Motorworld’s newspaper № 20
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In 1940, the Neckarsulmer Fahrzeugwerke, AG a German company located in Neckarsulm received an order from the Ground Forces Armaments Administration (Heereswaffenamt) to develop a light tractor-trailer intended to increase the mobility of rifle units, support reconnaissance operations, tow light artillery guns and other military cargo.

NSU Kettenkrad HK 101 SdKfz 2

The NSU Kettenkrad HK 101 SdKfz2 was equipped with a 4-cylinder, in-line automotive gasoline Opel Olimpia engine having a capacity of 36 h.p. at 3400 rpm. Its transmission included a dry single-plate clutch, a 3-speed gearbox, a demultiplicator and a double differential. The running gear included the front steering wheel in the motorcycle-type fork and a tracked running gear mounted on a welded carrying hull, consisting of five duplex rubber-coated running rollers, the sprocket wheel of the frontal engagement and a 170-vv-wide link-belt with rubber cushions. The driver seat was in the front part of the vehicle, two more seats were arranged in the afterpart. This treaded motorcycle was not equipped with any weapons.

NSU Kettenkrad HK 101 SdKfz 2

It was capable of driving cross-country in mud and even over marshy ground due to negligible ground pressure. The motorcycle mass was 1235 kg. It was capable of carrying cargo of up to 325 kg and towing trailers with a mass of up to 450 kg. Also carry two men plus the driver. Fuel tanks with total capacity of 42 liters located on both sides of the driver seat provided an action radius of 260 km when driving over high roads and 175 km for cross-country driving. Maximum speed over high roads was 62-70 km/h and cross-country 40-48 km/h. The vehicle turn with large-radius turns was possible by turning the front wheel and small-radius turns were executed via braking the caterpillar treads.

NSU Kettenkrad HK 101 SdKfz 2

Due to its great cross-country passability and reliability, ease of operation and maintenance, the NSU Kettenkrad HK-101 SdKfz2 track motorcycles gradually found their way into all ground forces, including tank units. They were one of the very few facilities that were capable negotiatying terrain under the conditions of the break-up season in spring and in the fall at the Russian front. Disadvantages of this machine were as follows: narrow track, full exposure of the crew as well as the vehicle’s tendency to turn over when negotiating hills of making a turn at quick speed (and the driver never could have enough time, in practical terms, to leave the vehicle). Drivers were also unhappy about low serviceability of the vehicle: it had some 150 lubrication points.

The value of our Ketenkrad is in its release time. It was manufactured in war time – in 1944. Most of the machines of those years were either destroyed in battle, or used in such harsh conditions that it did not live to this day.

For example, at the end of the Second World War, in order to save aviation fuel, the planes were no longer allowed to move themselves to the runways. Kettenkrads were pulling planes through the taxiways, and most of the machines worked with serious overload.

Manufacturer Neckarsulmer Fahrzeugwerke, AG, Neckarsulm (Germany)
Years of manufacture 1940 – 1949
Quantity produced, units 9 420
Price 6 810 RМ
Today’s value 44 017,9 $
Type Opel Olimpia, carburetor, 4-cylinder, in-line engine with water cooling system
Engine capacity, cc 1 478
Bore and stroke, mm 80 х 74
Engine rating 36 h.p. at 3400 rpm
Carburetor Solex, 32FJ-II
Battery 6 V
Clutch Single dry plate
Transmission 3-speed
Frame type N/A
Front suspension Parallelogram, motorcycle-type, with a large-diameter disk-wheel
Rear suspension Tracked running gear mounted on a welded carrying hull
Wheel size 3,50 x 19 (Front wheel)
Length, mm
3 000
Width, mm
1 000
Height, mm
1 200
Wheelbase, mm
Ground clearance, mm
Seat height, mm
Mass, kg
1 230
Gas tank size, l
     42 (2х21)
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km

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