Motorworld’s newspaper №34

In the 1930s the DKW company launched a production of NZ series motorcycles that was in stark contrast with the previous models of this German manufacturer. Firstly, the redesigned motor got a chain motor drive hidden under the aluminum crankcase cover plate. Secondly, the gear box became a 4-step arrangement, and to supplement the manual mechanism, the foot-operated gear-shift mechanism was added. Thirdly, the frame base was now built of a sturdy welded front envelope to which two rear cross-members were affixed. Besides, the central switch of electric accessories was placed on top of the fuel tank, which also got larger in its volume. The front fork got welded stays similar to those with the SB 500 model

The NZ 500 model (489 cc, 18.5 h.p. at 4200 rpm) featured not only an upgraded chassis and power station, but a McPherson (candlestick) rear suspension which could be adjusted (to change the degree of its rigidity) depending whether the motorcycle was to be used with the sidecar or solo.

The NZ 500 model was much less available as compared to NZ 250 and NZ 350. Most of the manufactured NZ 500 motorcycles were taken over by the Wehrmacht, and they were used, both with the sidecar and solo, in the cavalry units, by the military police and by the SS.

Manufacturer DKW, Germany
Years of manufacture 1939-1942
Quantity produced, units 4 200
Today’s value
Type Twin-cylinder, 2-stroke
Engine capacity, cc 489
Bore and stroke, mm 68 х 76
Engine rating 18,5 h.p. at 4200 rpm
Sparking Battery, left-side kickstarter arrangement
Carburetor Amal WM 76/456
Battery 6 V, Bosch W 175 T 1
Clutch Multiple-plate, oil-bath
Transmission 4-speed
Frame type Tubular steel frame
Front suspension Parallelogram, with frictional damper
Rear suspension Candlestick-type
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size 3,50 х 19
Length, mm
2 200
Width, mm
Height, mm
Wheelbase, mm
1 440
Ground clearance, mm
Seat height, mm
Mass, kg
Gas tank size, l
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km

* – Data from the results of the measurement of the “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov” exhibit.