Tehuelche Racer ridden by Gomez
Right now there is a Tehuelche racer for sale on Ebay US similar to the one above. Wish I could post the pics because they are great but I don't need the trouble. Truth be told, I have been wanting to write a little article on this marque for some time now and this bike's appearance on Ebay is as good a motivation as any.
Tehuelche motorcycles were built between 1957 and 1964 in Argentina through the partnership of Juan Rafaldi and Roberto Fattorini, who were two immigrants from Italy. The Tehuelche marque can be considered Argentina's first and only original motorcycle as all others were copies of mostly Italian origin.
The prototype engine was a four stroke SOHC engine with no oil pump constructed out of aluminum. Its original displacement was 50cc and in 1955 started competition regionally.
1963 Super Sport Model
For the mass market, the engine was redesigned with an increase in displacement to 75 cc. Below is the technical data:
Cooling: AirBore: 48 mm
Stroke: 41 mm
Capacity: 75 cc
Compression ratio: 6.5:1
Power: 4.74 hp
RPM at maximum power: 6500
Approximate consumption: 1 liter of gasoline per 50 km
Distribution: Single overhead camshaft (SOHC)
Valves: Two valves arranged in a 90° configuration, operated through rocker arms.
Lubrication: Wet sump, splash lubrication. A hook, attached onto the connecting rod, dips into the oil in the sump and splashes it around the inside of the engine.
Clutch: Mono-disc in oil bath
1st gear 2.628
2nd gear 1.542
3rd gear 1
1st speed: 28 km/h
2nd speed: 48 km/h
3rd speed: 74 km/h
Carburation: Dellorto MA16 carburetor, made under license in Argentina.
Frame: Chassis made out of welded steel tubes
Weight: 96 kg
During the seven year production run, Tehuelche produced 5,000 motorcycles of which less than two dozen are known to exist. Making it as rare as the Ebay description suggests.Tehuelche foundered in 1964 amidst the economic turmoil of the developing Argentine economy. Rafaldi and Fattorini went on to start their own workshop to service their clients. They tuned race bikes to 100cc which proved very successful at the hands of Alberto Gomez and Jaime Enriquez
Alberto Gomez in 1964
Jaime Enriquez in 1963
It should be interesting to see how the Ebay auction pans out. I hope the bike goes to a good home or perhaps to a museum so that all of us get to enjoy such a cool little racer.