Hercules

July 12, 2012

Hercules mopeds have this H logo on the headlight brackets

Welcome to Hercules mopeds, made in Germany by Nürnberger Hercules-Werke Gmbh, D-8500 Nurnberg Deutschland. Other German-made US-model mopeds are Kreidler, Kynast (Flying Dutchman), Solo (Odyssey).

Hercules mopeds have several brand names. In Europe they are called Hercules or DKW or Zweirad Union, in the USA they are known as Sachs, and in Canada and northern USA they are branded as Eagle. There are likely other brands of Hercules mopeds worldwide.

Hercules-made mopeds all have Sachs engines, made in Germany by Fichtel + Sachs AG, D-8720 Schweinfurt Deutschland. The Sachs brand mopeds, sold in the USA, all had Sachs 504/1 or 505/1 one-speed automatic engines. The Eagle brand all had Sachs 505/1, with the Sachs logos removed to conceal the identity.  

1936 Hercules Liliput with
98cc Fichtel & Sachs engine

Hercules History: In 1886 Carl Marschtz founded a company to build bicycles, and adopted the company name Hercules in 1900. Here is a excerpt condensed from https://herculesmuseum.wordpress.com/hercules-werke-ag-nurnberg-germany/

Hercules made motorcycles since 1903, cyclemotors, mopeds, scooters, and cars. The main focus in the early 1900’s was on motorcycles with small capacity engines. They began to increase to larger machines in the thirties and even saw some competition and long distance endurance success. They made various commercial vehicles between 1905 and 1928. In 1932, when tax reductions made 3-wheeler cars profitable, they made the Hercules Coupe, powered by a 200cc ILO engine. It was only in production for one year.

Hercules and Sachs: The partnership of Hercules and Sachs began as early as 1905, when Ernst Sachs invented the Torpedo brake hub which provided a revolution in bicycle manufacture – and in bicycle sales. Hercules involvement with Sachs led to the development of a very refined moped engine just before WW2. With the declaration of war in 1939, there had been no time to develop this ‘Saxonette’ further. But DKW engineers re-designed it during the war. Their plans were impounded by the British after the war, and led to the arrival of the Cyclemaster, a rear wheel and engine unit for bicycles.

1959 Hercules Prior Sport

After the War, Hercules/Sachs were ideally set up for distribution abroad, and most Sachs engined mopeds used the Hercules name. Interestingly, Great Britain already had a well-established bicycle manufacturing company called Hercules, that was not connected to the German marque. When The British Hercules company introduced their own moped in 1954, they had to change the name from ‘Hercules Grey Wolf’ to ‘Her-cu-Motor.’

In the 1950’s and 60’s Hercules made a variety of beautiful curvy mopeds and scooters. They merged with Zweirad Union after being purchased by ZF Sachs in 1963. In 1974 Hercules became the first company to offer a Wankel-rotary-engined motorcycle for sale to the general public. Here is more http://cybermotorcycle.com/euro/brands/hercules.htm  and more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercules_(motorcycle)


German Speed Versions: In Germany, there are three kinds of mopeds:German flag

1. Mofas are 25 km/h (16 mph), no licence required, minimum age 15, no passengers.

         “Mofa” is short for motorisertes fahrrad (motorized bicycle).

2. Mopeds are 40 km/h (26 mph),  drivers license required (any class), minimum age 16. 

3. Mokicks are kick-start mopeds with no pedals 

         This is why Sachs 504 and 505 engine cylinders say “40km” or “25km”.


Hercules Models

The model numbers are confusing. Here is the explanation.

1970-1977 Hercules P1, M1, M2 (sheet frame)

Hercules sheet frame

1973-75 sheet-frame models
Hercules P1, M1, M2

These models all have stamped sheet-metal frames with Sachs 504/1 engines. The pedals are part of the frame. There are two chains, motor and pedal.

70-77 model 0  engine    for sale in
M1-508M 000 504/1B   Germany
M2-504M 000 504/1B   Germany
P1 -505P 000 504/1A    Germany
M1-DK 00000 504/1DK  Denmark
M1-CDN 0000 504/1A   Canada
M2-S 000000 504/1BS  Sweden
M2-N 000000 504/1A    Norway

1970 DKW (Euro model)

M1-NL 00000 504/1NL   Netherlands
P1 -CDN 000  504/1A    Canada
P1 -F 000000 504/1A    France
P1 -505P exp 504/1A    export
P1 -505P J 00 504/1A    Japan
P1 -505P USA 504/1BS   USA
P1 -506M  CH 504/1ACH Switzerland
P1 -505P   GB 504/1A    Great Britian

 

1974 DKW P1 (Euro)

This says in 1975 the US model of Hercules sheet-frame had a 504/1BS engine, 1 hp 20mph. The Canada model had a 504/1A engine 1.8 hp 25-30mph. The two 1976 models shown below agree with that. The 1975-76 USA model was branded “Hercules” but the Canada model was called “Moppett”. 

