11 German Motorcycle Brands

German Motorcycle Brands

In Germany, biking culture has been around since the late 1800s. There are many German motorcycle brands you’ve probably never heard of, but if you’re interested in purchasing a new bike, you should keep these names in mind.

However, Germany has been in the motorcycle business since the turn of the 20th century. Until today, German manufacturers continue to produce high-quality bikes that appeal to an international market. 

Here’s our list of German motorcycle brands you’ve probably never heard of, including some models to look out for and where to find them so you can ride one yourself!

1. BMW

Although best known for its cars, BMW started as a motorcycle manufacturer in 1916. Their first bike, the R32, was released in 1923 and featured a boxer engine design that would become the company’s signature.

BMW bikes are known for their quality engineering and performance, with models like the S1000RR boasting horsepower figures above 200. 

While they’re not the cheapest option on the market, BMW motorcycles offer riders a premium experience that can’t be beaten. If you’re looking for a German motorcycle brand that’s sure to impress, BMW is worth checking out.

2. Brennabor

Brennabor was founded in 1892 and is one of the oldest German motorcycle brands. The company initially started as a manufacturer of bicycles but eventually transitioned to motorcycles.

Brennabor’s first motorcycle was released in 1902 and was powered by a De Dion-Bouton engine. Nonetheless, the company continued to produce motorcycles until 1957, when it ceased operations.

In recent years, there has been renewed interest in the brand, and several vintage models have been restored. Brennabor is again producing motorcycles, with various modern and retro models available. 

Suppose you’re looking for a German motorcycle brand with a long history. Then Brennabor is worth considering.

3. DKW

DKW is one of the oldest German motorcycle brands, founded in 1904. Auto Union acquired the company in 1932, which eventually became Audi. 

This is to say, D.K.W. motorcycles were known for their innovative design and engineering and were very successful in racing. The company ceased production in 1966.

4. Münch

Münch is a German motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1963 by Hubert Münch. The company is based in Köln, Germany, and produces a range of high-performance motorcycles.

5. NSU

NSU was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and pedal cycles, founded in 1873. This -brand originally stood for Nürnberger Strickwaren und Uhrenfabrik (Nuremberg hosiery and watch factory). 

6. Maico

Maico was a highly successful German motorcycle manufacturer that was founded in 1926. The company produced a wide range of two- and four-stroke motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters.

Maico’s most popular models were the 250cc and 400cc Enduros, which were raced successfully in international competitions among German motorcycle brands. 

In the 1970s, Maico also produced several motocross bikes that were very successful in European and American racing.

The company went bankrupt in 1983 but was revived in 2001 and now produces a small range of off-road motorcycles.

7. Kreidler

Kreidler is a German motorcycle brand that was founded in 1903. The company has a long history of racing and has won many championships. Kreidler is best known for its small two-stroke motorcycles compared to other German motorcycle brands.

8. M.Z.

MZ, or Motorenwerke Zschopau GmbH, is a German motorcycle manufacturer in Zschopau, Saxony. It produces both off-road and on-road bikes from German motorcycle brands. 

It’s best known for its enduro bikes, but they also produce other models such as the M.Z. Skorpion Dirt Bike, MZ ES 250 Enduro, and the ES 125 Enduro. 

9. Hercules

Hercules is a German motorcycle brand that was founded in 1886. The company is based in Nuremberg and produces a variety of motorcycles, including scooters and mopeds.

Hercules is the oldest German motorcycle brand and one of the oldest in the world. The company’s first motorcycle was the ‘Hercules Kreidler’, launched in 1903. 

Today, Hercules offers various models, including the ‘Hercules GS’ and the ‘Hercules S.’ Hercules is known for its quality craftsmanship and innovative design and has won numerous awards over the years, among other German motorcycle brands.

10. Zundapp

Zundapp was a German motorcycle company founded in 1917. The company produced various models throughout its history, including the KS600 and KS750. This company was known for its quality engineering and durability, as well as its innovative designs. 

Moreover, the company ceased production in 1984, but its legacy continues among German motorcycle brands through its motorcycles which are still popular among collectors and riders today.

11. Simson

Simson was a German company that produced motorcycles, mopeds, lawnmowers, and automobiles between 1908 and 1995.

The company began as a manufacturer of bicycles and was founded in Suhl, Germany. In 1910 they started producing motorcycles with J.A.P. engines.

However, In 1912 they started producing their engines, and in 1919, they introduced the Simson Supra.

This was a big success for the company and led to them becoming one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in Germany. But, after World War II, the company struggled, and in 1995 it went bankrupt.


There are a variety of German motorcycle brands to choose from, each with its unique style and features. No matter your budget or riding style, a German motorcycle brand will surely be perfect for you.

While the motorcycle industry might not be as booming as it once was, there are still plenty of passionate riders. And with so many different brands, there’s sure to be a perfect fit for everyone.

If you’re looking for something a little different, check out these German motorcycle brands you may not have heard of before.

1 comment
  1. I read a review of a European motorcycle that looked quite radical. The name began with an H. I looked up “motorcycles that begin with H” but it was not in the list. Any ideas?

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