DKW 1922 auxiliary engine unit with Gazelle bicycle 118cc two stroke single frame # 418139 engine # 25898
The motorcycle history of DKW, in 1929 the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, starts with a 118cc clip on cycle motor in 1919. This cycle motor can be mounted over the rear wheel of any normal bicycle and drives the rear wheel with a V-belt. The pulley in the rear wheel is smaller than those of its contemporary competitors, because the engine pulley is not fitted to the crankshaft, but is driven via a 1:3 gear ratio. A floatless carburettor is used. DKW has used different brands of carburettors over the years such as Tuto, Variat and Adria. The contact breaker points are located outside the flywheel, under a cover on the back of the engine. The contact breaker points are controlled via a push rod and camshaft with three cams. Bore and stroke are 60x50mm and the engine weighs 14kg. Due to the shape of the tank, with embossed logo, this engine unit is nicknamed “Bettflasche” which translates as “hot water bottle”. Another nickname, due to the position of the engine, is “Arschwärmer” or “bottom heater”.
DKW claims a top speed of 40 km/h and the ability to climb a gradient of 10% without pedal assistance and advertises with the phrase: “DKW, das kleine Wunder, fährt bergauf wie andere runter”, which can be translated as “DKW, the little miracle, runs as fast uphill as others run downhill”. The DKW cycle motor is an instant success. On June 17, 1922 the 20,000th rolls off the production line at the Zschopauer Motorenwerke and on February 15, 1924, the 50,000th.
The bicycle that hosts the DKW is a nice original Gazelle, a Dutch quality machine. The original leather “Gazelle” saddle is still fitted, as is the main part of the celluloid covering of the handlebars. The standard ignition system of the DKW is a flywheel magneto, with this machine a separate battery and coil system is used that is housed in a small wooden box fixed underneath the top tube.