A bit of history and some stories about vintage bikes for sale

’74 Rickman Zundapp Six Days

I love Rickman motorcycles. Don and Derrick took good motorcycles; Triumphs, Honda’s, Kawasaki’s, Montessa’s and made them better. Right now the current owners of the Metisse name are marketing a Steve McQueen Triumph Desert Replica…for some serious cash!!! I mean take out a second mortgage kind of cash….

But…years back you could get a Rickman framed Hodaka 100cc, a Zundapp 125 and a 250cc Montessa. The Rickman versions were light, handled far better than the factory originals and, would certainly give you the edge in any race. If…you had the talent and skill.

This is whole ‘nother story, but look at the Moto 2 class (formerly the 250cc Gran Prix) in roadracing and next year the Moto3 (formerly 125’s) they are all running spec engines, (Honda, quite a marketing ploy if you don’t mind my saying…)

I have done a lot of research on Rickman framed motorcycles over the years but never much about Zundapp…so while researching this particular motorcycle I learned a lot about the German company. While working at a motorcycle dealership, I asked most of the people there if they knew of Zundapp. You can imagine the blank stares I got. I have to admit here that I knew the name but nothing of the company. It’s pretty interesting.

Did you know that before motorcycles, Zundapp made bombs for the German military. They built their first motorcycle after WW1 in 1921, then later on, worked with Dr. Ferdinand Porsche to develop the Volkswagen. Zundapp built bikes ranging from 50-800cc’s and then after World War Two, like many European motorcycle builders, switched to small displacement bikes only. Easy transportation and economy were the key factors in transportation Europe at that time.

Think about this for a moment, after World War 2 we, the United States, were building and importing the biggest motorcycles we possibly could…Harley Davidson’s, Triumph’s BSA’s…and Europe was scaling everything down to be economical because of the cost of fuel. Not much has changed has it?

Ok, back to Zundapp. After WW2 Zundapp brought out the Bella Scooter, a very cool little classic European scooter. Zundapp was still building big bikes, but that market was dying rapidly. The last of the big (598 cc…the model601) was discontinued in 1951. After that time the company only built little scooters and mopeds and Zundapp finally closed up shop in 1984. They were bought up by a Chinese company, Xunda, and eventually, and still. making small bikes using Honda engines. And one more little thing about Zundapp…they are heavily involved with Enfield India. They are building small bikes for the world market.

This Rickman Zundapp I found on ebay is a pretty cool bike but there are a few questions. What color should it really be??? Some say red is the right color but some histories say light blue…quite a debate I find. Here’s the deal, it’s a really cool little bike that if you want to ride lightweight vintage enduros you can’t go wrong. You only need to acquire a few parts…headlight, tail light lens, speedo, and, if where you ride they require them.. blinkers. There might be a few other things you may want to get but all in all this a very unique motorcycle that has a great history.

To find out more, click on the pic’s below. I wish I still rode Enduro’s, this would be fun.

’74 Rickman Zundapp 125


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