BMW secured the rights to stock the reemerging German Army of the 1930s with motorcycles for training and operational service back in 1932 with the R4. However, other suppliers - though not as well remembered - contributed to the mechanized capabilities of German ground forces - particularly its motorcycle troopers. This included Zundapp of Nurnberg which supplied its civilian-minded, light-class K500W models primarily for training (though the necessities of war pressed them into the dispatch role for which they were not intended for and, thusly, suffered as a result). Procurement of K500W bikes spanned from 1934 and lasted until 1938.
The military models retained the form and function of their civilian counterparts. A 2-cylinder, 4-stroke opposed engine was used outputting 16 horsepower at 4,800rpm. The engine sat under the rider in the usual way with the frame of the bike being completed through a pressed-steel process. Road speeds could reach 105 kmh.
Like other German wartime bikes, this series saw service into the war's final days.
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
0 tons (190 kg; 419 lb)
65 mph (105 kph)
158 miles (255 km)
K500W - Base Series Designation