► Photothread: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

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phylo_roadking
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by phylo_roadking » 08 Dec 2011 15:45

I am trying to google an image or two of them in Wehrmacht service, they were rare beasties
Having found it at last, I've been through nearly 200 pages of pics in Schiffer's Motorcycles of the Wehrmact by Horst Hinrichsen....and it's not in there!

Markus, that's a very good candidate...but look again at your pic of the Ardie - do you notice a major difference with the motorcycle in the original pic?

In the original wartime pic - there's an oddity; in behind the front wheel, in front of the engines - there's a magneto/dynamo, probabbly drive by a chain on the right side. You can see the "weather shield" over it...

In your pic, the 1929 Ardie twins had had this moved by their engine supplier - they weren't making their own four-stroke motors inhouse from 1925 - for a ten year period or so, they bought-in JAP engines (that's J.A. Prestwich, not the nationality!) from the UK; JAP was a HUGE pre-war supplier of proprietary V-twins and single engines for motorcycles and cyclecars. Up until 1928, the mag/dyno was in the vintage position, in front of the engine...here's a 1928 JAP-engined Ardie 500 single...
Image

Now, here's a 1930 500 single - see the chain case relocating the mag/dyno to behind the cylinder for that year?

Image

Ardie catalogued its last v-twins in 1929 - like a lot of motorcycle companies around the world, the Crash of '29 saw a sudden winnowing of luxury models!

By the way - has anyone noticed the small oval name badge that's been painted-over on the petrol tank? :wink:
Last edited by phylo_roadking on 08 Dec 2011 15:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by phylo_roadking » 08 Dec 2011 15:49

The bike in the picture is a beute-motorcyle...notice the British-style clutch and brake levers/clamps???

It's one of these beauties (sic) -

Image

A BSA G14 1000cc v-twin - and something we've seen on the board before, it's an ex-Dutch Army G14. Note the "vintage" position of the mag and dyno - retained right up to the last year of BSA's v-twins!

See here for some discussion after an initial misidentification - http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1#p1509157

Here they are, before their sojourn in the Wehrmacht...

Image
Image
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Piotr Mikołajski
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Piotr Mikołajski » 09 Dec 2011 11:28

I would say foreign origin due to low registration number. It could be civilian motorcycle "conscripted" to Wehrmacht before November 1938. Or maybe it was beute in Austria after Anschluss?
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by phylo_roadking » 09 Dec 2011 18:17

Piotr - I'd need to check through Hinrichsen's book again - but I'm not sure there were many civilian impressments before the middle of August 1939 - then a whole spate of them in Germany, very often along with their owners :wink:

There was some thought given to civilian impressments on both sides I.E. very often vehicles (two AND four-wheeled) were commandeered that came from manufacturers that were already producing them for military use, and they initially "called up" classifications of vehicles that weren't too dissimilar to what the services would be using themselves. As It was - with the whole mishmash of civvie "domestic-built" types the Wehrmacht ended up with, they did experience a great spare parts problem.

The British were perhaps "luckier" in that respect - they left a lot of their impressed civvie types on the continent! 8O That's why, compared to so many other late '30s types, Triumph's beautiful Tiger 70/80/90 singles from the immediate pre-war period are so scarce on the classic scene for the last few decades - hundreds were called up in 1939 and never came home!

The other giveway is here, as noted before, the tyre tread - see the tyres on the Dutch G14? :wink: Looks like it's still wearing its original Dutch clogs :D The Dutch Army actually fielded two regiments of "motorcycle hussars", mounted on a combination (sic) of G14s and BSA M21s, the 600cc big brother of the WD M20 used in huge numbers by Commonwealth forces during the war, both sigletons and combinations
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Piotr Mikołajski » 10 Dec 2011 02:41

And what about motorcycles captured in Austria? Wehrmacht registrations with such low numbers were assigned before November 1938.
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by phylo_roadking » 10 Dec 2011 12:56

Wehrmacht registrations with such low numbers were assigned before November 1938
And may have ben re-used if their original assigned vehicles were scrapped/written off etc.
And what about motorcycles captured in Austria?
Would there have been civilian impressments in 1938? Let alone civilian impressments in Austria? Any Austrian impressments were more likely to be motorcycles used by the Austrian army....and these were mostly Puchs of various capacities, and BMWs, later NSUs, along with a very occasional Moto Guzzi - and one (1) Harley Davidson! No BSAs.
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Clive Mortimore » 10 Dec 2011 18:24

I still think it is a NSU 601 OSL
NSU 601.jpg
From Heavy Sidecar Motorcycles of the Wehrmacht by Horst Hinrichsen

Note the devise in front of the cylinder.

