German Motorcycles

Motorcycles Built in Germany

Motorräder Hergestellt in Deutschland: Notes on some of the rarer German marques

This page lists brands of which little historical information is currently available.
For a more complete listing visit the German Index.


Manufactured 1929-1932
Willy & Josef Eichelsdörfer, Nuremberg
Constructed motorcycles using smaller JAP Sv engines and Burman gearboxes along with other British components including Druid forks. They were hand build and apparently of very good quality.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Manufactured by Erlanger Motoren Aktien of Erlangen 1923-c1932
Designed by Albert Roder, who is also credited with the Ziro and the NSU Max, the firm produced high-performance OHV engines with hairpin valve springs.
Source: deacademic.com

Manufactured by Erle & Nestler AG, Maschinenfabrik, Nuremberg, 1924-1926
Built motorcycles powered by their own 248cc and 348cc two-stroke engines
In 1925 they acquired Sept & Unger and built a few machines under that brand.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Manufactured 1924-1929
Fahrzeugfabrik Peter Pazicky, Schnieglingerstraße 321, Nuremberg
Motorcycles were produced with sidevalve and ohv JAP engines of 293cc and 344cc via a 3-speed Sturmey Archer gearbox. Earlier models had belt drive, later models had drum brakes front and rear, saddle tanks were introduced in 1928, by which time they were building machines with JAP 600cc singles and 1000cc V-twins.
An example is displayed at the Museum Industriekultur in Nürnberg
Source: meisterdinger.de

Manufactured 1923-1925, Nuremburg
The firm built motorcycles with 298cc two-stroke engines and belt drive.
Source: meisterdinger.de


Famo built Fahrrad motoren - bicycle engines
See also Forster
Source: François-Marie Dumas

Manufactured by Ferdinand Betthäuser, Fürther Straße 306-312, Nuremberg-Doos, 1953-1955
The firm built scooter powered by a 49cc Zündapp two-stroke which did not fare well in the market.
An example is displayed at the Museum Industriekultur in Nürnberg
Source: meisterdinger.de

Manufactured by Franzani Motorenwerk GmbH, Schwabenstrasse 51, Nuremberg, 1923-1932
Early machines were powered by a two-stroke engine with a capacity nearing 300cc and by 1925 they had 350cc motorcycles with drum brakes, some with 3-speed transmission. 1926 saw the introduction of JAP engines from 200 to 500cc in SV and OHV configuration.
Küchen 497cc OHC engines were used in 1928 on their FK59 model, and subsequently they built mainly 200cc two-strokes.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Created in 1947 by French designer Louis Lepoix who later worked with many companies in Germany during reconstruction, this simply beautiful machine is based on a 750cc BMW R12. In this writer's opinion, should BMW have developed his ideas rather than opting for the arguably bog-ugly misconception marketed as the R1200C, they may well have had a winner.
Source: François-Marie Dumas


Hagel Kraftradbau AG, Nuremberg
Built limited numbers of 247cc motorcyles with engines of their own design, and others, using an inexpensive frame.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Manufactured by Motorradfabrik Heilbrunn & Co., Bauerngasse 21, Nuremberg, 1923 - 1925
Apparently based on the Cotton design, it was powered by a 346cc two-stroke of their own design with transmission via a three-speed gearbox and belt or chain drive. Brakes were internal expanding drum front and rear, with girder-style forks.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Built by Bayerischen Flugzeugwerke 1921-1922, and then by BMW in 1923.

Heller Motorradfabrik, Gibitzenhofstraße 47, Nürnberg, 1923 - 1926
The brothers Hans and Fritz Heller built motorcycles powered by BMW sidevalve HO engines. The machines has a three-speed gearbox and belt drive to the rear wheel and a block brake on the front wheel only.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Built by pioneer aviators Helumut and Wolf Hirth in Stuttgart, 1923-c1925. The motorcycles were very highly regarded and achieved excellent results in competition. Wolf lost his leg in a 1925 racing accident but this seems to not have slowed him down as he was still setting records in 1926.

