Motorworld’s newspaper № 43
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Čechie-Böhmerland motorcycles were produced in Czechoslovakia from 1924 until the start of the World War II (the former name was used for internal market and the second name for exports to Germany. The “father” of the brand was designer Albin Liebisch who began his technical career as a bicycle mechanic assistant, then studied at a technical school, worked as a mechanic for a while and after WWI became a foreman with Tatra Works. Later he transferred to a small transportation company owned by Alfred Hille [SIC!!] where worked at the same time as a mechanic and as driver of heavy-duty trucks. Hille was both a rich businessman whose company was thriving and an avid racing car driver. He drove well-known sports cars and he also sometimes sold them. With his support, Liebisch started designing a motorcycle which was supposed to be unlike any other model that was already on the market. The first prototype was ready by 1922, and Liebisch’s ideas were all implemented in it, including a long wheelbase, OHV motor with a large capacity, a built-up leading-link front fork and solid cast wheels.

Böhmerland Langtourenmodel

All work processes were done manually, which raised their cost substantially and increased the production time of each unit. It is not surprising, then, that the first five units were assembled and tested only by 1925. The designer was quite happy with the results of the production testing, and thus a new manufacturing plant was started which carried a rather long name: “Böhmerland, Albin Liebisch’s motorcycle production plant in Schönlinde, Czech Republic”. Well, “Böhmerland” means “Bohemia” in direct translation from German, and it is a historical name for today’s territory of the Czech Republic. This is why Liebisch’s motorcycles were later sold under the two names: «Čechie-Böhmerland».

Böhmerland 600cc

Albin Richard Liebisch, son of brand’s “father”, on sport version of Böhmerland

Böhmerland was called a “Dachshund motorcycle” since it is acknowledged to be the longest serially-produced two-wheeler. It had a sturdy duplex frame, which was a tubular steel girder with vertical and horizontal reinforcing connectors. The length of the frame left enough space for a uniform dual seat behind the motor, and there was also the third seat, above the rear wheel, on the carrier. Having three riders in one row is more record for Böhmerland which had a total length over 3 meters.
Front fork had a very complex structure: tubular triangular blades with internal reinforcement elements were welded to cross bridges. Short horizontal arms and lower ends of the strong vertical springs were attached to the lower parts of the blades. The front wheel axis and the vertical yoke were cantilever-fitted to the arms and the yoke was spring-mounted allowing for the vertical displacement of the wheel. The wheels had been made of cast aluminium for quite a long time after the model production started. They had neat circular openings, with flanges around them and reinforcement elements around the center boss. The wheels were eventually made of stamped steel, in the last years of production, but Liebisch did not change to spokes. The chosen size of rubber tyres was gigantic: 27 x 3.85 inches.

Soldiers on special army version of Böhmerland

Three seats on the motorcycle and one more in the sidecar. The tour version of Böhmerland was presented as a motorcycle for the family.

The motor of the motorcycle was an OHV, 598-cc unit that looked very awesome: with the bore of the cylinder equal to 79.8 mm, the stroke was 120 mm. Long valve actuator rods ran along this cylinder, on its right-hand side. The valve system, also quite big in size, was open. More so: there was no gas tank above it, it only had a light horizontal stamped screen. Forced lubrication was not provided to the valves, so the motorcycle driver had a regular task of adding oil from the stand-alone oil cup during stops. And sure enough, most of the lubrication was setting onto the driver’s legs as soon as the motor was run.
Three seats on the motorcycle and one more in the sidecar. The tour version of Böhmerland was presented as a motorcycle for the family.
A fuel tank of the kind that we are used to did not exist on this motorcycle: now 5-litre cylinders were attached on both sides of the carrier and under it. The total length of the fuel supply pipe was close to 2 m. An oil tank was attached to the frame, on the right-hand side, in front of the cylinder, and oil went to the single-section pump and on to the motor and to the gear train. There was no scavenge section in the pump, and thus the lubrication system was open-ended, with the oil to be “burnt out”. A small carrier box was arranged on the left-hand side, symmetrical to the oil tank, and one more box, somewhat larger, was affixed to the frame behind the rear wheel.
The carburettor was affixed pretty far from the cylinder: there was the magneto of the sparking system between them. Plus the carburettor was set significantly lower than the cylinder head which made the inlet pipe unnecessarily long. On the other hand, however, this helped smoothing off the air flow pulsations at the inlet. Magneto, carburettor and the three-speed transmission with a manual switch mechanism were supplied by outside producers that were changed from time to time. Some more technical specialty was a nut socket for the spare spark plug that was located on the sump, in front of the cylinder.

The manufacturer provided the following data: capacity – 16 h.p. at 4000 rpm, fuel consumption – 3 to 4 litres (with the sidecar), maximum speed – up to 120 km/h. The latter was pretty much a bow to the designer’s optimism, for it has remained unknown whether anyone at some point risked accelerating the Böhmerland to its rated maximum speed. This model’s dynamic qualities were truly quite low. This vehicle was very stable when riding on straight roads due to its wheelbase, yet it could start behaving treacherously if the driver did not choose the speed correctly to negotiate the curves: the driver may not have enough strength to hold this heavy (mass over 180 kg) and long motorcycle. When riding with a sidecar, of course, this was less dangerous.

Despite certain advantages, Böhmerland motorcycles did not enjoy large sales. It was mostly enthusiasts who bought this brand when they liked the unusual design. Some 3000 motorcycles of various modifications were made during the overall production period of the «Čechie-Böhmerland» brand: there were two-, three- and even four-seat models produced (the latter for the military), both as solo motorcycles and with sidecars.

Manufacturer Böhmerland Motorrad-Bau Albin Liebisch, Czechoslovakia
Years of manufacture 1924 – 1939
Quantity produced, units
Price 14 700 Kč
Today’s value
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Type Single-cylinder, OHV
Engine capacity, cc 598
Bore and stroke, mm 79,8 х 120
Engine rating 16 h.p. at 4000 rpm
Sparking Magneto
Carburetor Amal
Battery 6V
Clutch Dry
Transmission 3-speed, Sturmey Archer
FRAME AND WHEELBASE
Frame type Steel, duplex
Front suspension Spring-mounted, of complex design
Rear suspension Rigid
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size 3,85 х 27
DIMENSIONS
Length, mm
3 170
Width, mm
1 550*
Height, mm
1 300*
Wheelbase, mm
2 230
Ground clearance, mm
    90*
Seat height
    70*
Mass, kg
   180
Gas tank size, l
10
Maximum speed, km/h
    95
Range, km
   

* – According to the results of the measurement at the exhibit “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.