Saturday Bonus: 1942 Zündapp KS750 "The Rommel Buffalo".

August 13, 2011



Ben Piff said...

I just couldn't believe the story, the design features, and the amount of detail crammed into such a tiny package. Riding in this off road motorcycle was the best thing I've ever done.

Tony Thayer said...

That looks like an incredible amount of fun. The 'modern' equivalent is the Ural sidecar motorcycle, which is a copy of a WWII BMW sidecar bike, though this looks like a whole different beast. I don't think the Ural has a locking differential.

Tony Piff said...

this is top-drawer on every level, obviously. the fact that it runs is icing on the icing, and you got to ride in it???

I don't think I've gotten a ride from a stranger doing this yet. but I guess that's on the list now.

Ben Piff said...

Ben Piff!

I found the Zundapp in England 1993. The previous owner found it in a warehouse in Poland, when he bought and imported some antique furniture from Warsaw to to England. I bought it from him in the state it was in when leaving Poland. It took me two years to restore it to original.

The bike has frame no 606185 and was originally registered under Luftwaffe. The engine and sidecar has the same no. It was initially designated to The German Africa Corps. However it never came to Africa. Instead it ended up at the East Front (Russia) 1943. After the war it was left by the Germans in Poland and later taken over by the Polish Police. When spare parts became limited, it was sold to a Polish farmer, who used it at a farm tractor.

I have never seen tires so worn out as those it came with. All brake pads were missing and a freight train like braking device worked directly at the rear tire. The bike could only be described as totally worn out and run down. I found the needed spare parts for it in Germany and brought it back to 100 % stock. I registered it in London half a year before my wife, who then served in US Navy, London was transfered back to USA for retirement. I drove it 3 months in London and it got an amazing attention where ever we took it. It is very reliable and it is in original condition except that is is equipped with an after market oil pump giving a higher oil pressure and bearing leaves in the con rod big ends instead of the original needle bearings. It is estimated by Mr Hans Hommes, Germany that of the original 18000+ bikes which were produces only 250 exists today.

Ben I hope this will help you to write about this motorbike, which by the German Africa Corps soldiers was nicknamed "The Rommel Buffalo".

The prime users, the curriers or as called in German "Das Melden Krad Fahrer" loved these bikes which because of the sophisticated transmission could take them every where.