The Zündapp KS 601 (Motorcycle and Sidecar)

Zündapp-Werke GmbH1953/1953

Nuremberg Municipal Museums

Nuremberg Municipal Museums

In 1951, Zündapp brought out the KS 601 – a model that made history. Designed by Ernst Schmidt, this was the first new motorcycle to be developed after the war. Its 28-metric-horsepower motor was a further development of the pre-war KS 600. The KS 601's brawny power and often linden-green paint job soon won it the nickname "The Green Elephant." The motorcycles were widely used in law enforcement, and were very popular for racing. Zündapp riders often dominated the popular endurance races of the era. From 1951 to 1958 the Zündapp plant turned out 5,680 "Elephants," which ruled the scene until 1958 and still symbolize Zündapp in the popular imagination even today. Sadly, the KS 601 Elastic, a version with a swing arm developed for the U.S. market, proved to be a valiant but vain effort to resist the end of the glory days of Nuremberg motorcycles.

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  • Title: The Zündapp KS 601 (Motorcycle and Sidecar)
  • Creator: Zündapp-Werke GmbH
  • Date: 1953/1953
  • Provenance: Museum Industriekultur
  • Type: Motorcycle and sidecar