I have not found any photos of captured motorcycles with standard German sidecars.
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Helmut0815 » 10 Dec 2011 19:50

Clive Mortimore wrote:I still think it is a NSU 601 OSL
I don't think so. The NSU has an upstanding cylinder whereas the cylinder of the bike in question is clearly sloped and it looks like a V2 twin with the back cylinder not visible.

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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by phylo_roadking » 10 Dec 2011 22:12

Clive - apart from anything else, the NSU is a "twin port" single I.E. it was TWO exhaust pipes coming out of the cylinder head....

Image

Which is simply not there on the original machine.

Second - we can clearly see the late '30s BSA "oval" transfer painted over on the original pictured bike's tank...just like the one on the larger pic of the Dutch army motorcyclist.

Thirdly - the opriginal pictured bike has a single-row chain pressed steel primary chaincase...while the NSU appears to have a double chain alloy chaincase, extra wide with a second chain driving the mag/dyno behind the cylinder head.

Fourthly - on the original bike, down on the bottom half of the brake plate we can clearly see the speedo drive boss in the same position as the BSA's....in this case sans cable as there's no speedo fitted on the top of the forks as there was originally.

Fifthly - we can see the front brake arm wrapping round the outside of the girder forks in exactly the same position as the BSA's, compared to the NSU's above.

Finally - THIS is the top of the NSU's cylinder head - a gurt big rocker box...not the cooling fins of a sidevalve motor as per the original pic....

Image
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Clive Mortimore » 11 Dec 2011 01:09

Hi phylo_roadking

I found this photo. Now I found a G14 at approximately the same angle I can see where you are coming from.
dutch BSA G14.jpg
From http://www.portierramaryaire.com/foro/v ... &sk=t&sd=a

The uniforms suggest that the photo was taken 1941-43 so a captured bike would make sense. It is the registration number that suggest otherwise, unless it was a reissue.

Now is the side car on the orginial photo a German one or a Dutch one with addtional German saddle bags?

Clive
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Piotr Mikołajski » 11 Dec 2011 08:38

phylo_roadking wrote:
Wehrmacht registrations with such low numbers were assigned before November 1938
And may have ben re-used if their original assigned vehicles were scrapped/written off etc.
I was sure that registration numbers were not reissued. If they were I have to agree, captured have more sense than impressed ex-civilian.
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by peeved » 11 Dec 2011 10:29

Anyone know if all the Dutch BSAs had crash bars missing in the Wehrmacht photo? Can't make bar brackets out in the WH shot either.

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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Clive Mortimore » 11 Dec 2011 11:32

Hi Markus

I have looked again at the WH and Dutch photos side by side. Where the crash bar attaches, under the fuel tank and under the foot rest are not clearly seen on the WH machine, so did it have them to start with or not will be very hard to tell.

The side car in the WH photo is a German one, the front lifts upwards where the Dutch side car it points down. The absence of crash bars and the German side car begs the question was this a solo bike that the new owners fitted a side car to? I doubt we will ever know.

Could the next photo be something a bit more common like a Victoria KR 35 SS :)

I am looking forward to this thread developing. Like German artillery all guns were 88s, all motorcycles were BMW R75s :?
Clive

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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by phylo_roadking » 11 Dec 2011 14:09

The uniforms suggest that the photo was taken 1941-43 so a captured bike would make sense.
Clive - unfortunately, in this case, Dutch soldiers would hardly be in this situation in 1941-43!

This is the preserved Dutch Army G14 (and reenactors) presently on display at the Army Museum in Delft, and formerly in Leiden.
The side car in the WH photo is a German one, the front lifts upwards where the Dutch side car it points down. The absence of crash bars and the German side car begs the question was this a solo bike that the new owners fitted a side car to? I doubt we will ever know.
Well, it doesn't appear the Dutch Army used any solo G14s, they used the single-cylinder 600cc M21 for this...

Image

As for the sidecar and when it was fitted...if you go back to here http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1#p1509157 we can see they kept their original chairs for some time! Mind you...given that the combo in the original pic is sans speedo, and speedo cable and crash bar...it seems to have been roughed up a bit :D So I guess it's been through the workshops...
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Re: Motorcycles of Wehrmacht

Post by Clive Mortimore » 11 Dec 2011 17:17

phylo_roadking wrote:
The uniforms suggest that the photo was taken 1941-43 so a captured bike would make sense.
Clive - unfortunately, in this case, Dutch soldiers would hardly be in this situation in 1941-43!
Hi phylo_roadking

No the Germans in the first photo :) , the lack of markings on their helmets, they are still wearing long marching boots, and the bikers have their gas mask across their chest. The NCO has a 1938 or 42 field cap etc. suggest that the photo was taken mid war.

I think the sidecar will remain a mystery, but do you agree it looks like a standard German army one.

Clive
Clive

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