During World War II Norbert Riedel had designed a two stroke starter engine for the first LUFTWAFFE jet fighters. After the war he designed a light motorcycle. The American army desperately wanted his jet starter engines and gave him production tools, which could also be used for motorcycle production.
The motorcycle should be easy to build (with the material that was available after the war) and cheap. The egg-shaped engine had a displacement of 98cc and 4.5HP. The cylinder and the head were one piece. The transmission had no neutral gear. Around Christmas 1947 Riedel started for the first test drives.
In 1948 Riedel found a production facility in IMMENSTADT. IMME is a German word for BEE, and the logo and the name for the motorcycle were found. Production started in 1949, but only 80 motorcycles were made in this first year. Production numbers reached 400 a month later, and in 1950 up to 1000 a month. The bikes could be sold, but some financial (and warranty) problems occurred and the IMME AG went out of business. Riedel had designed a new egg-shaped twin 150cc engine and planned a comeback with an improved version off the IMME and a 150cc scooter (TILL ), but in 1951 the factory was shut down again.
Later Norbert Riedel worked for Triumph in Nürnberg and Victoria. He died in 1963 in an avalanche accident.
Built from 1948-51 the Imme was a novel and advanced 100cc two-stroke single designed by Norbert Riedel. the wheels were mounted on stub axles allowing a single sided swing-arm and front forks. the swingarm doubled as the exhaust pipe. A primitive rubber-sprung suspension system was used. A 150cc twin was also built in limited numbers.
For his motorcycle Riedel used only one pipe diameter due to the shortness of material after the war. From this it manufactured the complete framework incl. guidance head and rocker camp, with single sided parallelogram fork as well as the single sided swing arm, to which the engine was fastened and which served at the same time as exhaust. The suspension of the rear wheel was supported by a lying central feather/spring at the crossbar. The two identical wheels were exchangeable. The Riedel R 100, so the official name, carried 4.5 HP out from 99 ccm capacity. Up to the production end of 1951 12,000 were built. The original standard color was oxide-red. Between 1953 and 1956 Große Riedel AG built a 175cc Imme version called the “Große,” or “Large One.”
Thanks to the Vintage Motos Museum in Denver for providing the bike and information.