DKW Motorrader

Today in Motorcycle History

DKW Motorcycles

DKW Logo

A Brief History of the Marque

1919-1945 J.S. Rasmussen (DKW) und Auto Union AG, Zschopau
1949-1958 Auto Union AG, Ingolstadt und Dusseldorf
1958-1966 Zweirad Union AG, Nurernberg

Jorge Rasmussen founded Motorenwerke Rasmussen in Zschopau, Germany in 1906, and entered the motorcycle industry with a 30cc bicycle motor in 1921 and shortly thereafter introduced 122cc Golem and 142cc Lomos scooters.

The name DKW was trademarked in 1922 and the firm went on to become one of the largest manufacturers of motorcycles in the world. By 1928 they were building some 65,000 engine units annually, and DKW engines could be found powering some 60 German marques of the interwar period.

DKW bought out the ailing Audi company in 1930 and the similarly afflicted Horch in 1932. The Horch acquisition was made in conjunction with the wealthy Wanderer marque. As the senior partner, Wanderer appointed Baron Klaus von Ouertzen as managing director.

Rasmussen was forced out of the company in 1934, and von Ouertzen fled the Nazis for South Africa in 1935.

The company was further restructured after the war, joining Victoria and Express in 1958 to form Zweirad-Union, which in turn was absorbed by Fichtel & Sachs in 1966.

DKW motorcycles employed mostly two-stroke engines and often were technically advanced.

The French Manurhin was a version of the DKW Hobby scooter.

DKW models

Marques which employed DKW power units include:

See also Sachs and Hercules Sources: Tragatsch, Wikipedia, GTU,, et al.

jackosfour at
DKW125 Enduro
I am restoring my DKW and want to dismantle suspension units for spring re-cromeing. Before I get too tough with them just wondering if there's a process I should follow /
Grant Jackson
Queenstown NZ

chris at green tick
DKW RT 98 1939
I have broken my headlamp glass and would like to know where I can get another. My bike also has a rubber seat and I would like a leather one and would like to know where I can find a leather seat as well.
Chris Murphy
New Zealand
Scott at
I purchased a DKW RT125 motorcycle in need of restoration but I am trying to identify the year and and any other details so I can find parts. The frame and engine number match (2651244) The frame in the rear of the bike resembles the type that were imported to Italy? I think I am missing some parts in the suspension as there are bolts on the top and lower parts of the frame and the rear wheel moves freely up and down. I was told it was a 1942 ? Scout but am not entirely sure now?? Any help would be appreciated.
Scott Btrooke
West Branch, Iowa, USA

Try hunting through some of the pages listed here: German Resources

The RT125 did not have that style of rear suspension until at least the late 1950s.
DKW-RT125-SBt.jpg posted to Comments.

djhoward72 at
Dkw SB 200
Hi would you please be able to help me I need to set ignition timing
David Howard

Try this page: Books and Manuals
moreliroika at
dkw serial number 395272 motor number 722867
Good morning,
I would like to find the year and model of my dkw.
Not sure about the year, I think it's a 250 1936 sport.
I dont have documents, the bike is 30 years old in my family. Can you help me
Moreli Roika
Curitiba Paraná Brazil

This page has sources for DKW serial numbers: : Engine Numbers and Frame Numbers
DKW-Brazil images posted to Comments.

kari.hyvattinen at
01 12 1939
Hey, I own DKW NZ 500 GS motorcycle I have restored it, I need a muffler, where I could buy?
Best wishes!
Kari Hyvattinen
Porvoo, Finland
DKW-1939-NZ500GS-KaH image posted to Comments.

Thu, 18 Jan 2018
buckinghampw at
DKW 1953 350-3C triple two stroke
I am building the Protar 1/9 scale kit of of the 1953 350-3C. The rear hub has two rear sprockets. Is this correct? Both sprockets have the same number of teeth.
Peter Buckingham
Canterbury, Kent United Kingdom

I have some detailed images of one of the racing triples and will update the gallery. It seems unlikely that it would run two sprockets, particularly of the same size.

Tue Jun 20 2017
kerssenbergp at
DKW 1958
Hello I'm looking to buy front and rear wheels complete with or without tyres new only and if possible exhaust complete.

    Which model DKW is it please? Assume you are referring to new tyres only, and used or reconditioned wheels, yes?
    Owner replied that it's a DKW RT200 1952 and included a lo-res image from a sales site.

