Modern design and innovative technology made the 1938 Zundapp K800 one of the most powerful and desirable bikes of its time, and the prewar performer stands as a significant motorcycle today.
The 1930s saw Indian and Harley-Davidson battle it out with V-twins in America and Triumph crest 100 MPH with a parallel-twin in Britain. German manufacturers Zundapp and BMW focused on the horizontally opposed boxer engine. Zundapp introduced its 2-cylinder K600 and 4-cylinder K800 in 1933. Sophisticated engineering set the K800 apart from its contemporaries, and the range-topping boxer was produced until 1938. The 800cc air-cooled, sidevalve 4-cylinder engine produced 22 HP at 4,300 RPM in style. A front engine cover concealed a magneto ignition, and a single carburetor mounted in the rear of the closed crankcase delivered fuel and air. The K in K800 stood for Kardanantrieb, or Cardan drive. The hand-shifted 4-speed transmission used an unconventional chain and sprocket configuration, and the enclosed shaft and bevel gear drivetrain was ahead of its time. Girder and spring front forks and a rigid rear axle withstood any road, and drum brakes slowed the motorcycle back down from its 75 MPH top speed. A pressed steel cradle frame was as sturdy as it was graceful with sleek low-mount exhaust and protective leg shields that brought form and function together and conveyed refinement that was considered avant-garde in the ‘30s. The top-of-the-line K800 and smaller-displacement K600 were well received, and the 4-cylinder boxer enclosed-driveshaft architecture would resurface in the Honda Goldwing four decades later. Contemporary design and trailblazing engineering make the historically significant motorcycle an icon of the era, and this restored 1938 K800 retains matching 195288 frame and engine numbers as one of the last of the line.
Arrangements to purchase this vehicle can be made directly by contacting Mecum representative Rob Williams by phone or text at (262) 236-7705 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.