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Victoria V35 Bergmeister

Victoria V35 Bergmeister motorcycle
We’d never heard of Victoria motorcycles until photographer Colleen Swartz sent in this shot. Victoria was a German company that closed in 1966: it originally produced bicycles, but in 1899 became one of the first motorcycle manufacturers. After WWI, the company specialized in bikes with horizontally opposed, twin-cylinder engines—similar to the BMW boxer—and in 1926 a supercharged Victoria broke the German speed record with a run of 104 mph. Victoria’s Nuremberg factory was all but destroyed during WWII, and when production eventually resumed, the company concentrated on two-stroke machines. The 348cc OHV Bergmeister (‘mountaineer’) was Victoria’s first four-stroke; unveiled in 1951, it didn’t actually go into production until 1953. Unfortunately, the complexity and production cost of this beautifully crafted machine led to Victoria’s demise. [Thanks to Colleen Swartz.]