Zündapp - DS
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Zündapp D2-492-26-19
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 350
Model : DS
Production : 1938 - 1940
Category : (R) Street Bike


DS350 - 1938

The white elephant of the family

Though another Zündapp, the KS601, was known by the nickname "Green Elephant," the DS350, launched in 1938, turned out to be the white elephant of the family. It had no historical or technical relationship with any other Zündapp model. Its one great claim to fame was a matter of sheer chance: When, in October 1938, Zündapp built its 200,000th motorcycle, the milestone machine just happened to be a DS350.

Improved Cooling

This machine was distinguished by its engine, which had its pushrods positioned at the front and back of the cylinder, instead of at the side, which was more common. This gave better cooling, which was important for a machine intended principally for off-road use. Moreover, two camshafts allowed the use of short pushrods, enabling higher revs to be used. That was vital to a sport machine like the DS, the first Zündapp with pedal-selected gears.

Aircraft Technology

The valve gear technology came from contemporary aviation engines developed by Zündapp that set a number of speed and altitude records shortly before WWII. The frame of the DS350 fell midway between the marque's lightweight and heavyweight machines. The cradle was made from two welded pressed-steel units and the rest of the frame consisted of tubular elements. Despite a competitive price and excellent performance, the DS350 was in production for only a short time. In March 1940, manufacture of private motorcycles ceased.


Engine: 346cc (72x85 mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 17.5 hp @ 5200 rpm

Valves: overhead-camshaft

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.25 inch wire (front & rear)

Weight: 320 lb

Maximum Speed: 65 mph

The DS350 was an all-new design whose career was cut short a few months after the German declaration of war at the end of 1939.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

Please contact me at info@moto-collection.org for conditions and copyright.

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François-Marie Dumas

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