2012-08-23 16:35:30+0000
  • Make:
  • Dollar
  • Model:
  • V4
  • Year:
  • 1933

A French made bike in production from 1924 to 1939. It has a narrow-angle, V4 748 cc engine and a top speed of 68 mph (110 km/h).

Dollar made its debut after World War I, creating several motorcycle prototypes and aircraft engines. Debuting in 1924, the Dollar quickly gained popularity in France and was produced all on its own. At the beginning of the Thirties, however, Dollar forged a partnership with Maurice Chaise and proceeded to produce four-cylinder bikes.

As the proprietary engineer at Dollar, Chaise built an aircraft engine the Dollar 750, it has four cylinders, but in a much more condensed package than the usual in-line arrangement. The cylinders are in a narrow V configuration of 14 degrees, with the pairs offset and staggered. Four pushrods at each side of the engine operate the exposed valve gear on the cylinder head. The gearbox makes a compact unit with the engine, sending power to the rear wheel through shaft and bevel gears. Including a short wheelbase, a powerful engine, and the convenience and reliability of a shaft drive are all achieved by making the engine fit into the assigned space rather than define the structure of that space.

Despite having the conventional suspension of the time a girder fork at the front and a rigid rear, the chassis is constructed entirely of triangulated straight members. Unusual in motorcycles, this design has been favored in aircraft due to its light weight and stiffness. It is surely no coincidence that Dollar's owner, Maurice Chaise, had previously worked as manufacturing director of the giant wartime aero-engine maker, Gnome et Rhone.

The four air-cooled cylinders and the upper crankcase half are cast in one piece, a remarkable feat for the time, since the casting technique was far from reliable. One-piece construction affords the rigidity needed for high-rpm dependability. Monoblocengines are now the norm for production motorcycles.

The fact that the Dollar V4 engine managed to find its way into airplane manufacturing, showed both its flexibility and the quality of its development. However with the company folding in 1939 that marked the end of Dollar V4 engine.

1 Comment
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  • Kman
  • 2013-01-13T23:35:13-05:00

Such a beautifully finished motorbike. The split exhausts give it a great look along with that springer solo seat.