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NZ 350-1 Specifications

In 1943 the German Wehrmacht wanted a more suitable bike for their Army. The DKW factory came out with the NZ 350-1 - the prototype of this bike was invented actually as early as 1939. This was completely suitable for army service machine, designed and built for this purpose on the NZ 350 basis. In reality there are not very many differences but a few. We are still searching for an actual DKW NZ 350-1 parts book. So far the only book we can find is the actual manual D 605.27 dated 5 Jul 1944.

    dkw-nz350-1.jpg

One of the first major differences is the motor. According to "Short Notice No.328" this new motor started around April 1944 with engine no. 1358201. Just recently pictures came my way which showed an cast iron engine with number 1354362! This engine was very original and the gearbox parts were marked with 05/44 (May 1944) which proofs that official DKW statements have to be treated with some scepticism. Please see the pictures below to proof the above.

     cast iron motor with the engine no. 1354362    cast_gear-thmb.jpg 

The DKW corporation had to make an all cast iron block motor due to aluminium shortages during the war-time period. The mayor changes were the following: The points cover and clutch area changed along with the actual clutch cable entry into the motor. This now entered the motor straight down from on top and not from the bottom like its former brother the NZ 350. The bike now had a new way to check the oil, a dip stick located on top and not from the cover like its former NZ 350.

     dkwnz1-01.jpg    dkwnz1-01.jpg

Another difference in the motor is the cylinder head. On the NZ 350 version it has small aluminium covers on the side of the head. On the NZ 350-1 its all cast iron. (Small hint: to tell a NZ 350 cylinder from a NZ 250 cylinder, simply count the fins above the exhaust ports. On the 350 engine there are 6 fins, on the 250 engine there are only 4 fins.)

                   dkwnz1-01.jpg

There is a difference between the  and the 350 type.

     350_1ftsh_tmb.jpg    DKW NZ350-1 shifter

Inside the engine the major difference is in the crankshaft.

     dkwnz1-14.jpg    dkwnz1-13.jpg 

The air cleaner now was changed as well and a new style air cleaner was mounted. From the previous years was a simple round air cleaner. They now mounted a self encased centrifugal air cleaner. This was a major step forward in design and was leaps and bonds above the NZ 350 version.

     dkwnz1-05-01.jpg    dkwnz1-05.jpg 

Another change was the coil. They now installed the Sp13R which had a 5 point position on the ignition. In the past the ignition switch was mounted on the tank, they now moved it down to the side of the motor. This was a very simple design and much different than the previous Sp12A.

The motorcycle went under a few cosmetic changes, one was the front fender. From the old style art deco looking wide front fender they went to a thin sleek fender. This was to keep mud build up down in the fender.

     dkwnz1-07.jpg    dkwnz1-06.jpg 

The next item was a new gas tank with no ignition mount. They also added a clip which was mounted onto the tank that held a dispatch riders gasmask canister. This is a very rare item. There is a stamping that screws on to the tank. The tank than has two pieces of metal (the same pieces were used on the earlier NZ to attach the knee-rubbers to the tank) welded to it which allows the stamping to screw to it so that there is not a hole in the tank. We have only seen one of these on a bike. Most have disappeared over the years.

* Please note that the metal strap, holding the canister  onto the bracket on the right picture, is not original. Most probably a leather or cotton strap was used to secure the gasmask canister.


     dkwnz1-08.jpg    dkwnz1-08.jpg 

They than changed the front light to a very small light with a sling shot looking mount. This is probably one of the cheapest mounts they could come up with because the design is so crude.

     dkwnz1-10.jpg    dkwnz1-09.jpg 

Another difference is a fin attached to the rear frame. This fin was a mud and snow scraper. The "Fin" would clean the debris off the tire before it passed by the drive chain. Without this "scraper fin" the mud and snow will be drawn into the motor crankcase by the returning chain. This was a very bad thing and in the winter the mud and snow could freeze inside the block disabling the bike. The fin is a direct result of lessons learned from combat in Russia.

The next thing was rear rack braces. These were not on the NZ 350 models and they added them to the NZ 350-1.

     dkwnz1-11.jpg    dkwnz1-12.jpg 

There is difference in the foot pegs on 350-1's and 350's as well. The front and rear pegs are both different than the DKW NZ 350 type.

               350peg-tmb.jpg    350-1peg-tmb.jpg 

This is basically it for the frame and overall bike, not allot of changes to the DKW NZ 350-1.

The bike was available in two main Army versions - one in the grey colours of Luftwaffe - “Schwarz-grau” (black-grey) and Wehrmacht's “Dunkel-grau” (dark grey) and a beige version, known as Sahara. Read more on colour schemes here.


Tech info

Engine air-cooled 346cc, 1-cyl, 2-stroke
Horsepower 11.5 bhp@4000 rpm
Bore/stroke 72/85 mm
Compression ratio 5.7:1
Valves slit
Carburetor Bing AJ 2/24; 24 mm
Electrics 6 volts
Secondary drive chain
Length 209 cm
Width 75 cm
Saddle height 70 cm
Wheelbase 1355 mm
Clearance 12 cm
Transmission 4-speed
Shifting foot & hand
Frame pressed steel single, rigid rear end
Front fork Parallelogram
Weight 175 kg
Brakes drum/drum
Top speed 105 km/h
Tires 3.25 – 19 inches
Fuel capacity 15 liters
Fuel consumption 3.3 liters /100 km

Overall amount 12 000 units
Years of production 1943 - 1945