Edgars Ērmanis – The Quest for power
Edgars Ērmanis was a legend of Soviet moto sports and record breaking, along with the likes of Nickolay-Shumilkin
Edgars Ērmanis was born in Latvia on 15 October 1918. He died on 23 March 1988. He was a noteable and exceptional Latvian mechanic and moto racer during Soviet times.
Surviving the war, Edgars was enthusiastic and determined to not only be a participant in motosport, but to develop extraordinary technical and engineering skills.
then the thunder struck!
However the insatiable quest for power and speed continued. In 1954 Ērmanis reached 207 km per hour. Later, in 1955 he reached 222 km per hour.
Then suddenly the USSR motorcycle federation was not included in the international motor sport federation. Therefore these Soviet records would not be recognized world-wide.
The photo above is to remember two celebrities, Edgars Ērmanis on the left with his record EKE-1, and Nikolay Shumilkin on the right with his Comet-3. Both of these devices are configured – not as a tribute for fashion, but a necessary aerodynamic development for course stability at high speeds from the logic of such structures of the times.
Designed to set speed records over short distances, this motorcycle was built by USSR sports champion Edgars Ērmanis based on the BMW R-51 engine with significant extreme modifications.
Today it is difficult to determine whether Ērmanis used original BMW production elements and/or Soviet moto elements, or made copies of them both into the design.
As some of this information indicates tests were being conducted at Serpukhov, the main Soviet design bureau, then the EKE-1 was likely more than one man’s “kitchen designers” dream, or at least he had a team of technical experts to assist in gaining good results for the Soviets.
The EKE-1 500cc overhead valve pushrod engine developed 78 hp at 7950 rpm. Top speed 248 km/h. Other sources say 250 km/h was reached or exceeded.
Results: in 1952 – at a distance of 1 km from a flying start – 166 km / h. In 1953 – at a distance of 10 km from a standing start – 180 km / h. In 1954 – at a distance of 5 km from a flying start – 207 km / h (world record). In 1955 – at a distance of 5 km from a flying start – 222 km / h.
The motorcycle of Edgars Ērmanis has been preserved and is on display at the motormuseum Mezciems. During previous expositions it was displayed with the fairing removed and displayed separately, then with the fairing installed in its place.
Edgars Ērmanis is buried in the Forest Cemetery in Riga, Latvia. Latvian military and political figures are traditionally buried in the Forest Cemetery. There are many monuments and sculptures there.
- Andris Matisāns
- Motosporta arhivs
- grandson of Edgars Ērmanis
- Antique Automobile Club of Latvia (AAK)
- RIgas Motomuseum MEZCIEMS
- USSR sportbikes
- expanded from B-Cozz archives