PAGE 41. German Cyclemotors: 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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Rex FM31 & FM34

If you’ve read Page 40, you’ll already know that the pre-war prototype for the Rex was the Cockerell Record. I assume that when there was suddenly a demand in postwar Germany for cycle-attachment engines, Fritz Gockerell’s designs for the 60cc Record were rehashed and, in 1948, the Rex FM31 was born (Fahrrad Motor 31cc). Rex’s subsequent front-mounted model was the FM34.

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The photo above is of my friend Patrick’s Rex FM31, mounted onto a Miele cycle. Pat restored both the engine and the bike. He had quite a surprise when I found a Cyclaid for him at Beaulieu autojumble – Because when it arrived at his house near Paris we discovered that the engines are more-or-less identical, although of course the Cyclaid is rear-mounted.

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The Cyclaid

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Compare the Cyclaid engine with that of the Rex.

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This Cyclaid was complete and turning when I found it, but had not run for a long time. The delivery cycle required complete restoration. Pat has made an excellent job of them both, and they make an interesting pairing.

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Rex Vicoped and Zundapped

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Here’s a problem – all the information I’ve discovered on the internet about the Rex Vicoped and Zundapped is in Swedish. My internet translator won’t do Swedish, so it’s not easy to write up a description of these models. About the only thing I can tell you – and this is what you call an ‘educated guess’ – is that they were supplied for the Swedish market
🙂

The Rex Vicoped

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The Rex Zundapped

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Rex Scootoped

This rather handsome beast is a Rex Scootoped. I don’t know who owns it but, being as daft about obscure scooters as I am about obscure cyclemotors, I had to add its photos to this Rex page when I discovered them on the internet.

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Rex cyclemotor spares are available from – http://www.kessram.com

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1949 Rex FM31 and Puch Bicycle

I recently obtained this earlier Rex as part of an exchange; it is on a 1949 Puch bicycle.

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