Wanderer Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Wanderer Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Wanderer-Werke, Winklhofer & Jaenicke AG

A manufacturer of bicycles since 1892, the Chemnitz factory began motorcycle production in 1902. Between 1902 and 1929* they built their own single cylinder and V-twin engines. Wanderer machines were of advanced design boasting unit construction engines and front and rear suspension as early as 1915, at which time they were supplied to the German army - Wanderer supplied almost half of all machines used by the German forces during the Great War, and by 1918 had built over 10,000 motorcycles and had begun to build automobiles.

By 1924, chain drive unit construction V-twins were available.

The company also produced typewriters, calculators and bicycles, and during the 1920s had as many as 6000 employees.

In the 1920s book From Leipzig To Cabul , German author Stratil-Sauer writes of riding a V-twin Wanderer motorcycle to Afghanistan.

In 1929 the Wanderer K500 design was licensed to Czech manufacturer Janeček who also bought the production tooling, resulting in the Jawa marque.[1]

Wanderer motorcycles with 98cc Sachs engines were produced in Germany in the 1930s and 40s, and post-war until around 1958.

Wanderer Models

  • Model 1½ hp V-twin from 1902
  • 2 hp Model introduced 1903
  • 2½ hp Model introduced 1904
  • The 3 hp model of 1905
  • Models 4 hp and 5 hp from 1905
  • 1909-1912 45° V-twin with front cylinder inclined horizontally.
  • 1910-1914 408cc 45° V-twin
  • 1916 616cc V-twin SV
  • 1925-1929 Horizontal single, initially 184cc 60×65mm, then 196cc 62×65mm. It was not a success, being very expensive and problematical.
  • 1924 750, 708cc 4 valves per cylinder[2]
  • 1926 750 Luxe, 708cc 70×92mm OHV 4 valves per cylinder, Druid forks, 26" tyres.
  • 1928 748cc 76×82.5 45° V-twin, available in 2 and 4 valve versions.
  • 1928 K500 Kardan model.
  • Wanderer Models 1930 to 1945:

    Model 1
    Model 2
    Model 3
    Model 4
    Model 5
    Model 6
    Model 7
    Model 7AS
    Model 7K
    Model 8
    Model 8AS
    Model 9
    Model 10
    Model H6
    Model 11
    Model 11 AS Sachs 1938
    Model 12
    Model 12 AS 1940 moped
    Model 13
    Model 13 AS Sachs 98cc 1938, front carrier
    Model l Sp 1938-1940 moped, avail with child's sidecar.
    Model 2Sp
    Model H5
    Model D5
    Model 14
    Model 15
    Model 3K
    Model 4K
    Model AU

    Stanley Show 1910

    The Service Co., Ltd.
    London. Stand No. 84.
    On this stand will be shown the latest models of the now well-known Wanderer machines. They will be made as last year in the 1 1/4 H.P. single-cylinder lightweights, and the 3 H.P. twin types. Wanderer machines have a number of special features, including patent carburetter, tapless oil pump, etc. The prices of the machines are the same as last year, namely, 34 guineas for the 1 1/4 H.P.., and 42 guineas for the twin.

    1. Wikipedia writes that the motorcycle section of Wanderer was sold to František Janeček by Dresdner Bank. Another source indicates that this took place in 1931.
    2. There are differences of opinion on the dates on the 700/750cc 2 and 4 valve models.
    The Chemnitz Museum had an exhibition devoted to Wanderer which ran from May to November 2014, "Herr Janecek und die Wanderer"

    Sources: Graces Guide, moto-collection.org, audi.com, altes-chemnitz.de, et al.

    mrmeanst at gmail dot com
    1947 Sachs Wanderer I have
    Hi Sheldon,
    I have a 95% complete but partially unassembled 1947 Wanderer moped/cycle which has been in my family since around May of 1971. According to my Dad who grew up in Graz, Aust. and had a pre WWII Wanderer himself, it was the first year available with telescopic forks. They have a logo stamped into them which states: "Originale Tiger Gabel". I had the original handlebars, but right now they have 1966 Yamaha YL 100 handlebars on it because they looked cooler and were more comfortable. It's missing the magneto cover and one of the front axle nuts. I have both 19 inch wheels with the original tires. The original sprung seat is still on it as well.
    If you can help with either of these parts, I'd be interested.
    I'm looking to possibly restore it and re-assemble.
    Thank you in advance for a reply.
    Mr. Mean Street/Eric Krobath
      Sorry, we don't sell parts. The page on German Resources may prove helpful. Ed.

    juannizio at hotmail.com
    1932 wanderer?
    A friend bought this bike.
    In theory it is a Wanderer 11AS motorcycle. But we are not sure.
    I should have a Sachs engine, but where it is anchored, it is different from other photos we saw on the internet.
    On the other hand, I pass a video, with several pieces all disassembled, of the possible motor of this motorcycle.
    Could you help me:
    Confirm the brand, model and year of the motorcycle?
    What engine was it wearing?
    Any photo of the time that you can appreciate its originality?
    regards Juan Andres Nizio
    Buenos Aires, Argentina

      It may once have been a Wanderer, but not an 11AS. It appears to have been much modified from the original. A frame number may be helpful. Ed.
      Image posted to Comments.

    martin at orro.net
    Wanderer 1921
    Attached is a photo dated 1921 of my grandparents on his Wanderer when he was in med school in Germany. Would you happen to know the model? She said it was military surplus.
    Martin Orro
    Southern California, USA

    Paul Andreas Lang identified it as a 2½ PS 327 cc side valve single. Yesterdays has a 1920 machine which appears identical, and this model was first produced in 1919.

