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Identify this motorcycle


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A friend sent this photo to me while he was on vacation in Berlin.

No details included with his email. Not a BMW obviously and the small cylinder heads suggest an opposed two stroke. Something post- war due to the telescoping forks? I am taking a wild guess as a DKW or maybe something East German.

Any experts out there?


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Paul Mihalka

"DKW" and "East German" is both correct. DKW-IFA were DKW cars and bikes built in the original DKW factory after WW II that ended up in the Russian occupied part of Germany.

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No patent infringement. There have been opposed, flat twins before and after BMW chose that layout. In fact, during WWII the German military used a Zuendapp 750 side-car rig that was very similar to the now-famous BMW 750. It also was an opposed, air-cooled flat twin. This Zuendapp is often labeled as a BMW in photos in history books.

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There were DKWs made in Western Germany also after the war. I remember my german language teacher having one in Scandinavia in the 60's, maybe late 50's.


I'll look inot it in a while.



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this is for the cars, Auto Union became Audi later.


Before World War II, the company had some success with forced induction racing motorcycles, and during the late 1920s and 1930s, DKW was the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer. After the war, the company made the RT 125, 175, 250 and 350 models.


The motorcycle branch of the company produced very famous models such as the RT 125 pre- and post World War II. As reparations after the war, the design drawings of the RT125 were given to Harley-Davidson in the US and BSA in the UK. The HD version was known as the Hummer, while BSA used them for the Bantam. IFA and later MZ models continued in production until the 1990s, when economics finally brought production of the two stroke to an end. Other manufacturers also copied the DKW design, officially or otherwise. This can be seen in the similarity of many small two stroke motorcycles from the 1950s, including a product of Yamaha, Voskhod and Polish WSK.



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