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Audi Motorcycle: 1953 DKW RT 250


If you’ve ever wanted an Audi motorcycle, this might be the closest you’re ever going to get. Long ago a group of German manufacturers, including Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer, merged together to form Auto Union. If you look closely at emblem on the side of the tank, the four rings of Audi’s current logo should be familiar.


Auto Union used the four rings to represent the four companies that made up the merger. So, technically this is not an Audi, it’s a DKW, but the family connection is still evident. Audi even has this model listed in the history section of their site. Anyway, this 250 only put out 11 horsepower, but the 62 mph top speed had to be respectable in the fifties.


This particular 1953 DKW RT 250 was just pulled out of a garage in Riverside, California where it had been sitting for the past 25 years. The seller claims that it is still wearing its original paint and white hand-painted striping. The engine turns freely and has good compression, so hopefully after adding fresh gas and a new battery it will run. $4,500 takes it. You can email Charles directly here if  interested. Here are a few more photos:


  1. Anthony Br. Anthony

    This would be a wonderful addition for the Hermitage here in Nikolaevsk, Alaska
    POB 5133
    Nikolaevsk, Alaska 99667-5133

    NOTE: I/we do not have a great deal of money. Can we work something out???

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    • Charlie Link

      Well I set a price that I feel is very reasonable for a bike as rare as this one so I’m not sure what it is we could work out.
      I initially was going to ask much more but I wanted to make it a bit easier for someone who just had to have it to add it to their collection.

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  2. Jeff

    Must be the earliest example of the “King & Queen” seat lol

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  3. Chris A.

    Like their cars, does this DKW 250cc also have a two cycle engine? Very solid looking bike that looks complete. Not in the same class as the big BMW bikes, but100kmh back in the early fifties is indeed pretty good.

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  4. Charlie Link

    Yep it’s a 2-stroke engine and I should have it running here very soon if it doesn’t sell before then.
    I transported it about 50 miles from where I bought it and to my place and I received of of attention, people pulling up beside me asking what it was and saying how cool it was and asking if it was for sale.
    Hopefully someone will just have to have it and if not then I will be riding it soon enough.

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  5. Dolphin Member

    Vintage bikes values are increasing now, especially British, but whether or not vintage German bike values are generally as strong as Brit bike values, this Auto Union is rare, different, interesting, and seems to be in pretty good shape.

    $4500 for a used bike with a small engine would be a lot of cash, but this doesn’t seem to me to be an ordinary used bike with a small engine. DKW was once the world’s largest bike manufacturer, and both US and Brit bike manufacturers got design drawings and rights from DKW as WW2 reparations and made bikes from them. That tells me these are significant bikes from a significant manufacturer.

    I’m not a vintage bike expert, but my guess is that there are people out there who will want this one.

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  6. Alec McCutcheon

    Fantastic bike – a real engineering classic that spawned several offspring!
    The DKW is much the same as a British BSA Bantam which was a mirror copy (at least the smaller DKW RT125). The story goes that Britain acquired the rights to the design from DKW as part of WWII reparations (before the war DKW was at the pinnacle of state of the art two-stroke engine design) – BSA took the design and just reversed the drawings of the engine so as the (foot operated) gear change lever was on the right hand side of the engine as was normal with British machines . If you look at the engine on a BSA Bantam it looks from the outside almost identical just that everything is the other way around. Harley-Davidson also built a 125cc version called the Hummer and one of Yamaha’s first motorcycles the YA1 was also based from the same basic DKW design. This particular DKW looks especially great in its original condition.

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  7. Zoo Barthelme

    ….Auto Union was the conglomerate of all four….

    Like 0

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