Sat Dec 03 2016
cjmdmaynard at
crankcase oil
dkw 158
how much and what kind of oil EX gear, motor ect
MB Canada

Mon May 30 2016
builderbob5 at
125 dkw enduro
1972 125 dkw 1251 6b
i am currently restoring my dkw 125 1972 enduro and i an looking for original head light and tail light - also tank knee pads . Thanks for any help .

greg_easton at
DKW fuel tank, unknown vintage, for sale
DKW RT 250?
I have this DKW tank that i would like to get rid of. I don't know what year/model bike it came from. As close as i can tell its a mid-50s RT250. Please contact me for additional photos and description. Thank you.

Recommend posting this in the forums or to the Facebook page. Ed.

Wed Sep 16 2015
coastaldunes at

DKW Hummel Express
Hello, I am the proud owner of a 1961 dkw hummel express in original condition and running. Is there any others out there in the United States?
Milwaukie Oregon

Wed Apr 08 2015
willriv at
1937 DKW SB500 tank badge
Hello, looking for help finding parts for my DKW MC.

Tue Aug 04 2015
karnic07 at
DKW RT250 - Looking for Parts, please help
DKW RT250 1953 - DKW RT250
Hi All,

I own DKW RT250 and i am looking for parts to rebuild my bike. Its already in running condition but i would like to rebuild to its originality. I request you all to please help me in rebuilding my bike because I hope, you guys those how are here have much and better knowledge and would guide me right on how to fix them, since you are also crazy on these bikes just like me.

Following list of lists which is required for me, please let me.

1) Engine bore/Cyclinder.
2) Engine Piston and Piston Rings.
3) Fuel Tank rubbers on both the sides.

Please do post, if you have any other spare items.

Thu Mar 05 2015
c.venkatadri.westernauto at
DKW RT 125 1932
I need engine parts, head light assy and tyres for my RT 125cc DKW motorcycle. I am attaching a picture of the bike.

(Image omitted due low resolution)

Wed Nov 19 2014
stcal at
DKW Identification
DKW ks200?
I recently found a picture of my grandfather (seated back) on a German motorcycle during WWII. I have researched the subject, and have found that it is definitely a DKW German motorcycle. I have contacted several museums throughout Europe, and some have emailed back with varying opinions, but no one has been able to identify this motorcycle for certain. Just wondering if you might have some insight. I am doing research on my grandfather and especially his time spent in WWII, and fitting this piece to the puzzle would be cool. Plus, my boys and I are actually thinking of trying to track down a model that is similar for purchase, even if we have to travel to Europe to get it! Thank you for your time.
Sean T. Callahan

Sat Aug 02 2014
2jermzizeb0x at
need part for mold or to buy
dkw hummel 155 kavilier
im restoring a 1964 dkw 155 kavilier motobike thats missing the piece that sets beetween the two fule cells covering the frame & fuel cap from the seat up to just before the head of frame , the metal engine head cover ,the out side chain gaurd cover and pressed metal cover that mounts on the handel bars.sorry for poor discriptions any help finding these pieces or factor specs drawings would be great and im wiiling pay $$$$ ? these few part are all thats left an one more of these rare beauties will be complete after 3 years of working on it in my spare tim.

Fri Jul 18 2014
markvan-eck at

dkw 1953 rt 250h
i need a workshop manual for my '53 dkw rt 250h

Thu Jul 31 2014
aleinrb at
200cc DKW 2 stroke
Do you recall whenPride and Clark bought in the DKW back in the 50`s ? they warehoused them in all manner of Bro purchased one at the time, fantastic machine..

Sun May 25 2014
donnatidd at
dkw hobby hobby
Looking for rings

Fri May 23 2014
royparmenter at
wiring diagram for DKW 125 Enduro
1972 DKW/Sachs Enduro
Uergently seeking a wiring diagram for a 1972 DKW/Sachs Enduro 2 stroke as cannot get it to fire!!

Sat May 10 2014
s.slc at
spares needed
dkw nz250
Hi my friend is looking for spares for a nz 250 speedo and cable and crankshaft oil seals please email me if any one knows were I can purchase spares many thanks den

Sun Apr 27 2014 at
DKW 250 250
Hi, I found a DKW in Norway and I do not know the model!
It has chassis number 471957 and engine number 888448
do you know what model this is and how many are produced?
I will start restauration of this motorcycle next winter and need parts.
Regards kjell uno sandvik at

Mon Apr 07 2014
info at
bike identification
DKW ? 125 ?

Attached are two images, will you tell me what this bike is and what is the year.

Thank you,

Denis Boyce

frame number 5053006

engine number 6045125

The front engine mount has two screws.

