NO RESERVE - 1959 DKW RT175 Trials


  • Prepared for use in trials competitions
  • Easily reverted to road specification should you wish
  • Requires straightforward recommissioning

The Appeal

Trials riding was once ubiquitous across Britain but now, sadly, it is the preserve mainly of enlightened enthusiasts. It’s a pity, but it’s other people’s loss if they would deny themselves the pleasures and camaraderie of one of the most enjoyable and historic forms of grass-roots motorsport. Trials perhaps reached the peak of its popularity in the 1950s and ’60s, when the riders were held in almost as high esteem as today’s professional sportspeople.

While often seen as a peculiarly British pastime, trials did take off in other countries, hence foreign manufacturers built their own trials models, or else their road bikes were modified by their owners for competition. DKW was one of Europe’s largest motorcycle manufacturers and one which threw itself head-first into trials and achieved considerable success during the inter-war years in the International Six Days Trial. While the post-war RT175 was predominantly intended as a sedate steed for German commuters, it only needed to be stripped down a bit and fitted with some knobbly tyres, and then it was as likely a trials winner as ever you saw.

Unfortunately, this RT175 does not come with any history so we cannot confirm whether it was built to trials specification by the works or a private individual, but it is clearly all equipped for historic competition and certainly looks the part. Having been inducted into an important motorcycle collection in 2020, it may need a spot of light commissioning after a short while out of use, but it will not need much before it is ready to attack the trials courses all over again.

The History and Paperwork

There is no paperwork with this bike.

The Condition

  • Very nicely presented with some light patina
  • Frame, wheels and seat all appear in very good condition
  • Deviation from road specification includes knobbly tyres, cut-down mudguards, extra-padded solo seat and absent headlamp

Looking rather on the clean side for an old trials bike, this DKW looks extraordinarily nice. The black paint and the chrome tank are both very good, but a light patina across the whole bike lets us know that it has been around for a few years and seen a bit of healthy use.

Apart from looking pretty, we believe it is very good in all the important respects, too, with the frame and wheels both appearing to be solid and sound.

It’s not just the condition that impresses us. Clearly, a lot of consideration has gone into turning this bike into a competitive trials machine as it is extensively modified from its standard road-going guise, with changes including off-road tyres, cut-down mudguards, a solo seat with extra padding and the removal of the headlamp. It really looks like it’s aching to see a bit of action again.

The Mechanics

  • 175cc engine believed to be all standard
  • All mechanical components in outwardly good condition
  • Some light recommissioning may be in order

Nippy and eager, DKW’s RT175 engine was designed for whizzing around German city streets as well as conquering hilly Alpine passes, so we expect it will be quite capable in trials. This bike was in running order and said to start easily when the vendor purchased it in 2020, and although it has seen little use since then it has been stored well and so is not likely to have deteriorated.

You can see for yourself that everything is in outwardly good condition, so we do not envisage it needing much to get it running really well. It may benefit from a spot of recommissioning, but it should be extremely straightforward and we’re sure only minimal work should be required before you’re able to ride it in anger once more.

The Summary

To most people, the DKW RT175 was a quiet and mild-mannered commuter bike, but this one has had quite the change of personality. Fully equipped for trials riding, it promises to be a very exciting machine and we dare say it may be very competitive should you want to enter a trial yourself.

Said to have been running very well just a couple of years ago, it is likely to need only the lightest recommissioning to get it to the point where it is ready to use in competition, and then you’ll be having no end of fun with it.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1959
  • Make DKW
  • Model RT125
  • Colour Black & Silver
  • Odometer 0
  • Engine size 175
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Hertfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
12 bids from 5 bidders
  • je•••• £1,100 30/06/22
  • Ja•••• £1,000 30/06/22
  • Ja•••• £900 26/06/22
  • jo•••• £800 26/06/22
  • Ja•••• £799 26/06/22
  • jo•••• £700 26/06/22
  • jo•••• £600 26/06/22
  • Ja•••• £500 26/06/22
  • jo•••• £400 25/06/22
  • mi•••• £300 25/06/22

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
Safe, secure payment process

About Max Bids

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.
Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.


C&C prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.
Auctions are extended by 5-minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

  • If your maximum bid is equal to or below the reserve price, your maximum bid will be applied in full if you are the highest bidder.
  • If you are the highest bidder and place a maximum bid above the reserve, we will automatically put in the reserve as your first bid.
    • Once the reserve has been met, Car & Classic will make sure you are the highest bidder using only the bidding increments stated below.
    • We will keep you in the lead up until your maximum bid OR the increment closest to your maximum bid, providing your maximum bid is enough to cover the increment value.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £10,000 £100.00
£10,000 to £50,000 £250.00
£50,000 to £100,000 £500.00
£100,000+ £1000.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.
You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

Watch this auction

Get notified when the auction is starting, and half an hour before it ends.

Problem with your bid

Bids are contractually binding. To help protect you, we have some rules in place if we think it's been mistyped. Please check and amend what you have entered.