Standard Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Standard Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Manufactured in Ludwigsburg, Stuttgart and Plochingen, 1925 to c.1955.

The Ludwigsburg factory was owned by Wilhelm Gutbrod, who also owned the Swiss factory, Zehnder. Although their machines were among the best available between the wars, they did not fare well in the post-war era.

After the death of Gutbrod in 1948, Wilhelm's son Walter continued as manager until the late 1950s when the firm closed.

Motorcycle production began in 1925 with 350 & 500cc JAP singles and possibly 750cc JAP V-twin engines, but they were forced to switch to MAG powerplants of 350cc up to 998cc. In 1930 they introduced 198cc & 248cc ohv singles of their own manufacture.

That year the luxurious BT1000 with a MAG 992cc IOE V-twin appeared, a sturdy if somewhat antiquated engine driving via a 4 speed Hurth gearbox. The chassis was that used on the previous year's 500cc and 750cc models, and it was fitted with Castle forks under Brough licence. They were very handsome and very expensive motorcycles - the price was in excess of the annual wage for an average worker, and was dearer by far than the most expensive DKW of the day. As Germany's second financial crisis began to bite, sales were not good.

During the late 1930s they built a single cylinder 200cc 2-stroke motorcycle named 'Feuergeist' (Fire Dragon, or Fire Spirit).

Models include:
1926-1929 AT 500
1926-1928 AS 500
1927-1929 AS 350
1927 497cc MAG IOE single. (1)
1929-1931 BT 500 MAG single
1928-1930 BT 750
1930-1933 BT 1000
1930-1933 CT 350
1930-1932 CS 500
1930-1933 CT 500
1931-1932 BT 600
1931-1932 CT 600
1931-1932 CS 350 IOE
1931-1934 DS 200 „Kobold“ (Leprechaun)
1932 DS200 198cc JAP OHV (1)
1931 DS 500 497cc MAG OHV single. (1)
1931-1932 DR 500
1932 BS 500 MAG OHV
1932 FS 200 „Hexe“ (Witch)
1932 FT 350
1932-1933 Feuergeist GZ 175
1933-1935 Feuergeist Block FB 200
1935-1937 Feuergeist Luxus Block FB 200
1933 Rex Touren 350
1933-1936 Rex Sport 350
1935 846cc MAG SV V-twin (1)
1936-1940 Rex Sport 350 H 354
1933 Rex Record 350
1934-1936 Feuergeist Prima, Nixe, Nixe Luxus
1934-1936 Kobold Block J 200
1934-1935 Kobold Block Spezial Gelände J 250
1935 Kobold Block Spezial Gelände J 350
1934 Spezial Gelände G 354
1934-1935 Rex Sport 500 OHC
1934-1935 Langhub L 500
1934 Roland 500
1936 Touren LF 500
1936-1940 Touren T 353
1937-1938 Rekord 200
1937-1938 Sport 350
1938 Rex 500 OHC, rear suspension
1937-1940 Kurier 500
1938-1939 G 250 Feuergeist Luxus 2-stroke
1939-1940 T 250 Feuergeist Luxus Block 2-stroke

Standard Rex
Standard Fahrzeugfabrik GmbH in Ludwigsburg was founded by Wilhelm Gutbrod in 1926.
In 1933 the company moved to Stuttgart-Feuerbach and in 1937 to Plochingen am Neckar.
The firm had a factory in Saarland Bübingen which built agricultural equipment before the war. Postwar, motorcycles were constructed due to restriction on the manufacture of such machines in Germany but because Saarland was under French military administration production was allowed. Over 200 motorcycles were built, the majority going to the police force.


Hermann Lang raced a Standard sidecar combination in 1928. Ernst Burggaller was a solo rider. (2)


The firm introduced automobiles to the range in 1933, producing mostly commercial vehicles along with a small number of sports cars. The first were marketed as Standard Superior (perhaps a nod to their long association with George Brough) and later under the Gutbrod name.


From 1939 to early 1942 the Tempo A400 was manufactured under license in accordance with the Schell Plan. Marketed under the Gutbrod name, some 5,500 of these are believed to have been built.

Josef Ganz, the inventor of the Volkswagen, was involved with the firm.

Notes. (1) Tragatsch. (2) A Bundesarchiv image dated 1925 shows him on a Standard - this date conflicts with sources which say production began in 1926.

Sources: Tragatsch p277,,, Automobilia 85-45.

There was an earlier Standard marque in Germany from 1922 to 1924 which built small two strokes. For other marques with this name: Disambiguation

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