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DKW D2-492-13-09
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : SS
Production : 1929 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


Z500 Super Sport -1929

The Little Wonder

Where would the two-stroke engine be today without the immense work carried out by DKW in this domain? Work from which the whole world has profited, since the patents held by the German company became public property in the name of war reparations after 1945. The various reorganizations over the years resulted in DKW changing its name of Auto-Union, then Audi, while the old factory, founded at Zschopau in what became East Germany after the war, had become IFA-MZ.

An Extraordinary Career

The Zschopau factory had long experience with two-stroke twins, starling in 1926. Its first water-cooled model appeared in 1927, and the 1929 range included two versions of the Z500, the air-cooled Luxus and this watercooled Super Sport. This twin-cylinder twostroke power unit, whose power and torque were equal to those of far larger four-strokes, had an extraordinary career.

Modern and Practical

The modern 2500 SS had a car-type Meco carburetor and three-speed transmission, while the ignition, by flywheel magneto, was innovative. On the practical front, the Z500 SS had wheels that were quickly detachable without disturbing the brake setting, a friction damper for the front suspension which could be adjusted while in motion and a saddle tank with a bayonet-fitting fuel cap.


Engine: 500cc (68x68mm) twin-cylinder; thermosyphon liquid cooling; ignition by flywheel magneto

Power Rating: 18 hp @ 4500 rpm

Valves: two-stroke

Fuel System: Meco carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed lever change; primary drive by duplex chain; chain final drive

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

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: detachable 3.50x19 inch

Weight: 320 lb

Maximum Speed: 75 mph


DKW stands for "Das Kleine Wunder" ("The Little Wonder") the Z500 SS was nicknamed, for obvious reasons, "Das große wunder" ("The Big Wonder")



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.

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François-Marie Dumas

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