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fyr 10-17-2011 06:36 AM

War time hacks
I didnt know if this should go to Old's Cool or here. I am presently devouring info on anything relating to WWII hacks. Ive got 2 books (BMW R75 and Wehrmacht motorcycles)
So Ive got the gist of Urals beginings via BMW offerings circa the late 30's. What id like to know is what ever happened to Zundapp's KS 750? I know they continued on for a couple of years and slowly the hack market died. Then Zundapp disappeared.
From what Ive read the KS 750 was a fantastic machine.
I know that there are copies/interpretations of BMW's R75 all over the place (Dnepr, CJ, Ural) I am wondering why no copies of the Zundapp? To costly to build perhaps.
Anyway any insight on this rig would be interesting. I know Ive asked before but has anyone here owned or ridden one?

Mash3d 10-18-2011 04:20 AM

Hi, To my knowledge there was never a direct copy of the Zundapp KS 750 or the BMW R75
The Ural, Chang Jiang and Denpers were copies of the BMW R-71
The big difference between the R-71 and the R-75:
R-71 lighter, no differential
R-75 heavier, lower geared, Differential

In a nutshell in there was the BMW R-71 (1938-1941, twin 597cc, 3,747 built)
And the BMW R-12 (1935-1941, twin 745cc, 36,002 built) in the ealry part of WWII.

Now a lot of people like to say that a Russian engineer stole the plans for the BMW R-71.
I think the reality is that the Germans gave the Russians the plans under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact,
(23 August 1939) Because the Germans were already phasing out the BMW R-71.

During the early phases of the war the BMW R-12 and R-71wasn't working out so well in combat.
So The German army asked Zundapp and BMW to come up with a heavy side car Motorcycle that would handle the rigors of war.
Zundapp created the Zundapp KS 750 (1941-1948)

The BMW created the
BMW-R75, (1941-1945) almost 17000 built

The Russians produced the M-72 from the BMW R-71 plans
They were made at several factories, GMZ (Gorkii), ZIS (moscow) that was moved to
IMZ (Irbit/Ural) during the war and KMZ (Kiev/Dnepr).

After the war the KMZ plant created motorcycles for the Military and the IMZ Factory mostly made bikes for the Soviet civilian market.
The Dnepr K-750 I think is the closet thing made to the BMW R-75 but it is not a direct copy of it.

Zundapp as a company survived the war and mostly made smaller motorcycles but went bankrupt in 1984.\

A BMW R-75 would not survive long on today’s roads. They were meant to be slow, low geared and carry heavy loads. They would be great off road though :)

Briefly from 1996-1998 Ural made a Sportsman model with a full time 2 wheel drive but it was no where near as complicated and robust as the original BMW R-75. The differential gear on the R-75 was very complicated and would cost a fortune to produce now.

Threewheelbonnie 10-18-2011 05:06 AM


Originally Posted by fyr (Post 17092544)
..... To costly to build perhaps.

Exactly. A 3x1 R71 carries three soldiers with zero protection and limited off road capability but is simple to maintain by guys who owned their own bikes and is made in a factory that is up and running. Likewise a Russian bike factory can switch models when given the BMW information.

A jeep carries four soldiers but needs new production facilities to do the gearboxes etc. and you need to train drivers (less of a problem in 1940's USA than Europe) and mechanics.

A 3x2 outfit with all the bells and whistles takes as much production effort as a jeep but still does much the same as an R71. The Nazi's control of production was ill planned and corrupt. No one stopped BMW and Zundapp using government cash to develop their post war planned commercial output until it was too late (R75 was meant to win them ISDT type events). The Kubelwagen is the superior military product. The R75's and K750's are so visible only because they were given to second line units which included the press/propaganda photographers. German units that could get them used jeeps.

Urals survival makes sense as the USSR had less cash so a lot of cheap outfits with a simple 3x2 as required made sense.

Google Norton H4, Harley Davidson XD and Rhone for the allied pre-jeep bikes.


Bar None 10-18-2011 05:59 AM

Some more info
"where it all begins BMW ( Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) Pre-WWII Germany

Mr.Efficiency 10-18-2011 06:48 AM

Our previous poster was correct, the BMW R-71 was a gimmee from the Ribbentropp treaty. Not stolen or reverse engineered at all. It goes a long way in explaining the robust desighn of the Ural and Dnepr bikes.

