DKW - Golem
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DKW D2-492-83-16
Photo ou archives : G. Bonnafous

Capacity : 120
Model : Golem
Production : 1921 - 1922
Category : (R) Scooter


118cc Golem - 1921

The armchair bicycle

In 1919, engineer Hugo Ruppe joined the marque headed by Danish-born Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen at Zschopau (Saxony) to develop a small two-stroke engine for universal usage.

Hooked on DKW

First came an 18cc toy engine sold as "Das Knaben Wunsch" ("every boy's wish") followed by "Das Kleine Wunder" ("the small wonder") an auxiliary bicycle motor, launched at the 1919 Leipzig Fair. Rasmussen had first used the DKW initials on a steam car –, "Dampf-Kraft Wagen" – that he had built during WWI.

From Golem to Lomos

In 1921, DKW offered completed powered bicycles and also fined the same engine in the Golem "armchair bicycle", a combination of a motorbike and a scooter. The frame was quite basic: two parallel swan-neck tubes linked the steering head with a double fork carrying the rear wheel and leading-link front suspension was fined. The engine was mounted between these tubes and between the rider's legs. Seated comfortably in an upholstered bucket seat mounted on tiny leaf springs, the rider originally had two high-set footrests, soon replaced by proper footboards. In 1922, the Golem was replaced by the more refined Lomas Sesselrad, a genuine first-generation scooter that used the front fork of the Golem in conjunction with a very advanced swing arm rear suspension that would not have looked out of place 40 years later. DKW's next venture into scooters did not come until 1954, with the Hobby, which, like its ancestors, had small-diameter spoked wheels. DKW was one of the very few marques to have experienced the two ages of the scooter.


Engine: 118cc (50x60mm) horizontal air-cooled single-cylinder; flywheel magneto

Power Rating: 2.5 hp ® 2500 rpm

Valves: two-stroke

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: single-speed, no clutch (push-start); chain final drive

Suspension: leading-link with enclosed spring (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: twin band brakes on rear drum

Weight: 88 lb

Maximum Speed: 22 mph

With its comfortable front suspension and sprung armchair seat, the Golem was intended as "the busy man's motorcycle".

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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