AWO (Simson) - type 425 course
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AWO (Simson) D2-492-38-12
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 250
Model : type 425 course
Production : 1951 -
Category : (R) Racing


Type 425S – 1955

BMW’s Eastern Bloc doppelganger

One of the lesser consequences of the partition of Germany in 1949 was the creation of a motorcycle industry peculiar to East Germany, though its products always retained a family resemblance to those of West Germany.

A Counterfeit R25

The AWO 425 of 1955, built by the VEB Simson works of Suhl where Simson-Supra cars were constructed in the 1920s, strongly resembled the BMW R25 (13 hp at 5800 rpm and 74 mph). The resemblance stopped with the starting method: conventional kick-starter on the AWO, transverse kick-starter on the BMW. The AWO also cost 25 percent less than the BMW R25/3, while many other details betrayed its Eastern Bloc origins, like the BVF (Berliner Vergaser Fabrik) slide-throttle carburetor, the Isolator spark plug, the IKA dynamo and the excessively grippy Riesa tires.

And a Real AWO

The A WO raced at both Hockenheim and the Nürburgring, but it was neither particularly fast nor particularly powerful, so it had little chance of success against the rival NSU Rennsport, DKW or Adler machines. The BMW's Eastern Bloc doppelganger racing engines were derived from a midly tuned 425 "sport" version developing 14 hp at 6300 rpm against 12 hp for the standard 425. Launched in 1957, this new 425S was markedly more modern with an improved cylinder head and — specially — swing arm rear suspension and 18 inch wheels; the BMW style had gone for good.


Engine: 245cc (68x68mrn) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke; magneto ignition

Power Rating: 12 hp@ 5500 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: carburettor

Transmission: 4-speed left foot selector; emergency hand-shift lever on right; shaft final drive

Suspension: telescopic forks (front); plunger (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.25xl9 inch (front & rear)

Weight: 309 lb

Maximum Speed: 62 mph

This AWO has been stripped for competition use, and the capable cover in front of the engine that normally shielded the magneto and dynamo has been removed.

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

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