German Motorcycles

History of Horex Motorcycles

Horex began in 1923

In 1920 motorcycle and car racer Fritz Kleemann persuaded his father Friedrich Kleemann (1868-1949), financial manager at the Rex Konservenglas Gesellschaft (preservative jar manufacturing company) in Bad Homburg to buy the nearby Columbus motorenbau AG, a small motor factory in Oberursel by Taunus.

The factory made the later Horex model and the name remained the same for almost 30 years. Fritz Kleemann built the first cycles with a GNOM engine, delivered from the Columbus Engine factory.

In 1923 Fritz Kleemann (1901-1975), founded Horex-Fahrzeugbau AG, the name being derived the name from his town HOmburg and his father's preservative jar company REX. He was also a motorcycle racer and was riding his own Horex machine with a 248cc OHV engine.

In 1925 he had financial problems with his business and partnered with Columbus. The new firm's first motorcycle was a 600cc side valve, followed by a 4 valve 600cc OHV model, the S 64.

In 1938 their SB 35 350cc machine appeared, and the engine was also supplied to Victoria for their KR 35 model. During World War Two Horex production was suspended, resuming in 1948 with the SB 35 being the first post-war model available.

In 1950 the modern SB 35 Regina began production, a beautiful single cylinder machine.

By 1953 the range included Regina 250, 350 and 400cc models, with aluminium heads.

In 1954 Horex built the Imperator model, a 400cc twin, and 446cc version which was sold on the American market as the Horex Citation.

In 1955 Horex Resident model appeared. Model 8, 350cc, ohv, single and model 11, 250cc, ohv, single.

In 1956 Horex production was only 2790 motorcycles. This was only 15% of the 1953 top year production, therefore Horex decided not to produce motorcycles and produced only parts for Daimer-Benz.

In 1960 Daimler-Benz took over, ending the Horex era.

Horex Models

1921 GNOM: 62.5cc, Single.


1924 Model: L, 250cc, Single.

1924 Model: Horex, 500 SV Single

1925 Model: T5, 500cc SV Single.

1925 Model: T55, 550cc SV Single.

1925 Model: T6, 600cc SV Single.

1925 Model: Horex, 250cc, 2stroke, Single.

1928-1933 Model: S5 and SS5, 500cc OHV Single.

1928-1933 Model: T5, 500cc SV Single.

1928-1933 Model: T6, HM, 600cc SV Single.

1930-1933 Model: T5, 500cc SV Single.

1930-1933 Model: T6, 600cc SV Single.

1931-1938 Model: S2, 200cc OHV Single.

1931-1938 Model: S3, 300cc, OHV, Single.

1933-1935 Model: S6, 600cc OHC Twin.

1933-1936 Model: S8, 800cc OHC Twin.

1934-1935 Model: T5, 500cc SV Single

1934-1939 Model: S5, IM and AIM, 500cc,OHV, Single.

1934-1939 Model: S35, 350cc OHV Single.

1934-1941 Model: T6, 600cc SV Single.

1935-1937 Model: T5, 500cc SV Single.

1935-1937 Model: S64, 600cc OHV Single.

1937-1940 Model: S6, 600cc, OHV , Single.

1937-1940 Model: T5, C1M, 500cc SV Single.

1938-1939 Model: S25, 250cc OHV Single.

1939-1940 Model: SB35, 350cc OHV Single.

Horex Post-War Models

1947 Model: EM, 500cc SV Single.

1948-1950 Model: SB35, 350cc, Blockmotor.

1950 Model: Regina. Type: E1M, 350cc OHV Single.

1951 Model: Regina Sport. Type: E 1 M, 350cc OHV Single.

1952 Model: Imperator. Type: Q1M, 500cc OHC Twin

1952 Model: Regina. Type: 2, and Regina V, 250cc OHV Singles

1952 Model: Regina. Type: 3, 350cc OHV Single

1953 Model: Regina. Type: 6, 400cc OHV Single.

1954 Model: Imperator. Type: 7, 400cc OHV Twin.

1955 Model: Resident 250. Type:11, 250cc OHV Single.

1955 Model: Resident 350. Type: 8, 350cc OHV Single.

1956 Model: Horex Rebell Moped. Type: 10, 50cc, 2stroke, Single.

1957 Model: Stamo. Type: 18, 400, 450 and 452cc OHC Twin.

Horex Imperator 500

First displayed at a major German trade fair in late Summer of 1952, the Horex 500cc SOHC Imperator had been plagued with problems, and as a result development was halted.

It appears that the 500cc Imperator was the basis for the Yamaha XS 650, introduced in the early 1970s. The Hosk company built Horex motorcycles in Japan under licence during the 1950s until being bought by Showa in 1957. Three years later Yamaha acquired Showa and with it the plans for a 650cc version of the Imperator engine. This became the model for the XS650.

When Horex closed, Friedel Meunch purchased one of their factories to produce the mighty Munch Mammut.

Sourcew: Makis MC Classic, et al.

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