The “Jet-Rocket” Opel: the story of a crazy cocktail of power, speed and lot of guts

there Was a time at the beginning of the last century in the Opel was also known for its manufacture of motorcycles, in addition to an unusual amount of interest in the use of rockets, yes, rockets, on some of your projects to reach extremely high speeds. On my trip to the headquarters of Opel in Rüsselsheim for a test of the Opel GT Concept 2016, not only I met this prototype, but I was fascinated with the history of the Opel Raketen Motorrad and so I encourage you to explore its history.


Fritz von Opel was a lover of speed and racing, so that their creations always sought to beat speed records

Between 1901 and 1930 Opel was devoted to the manufacture of all types of vehicles including motorcycles, becoming one of the first manufacturers to dedicate themselves to the production in series of this type of vehicle. Because of the First World War and forced to rebuild factories and production plans at different times, the history of Opel, with the two wheels has many ups and downs, but his farewell in 1930 would be high for everything after proving what they were capable Opel Motoclub, and more specifically the version of “Raketen” inspired by the Opel RAK1 and Opel RAK2.

opel-raketen-motorrad-david-clavero-2016-06-mdmBy those years, Fritz von Opel had an obsession with speed who would you take to develop prototypes such as the already mentioned Opel RAK1 and Opel RAK2. The aerodynamics was important, the power of its thrusters, too, but the limits of the technique for those years were many. Had to find a solution to go one step further, and that was where Opel began testing with the gunpowder. The explosive cocktail that was ready Opel was the best ally to beat speed records, and for this reason your division of the two wheels would not stay with the desire to register a record of such magnitude.


With 6 rockets, the problem was not the speed but the lack of stability and the inability to stop without any assistance

Think for a moment that at the end of the years ’20 touching the 100 Km/h it was insane and that the roads then were little more than a dirt road apelmazada. That said, Opel launched the Opel Raketen Motorrad, a derived version of their model series (image above) which improved the engine single-cylinder 500cc to achieve a strong 30 HP and a secret, very explosive. This motorcycle used a set of 6 rockets with ignition by pairs and drive in 3 stages.

opel-raketen-motorrad-david-clavero-2016-08-mdmThe objective of the Opel Raketen Motorrad was to beat the speed record of that time that was 200,6 Km/h. The operation of the rocket system was divided into 3 stages requiring the motorcycle to arrive by itself at 120 Km/h. The first couple of rockets would take the bike to the 145 Km/h, the second stage up to 180 Km/h, while the third power of rockets would exceed 220 Km/h.

Opel has prepared the record of the record between the towns of Oberrimsingen and Breisach in Germany, however could never certify the record because the German authorities brought down the attempt by the lack of security posed by the feat. Opel conducted several trials and tests with your “Jet-Rocket” and said to be ready, but finally, Opel could not make your dream a reality… to achieve recognition as the motorcycle world’s fastest.


Source: Opel