in 1904. Hercules’ main focus in its early years was on light motorcycles. They typically used engines from outer manufacturers. Larger Hercules machines appeared in 30s. In this time the company had some successes in sport. In 1932 they offered a three-wheel car (to the left) but it was built only for a year. WWII brought heavy damage to the Hercules factory; it was bombed in 1945. Production did not resume until 1950. The company developed a number of new models and stuck with those models for many years which helped them survive a downturn in the German economy shortly after their release. Hercules became one of the largest motorcycle producing companies in Germany. In 1966 Hercules merged with Zweirad Union (together with DKW, Express and Victoria) and in 1969 it became part of Fichtel-Sachs company, the largest European manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycle engines in 50s and 60s. Many of them were used in the Hercules motorcycles, scooters and mopeds.

[img]In 1974, thanks to Sachs support, Hercules became the first company to offer a Wankel-engined motorcycle for sale to the general public. The W-2000 had a single-rotor air-cooled engine of 294cc that produced 25 bhp, later increased to 27 bhp (20 kW). Engine lubrication was by manually adding oil to the fuel in the tank. Two years later Hercules launched the W-2000 Injection in which engine lubrication was from a separate oil tank via a pump. In 1976 Hercules was sold to GKN group (Guest, Keen, Nettlefold). Now it's main activity is building scooters nad motorbikes up to 50cc.