Anyway the R75 and the Zundapp were great bikes and the Wehrmacht used the rigs for elite shock troops and advance parties and river crossers for the Blitzkrieg. It was the rare application of the motorcycle as useful weapons platform and a tool to carry troops to the fight. Most military bikes were used for courier work or for other administrative tasks.

The last complete rig I saw for sale in the US was a Zundapp. I really don't think the Zundapp or the Beemer could be compared as one being the better bike. Far fewer Zundapps were made, thus them being rarer and more valuable. It is amazing how many complete rigs survived the war and are in service today. It says something about their reliability.

fyr 10-18-2011 12:20 PM

Thanks for all the great info all!

Mash, Ill go look at all those links.

We've got a Zundapp at the local war museum but I dont think it's a KS 750. Ill have to go get a closer look when I get the chance.

OMW 10-18-2011 02:03 PM

I think you will find this website very interesting.

OMW 10-18-2011 02:23 PM

Took this pic at Panzer Museum Munster

OMW 10-18-2011 02:24 PM

And Another ! Mit Trailer !

OMW 10-18-2011 02:26 PM

Pics From Sinsheim Museum

OMW 10-18-2011 02:29 PM

Another from Sinsheim

OMW 10-18-2011 02:30 PM

War & Peace Show Few Years Ago

zundappuk 10-18-2011 02:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Mr.Efficiency (Post 17100876)
I really don't think the Zundapp or the Beemer could be compared as one being the better bike. Far fewer Zundapps were made, thus them being rarer and more valuable. It is amazing how many complete rigs survived the war and are in service today. It says something about their reliability.

At last a subject I can comment on!

The German military certainly thought that the KS750 from Zundapp was superior, in fact they ordered BMW to stop production of the R75 and produce KS750's under licence, however BMW could pull party strings that Zundapp did'nt have access to.

From my experience the Zundapp is a better off road machine, and the BMW is slightly better on road.

Actually more KS750's were made than R75's. some 16,500ish of the BMW and 18,000 of the Zundapp. With a friend we have both KS750 and R75 and within 6 months aim to have them back in action.

Here is a pictures from a tour I ran in the Ardennes. I did it for some Dutch friends with their R75's, we followed the route of Kampfgruppe Pieper.
If anyone would like I can provide more details and pictures

moto.irbit 10-18-2011 05:36 PM

Both Zündapp and BMW made after war as reparations. Zündapp to 1947/8. BMW R75 only in 1945. R35 to 1950s. AWO 700 copy of R75 with Zündapp cylinder incline. TMZ-53 was Soviet copy of R75 but with 1000cc M-72 type engine. One is in Polytechnic Museum Moscow. Not many made, possibly only two. Lack of aluminum probable cause. All GPW bikes made with iron housings. Soviets had choice of R12, R71 and R75 from BMW. One of each from Moscow offer still in Irbit Motomuseum. R71 chosen as was probably immediately available. R75 had to wait until BMW built 20.000 and was to build Zündapp KS 750. R12 was older design. Most favourite sidecar bike in Red Army was WLA and GMZ sidecar. Is thought WLA in Irbit Motomuseum was bike used to design mounts for GMZ sidecar as IMZ did not make sidecars until after GPW ended. R71 bad military bike and needed many changes to be suitable for Red Army use. By 1943 most changes made and good bike. Chinese article on history of CJ bad cut and paste and very inaccurate. Uralmoto not exist in 1938 ;-)

fyr 10-18-2011 05:56 PM

I love the pics from the museums.
Our museum has a bike collection stuffed away against a wall (Ill try get pics next time I go)

Zundappuk, post away my friend. Im all ears and Id love to hear about your impressions. Drop me a PM if you like..Love to hear about that Ardennes ride.

Thanks Moto.irbit. Lots of cool history there & makes me glad I have a bit of it sitting in my garage...

My only hack impressions are my Ural. So that is my baseline. I really enjoy this rig and it does everything well for me. But man would it be cool to try out one of these beasts.

I love the look of the Zundapp as that beam frame with petrol tank sitting in it looks like a solid peice of kit. The motor looks perfect and if I am correct it is not exactly a flat twin but a slight "V" (to aid in ground clearance). If I had a dream bike, well that would be it....

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