1955 DKW RT 125/2

Known as the most-copied motorcycle and the most popular motorcycle in Germany, the RT 125 was designed in 1939 by engineer Hermann Weber. It remained in production with improvements until 1958.

DKW (Dampf-Kraft-Wagen / Steam automobile) had been the largest motorcycle factory of the world, established in 1919 by Jorgen Skafte Rasmussen, a Dane. When it started manufacturing in 1920, the first models featured various two-cycle, air- and water-cooled engines designed by Hugo Ruppe, and sold those engines to other German motorcycle and small automobile manufacturers. After merging with Auto Union in 1930, DKW halted production in 1944, and was divided up after World War II. The original factory remained in Zschopau, in the Russian zone. It continued production with IFA, followed by the MZ RT/125 brands. In West Germany, it restarted manufacturing in 1949 in the factories established first in Ingoldstat and then in Düsseldorf. It continued production until 1952 mostly with the RT 125 W (West), the advanced version of the RT 125 introduced in 1939. In 1952, it was further developed, with the production of four different versions of what was now the RT 125/2. The 1955-model RT 125/2 in our Museum is identical to the pre-war RT 125. In 1957, the engine was improved for the RT 125/2a, which ran until the following year.

With the lowest exhaust noise of any contemporary motorcycle, the RT 125/2 offered low fuel consumption. Its single-cylinder, 7.5 cu in. engine produced 5.7 bhp at 5400 rpm. The 3-speed transmission was foot-controlled. Both wheels had drum brakes, but suspension was only fitted on the front wheel. Able to reach 51.5 mph, the improved 1953 RT 125/2H model boasted

6.4 bhp and a top speed of 57 mph. Sold for 1,045 DM in 1955, the RT 125/2’s all-chrome appearance was optional. Units in good condition are currently valued at 2,000 – 3,500 Euros.

1955 DKW RT 125/2

  • Make DKW (Auto Union)
  • Model RT 125 / 2
  • Body Style Classic Bike
  • Year 1955
  • Origin Germany
  • Production Total 61,600
  • Rider Capacity 1


  • Engine Single, 2 stroke, air cooled, Gasoline, 7.5 cu. inch, 5.7 bhp, 5400 rpm
  • Bore x Stroke 2.04 x 2.28 inch
  • Transmission Manual, 3-speed, foot shift
  • Top Speed 51.5 mph
  • Fuel System Carburetor, inclined nozzle, Bing
  • Primary Drive Kick starter, chain
  • Final Drive Chain
  • Frame Steel, single-loop, tubular
  • Suspension Front Telescopic fork
    Rear Rigid
  • Electrical System 6 Volt, 35/45 Watt
  • Brakes 2-wheels drum
  • Wheelbase 49.9 inch
  • Overall Length 76.7 inch
  • Overall Width 26 inch
  • Saddle Height 26 inch
  • Ground Clearance 4.9 inch
  • Shipping Weight 332 lbs
  • Tires 2.75 x 19