Zündapp 1943 KS750 with sidecar Frame # 612658
Founded at the height of WWI to manufacture armaments, Zündapp found a new role post-war as a producer of motorcycles under the direction of new owner, Dr Fritz Neumeyer, building its first machine, a Levis-powered two-stroke, in 1921.
The firm began making its own engines in 1924, selling more than 10,000 machines that year, and in 1933 introduced the first of the four-stroke flat twins that it is best remembered for.
The initial 398cc and 498cc sidevalve models were followed in 1939 by the 598cc K600, the latter, like its predecessors, employing designer Richard Küchen’s un-conventional all-chain four-speed ‘gearbox’ and shaft final drive.
A frame and girder fork made of pressed steel were advanced features.
Zündapp’s first overhead-valve twin, the KS600, appeared in 1939 and would provide the basis for the KS750. Developed specifically for service with the Wehrmacht, the KS750 motorcycle combination featured shaft drive to the sidecar’s wheel, reverse gear, hydraulic brakes and interchangeable wheels.
During WW2 the KS750 saw service on every front, its production outstripping that of the similar BMW R75 with some 18,600 built before production was discontinued in 1944.
If there were ever a contest to determine the toughest motorcycle built, this military-spec Zundapp would definitely be in the running.
It was designed to run across the boiling Sahara desert, the frozen expanses of wintertime Russia, the rocky mountains of the Balkans.
It had a grunty 750cc flat-twin engine powering both the rear and the sidecar wheel, with a locking differential when the going got seriously tough.
This example has the eight-speed dual-ratio transmission, reverse gear, ammunition cases, spare wheel, tow bar for a trailer, gasolene canister etc.
Presented in good running order.