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The E200 Model History

[img]In 1906 Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen (1878-1964) together with his co-partner, Carl Ernst, founded a factory in Zschopau, Saxony. In 1916 fuel shortages during the First World War led Rasmussen to experiment with a steam powered car (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen): the project was later abandoned for cost reasons; only first letters survived in company's trademark. In 1919 Hugo Ruppe built for Rasmussen a 18 cc 2-stroke toy gasoline engine (photo to the left). It was called Des Knaben Wunsch — "the boy's desire". Ruppe soon enlarged this engine to 118 cc, and in 1921 he designed an auxiliary engine 122 cc, which could be mounted on a bike frame, driving the rear wheel by a belt. It was also used as stationary power unit.

Rasmussen started to sell the engine to other companies, he also experimented with building his own motor bikes and cars. His first bikes weren't succesful, but the engine was so reliable, that DKW name soon was interpreted as Das Kleine Wunder-"the little marvel". In 1922 DKW initials became the company's registered trademark, and in 1923 the company was renamed to Zschopauer Motorenwerke J. S. Rasmussen AG. In 1924 first notable DKW motorcycles were built: ZM (Zschopauermodell) and then SM (Stahlmodell). Next year E206 model was introduced, fitted with a two stroke single cylinder 206cc 4 HP engine. In 1928, when motorcycles of up to 200 cc engine size were exempted from road tax and could be ridden without a license, DKW reacted more rapidly than other manufacturers and reduced the displacement of its E206 to 198 cc. That's how E200 was developed, and in 1929 DKW Luxus 200 followed. These two bikes had the newly created segment of the motorcycle market to itself for many months, and they were very succesful.


DKW E206 in 1929. Photo from


DKW E200 in 1930. Photo from