YEAR UPDATE: The Zundapp Fool
29 January, 2010
Golly, we established the site in November of 2004 and here we are in 2010. How time flies when you're having fun. And we've managed to survive the melt-down of the world economies to boot. My BMW R12's are gone; one got ripped off by a Texas trickster, one found a new home in Sturgis, Mississippi, and one got traded off for some KS601's. I've parted with both KS600's ; one went to California and the other to Chicago where if found a new home and is being restored properly. Said good bye to three KS601 EL's ; one to Germany, two to Tennessee. And it seems that as bikes leave for new places others come in to take their places. But it is getting harder to find them as my site has created so much interest that many people are holding on to their old steeds now and are restoring them. And that isn't a bad thing after all. Both through the site and at the various motorcycle shows around the country, I've met many of the owners and seen their machines and heard their stories and shared their enthusiasm. Hemmings Motor News did a phone interview with me and somehow got the impression that I was involved with the 2-stroke motos and suddenly everybody with a Zundapp 2-stroke was calling me or emailing me for parts and information. And so now I have 2-stroke parts and bikes. I recently acquired another K800 four zylinder, a 1937 model, and a 1937 Royal sidecar, but I haven't room to work on them so they sit and wait their turns. And so also a KS750 awaits it's turn. And others I've never listed. And I plan on doing a re-vamp of the Bone Yard this year to make it a bit easier to navigate and to get new parts up and available. Geez, when I was a working man I thought I just could not find the time to do my various projects, but now that I am retired from work I have discovered that I am busier than I ever was when I was working full time and there is NEVER enough time to do anything!
I had, at one time, a 1928 Harley Davidson Model "J". You can see a picture of it in the AMCA cachet covers. But it wouldn't socialize with the Zundapps so I had to sell it to maintain harmony in the garage. ARGH!
It is just awesome how many of you Zundapp enthusiasts there are out there. I have software that allows me to see visitor traffic and you are coming from all points on the globe. And many of you are here several times a week. I love it. I would most certainly relish seeing a Zundapp Show / Rally somewhere here in the US someday soon. They have them all over the place in Europe. Perhaps it will happen. Restored Zundapps are showing up at rallies and shows more and more frequently. At shows I used to hear " Wow, look at that weird duck", but now all I hear is "WOW, Another Zundapp.....", or, " I remember those. My friend had a 601 and I had a 250." And when I attend shows and ride my KS601's around, folks stop in their tracks and turn to look and see what is making that sound that they've never heard before. It's a great feeling. I often find that when I attend these various shows that I am usually the only person in several (many) acres hawking Zundapp stuff, and yet my tables are seldom empty of visitors and customers. New t-shirts are just days away from this writing. A KS601 Elastic, a Green KS601 with Steib sidecar, a 250 Sabre, and a Citation are in the works. And a better selection of the KS750 also. Some shirts will be available in short sleeve and in long sleeve.
I apologize for not having all the information some of you seek, but there are just too many different models and I can't cover them all. That is why you need to get involved too.
Went to the AMA's Mid-Ohio, July 09. It was a real let-down. There was no organization what ever. No rules were followed. I registered to get good vending spots only to arrive and find squatters on my site who refused to move. When I sought recourse from show management all I got was another spot assigned on the side of a muddy hill. And when it rained kids and adults came out in bunches to turn the isles into a moto-cross track. And if you complained about the mess, the riders became obnoxious. Did meet a lot of other terrific Zundapp owners there and enjoyed good company. But over-all, it was a real let-down to me and costly too. I won't plan to go back there again. Instead, I think I'll plan on going to Wauseon.
In September I attended the AMCA show and swap meet in Davenport and do plan to attend that one again this year. Well organized and easy to navigate around. And I really enjoyed meeting those of you I only get to meet via email. My red 601 Elastic took a Junior First on its first showing. One has to have a Junior First to attain a Senior First at AMCA sanctioned events.
I know many of you are aware of the KS601 Elastic (EL) saga. There were 200 of the Elastic KS601 models built in 1956 and 1957, and all of them were sent to the USA. Even though the bike had drive problems initially, the moto was well received in the US and ultimately became a world class hit because if it's beauty and it's rarity. A friend of mine out of Seattle, Holger Herbert, and I have been conducting a bit of an unofficial census on the beast to determine how many of these machines we could account for. By VIN number and visual count we've accounted for about 30 EL's here in the US and from talking with various people in Germany and Europe we have determined that there are probably 25 ~ 30 more in Europe. Wesley Stark* of Chula Vista, California probably had a lot to do with the European distribution. Anyway, if the count stands at 60 bikes, that still leaves 140 more (give or take) Elastics still un-accounted for here in America just waiting for one of you to find yours to own and restore. One nearly mint example turned up just days ago in Phoenix. With only 200 in total production, you will not only have a beautiful and classic machine, but truly a rare gem amongst motorcycles.
But that doesn't mean you should stop looking at the other bikes. They're all great motos. Even the little 2-strokes have a certain amount of real charm. And they're still very affordable and parts seem to be plentiful. Some dealers act like those parts are worth their weight in gold, but if one shops around things can still be easily found.
Baring any unforeseen problems or issues on the horizon, hopefully this site will be available for your viewing pleasure for years to come. We have paid hosting fees through 2014 so we should be up till then anyway. We're always seeking new material to post and still have quite a bit to put up yet, but if you have material or stories, or how to's you'd like to contribute, please send them in to us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and if appropriate, we'll add them to the site and give you full credit for their contribution. We're always looking for people / motorcycle shops with a working knowledge of Zundapps and the ability to work on them. And we're always trying to bring you the best information we can find so you can fix the beast yourselves.
Support your Zundapp vendors. Especially those producing new parts in reproduction or resurrecting usable old parts. You may think they are too expensive, but without the investments these folks make to bring you the parts that function correctly and look astatically correct, these machines - your and mine - would surely be a hodge-podge of collective farm engineering where anything goes so long as it runs. And we all know the pride of having a motorcycle that looks, sounds, runs, and rides great.
I swear, I've got more projects than Carter had "little liver pills". I've about come to the realization that I've got to clean house, but on the other hand, gee they're soo neet. Maybe I'll sell something next month. It's too cold to sell anything this month..... I feel sorry for the poor slob that has to figure out how to sell off this stuff when I eventually go. I know he'll dance around with glee saying something like "Look everybody. I found this, or, I found a nos something or other. I know he will, because I did when I found it and it's only fair to pass along the passion with the parts. I truly hope I am here and functioning on all four cylinders for years to come, but life is a crap-shoot at best and sometimes you roll sevens and sometimes you just crap out! I've really enjoyed doing this site over the years and I can tell from the responses of the many visitors, that most of you have enjoyed the site as well. Just today I got an email from a man in his mid-sixties that recalls his very first motorcycle was a Zundapp 250 and he was all of 14 years. He said he loved this machine with a passion only Zundapp riders can know and understand. The fella that eventually planned to buy it from him told him he was going to gut it and use the motor for a go-cart. Such was the ignoble end of many an old motorcycle that outlived its original usefulness. Maybe we'll all get to see that Zundapp in America rally someday soon. Just keep the faith, and please, please keep the rubber side down! Adios mi Amigos.
This great web site has been built by the
very talented Webmaster, Sheldon Aubut of SheldonAubut.com who shares our
love and enthusiasm for the Zundapp motorcycle. Without his talent and
skills, we could never have gotten off the ground. THANK YOU KEMO SABE!
* I have just been notified that Wesley died February 2nd, 2010 from complications of lung cancer. Rest in peace old friend.
James return to page 01
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