DKW Motorcycles

DKW 1938 Catalogue

Adapted from English and German documents. DKW-1938

DKW-1938 NZ350


The NZ350, the bigger companion of the NZ250, is intended for the motorcyclist who demands the utmost in power and speed. He will thrill to the wonderful road holding qualities made possible by the well designed suspension, which permits travelling at high speed even on bad roads. The front spring is twice the length of that of last year's model! With this machine you will be able to travel at an average speed which you have thought impossible heretofore.

More on the DKW NZ350


DKW-1938-Cat-04-1.jpg DKW 1938 Seat

The spring tension of the swing saddle used on the 250 c.c., 350 c.c., and 500 c.c. may be adjusted to the weight of the rider.

DKW-1938-Cat-04-2.jpg DKW 1938

Firm knee support is most essential for safe riding. Therefore, the knee grips are made adjustable to the size of the rider.

Every DKW machine will be delivered completely equipped, as described and illustrated in this catalogue, obviating all additional charges for electric lighting sets, etc. Dry battery and bulb-operated horn are not included in the standard equipment of the RT 3 h.p. machine and are, therefore, to be ordered separately.

With the exception of the RT model all machines are provided with adjustable tank knee grips and electric horn, and on the NZ 250, NZ 350, and SB 500 models an indirectly illuminated speedometer forms part of the equipment. Beginning with the 200 c.c. machine, provision has been made for installing in the steering head a safety lock available at a nominal extra charge.

The NZ 250 models and up include in their equipment combined hand and foot gearchange, and in addition the 500 c.c. machines have a combined hand and foot clutch, a feature that makes riding with sidecar specially thrilling. Further, machines of 250 c. c. and more are fitted with the original knock-out spindle and hinged rear mud guard.

The power plant used is the time-proven DKW two-cylinder engine, working on the inverted scavenging principle with flat-topped pistons. The gear box is built as a unit with the engine, thus not requiring any attention. The lubrication of all engines is accomplished by adding oil to the fuel in a proportion 1:25, making a special oil container unnecessary.

DKW-1938 NZ250

NZ250 After many years of experimental and research work DKW has created two new models representing the most advanced motorcycle design. What points have been stressed especially, you will have gathered from the preceding page. Both models - NZ 250 and NZ 350 - closely resemble each other in design and size.

The NZ 250 is above all built for those riders who wish to participate in sporting events within the international classification up to 250 c.c. No more need be said on the performance, riding qualities and breakability of this model.

But for those enthusiasts who want a light Solo machine, and who only occasionally cover long distances with a pillion rider, the NZ250 is the given machine. - Engine constructed as a unit with the 4-speed gear box, combined hand and foot gearchange, swing saddle!

More on the DKW NZ250

DKW-1938-Cat-NZ-02b.jpg DKW 1938 NZ

The dynamo, seated directly on the crankshaft, following a time-proven DKW principle, harmonizes with the streamlined contour of the engine.

DKW-1938-Cat-NZ-03b.jpg DKW 1938 NZ

The foot brake lever is now toe-operated and can be adjusted to any position of the foot, making for maximum safety.

DKW 1938 Features

1. Strong, closed pressed steel front fork. Large ,specially flexible front spring. Reinforced links with large mounting, therefore, suitable for sidecar work.

2. Powerful headlight.

3. Integral speedometer with indirect lighting. Drive in front wheel hub body, therefore, noiseless and durable.

4. Handle bar mounted in rubber, absorbing all shocks.

5. Large dimensioned steering damper directly attached to steering head.

6. Light main switch and ignition lock jar-proof installed in tank.

7. Handy 22 mm handle bar; grips adjustable for height.

8. Rubber knee grips adjustable to suit the individual driver.

9. Fuel tap with reserve position, and dirt filter.

10. Comfortable swing saddle with adjustable springing.

11. Large luggage carrier of U- steel.

12. Hinged rear mud guard.

13. Streamlined numberplate light and tail light.

14. The wide front mud guard offers perfect protection from dirt and mud.

15. Central box section frame with completely closed center section. Light in weight, and yet torsion-proof and sidecar firm.

16. Longstroke, heavily finned engine with detachable light weight metal cylinder head.

17. Long-skirted flat-topped piston with 3 rings.

18. The drive is transmitted from the engine to the gear box by means of a roller chain running through an oil bath. Clutch also running in oil.

19. The 4-speed gear box is equipped with adjustable foot gearchange lever. Gear- change mechanism completely enclosed, therefore, not requiring any attention.

20. Adjustable foot rests.

21. Smooth appearance of the engine, easy to keep clean.

22. Kick starter, acting directly on engine (not through clutch), resulting in easy operation.

23. Gear box removable without dismantling engine.

24. Spacious, dust-proof tool box.

25. Genuine knock-out spindle.

26. Detachable, highly efficient exhaust silencers, facilitating cleaning.

27. Rubber shock absorber installed in the rear wheel hub drive.

DKW 1938 KS200

The KS 200 is one of the most popular machines in its class and is compactly designed in every detail. With a full quota of high grade specifications, such as chromium-plated tank, adjustable knee grips, 75 watt lighting system, up-to-date streamlined headlamp, wide mud guards, detachable double exhaust ports and a long wheelbase, this smart model is endowed with features which add considerably to the comfort and convenience of motorcycling.

