Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,039 pages of information and 213,154 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
The German Hercules company was a completely separate bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer, with only the name in common with its British counterpart. They made bicycles, motorcycles, cyclemotors, mopeds, scooters, and cars.
‘Hercules Werke AG’ opened its doors in 1903 Nuremberg with their first motorcycle being an engine hung on a heavy-duty bicycle frame as many others were doing. Drive was direct from the engine to the rear wheel via belt. Hercules outsourced engines from many other companies rather than make their own engines.
Hercules’ main focus in its early years 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 brought out the two-seater Hercules Coupe (below), powered by a 200cc ILO engine. It was only in production for one year.