1976 Hercules P1 (for USA)
Sachs 504/1B engine (20mph)
big sprocket, thin exhaust header

1976 Moppett P1-CDN (Canada)
Sachs 504/1A engine (25-30mph)
small sprocket, thick exhaust header

 

 

 

1976 Hercules M2 (Euro)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1973-77 Hercules M4, M5, P3, HR2 (tube frame)

Hercules tube frame

1973-75 tube frame models

These models all have tube frames with Sachs 505/1 engines. The pedals are part of the engine. There is one chain.

73-75 model  engine   for sale in
M4-511 000 505/1B   USA and others
M5-634 000 505/2B
P3 -513 000 505/2C
HR2-633 00 505/2B

 

 In 1976 the US DOT adopted new standards for mopeds. US states chose their on speed limits. In 1977 Hercules mopeds were imported to the US in 20mph (25km motor) and 25/30mph (40km motor) versions. The 30mph states sold the 25mph versions.

In the July 1977 book “Complete Book of Mopeds” it says “Just beginning to be brought into the United States, the German made line of mopeds called Hercules uses the well respected Sachs engine. Four models are presently available in the United States.” It goes on to describe the four models, 3 tube-frame-single-chain and 1 sheet-frame-dual-chain. M4 with chrome gas tank. HR2, an M4 with chrome crash bars, high exhaust pipe. An M4 variant economy model, less chrome, and a P1 sheet frame. Those other models are not in any internet images, so they did not sell much, if at all. The majority of 1977 Hercules for sale in the US were M4, in several flavors.

US Models:
1975:  M4 505/1B (20mph), P1 504/1BS (20mph)
1976:  M4 505/1B (20mph), P1 504/1BS (20mph)
1977:  M4 505/1B (20mph), P1 504/1BS (20mph), M4 505/1A (25mph)

1977 Hercules M4 (USA), 505/1A 25mph
note thicker exhaust pipe & smaller rear sprocket

1977 Hercules M4 (USA), 505/1B 20mph
note the thin exhaust header & big sprocket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1977 Hercules M4

1977 Hercules M5 (Euro model)

 

You can tell a US model moped by the side reflectors and the lights. A Euro model has no side reflectors and the lights are smaller. Here they are side by side.

In 1977 the importer was Sachs Motor Corporation of USA, headquartered at 909 Crocker Rd, Westlake OH 44145, and later at 6401 Regio St, Buena Park CA 90620. But the bikes were not called Sachs until late 1978.

 

Myron’s Sachs Info Sheets, click to enlarge

 Info Sachs 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info Sachs 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1978 brochure by Sachs Motors Corporation of USA and United Moped, Sachs western distributor

 

This flyer discloses the true identities. The Westlake is a P1 model and the Balboa is a M4 model.

 

1978-79 Sachs Westlake, Balboa

1978 Sachs ad

Sachs Balboa Ad

In 1978 the US models were given American names.

The P-I (P1) with stamped sheet frame was called Westlake, after the town of Westlake Ohio where Sachs USA was headquartered. The engine covers changed from grey to black.

The M-I (M4) with tube frame and separate gas tank was called Balboa, after Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula, in Newport Beach California. Here is a Sachs Balboa ad showing the historic Balboa Island Ferry that holds three cars and crosses the Newport Harbor channel every five or ten minutes. Myrons Mopeds had several group rides where 30 or 40 mopeds crammed onto that auto ferry. Each bike paid 25¢ for the thrill of floatation. 

1978 Sachs Model List

United Moped was located in Fountain Valley, near Newport Beach. They were also the US distributor for Foxi mopeds, both Sparta made in Holland, and KTM made in Austria.

In December 1978, United Moped sent out this Sachs dealer price list to it’s dealers, who were already selling Foxi mopeds, both Sparta and KTM types. The list shows the official model names. The Westlake (Hercules P1) was either P-I with spoke wheels or P-II with “snowflake” mag wheels. The Balboa (Hercules M4) was either M-I with spoke wheels or M-II with mags. 