Source: François-Marie Dumas

Constructed in Westphalia 1924-1928 by Hohmeyer & Co, a furniture manufacturer, the motorcycles had a woooden frame and were fitted with a variety of two- and four-stroke engines up to 250cc
Source: François-Marie Dumas


Manufactured: J. A. Vogler, Fahrzeugbau, Rohrmattenstrasse 16, Nuremberg-Zabo, 1925 - 1929
Vogler bought the Abako company in 1925 and continued the production of motorcycles under that name.
Concurrently they built 200cc sidevalve machines and motorcycles with 500cc SV Sturmey Archer and Blackburne engines. These were sold as far afield as Finland.
With onset of the depression Vogler ceased motorcycle production but continued to produce spare parts for Abako, Cockerell and his own Javon machines.
Source: meisterdinger.de


Kofa AG, Neutorstraße 10, Nuremberg, 1923 - 1925
Built motorcycles with 289cc single-cylinder two-stroke engines
Source: meisterdinger.de

The machines were single-cylinder four-strokes with a two-speed gearbox, V-belt drive drive, parallelogram fork and block brakes. There was also a sports machine with 350 cc Kühne engine and final drive by chain.
Source: deacademic.com


Ottmar Cramer, owner of Ocra, produced machines under the Lloyd marque. Initially these were 137cc clip-on bicycle engines, and later motorcycles using a variety of JAP engines. Possibly later asssociated with Borgward.
Source: meisterdinger.de


Berlin-Weißensee, 1901
Early models were large singles followed by a V-twin, and in 1910 they introduced a vertical twin. The company then moved to Berlin-Halensee and introduced cyclecars to the range, and in 1911 offered the model "Selbstfahrer" which was a tri-car somewhat simiar to the later Scott Sociable and Bradshaw Seal.
After the war the business did not prosper and Magnet himself died in 1924.
Sources: François-Marie Dumas, Scalerandi

Maschinenfabrik Berner & Co, Ludwig-Feuerbach-Strasse 75/77, Nuremberg, 1925 - 1933
Later at Innere Laufer Gasse 20
Early models used 200cc Baumi two-stroke engines, followed by engines of their own produced in capacities from 250c to 350cc, both two-stroke and four-stroke.
Towards the end of the 1920s they used engines of from Blackburne, JAP and Villiers, along with 600cc MAG V-twins. As the depression bit they switched to smaller engines including those from Moser.
They also marketed a preßstahl modell (pressed steel model) with a JAP engine which was a Coventry Eagle re-badged with a Mammut emblem.
An example is displayed at the Museum Industriekultur in Nürnberg
Source: meisterdinger.de

Ludwig Maurer, Dürrnhofstraße 8, and Bahnhofstrasse 93, Nuremberg
The factory built auxiliary bicycle engines, water-cooled 250cc single-cylinder two-stroke engines, and water-cooled HO 494cc two-strokes.
Source: meisterdinger.de

HO Twin

Horizontally Opposed Twin

Examples include BMW, Zundapp and Douglas HO Twins have conrods running on a common crank, with one on the exhaust stroke and the other on inlet.

The Mauser Einspurauto (Einspur-Auto - single-track) was first conceptualised by Gustav Winkler in 1921, with the first production models appearing in 1924 powered by the same BMW M2B15 engine found in the Helios and the Victoria. Mauser sold the production rights to a French concern where it was produced as the Monotrace. The main visible difference between the two is that the Mauser stabiliser wheels were retractable, but on the Monotrace they were not.
There is an example of the French version at Musée Henri Martre
Source: François-Marie Dumas

Manufactured by Max Fischer, Nuremberg-Johannis, 1922 - 1926
The factory built motorcycles using 492cc BMW boxer engines, and 347cc and 497cc side-valve singles from Blackburne.
Source: meisterdinger.de

HO Twin

Horizontally Opposed Twin

Examples include BMW, Zundapp and Douglas HO Twins have conrods running on a common crank, with one on the exhaust stroke and the other on inlet.

Manufactured by Schönfeld & Schwarz, Nuremberg
The factory produced limited numbers of motorcycles with 245cc two-stroke engines. Possibly also known as N.I.S.
Source: meisterdinger.de


Manufactured by Nestoria Motorenwerk GmbH, Solgerstrasse 6, Nuremberg. 1923 - 1931
In 1923, Nestoria purchased Astoria and later also built 350 and 500 class motorcycles fitted with OHC engines from Kurchen. In the late 1920s they built machines using 500cc and 600cc MAG engines along with those of Sturmy-Archer. Blackburne and JAP engines were optional. Despite good sales and sporting success the financial situation took its toll and in 1931 they closed.
An example is displayed at the Museum Industriekultur in Nürnberg
Source: meisterdinger.de


Ottmar Cramer, Kleinkraftradfabrik, Untere Turmstraße 16, Nuremberg. 1923 - 1925
Ottmar Cramer was also the owner of the LLoyd Motorradfabrik, and similar JAP 250cc and 350cc machines were built under that marque.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Manufactured in Schwabach by Karl Ludwig Konrad from 1923 to 1925.
Built 125cc two-stroke motorcycles with a two-speed gearbox and block brake on the rear wheel.
Source: deacademic com