Of course, shock absorber and steering damper are incorporated as well, as on the bigger DKW types. There is also provided a very popular device for fitting a safety lock on the steering head at a slight additional cost.

The KS200 can also be supplied with speedometer, the front wheel hub having been prepared to receive the speedometer drive.

All in all the KS200 model is a high grade utility machine for hard wear, in performance and appearance much superior to anything in its class.

More on the 1938 KS200

DKW 1938 RT100-3PS

DKW - RT 100

Thanks to its light weight of only 119 lbs. the RT 100 handles extremely easily even in densest traffic. In addition this model enjoys amazing road holding qualities because of its low center of gravity, wonderful front suspension and heavy tyres.

The RT 100 is available in two models: the richly chromium-plated De Luxe model, and the standard model in black finish.

More on the DKW RT 3PS


The map of the world topped by the four interlocking rings of AUTO UNION signifies the world-renown of AUTO UNION.

To-day DKW motorcycles are known, used and popular throughout the world. In all corners of the world thousands and thousands of people receive reliable service from their mount, carrying them safely to their destination.

If you are a motorcyclist now, this catalogue will nevertheless offer you new ideas and will keep you posted on new designs developed by the world's largest motorcycle producer for new safety and comfort.

Should you, however, not yet be a member of the enviable group of motorcycle enthusiasts, a perusal of this catalogue will make you appreciate how much more you get out of life riding one of our splendid motorcycles.


RT 100

KS 200

NZ 250

NZ 350

SB 500

Number of Cylinders






Bore and Stroke mm.






Cylinder Capacity c.c.






Horse Power






Compression ratio

5.5 to 1

5.9 to 1

5.9 to 1

5.9 to 1

5.8 to 1

Exhaust system

single port

two port, detachable


flywheel magneto


Electric Lighting Watts






Gears (unit construction engine)

3-Speed Gear Box

4-Speed Gear Box

3-Speed Gearbox



combined hand and foot gear shift



Pressed U-Steel

Central Box Section

Pressed U-Steel



Shock absorbers and steering damper







Wheelbase mm.






Wheelbase in.






Maximum Speed approx, m. p. h.






Weight approx. Kilos






Weight approx. lbs.






Tank capacity gallons


3 ?



Petroil consumption * abt. m.p.g.






at m. p. h.






* including oil mixed in a proportion of 1 to 25.

DKW Machines built for universal use!

The hard school of the race track is necessary to produce machines which will unfailingly do their duty even under severest conditions. Neither the icy cold of the north nor the stifling heat of the desert nor the penetrating humidity of the tropics can affect its amazing performance.

Safety First is the predominant feature of a world-wide known motorcycle like DKW. Low in upkeep and simple in handling are additional characteristics distinguishing DKW machines from any other make.

In the polar region only the rider needs wrapping up - the DKW will do its duty.

The same model serves the traveller on his reconnoitering trips through the desert.

DKW-1938-Cat-21-1.jpg DKW 1938 lo-res

These three ambitious riders covered on their DKW RT 3 h. p. models 600 miles in 22 hours and 18 minutes. (Celebes, Dutch East Indies.)
Right. Australian cross-country trials are no affair for soft-hearted people. The victor with his 500 c.c. DKW.

DKW-1938-Cat-21-2.jpg DKW 1938 lo-res

Central and South American DKW enthusiasts frequently have to ford rivers.
Right. In far off China a good motorcycle is appreciated too.

DKW 1938 SB500

SB500 De Luxe

DKW-1938-Cat-SB500-01b.jpg DKW 1938 SB500

The encased, compact two-cylinder unit of the DKW SB 500. The foot operated clutch makes riding especially enjoyable.

The softly buzzing twin-cylinder two-stroke engine of the 500c.c. DKW plus the sparkling get-a-way has always fascinated the motorcycle enthusiasts, thanks to the unusually simple design of its well conceived power plant - A twin-cylinder sports engine with only five moving parts! How simple, compared to the many working parts of a four stroke engine of the same class.

In addition, the SB 500 de Luxe features an electric starter, the only machine in the world's motorcycle industry being so equipped.

Push the button and the engine starts - a feature greatly enhancing the riding comfort.

More on the DKW 1938 SB500


The motorcycle accustomed to victory!

Wherever DKW motorcycles have started in the past years - be it in difficult international road races, grueling dependability trials, or arduous cross-country contests - they were unusually successful. Constant research and the ever improving hand of the engineer have created in the specially built racing machine as well as in the series produced model a motorcycle that will withstand the hardest riding conditions. This has been proven conclusively by the numerous successes during last year's sporting season.

Ewald Kluge on his DKW proved the most successful motorcycle rider of the year 1938.

DKW-1938-Cat-Kruge-02b.jpg DKW 1938 Kluge

Number 1 and on DKW - he got to win the race. Kluge during the Grand Prix of Holland at Assen.

DKW-1938-Cat-Kruge-01b.jpg Kluge, DKW, 1938 IOM TT

At the start of the English lightweight TT in which Kluge, on the DKW, finished first.