German Motorrad

Today in Motorcycle History

König Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Founded in Berlin in 1927, the firm specialised in marine engines. In the 1950s these were adapted to speedboat racing in the USA and did very well. A motorcycle racing engine was developed for sidecar racing, and the four-cylinder boxer two-stroke engines powered many machines to victory during the 1970s.

Development of the horizontally-opposed rotary-valved engine began in the late 1960s and appeared on the track in solo form in 1971 ridden by John Dodds of Australia, and then with New Zealander Kim Newcombe in 1972 who was joined during the season by his Australian friend Rod Tingate as mechanic. Newcombe did exceptionally well on the machine and in 1973 was leading the 500cc world championship, with Agostini's MV hard on his heels, when he was was killed at Silverstone.

Tim Hanna, author of a book on the Konig, writes:

One still outstanding meeting is the one held at Misano after the 1973 Italian GP. It was an International meeting and renamed in honour of Renzo Pasolini. Wolf Braun won the 350 race with Kim second and Rod Tingate 3rd. The 500 race is a bit of a mystery. Everyone was there – Ago, Read etc. No Kanaya as Yam had withdrawn.

Sources: GTU Oldtimerservice, Phil Aynsley.

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