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A Brief History of the Marque
Manufactured 1920 to 1923
Founded by Albert Roder and Karl Zirkel in Fürth, the marque is an acronym of Zirkel and Roder. The works were moved to Forchheim in 1921 when they took on another partner named Rachinger who provided premises and machinery. Things progressed very well, and the staff of thirty was producing five ZIRO motorcycles per week.
The firm built 150, 250 and 350cc two-stroke machines using rotary disc valves from 1920 to 1923. The motorcycles were fitted with 3-speed gearboxes driving the rear wheel by belt or chain, and did very well in competition.
The company failed in 1923 due to hyperinflation.
Roder and Zirkel soon established a new firm, E.M.A.G. (later Ermag) in Erlangen. Roder went on to become a noted German designer, working with Victoria, Zundapp and NSU, where he was responsible for the Ultramax and the Quickly.
N.B. Biographical notes on Roder: German Biographies
Sources: Wikipedia DE, meisterdinger.de.
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