    Tue, 14 Nov 2017
    Hmeyer1940 at aol.com

    As a young boy I rode many times as a passenger with my Father. All I know about the Motorcycle is that he had it when he married my Mother in 1930. In all the Photos I have seen so far I have not seen a Model with a one Cylinder horizontal Engine. If you have any info on this Model Wanderer Motorcycle, I would like to know what model year it was and any other info you might have. Thanking you in advance, I remain, yours Sincerely Hermann Meyer
    Hermann Meyer
    Milton, Kansas USA

    The motorcycle was made c1925-1928 and is probably the 196cc version.

    Fri Jul 17 2015
    robertdkw at btinternet.com
    Wanderer 1sp
    I have just acquired this 1936 model and would like to know what petrol to oil ratio is correct mixture to run it on. Where can I get spare parts, and any further information from?
    Spalding. UK

    Mon Feb 02 2015
    paul.witham at nike.com<
    Wanderer 1939
    Hi, I have just acquired this bike and am looking to track down and operating and maintenance manual

    Fri Feb 20 2015
    jan.gor at btinternet.com

    wanderer 2-cyl. 408cc?
    help required please, to identify & date this motorcycle, V twin IOE valvegear, I know the g/box is a later addition. engine no 11181, fr no237516. best regards, Gordon


    Inlet Over Exhaust

    Aka the F-Head, the IOE system was widely used in early four-stroke engines. Italiano: valvole di aspirazione sopra quelle di scarico; contrapposte.

    Mon Apr 15 2013
    fuel oil mix
    wanderer 1938 sachs 98ccm
    please can you give me the oil to fuel ratio for this machine please. regards mark.

    Tue Oct 04 2011
    ignition coil
    wanderer 11 as 36/38 11 as 38
    i need a ignition coil can you help

    • Possibly some information on German Electricals under Electrics

    Sat Nov 27 2010
    wanderer 1
    Sono in possesso della seguente moto, avete della documentazione da mandarmi? Anche le scede tecniche. Ringrazio anticipatamente

    Thu Apr 15 2010
    ron.adi9<at>gmail dot com
    Wanderer Wreke bike
    I found your information while searching the web for information about the "Wanderer" make (I found very Little information).
    I understand that you are an expert of old motorcycle, so maybe you can help us with an old bike that my friend grandfather have.

    It is "Wanderer Wreke" motorcycle, we don't know the model and year.
    It was standing is his storage for many many years and was found just recently.
    Please see attached pictures may be you can help us to identify it?

    We appreciate your help,
    Adi Ron
    Images are too small for reproduction. Do you have larger versions? Ed.

    Tue Jan 13 2009
    adik33 at gmail dot com
    Wanderer Book
    Just a quick question. I have no idea about motorcycles, but I would like to get a gift for a person in the form of a book about the Wanderer motorcycles. I have been looking a little bit online, but have not found anything interesting. It would be great if the book could have a lot of good illustrations inside with of course significant information. Could you guide me in the right direction maybe? It would be best if the book was available in the USA. Thank you for all your help.

    Thu Jun 21 2007
    rhdmgman at hotmail dot com
    Wanderer Motorcycle
    I was in Rothenburg Germany in September 2003 and took two pics of a 1921 wanderer in nice running condition. Attached if you are interested. It was a bike show. I do not know the owner.

    Sun Jun 10 2007
    marek.belan at atlas.sk
    Wanderer motorcycle
    Wanderer model 1 Sp and others
    You can see to website www.motorovebicykle.sk , my brother-in-law Milan Jezik has there photos of some motor bicycles Wanderer.
    Banska Bystrica
    Fri May 04 2007
    rad-doc2 at hotmail dot com
    '41 99cc
    I own a '41 Wanderer 99cc motorcycle. From your text it sounds like the company only existed until 1929, I know for a fact that they where around into the 40s.
    Fargo, ND

    At this time, it is taken apart and covered with primer in my parents attic in germany. A re-build project that sort of fell asleep after other obligations took up too much time.

    There is a Wanderer Archive somewhere in germany. They actually provide spare parts and documents like manual copies etc. Last time I talked to the elderly guy running it was about 10 years ago, I haven't been able to find it on the web though.

    The company actually still exists: wanderer.de (404)

    However, nowadays they are just a financial holding company that doesn't even have significant archival materials regarding their past.

    They where actually a bicycle manufacturer. Their 'motorcycles' used the 4hp 99cc Sachs 'nose-piston' 2-stroke engine. Back then, there where dozends of small manufacturers who bought OEM Sachs engines and put them in what where beefed up bicycle frames. They would go up to about 35km/hr and where the most affordable way of transportation. The engines where easy to service and anyone who can change a light-bulb without assistance was able to un-coke a piston or clean out a carburetor.


    F Weilke

    Tue Feb 20 2007
    stian.gundersen at hotmail dot com
    The price of an 1914 Wanderer 3PS
    Wanderer 3 PS 1914 mod.
    I know someone who has an Wanderer 3PS 1914 mod. He also has the original registration-papers from 1914 (400 ccm v-twin). The bike is in good condition and not restored. 99,9% original. It`s registrated i Norway 1914, so the bike may be older (1908-1914).
    Do enyone know how much money this can be worth???

    See the page on Vintage Motorcycle Prices

    Mon Feb 05 2007
    stevecaz at orcon.net.nz
    Wanderer 1916?
    I have a photo of a Wanderer with my great uncle? on its delivery trip. would like to know more about it.
    ashburton, New Zealand

    If you have a query about Wanderer motorcycles please contact us