Triumph Werke AG., Fürther Strasse 212, Nuremberg
Triumph Nuremberg split from Triumph Coventry in 1929. After legal disputes with Triumph Coventry, the German Triumph export models were initially sold under the Orial marque which resulted in action from the French company of the same name. The German Triumph company settled on the name TWN - Triumph Werke Nuremberg.
The German Orial machines were powered by M.A.G. engines of 350cc to 750cc.
Source: meisterdinger.de

Otto Wittkopf & Sons, Nuremberg, 1927
Considered by some a masterpiece, the motorcycle was built for one year only with using a 249cc OHV single cylinder engine of their own manufacture.
An example is displayed at the Museum Industriekultur in Nürnberg
Source: meisterdinger.de


1922 - 1923
Three decades before Velocette's Noddy Bike made it's indelible mark, Kurt Passow's Pawa appeared, all so briefly. In 1924 he tried again with the Per, with similar success.
The Pawa was belt-driven with a 226cc two-stroke and sheet-metal bodywork.
Source: François-Marie Dumas

Manufactured 1910 - 1913
Premierwerke AG., Fahrrad & Maschinenfabrik (J.C. Braun), Wächterstarße 2, Nuremberg
Premier was founded by Messers Hillmann, Herbert and Cooper in Coventry. The Nuremberg branch was created in 1911 in company with Christian Braun. Shortly before the Guns of August the continental company moved to Eger in what was later known as Czechoslovakia. The factory there became the largest in the country.
The Nuremburg machines were powered by 250 class two-strokes and sidevalve four-strokes of 293cc and 348cc. See also Premier Cycle Co.
Source: meisterdinger.de


Renner & Poppe GmbH, Dresden. 1924-1932
Built motorcycles using JAP SV engines of up to 996cc, and Barr & Stroud 350cc and 500cc powerplants, 3 speed gearbox and kickstarter.
79 Barr and Stroud single sleeve valve engines were shipped to Dresden in 1923-24. They were shipped to a company "RF Reggel", who were probably freight handlers only. ~ John Ferguson, FB.
They may also have used Kühne and Küchen engines.
Sources: Tragatsch, period advertising, FB group Motorcycles 1867-1930.

Rex of Behringersdorf
Rex Kraftfahrzeug GmbH, Behringersdorf near Nuremberg. 1923 - 1925
The company produced a small number of two-stroke motorcycles. At least one remains, and has chain drive to the gearbox and belt-drive to the rear wheel, which has a rim brake. No front brake.
Source: meisterdinger.de

REX Logo

Rex of Munich
Between 1948 and 1964 this Munich-based company built bicycle engines and complete mopeds. The two-stroke engines were of 31cc, 34cc, 40cc, and 49cc.

August Gernet, Motorfahrzeugbau, Nürnberg
Built motorcycles with an external flywheel 132cc two-stroke engine.
Source: meisterdinger.de


Manufactured by Heinrich Schlüpmann in Berlin c1924-1933
Schliha motorcycles had quite unusual two-stroke engines of their own production in capacities of 125cc to 596cc, some of which were water-cooled. He went on to build two-stroke aviation engines.
Source: François-Marie Dumas

Manufactured in Aalen in Württemberg, from 1923 or 1924
Their motorcycles had pressed-metal frames and included a model with a 350cc four-stroke single of their own production. Other machines used engines from JAP, MAG or Blackburne in various capacities.
Source: François-Marie Dumas


Manufactured in Burgfarrnbach from 1922 to 1924.
The firm built unusual motorcycles with concealed front suspension using 415cc engines (78 x 87mm).
Source: deacademic.com


Friedhelm Zabel had been involved in motorcycle racing for some time before he began building his own engines. Early versions were Maico-based 620cc units, and in 1988 he built a water-cooled 685cc two-stroke for motocross sidecars producing over 80hp. Despite its extraordinary output, it weighed a mere 30kg. It was an immediate success.
Source: François-Marie Dumas

Ziegelgängsberger & Jakob, Untere Kanalstraße 1, Nuremberg, 1924 - 1926
Motorcycles using 211 and 246cc two-strokes, along with 348 and 496cc side-valvev and OHV engines from JAP and Blackburne.
Source: meisterdinger.de

1920 to 1925
Founded by Albert Roder and Karl Zirkel in Fürth, later in Forchheim.
Built 150, 250 and 350cc two-stroke machines using rotary valves and were built from 1920 to 1925. The two men also founded the E.M.A.G. company in Erlangen.
Source: deacademic com

Manufactured by A. König, Plärrer 4, Nuremberg, 1924 - 1925
Production included light motorcycles with 147 and 187cc two-stroke engines.
Source: meisterdinger.de

German Resources


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Allen Motorcycle Museum
Allen Motorcycle Museum
Private museum in Boston, MA, with many highly collectable vintage motorcycles for sale.