VAN VEEN, the dutch armada
The Road Racing Championship in the 50cc class was created in 1962 and was held until 1983 (it was replaced from 1984 onwards by the 80cc). Until 1968, as in the other classes, the technical regulations were very liberal and the financial capacity of SUZUKI (5 times champion among the constructors) and HONDA (2 times champion among the constructors) made brute force count. From 1969, the rules of this class imposed that the engines were single-cylinder and that the gearboxes could not exceed 6 ratios.
This change allowed European brands (less financially powerful) to make use of their ingenuity. SUZUKI and HONDA dropped out of the category and for the next 15 years KREIDLER was the great dominator. This dominance that the brand showed in this period is the result of the commitment of Henk van Veen (owner of the company VAN VEEN IMPORT NV, importer/distributor of KREIDLER for the Netherlands). In fact, in the mid-60's the headquarters stopped the effort in racing and VAN VEEN started to function as the brand's competition department. Also, associated with the German brand, it intervened in the sector of speed records and, interestingly, in the production of a dragster and Motocross and Enduro models. Therefore, KREIDLER's sporting success is inseparable from VAN VEEN:
- 6x Riders World Champions - Jan de Vries (NL) in 1971 and 1973, Henk van Kessel (NL) in 1974, Angel Nieto (ESP) in 1975, Eugenio Lazzarini (I) in 1979 and Stefan Doerflinger (CH) in 1982 ; - 7x Constructors' World Champion in 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1979 and 1980; - 68x scoring GP wins: - 1962: 4 victories; - 1963: 3 victories; - 1964: 1 victory; - 1969: 3 victories; - 1970: 1 victory; - 1971: 6 victories; - 1972: 4 victories; - 1973: 6 victories; - 1974: 10 victories; - 1975: 7 victories; - 1976: 4 victories; - 1977: 3 wins; - 1978: 2 wins; - 1979: 6 victories; - 1980: 4 wins; - 1981: 1 victory; - 1982: 3 wins;
At the end of 1982, KREIDLER ceased trading, the rights to the brand were sold more than once and at this time belong to the German company Prophete GmbH u. Co. KG that uses the brand to rename products - mopeds and quads - from Asia. KREIDLER's bankruptcy and the troubled production process of the OCR 1000 project (Wankel), led Henk van Veen to close down his activity in the motorcycle sector.
Throughout the years of KREIDLER VAN VEEN development process, Henk van Veen has always proved to be very discreet, however it is known that he controlled all developments closely in addition to having the great merit of discovering and hiring great talents in the area of Mechanical Engineering such as: Jos Schurgers, Jaap Voskamp, Jorg Moller, Herbert Rittberger and Nico Bakker.
In 1982, Dorflinger's bike claimed a maximum power of 23 hp!! While the VAN VEEN existed, it inspired many other creations and, in the case of Eugenio Lazzarini (World Champion in 1980), entered a KREIDLER VAN VEEN as an IPREM!!
In the world of Portuguese 50cc racing, it was normal to use VAN VEEN thermal groups in blocks from other brands such as ZUNDAPP (Mr. Costa de Guimarães - Motofundador), FLANDRIA (Racing Vicente), etc... The 80cc class that replaces the 50cc in the World Championship had many productions that were in fact evolutions of KREIDLER VAN VEEN and in the case of the successful ZUNDAPP KRAUSER, by Stefan Dorflinger, it can be considered a normal evolution of the last VAN VEEN that the same used in 1982. In fact, in 50cc, VAN VEEN was the main supplier of all national and World paddocks for many years.
VAN VEEN OCR 1000
In the early 70's, Henk van Veen started the project of a large capacity motorcycle to be sold for use on the road. The OCR 1000 was equipped with a Wankel engine, exhibited an impeccable build quality and top-notch performance, claimed a maximum power of 100 hp at a time when the benchmark was set at 82 hp of the KAWASAKI 900 Z1. The problems with the development of the cycle, with the consumption of the engine (12.5 l/100 km of fuel and 1 l/800 km of oil) and finally the fact that the factory to which the production of the engines was sub-contracted had ceased activity, led to production having ended almost before it started (in 1979). In total, 34 units were produced, today with great collection value, some delivered to well-known end customers, such as Gunther Sachs and Malcolm Forbes.