German Motorrad

Today in Motorcycle History

RMW Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Ruhrtal Motorrad Werke GmbH (R.M.W.) in Neheim-Ruhr was formed in 1925 after the death of one of the partners in the original firm, Bleha.

Under the RMW marque motorcycles were built using engines produced in-house along with Siemens & Halske engines supplied by Mabeco of Berlin. By 1927 they were producing 600cc Mabeco-engined V-Twins, copies of the Indian Scout.

In 1933 another plant was opened in Sauerland which built machines under the Phönix (Phoenix) label, a marque which became very successful - so much so that the RMW models were rebadged as Phoenix. These were fitted with engines from Sturmey-Archer, Moser, MAG, Küchen and Bark of 198cc to 496cc.

The 1936 Range:
200cc Rekord, Super Rekord, Doppelport-Sport and Doppelport Luxus, 350cc and 500 cm SV Phönix engine, 350cc and 500cc OHV Bark engine.

The 1939 Range:
125cc Junior Sport, 125cc Junior Luxus, 250cc Doppelport-Sport, 250cc Doppelport-Luxus, 250cc Super-Sport, 250cc Super-Luxus.

Postwar, the firm was based in Munich and also had a Braunschweig address. It produced mopeds which were derived from other companies and distributed under the RMW label, some being sold in Sweden and Denmark. These included Rex[1], Monaco, Piccolo, Riva, RMW-Lyx, Riva-Sport, Silber-Rex and others between the early 1950s and 1961.

The firm also built engines under the "Pilot" brand which were sold to other companies, for instance Kroon in Sweden.

250cc Type 26 machines were marketed from 1949 to 1952, and possibly other years.

Notes. 1. Several firms used the name Phoenix, and others used the name Rex.

Sources: GTU Oldtimerservice,,, et al.

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