 

1978-79 Sachs Westlake P-I (P1)
30mph version with 504/1D engine
 by Sunday Morning Motors

1978-79 Sachs Westlake P-II (P1)
30mph version with 504/1D engine
 by Sunday Morning Motors

 

After 1977 there were three USA speed versions:
30mph  504/1D, 505/1D
25mph  504/1A, 505/1A
20mph  504/1B, 505/1B

 

 

 

 

 

 

1978 Sachs Balboa M-I (M4)
25mph version with 504/1A engine

1978 Sachs Balboa M-II (M4)
30mph version with 504/1D engine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1979-80 Sachs Suburban, 1980 Sachs Sundancer

In 1980 the Westlake was re-named Sundancer. The engine covers remained black. The tail light changed from ULO to CEV. The exhaust changed from black to all chrome. The CEV round chrome switches changed to CEV black plastic.

1980 Sachs Sundancer

1980 Sachs Sundancer

1980 Sachs Sundancer with mags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1979-80 Sachs Suburban
30mph version with 504/1D engine

1979-80 Sachs Suburban 
25mph version with 504/1A engine

In 1979 the Balboa M-II with mags was re-named Suburban. The tail light changed from ULO to CEV. The engine covers changed from grey to black. The exhaust changed from black to all chrome. The CEV round chrome switches changed to CEV black plastic.

 

 

 

 

1980 Sachs Seville, Prima, Prima G3

1980 Sachs Seville with oil injection

 

1980 Sachs Prima

1980 Sachs Prima G3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 1980 new requirements for moped manufacturers came into effect. Motor vehicle manufacturers worldwide were required to be registered, and to have a manufacturer code which is the first 3 digits of the new 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number. Many other requirements for noise, safety, and labeling came into effect. Decreasing sales and increasing regulations drove most European moped manufacturers out of the US after 1980. They stockpiled 2 or 3 years worth of 1980 models. Shaun’s dad’s shop Royal Cyclery sold 1980 Sachs Sundancers from 1981 to 1984. The same thing happened for the other makes. They all avoided making 1981, 82, 83 models. Moped shops throughout the USA sold 1980 models mostly, during 1981, 82 and 83.

1981 “Sachs” G4 (made in Taiwan) 

This bike is not a Sachs (Hercules). It is not even a re-make of one. It is a completely different bike, with the same engine. It is a Taiwan made Jui Li that uses the Sachs name. Like the real Sachs, it also has a German-made Sachs 505/1D engine. This bike has many other names. Whatever sounded cool to Americans, and helped sell the product, was what many Taiwan mopeds were called.

1981 “Sachs” G4, made in Taiwan by Jui Li

1980 General 5 Star, made in Taiwan by Jui Li

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1982 Bombardier-Hercules Eagle I, II, III

Somehow Bombardier, in Canada, had Hercules make the bikes anonymously, for just one year, maybe a single batch. The H logo is still on the gas cap and the headlight brackets. The Eagle owners manual is available online http://projectmopedmanual.info/Manual_HTML/sachs.html but it does not say the actual manufacturer or representative. It only says it was printed in Canada. The blank ID plate shown has both English and French language, so it is Canada compliant at least, and maybe also USA compliant. Many of these bikes were sold in the Great Lakes states Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan. But none or almost none were in California. So Eagles are anonymous and regional. 

1982 Eagle I

1982 Eagle II

1982 Eagle III

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1980’s: While the last production year for US-model Hercules mopeds was 1980, sales of 1980 models continued into 1981 and beyond. The Motorcyclist Magazine 1981 Buyers Guide http://www.myronsmopeds.com/category/1981-buyers-guide/  lists several “1981” Sachs models: Sundancer $665, Suburban $740, Prima $793, Seville $892, Prima G3 $993 est.

Bike maker Nürnberger Hercules-Werke stopped supplying bikes to the US after 1982. But engine maker Fichtel & Sachs continued to make engines for Columbia (USA), KKM (USA), Sparta (Netherlands), Jui Li (Taiwan), Her Chee (Taiwan). The bike makers had Fichtel & Sachs engine parts and service manuals. The last US-model with an actual Sachs 505/1D engine is a KKM Mopet, 1988 to 1990, made in Ohio USA. So the Sachs engines lasted 8 years longer than the Hercules-Sachs bikes, in the USA.  

The rise in popularity of well-made low-cost 50 or 80cc Japanese scooters like Honda Spree, Elite and Yamaha Razz, Riva plus the increased regulations for drivers licenses, registration, plus the lower price of gasoline, contributed to the last Sachs-Hercules moped shipped from Germany to the USA, in 1982, and the last Sachs moped engine shipped from Germany to USA in 1990.

The 1990’s: Hercules continued making the same sheet-frame and tube-frame type mopeds, for sale in Europe, until 2006.

