Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio

10 photos

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Motorcycle of the year 1977: The Ultra II LC.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Tight in solo operation, the shock absorbers did not show any nakedness when riding with a pillion passenger.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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More prestige device than cheap means of transport: The Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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The Hercules Ultra II LC with a single-cylinder two-stroke engine (25 HP).

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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The Ultra II LC combined quality, power and suitability for everyday use.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Fully equipped cockpit with GRP bikini lining and choke on the handlebar.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Luggage rack as standard, here with the original elastic strap.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Kick starter on the shift shaft.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Generously ribbed cylinder head despite water cooling.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio
Bilski

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Almost new condition: The Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC.

Hercules K 50 Ultra II LC in the studio

At the forefront of the moped clique

Content of

Whether in the race against the buddies on the way to the ice cream parlor or on the joyride with the beauty from the parallel class to the quarry pond: With the Ultra II LC you were right at the front of the moped clique.

In the mid-1970s, the future for German mopeds looked bright: Motorcycles were booming, but the Japanese had not yet arrived in all displacement classes. So far, Hercules, Zündapp, Kreidler and the like gave the youngsters the throttle grip, sales were flourishing. Established in 1976 Hercules presented the shrill, completely bright red K 50 Ultra, a new expansion stage was due in the next but one model year. 1978 got the Ultra water cooling and the suffix LC for “liquid cooled” to close the gap to Zündapps water-cooled top models since 1976. The manufacturers tried to outdo each other in terms of technical details and equipment refinements. The target audience initially also appreciated this model policy, the moped moved further and further away from the simple cheap means of transport and took the path towards the prestige device.

Cast wheels, luggage racks, water cooling

The fact that the small motorcycle market declined from 1977 onwards did not prevent the Nuremberg-based company from winning the “Motorcycle of the Year” award in its class with the Ultra series in the same and the following year. The Japanese pushed their way into the moped and moped market with power, but in the unrestricted 50s the top group Kreidler, Zündapp and Hercules were still among themselves. But instead of joining forces, the German manufacturers drove their competition to extremes with ever higher quality models, more and more gimmicks and thus ever higher prices.

At the end of 1978, for the 79 model year, the Ultra II LC came onto the market: instead of bright red from head to wheel, it was now more discreet with a silver or green paint set, a new chain guard and lockable helmet holder. Extensive cockpit, half-shell, disc brake, cast wheels, luggage rack, water cooling, all of this was already standard in the high-priced 50s. The Ultra’s double disc brake was more evidence of an effort to set itself apart than of a technical necessity.

“Wow, ey, the Hunnert Tacho!”

At 3750 marks, the “Herc” was the most expensive 50cc in 1978, but also took the lead in other areas: In a comparison test of water-cooled 50cc by MOTORRAD, it won against Zündapp, KTM and Puch. The testers extensively praised their roadholding and the powerful engine that even allowed wheelies. Further best values ​​were the lowest weight with a full tank of 98 kilos and the highest measured speed: 92.6 kilometers per hour – while sitting! When the driver was lying down for a long time, the pointer on the speedometer wriggled around the 100 mark. “Wow, ey, the Hunnert Tacho!” Was a sales argument that should not be underestimated.

Collector Rainer Bissinger struck when he found the silver disc shown in an advertisement a few years ago. First hand, 1400 kilometers on the watch, good condition. However, it did not stand up to Bissinger’s meticulousness: with original new parts, he restored the 50s to the delivery condition, both visually and technically.

Owner Rainer Bissinger collects small and light motorcycles. A total of 17 of them cavort in his garage.

The Sachs engine has it all behind the cooling fins: Hercules stated 6.25 HP clutch power at 7100 revolutions, the measured values, however, reveal this to be deep-seated. In the natural habitat of the shot glass class, just before the limiter, the Ultra has the highest performance compared to the competition: at 9100 revolutions, real 6 hp on the rear wheel. Given the ongoing discussion about the noise and dangerousness of mopeds, it would have been politically unwise at the time to officially state such values. In any case, the Hercules Ultra cannot be reduced to sheer performance: It combines quality, power and suitability for everyday use.

However, moped customers had to cut back on the inaccurate instruments – and the outdated 6-volt electrical system, which dimmed the dipped beam to candlelight level due to the lack of a battery. The draw-wedge transmission also had to accept criticism, as well as the unwillingness to cold start the engine, which was constructed in the 1960s.

Incidentally, the benefit of the water cooling was primarily due to the improved noise dampening, thermally the six and a quarter horsepower could be managed without any problems. In terms of noise, the 50s mopeds, defamed as “walking strokes”, had a much bigger problem: The perceived annoyance of a frequency increases with its height, and due to the design, two-strokes emit particularly shrill frequencies. In 1981, the authorities turned off the fuel tap in the open fifties: the newly created light motorcycle class with a maximum of 80 cubic meters, which was limited to 80 km / h, was supposed to be easier on the ears and less prone to accidents. Until then, however, the Hercules Ultra series represented the zenith of both German fifties and teenagers two-wheeled dreams.

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