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Motorworld’s newspaper №34

In the 1930s, the DKW company launched production of NZ series, motorcycles that were dramatically different from the previous models of this German manufacturer. Firstly, the redesigned engine got a chain motor gear hidden under the aluminum crankcase cover. Secondly, it got a 4-speed gearbox, and in addition to the manual, there was a foot shift mechanism. Thirdly, the frame base was now based on a powerful welded front envelope with two rear beams attached to it. Besides, the central switch of electrical equipment was moved on top of the gas tank, which was also increased in volume. The front fork got welded arms similar to the SB 500 model.

The NZ 500 model (489 cc, 18.5 hp at 4,200 rpm) featured not only an upgraded chassis and powertrain but also a spark plug rear suspension, which could be adjusted in rigidity depending on whether the motorcycle was used with a sidecar or in a solo version.

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

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.