Zundapp K 500




Zundapp was the sensation of the 1933 Berlin Show where, at the cost of unimaginable effort, it unveiled no fewer than six new machines designed by the famed engineer Richard Kitchen, who left his mark on much of German two-wheeler production.

100,000 Bikes in Five Years

The new "K" series, distinguished by its pressed-steel frames, consisted of two singles, of 175 and 200cc, the K 400 and K 500 flat-twins and the K 600 and the K 800 flat-fours. The 400 and 600 were quickly dropped, but the other models enjoyed an unbelievable success, particularly the K 500, which was built right up to the end of civilian production in 1940 without change, save for an increase in power from 12.5 to 16 hp.

Motor Vehicles for Everyone

In Germany's expansionist mood, where Hitler's grand political plans called for an expressway network backed by motor vehicles for the entire population, Zundapp production soared. The Nuremberg firm could not keep up with demand; in 1933 it had celebrated production of the 100,000th motorcycle since its creation in 1917; but it was to build a further 100,000 by September 1938! The major mechanical peculiarity of the 1933 K-series Zundapps lay in their transmission: the rear wheel was driven by shaft, while the gearbox contained a separate chain for each of the four speeds plus a fifth to drive the camshaft. Well-finished but lacking unnecessary frills, this robust and practical machine had many neat touches, like light -alloy footboards of which the left-handed one folded down to form a stand.


Engine air-cooled 498cc (69x66.6mm) flat-twin four stroke
Power Output15hp @ 4800rpm
Valvesside valves
Fuel System: one 22mm carburetor
Transmission4-speed; hand change shift drive
Suspension girder forks with hydraulic damper (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes drum (front/rear)
Wheels 3.30 x19 in
Weight397 lb
Maximum Speed 68 mph