1938 DKW SB500
Registration no. EXU 545
Frame no. 431078
Engine no. 517370
DKW was founded in Zschopau in 1919 by Danish engineer Jorgen Rasmussen and built its first motorcycle power unit, a single-cylinder, clip-on engine for bicycle attachment, in 1921. Designed by Hugo Ruppe, this 122cc motor was a two-stroke, and DKW would remain faithful to this engine type from then on, becoming world leaders in two-stroke design in the 1930s thanks to the prescient adoption of the Schnuerle loop-scavenge system. The latter used flat-topped pistons rather than the then-conventional deflector-crown type, relying on carefully angled transfer ports to direct the incoming charge around the cylinder. DKW was Continental Europe's largest motorcycle maker at this time, manufacturing a huge and diverse range of road bikes during the 1930s.
The machine offered here is an example of the SB500, which was manufactured in various versions from 1934 to 1939, some 19,000-or-so being made. Its 68x68mm bore/stroke, 494cc twin-cylinder engine produced 15 horsepower, giving the model a top speed of 115km/h (71mph). First registered in the UK on 11th May 1938, EXU 545' was last taxed/MoT'd to 1988 and will require re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before returning to the road. The machine comes with Swansea V5C document and is sold strictly as viewed.