Wanderer Motorcycles

Wanderer Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Wanderer-Werke, Winklhofer & Jaenicke AG

A manufacturer of bicycles since 1892, the Chemnitz factory began motorcycle production in 1902. Between 1902 and 1929* they built their own single cylinder and V-twin engines. Wanderer machines were of advanced design boasting unit construction engines and front and rear suspension as early as 1915, at which time they were supplied to the German army - Wanderer supplied almost half of all machines used by the German forces during the Great War, and by 1918 had built over 10,000 motorcycles and had begun to build automobiles.

By 1924, chain drive unit construction V-twins were available.

Baron Klaus-Detlof von Oertzen arranged the sale of the motorcycle business to NSU in 1929, and the company then concentrated on automobile production.

The company also produced typewriters, calculators and bicycles, and during the 1920s had as many as 6000 employees.

In the 1920s book From Leipzig To Cabul , German author Stratil-Sauer writes of riding a V-twin Wanderer motorcycle to Afghanistan.

The Wanderer design was licensed to a Czech manufacturer, resulting in the Jawa marque.

Wanderer Models

  • Model 1½ hp V-twin from 1902
  • 2 hp Model introduced 1903
  • 2½ hp Model introduced 1904
  • The 3 hp model of 1905
  • Models 4 hp and 5 hp from 1905
  • 1909-1912 45° V-twin with front cylinder inclined horizontally.
  • 1910-1914 408cc 45° V-twin
  • 1916 616cc V-twin SV
  • 1925-1929 Horizontal single, initially 184cc 60x65mm, then 196cc 62x65mm. It was not a success, being very expensive and problematical.
  • 1924 750, 708cc 4 valves per cylinder (1)
  • 1926 750 Luxe, 708cc 70x92mm OHV 4 valves per cylinder, Druid forks, 26" tyres.
  • 1928 748cc 76x82.5 45° V-twin, avail in 2 and 4 valve versions.
  • 1928 K500 Kardan model.
  • 1929 motorcycle production abandoned due poor sales

Stanley Show 1910

  • The Service Co., Ltd.
    London. Stand No. 84.
    On this stand will be shown the latest models of the now well-known Wanderer machines. They will be made as last year in the 1 1/4 H.P. single-cylinder lightweights, and the 3 H.P. twin types. Wanderer machines have a number of special features, including patent carburetter, tapless oil pump, etc. The prices of the machines are the same as last year, namely, 34 guineas for the 1 1/4 H.P.., and 42 guineas for the twin.

1. There are differences of opinion on the dates on the 750 2 and 4 valve models.
Correspondents have 1939 and 1941 Wanderer models, see below.
The Chemnitz Museum had an exhibition devoted to Wanderer with ran from May to November 2014, "Herr Janecek und die Wanderer"

Sources: Graces Guide, moto-collection.org, audi.com, altes-chemnitz.de, et al.

juannizio at hotmail.com
1932 wanderer?
A friend bought this bike.
In theory it is a Wanderer 11AS motorcycle. But we are not sure.
I should have a Sachs engine, but where it is anchored, it is different from other photos we saw on the internet.
On the other hand, I pass a video, with several pieces all disassembled, of the possible motor of this motorcycle.
Could you help me:
Confirm the brand, model and year of the motorcycle?
What engine was it wearing?
Any photo of the time that you can appreciate its originality?
regards Juan Andres Nizio
Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • It may once have been a Wanderer, but not an 11AS. It appears to have been much modified from the original. A frame number may be helpful.
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martin at orro.net
Wanderer 1921
Attached is a photo dated 1921 of my grandparents on his Wanderer when he was in med school in Germany. Would you happen to know the model? She said it was military surplus.
Martin Orro
Southern California, USA

Paul Andreas Lang identified it as a 2½ PS 327 cc side valve single. Yesterdays has a 1920 machine which appears identical, and was this model was first produced in 1919.

Tue, 14 Nov 2017
Hmeyer1940 at aol.com

As a young boy I rode many times as a passenger with my Father. All I know about the Motorcycle is that he had it when he married my Mother in 1930. In all the Photos I have seen so far I have not seen a Model with a one Cylinder horizontal Engine. If you have any info on this Model Wanderer Motorcycle, I would like to know what model year it was and any other info you might have. Thanking you in advance, I remain, yours Sincerely Hermann Meyer
Hermann Meyer
Milton, Kansas USA

  • The motorcycle was made c1925-1928 and is probably the 196cc version.