Try Motorcycle Serial Number Resources

Sun Apr 06 2014
thomps at
Value, sale, parts
I have a unrestored 1953 RT250 H DKW. I am thinking about retoring it since there are only a few items missing. Also what would be the value of this bike unrestored and restored? When can I find OEM parts for it? Thank You
Shoreham N.Y

Fri Dec 06 2013
forFor sale te koop a vendre zu verkaufen
DKW 100 Rt
for sale te koop a vendre zu verkaufen, DKW 100 RT, DKW 20 SB, if you want photo contact me to pludo76<at>

Sat Oct 26 2013
restoring objekt 300 cc ??
X.ovner sayd it whas from 1929,but it looks like them from 30-ties. serialnr.162669 also on the frontplate nr. 184974
Can you identify it fore me.Thanks Allan Jensen from Bornholm Denmark

Sun Jul 28 2013
technical data, manual to repair
I'm renovating a RT 250 H. I'm from Belgium and i wood like to find a manual, so i can restore my bike. Please let somthing know if you can help me. Thanks

Fri Jun 14 2013
Wiring Diagram
DKW 293 Rotary
Hi, My father is restoring a DKW 293cc rotary engined bike and is looking for a wiring diagram. He has the engine up and running but the lights are defeating him, can you help?
(Colin L. Edwards-Freeman)

Tue Apr 02 2013
Would like to purchase a 1938 Speedometer.

Mon Feb 18 2013
1956 DKW 350 twin motor cycle
DKW 350 twin (1956)
Would appreciate any pictures please

Sat Feb 16 2013
DKW / Hercules Enduro 125
Have just acquired what I assumed to be a restored DKW Enduro – recently imported from California – believe it was built somewhere between 1969 & 1972. The engine # is: 9015368 and frame # on the headstock is 427004170. One German DKW club that I contacted said it wasn't a DKW but possibly could have been manufactured by Zweirad-Union. Another source said that in all probability it is a DKW Hercules K125GS imported into the US between 1970-71 with a Sachs 5 speed engine & DKW ignition. On that basis I am now trying to source some DKW / Hercules / Sachs badges or decals appropriate to the model. Any assistance you can offer would be most appreciated.
All best

Images are in the DKW Owners Gallery

Wed Dec 19 2012
Bike verification
DKW / Zweirad-Union? Unknown
Have recently purchased what i thought was a DKW Enduro from california - German DKW club thinks it might be a ZU - Eng. # 9015368 / frame # 427004170 - possibly built 1960-1973?

Images are in the DKW Owners Gallery

Mon Dec 10 2012
DKW Hummel
Can anyone please let me know where to locate parts for my moped
South Africa

Sun Oct 07 2012
Gearshift shaft with positive stop
DKW NZ 500
I need a gearbox gearshift shaft complete with positive stop mechanism for a DKW NZ500
Sydney Australia

Thu Jul 26 2012
DKW twin two stroke 250cc
DKW unknown
I bought this type of bike from an apprentice at BSA when I was 18.was told it was used after the war for ideas for future models. any history would be appreciated now I am 75.
glasgow scotland

Sun May 20 2012
dkv for sale
dkv rt 125
i have a DKV RT 125 1952 for sale !!! for pictures contact me to my email adress

Consent y/n: yes
Mon Apr 09 2012
direct injection DKW
DKW racing
I found this image as a DKW direct injection racing watter-cooled supercharged engine. Does anybody know something about it's development and racing use?

Images are in the DKW gallery

Thu Jan 12 2012
DKW mod in cybermotorcycle
Re questions and the pictured DKW-twinport-rigid on this address: DKW gallery

This is an NZ 250cc (or maybe 350cc), built somewhere between 1937 and 1939.

For earlier messages see DKW Message Archive

DKW Logo SACHS was the largest manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycle engines over here in the fifties, sixties and seventies. These engines were used by many motorcycle manufacturers, Hercules being the most important of them.

HERCULES belongs to the SACHS group and the HERCULES bikes were sold under the SACHS or DKW brand in some foreign countries. Nothing interesting to know about SACHS and HERCULES, just plain-Jane mass-production two-stroke motorcycles. The only interesting bike HERCULES ever built was the W 2000, which was sold in other countries as the DKW W 2000, which was the first production bike with a 27HP SACHS rotary engine. I'll scan and send a picture of it as soon as I have found one.

Submitted by Hartmut Schouwer

If you have a query or information about DKW motorcycles please contact us