Originally Posted by Easy-Z
I've heard of Zundapp, but I've only seen their scooters with that big funky front fender. I got a cursory education from Wikipedia on the brand. The flat twin and the driven sidecar makes me think Ural, but this is obviously not a BMW ripoff. Is there any connection there?
I could Google some more, but could someone give us some more history for the good of everyone reading? Were they ever sold in the States?
BTW, the bike looks very complete. Does it run? I'll be very interested to see the progress.
The bike has sat for a number of years. At least it's in a warm building...does not run. Last ran maybe 20 years ago. The owner has not done anything except acquire a few parts it was missing. Fortunately the bike is pretty well complete. Need a tail light and a front fender brace from what I can see. I actually bought a reproduction Hella tail light for my old side car and now see it is the same as the Zundapps used. Parts are not too readily available. Motor is stuck...sounds like a recipe for disaster doesn't it....Engine was free at one point so I'm hoping that it is minor cylinder/ring rust. (hope hope)
The KS601 was made from 1950 - 1958 I believe. I think they only made about 5000 of them. They made smaller bikes into the 70's. The made large & small bikes for the WW2 German Military. I don't know much about their early history. A Zundapp Guru guy I've been talking to says they were somewhat over engineered which shot them down in competition with BMW after the war.
Some photos I found:
Large Zundapp Military sidecar WW2
This is a rare 4 cylinder boxer Zundapp. WW2?
This one appears to be a twin port 2 cycle single...hand shifted
Not sure here...maybe a KS600?
A side valve boxer. Not sure what model.
Odd ducks for sure.
here we go:
The first Zündapp motorcycle was the model Z22
in 1921. This was the Motorrad für Jedermann
("motorcycle for everyone"), a simple and reliable design that was produced in large series. Zündapp's history of heavy motorcycles began in 1933 with the K-series. The "K" stands for "Kardanantrieb"
enclosed driveshaft with two universal joints, the type of drivetrain that these models used. They introduced the enclosed engine case, a novelty at the time. The series encompassed models from 200 to 800 cc displacement
and was a major success, increasing Zündapp's market share in Germany from 5% in 1931 to 18% in 1937.
From 1931 Ferdinand Porsche
and Zündapp developed the prototype Auto für Jedermann
("car for everyone"), which was the first time the name "Volkswagen
" was used. Porsche preferred the 4-cylinder flat engine, but Zündapp used a water-cooled 5-cylinder radial engine. In 1932 three prototypes were running. All three cars were lost during the war, the last in 1945 in Stuttgart
during a bombing raid.
A Zündapp KS750 Wehrmacht
sidecar from the 1940s
From 1936 to 1938 Zündapp produced the KKS500 model. This was the first Zündapp with a foot gearchange, and 170 examples were built.
From 1940 onwards Zündapp produced more than 18,000 units of the Zündapp KS 750
This is a sidecar
outfit with a driven side wheel and a locking differential
, supplied to the German Wehrmacht
Zündapp Bella scooter
After the Second World War
the company gradually shifted to producing smaller machines, notably the "Bella" motor scooter
, which was, however, a relatively heavy machine for its type. In 1951 Zündapp released the last of its heavy motorcycle models, but also one of its most famous: the KS601 (the "green elephant") with a 598 cc two cylinder engine. From 1957 to 1958 the company also produced the Zündapp Janus microcar
Zündapp ZD20 1977
In 1958 the company moved from Nuremberg to Munich
. Subsequently, the company developed several new smaller models, discontinued the development of four-stroke
engines and only produced two-stroke
models. Initially, Zündapp scooters and mopeds
sold well, but later sales declined and in 1984 the company went bankrupt and closed.
After the bankruptcy, the entire production line and intellectual properties was bought by Xunda Motor Co., Tianjin
, China. They produced small Zündapp motorcycles from 1987 till early 1990s. Xunda is still in business, but makes Honda based 4-stroke motorcycles and electric mopeds. 
Zündapp also had a technical collaboration with Enfield India
to build mopeds and motorcycles. A dedicated factory was built at Ranipet near Chennai
in early 1980’s to manufacture small, lightweight two stroke motorcycles to be offered along with their flagship Royal Enfield Bullet
. Enfield launched two 50cc motorcycles first,the step- thru Silver Plus
and the 3-speed Explorer motorcycle. Later, 175cc Enfield Fury (based on Zündapp KS175) was introduced as a performance motorcycle. It had 5-speed gearbox, a hydraulic Brembo
disc brake and a sleeveless hard chromed cylinder barrel, all were a first on a motorcycle in that country.