There is a great variety of unusual motorcycles developed in the world. Most of them, first of all, have and unusual look. In some cases, these bikes were developed for somebody's whims, and some bikes - for specific practical purpose.
Welbike is a poignant example of functional need in a specific model of unusual motorcycle. Welbike is designed as light portable motorcycle developed by Special Operations Executive (British commando-type reconnaissance). It was needed, first of all, for some special operations during the World War II.
Nothe that this type of iron horses was quite successful. Its practicallity was also proved by the fact that England produced 3853 bikes since 1942 to 1945.
Still, not all of them were involved in operations held by intelligence. Most of these unusual motorbikes were given at a disposal of paratroops.
Welbikes were actively used in Netherlands, where was the famous operation "Market Garden" held.
The bike was popular among soldiers. They applied a nickname "Famous James" to Welbike. Funny name, isn't it? The Welbike was equipped with 98 ccm 2-stroke engine with one cylinder. Due to air cooling system and one-speed transmission it was easy to use.
The motorcycle was meant mostly for secret missions. Many operations provided a paradrop of this light iron horse, which was put in cylindric container with diameter of 38 cm.
Welbike more liiks like moped, but we shouldn't forget that in times of WW II there were not so many motorbikes as nowadays. There were not many types of them, no mass high-powered engines as nowadays in the USA, Japan and Europe.
Soldiers assembled and started this unusual motorbike just in 15 seconds.
Welbike was light in weight (32 kg only). However, it had quite large paradrop - more than 3.5 l. The iron horse could easily speed up to 50 km/h.
3.7 l of fuel lasted 145 km without additional refuelling. Nowadays Welbike can be seen only in few cities of Europe. During the WW II, this iron horse was officially confirmed as military transport. One speed gearbox allowed easy using of the bike to every last soldier without specialist training.
With landing of diversionary bike, soldier could easily extract it from capsule and get it into working trim in seconds.
Today, the unusual motorbikes can be bought for large sums of money, because numbers of the surviving Welbikes are not great.