Fri Jul 17 2015
robertdkw at btinternet.com
Wanderer 1sp
I have just acquired this 1936 model and would like to know what petrol to oil ratio is correct mixture to run it on. Where can I get spare parts, and any further information from?
Spalding. UK


Mon Feb 02 2015
paul.witham at nike.com
Wanderer 1939
Hi, I have just acquired this bike and am looking to track down and operating and maintenance manual

Fri Feb 20 2015
jan.gor at btinternet.com

wanderer 2-cyl. 408cc?
help required please, to identify & date this motorcycle, V twin IOE valvegear, I know the g/box is a later addition. engine no 11181, fr no237516. best regards, Gordon


Inlet Over Exhaust

Aka the F-Head, the IOE system was widely used in early four-stroke engines. Italiano: valvole di aspirazione sopra quelle di scarico; contrapposte.

Mon Apr 15 2013
fuel oil mix
wanderer 1938 sachs 98ccm
please can you give me the oil to fuel ratio for this machine please. regards mark.

Tue Oct 04 2011
ignition coil
wanderer 11 as 36/38 11 as 38
i need a ignition coil can you help

  • Possibly some information on German Electricals under Electrics

Sat Nov 27 2010
wanderer 1
Sono in possesso della seguente moto, avete della documentazione da mandarmi? Anche le scede tecniche. Ringrazio anticipatamente

Thu Apr 15 2010
ron.adi9<at>gmail dot com
Wanderer Wreke bike
I found your information while searching the web for information about the "Wanderer" make (I found very Little information).
I understand that you are an expert of old motorcycle, so maybe you can help us with an old bike that my friend grandfather have.

It is "Wanderer Wreke" motorcycle, we don't know the model and year.
It was standing is his storage for many many years and was found just recently.
Please see attached pictures may be you can help us to identify it?

We appreciate your help,
Adi Ron
Images are too small for reproduction. Do you have larger versions? Ed.

Tue Jan 13 2009
adik33 at gmail dot com
Wanderer Book
Just a quick question. I have no idea about motorcycles, but I would like to get a gift for a person in the form of a book about the Wanderer motorcycles. I have been looking a little bit online, but have not found anything interesting. It would be great if the book could have a lot of good illustrations inside with of course significant information. Could you guide me in the right direction maybe? It would be best if the book was available in the USA. Thank you for all your help.

Thu Jun 21 2007
rhdmgman at hotmail dot com
Wanderer Motorcycle
I was in Rothenburg Germany in September 2003 and took two pics of a 1921 wanderer in nice running condition. Attached if you are interested. It was a bike show. I do not know the owner.

Sun Jun 10 2007
marek.belan at atlas.sk
Wanderer motorcycle
Wanderer model 1 Sp and others
You can see to website www.motorovebicykle.sk , my brother-in-law Milan Jezik has there photos of some motor bicycles Wanderer.
Banska Bystrica
Fri May 04 2007
rad-doc2 at hotmail dot com
'41 99cc
I own a '41 Wanderer 99cc motorcycle. From your text it sounds like the company only existed until 1929, I know for a fact that they where around into the 40s.
Fargo, ND

At this time, it is taken apart and covered with primer in my parents attic in germany. A re-build project that sort of fell asleep after other obligations took up too much time.

There is a Wanderer Archive somewhere in germany. They actually provide spare parts and documents like manual copies etc. Last time I talked to the elderly guy running it was about 10 years ago, I haven't been able to find it on the web though.

The company actually still exists: www.wanderer.de

However, nowadays they are just a financial holding company that doesn't even have significant archival materials regarding their past.

They where actually a bicycle manufacturer. Their 'motorcycles' used the 4hp 99cc Sachs 'nose-piston' 2-stroke engine. Back then, there where dozends of small manufacturers who bought OEM Sachs engines and put them in what where beefed up bicycle frames. They would go up to about 35km/hr and where the most affordable way of transportation. The engines where easy to service and anyone who can change a light-bulb without assistance was able to un-coke a piston or clean out a carburetor.


F Weilke

Tue Feb 20 2007
stian.gundersen at hotmail dot com
The price of an 1914 Wanderer 3PS
Wanderer 3 PS 1914 mod.
I know someone who has an Wanderer 3PS 1914 mod. He also has the original registration-papers from 1914 (400 ccm v-twin). The bike is in good condition and not restored. 99,9% original. It`s registrated i Norway 1914, so the bike may be older (1908-1914).
Do enyone know how much money this can be worth???

See the page on Vintage Motorcycle Prices

Mon Feb 05 2007
stevecaz at orcon.net.nz
Wanderer 1916?
I have a photo of a Wanderer with my great uncle? on its delivery trip. would like to know more about it.
ashburton, New Zealand

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