Germany’s motorcycle industry is known only for BMW, which, like many other European countries, once had a strong motorcycle industry with dozens of well-known brands. But things weren’t always so straightforward, and even though German manufacturers are less renowned internationally than, for example, their British or Italian rivals, they still need to make a significant contribution to motorcycle history. Some businesses, such as BMW, Horex, and Zundapp, did not begin producing bikes until after World War II when companies struggled to survive after spending the war building military vehicles, aircraft, and weapons. However, some businesses can be traced back to the early 1900s, when motorcycles first became popular. Following is the complete list of Top Ten Best German Bike Brands in the World.
Top Ten Best German Bike Brands in the World – Top Rated
Danish engineer Jörgen Skafte Rasmussen established a business in Zschopau, Saxony, Germany, to manufacture steam fittings. He designed a two-stroke toy engine, installed it in a motorcycle, and named it Das Kleinwunder (The Little Wonder), hence the DKW after he failed to build a steam-powered vehicle.
DKW was the largest motorcycle manufacturer between the two world wars. After the Wall Street Crash in 1932, the company merged with Audi, Harsch, and Wanderer to form Auto Union, which would later become the company we now know as Audi. The four circles on the badge stand for the four companies. After World War II, the DKW RT125 would become known as the BSA Bantam and the Harley-Davidson Hummer when the design was awarded as war reparations. During this time, DKW’s motorcycle division would also change its name to MZ. The DKW W-2000 featuring Wankel Engine is the famous motorcycle of the brand.
It is one of the few old German brand names that have been revived recently. Fritz Klemann founded Horex in 1923, inspired by his father’s Rex Preservation Jar Company and his hometown of Homburg. The company purchased engines from Columbus, a different German company.
If you believe that Triumph was the first manufacturer to commercialize a parallel twin engine, think again. Horex unveiled its 600cc and 800cc similar twins five years before the Triumph. Motorcycle production was restarted after World War II but was discontinued once Daimler-Benz acquired the company. Since then, the name has been controlled by many parties, who have also introduced new models. The most recent is a narrow-angle supercharged V6, which is famous motorcycle in Six-cylinder Production Bikes.
In the ultra-lightweight, 50cc class, the Kreidler stands out in any history of Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the 1970s. The business was founded in 1903 as an iron and wire mill, and motorcycle production did not begin until 1951 due to his success in 50cc Grand Prix racing.
The single-cylinder two-stroke motor, based on an ordinary Kraidler Floret road bike, produced nine horsepower and a top speed of 85 mph and won the manufacturer eight 50cc world championships between 1971 and 1983. Helped win the Ship Championship, which was the last year.
In the history of off-road racing, Bultaco, Montessa, and Fantic were once listed in the same sentence as Maico, founded in 1926 and produced its small-displacement two-stroke engines. The motorcycle is also including among the list of Top Ten Best Dirt Bike Brands on Bikes Catalog. The business began producing complete motorcycles during World War II, and by the 1970s, they were a force winning Enduro and Motocross, as well as 125cc Grand Prix events.
While modest production continued until 1986, the company went out of business in 1983. The brand has existed under several different owners, and the firm continues to produce off-road motorcycles. Today, it makes the world’s most potent MX bike, a 616cc two-stroke off-road machine with 76 horsepower.
Contrary to popular belief, MZ (Motorenwerke Zschopau) was founded by the German DKW enterprise (see above), which produced affordable two-stroke bikes in East Germany, then under Soviet rule. The company’s main product was road motorcycles, but it also had great success in competition. In the 1960s, the MZ won the International Six Day Trial six times and was a competitive Grand Prix racer.
When rider Ernst Degner raced west in 1961, he brought with him the technology devised by engineer Walter Cadden for a two-stroke expansion chamber exhaust system.
Friedl Münch worked for Horex (see above) before leaving to build the infamous and exotic Münch Mammut (Mammoth) motorcycle. A 996cc NSU automobile engine powers it mounted transversely on the motorcycle chassis and produces 55 horsepower. Later, he built the Münch4 1200TTS with an NSU 1,177cc, 88 horsepower four-cylinder engine. At a time when Honda’s CB750 was making around 70 horsepower, fuel injection on later models, increased the power output to 100 horsepower. Less than 500 of the 661-pound Münch4 1200TTS were produced before being discontinued in 1975.
NSU, which was founded in 1873 and produced automobiles and motorcycles starting in 1905, joined DKW in 1932 as a member of the Auto Union Group. NSU had 350,000 motorcycles in 1955 alone, making it the largest motorcycle manufacturer during that decade. Additionally, NSU competed in motorcycle land speed records at the Triumph Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1950s, competing with Johnny Allen and his Triumph Streamliner motorcycle. Between 1953 and 1955, NSU won five 125 and 250cc World Championships. However, NSU was known for making mopeds more than motorcycles. The Quickly model sold more than 1,000,000 units between 1953 and 1965 when the company stopped making motorcycles.
Zundapp began by making detonators when it was founded in 1917 as a division of the Krupp Steel Corporation. Like many of its contemporaries, particularly BMW, the business began producing motorcycles two years after the end of World War I, releasing its first model in 1921. Like BMW, Zundapp and Ferdinand Porsche began working together in 1931 to create the first Volkswagen. After the war, the business focused on making compact two-stroke motorcycles, and starting in the late 1950s, these motorcycles were quite successful in off-road motorcycle sports.
Sachs was founded in 1886 and made bicycles before producing its first motorbike in 1904. Sachs is best known today as a producer of motorcycle suspension parts. The firm’s history could have been more notable, although it became a prominent manufacturer and supplier of motorcycle and automotive parts, including moped engines and large-displacement single-cylinder engines. The company was one of the few German motorcycle manufacturers ever.
The brand survived a management takeover in the 1990s despite the failure of the scooter assembly line using cheap parts from China.
Although Kalex doesn’t build motorcycles in the traditional sense of the word, its chassis has won the Moto2 World Championship for the past ten years and will continue until the end of the 2022 season. Founded in 2008, Kalex began focusing on chassis development and began supplying chassis to Moto2 teams in 2010. Stefan Bredel won the first Riders’ Championship in 2011 using a calyx chassis.
Calyx has held onto the Moto2 Constructors’ Championship since 2013, using the teams’ chassis to capture the top four positions in the competition. Nine of the top 10 positions in the championship in 2015 were held by Kalex chassis, and they repeated that—feat in 2016, winning all 18 races in the process. Recently, Kalex partnered with Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) to design new swingarms for the RC213V.
Top Ten Best German Bike Brands in the World – Top List
|Top Ten Best German Bike Brands in the World