DKW logo

dkw logo


Founded: 1916
DKW headquarters: Zschopau, Germany

Jorgen Scaft Rasmussen registered his trademark DKW, under which the production of steam engines was originally planned. In 1919, the company switched to manufacturing small two-stroke engines sold under the DKW brand.

In 1924, the SM model with a single-cylinder engine of 173 cm3 was introduced to buyers. In 1930, the company DKV became the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. Model Z500 1926 was the first bike under the DKW logo with a two-cylinder engine.

June 29, 1932, “Audiverke”, “Horch Verke” and “Cschopauer Motorenwerke-DKV” united, forming the “Auto Union”.

dkw emblem

In 1951, models Tele-fork-RT125 and the first of two brand-new motorcycles, RT200 appeared on the market.

The next few years were unsuccessful for DKV; the company lost many specialists. At the post-war international motorcycle exhibition in Frankfurt in 1954, the DKW model line was represented by two new machines: RT175 and RT350.

In the winter of 1954-1955 a lot of work has been done on a racing motorcycle with an engine capacity of 50 cm3, and the improved machine has come off the assembly line for the new season of 1955.

In 1958, severe shocks followed – three major German bike manufacturers decided to merge. A new group, known as the “Zweirad Union”, included Victoria, Express and DKW.

In 1966, Zweirad Union merged with Sachs, becoming the largest German manufacturer of the 1970s, as a result of which the DKW brand ceased to exist.