1990’s Hercules Prima 2S (1-speed automatic)
1990’s Hercules Prima 3S (2-speed hand shift)

1990’s Hercules Prima 5S (2-speed hand shift)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2000’s: New clean air regulations came out in 2006 for 50cc bikes, in many places worldwide. That caused many 50cc two-stroke engines to be discontinued. A few years before that, in 2002 Handy Bikes in Columbus Ohio, considered importing a model like the 2002 Hercules Prima 5S, but with a 1-speed automatic Sachs 505/1D engine, side reflectors, brake light, and turn signals. It would have been called “Sachs Suburban” just like 1980. But the cost was too much. It would have sold in 2003 for $1800, comparable to a 2003 Tomos for $1050 or $1200.   

 


Hercules Mopeds Speed Versions

Sachs 505/1 A,B,D specs
from 1980 Repair Manual

For Hercules mopeds, made from 1975 to 1980, that sold new in the USA, here are the things that determine the speed version: cylinder-and-crankcase, exhaust header pipe, intake pipe, carburetor, air filter cover, and rear sprocket.

Exhaust header 20 OD
20 x 350 exposed outer
20 x 250 inside muffler

Ex. Header 26-24 OD
26 x 400 exposed outer
24 x 200 inside muffler

Exhaust Header 26 OD
26 x 360 exposed outer
26 x 100 inside muffler

 

 

 

 

 

How to tell: The cylinder says “25km” or “45km”. The cylinder head fins are either slanted (A,B) or straight (D). The exhaust front pipe is thick or thin. The carburetor says “85/10…” or 85/12…”. The air filter inlet hole is big or small. The rear sprocket is big or small. Find the model row in the table that has the same sizes and ID numbers, to determine what speed version your Hercules moped is.

This information was not easily available. Sources are all factory manuals, parts, service, and owners.

US-models
sheet frame:
Engine
Power
Cylinder
Version
Intake
ID mm
Bing
Carburetor
Air filter
inlet ID
Ignition
timing
Header
pipe OD
Sprockets
Tires
1977-78 P1
1978-79 Westlake
17mph
504/1B
25km 12.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 50T
2.00 - 17
1975-78 P1
1978-79 Westlake
20mph
504/1B-A
1.5 hp
25km 14.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 50T
2.00 - 17
1977-78 P1
1978-79 Westlake
25mph
504/1A-B
1.5 hp
40km 12.0 85/12/101
#52 jet
16mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
26-24 11 x 38T
2.00 - 17
1977-78 P1
1978-79 Westlake
30mph
504/1A-A
1.8 hp
40km 14.0 85/12/101
#52 jet
16mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
26-24 11 x 38T
2.00 - 17
1979-80 Sundancer
20mph
504/1B
1.0 hp
25km 14.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 50T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Sundancer
25mph
504/1A
1.5 hp
40km 14.0 85/12/101A
#52 jet
16mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
26-24 11 x 45T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Sundancer
30mph
504/1D
2.0 hp
14.5 85/12/104A
#58 jet
16mm 1.5-2mm
(19-22°)
26-26 11 x 45T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Seville
20mph oil injection
504/1B-I
1.0 hp
25km 14.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 50T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Seville
25mph oil injection
504/1A-I
1.5 hp
40km 14.0 85/12/101A
#52 jet
16mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
26-24 11 x 45T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Seville
30mph oil injection
504/1D-I
2.0 hp
14.5 85/12/104A
#58 jet
16mm 1.5-2mm
(19-22°)
26mm 11 x 45T
2.25 - 17

tube frame:
1975-77 M4
1978-79 Balboa
20mph
505/1B
1.5 hp
25km 14.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 50T
2.25 - 17
1977-78 M4
1978-79 Balboa
30mph
505/1A
1.8 hp
40km 14.0 85/12/101
#52 jet
16mm 1.5-2mm
(19-22°)
26mm 11 x 40T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Suburban
1979-80 Prima
20mph
505/1B
1.5 hp
25km 14.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 50T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Suburban
1979-80 Prima
25mph
505/1A
1.8 hp
40km 14.0 85/12/101A
#52 jet
16mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
26-24 11 x 45T
2.25 - 17
1979-80 Suburban
1979-80 Prima
30mph
505/1D
2.0 hp
14.5 85/12/104A
#58 jet
16mm 1.5-2mm
(19-22°)
26mm 11 x 45T
2.25 - 17
1980-80 Prima G3
20mph
505/1B
25km 14.0 85/10/101
#50 jet
13mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
20mm 11 x 46T
2.50 - 17
1980-80 Prima G3
25mph
505/1A
40km 14.0 85/12/101A
#52 jet
16mm 2.5-3mm
(25-28°)
26-24 11 x 46T
2.50 - 17
1980-80 Prima G3
30mph
505/1D
14.5 85/12/104A
#58 jet
16mm 1.5-2mm
(19-22°)
26mm 11 x 46T
2.50 - 17