NO RESERVE - 1959 DKW RT175 Trials

Highlights


  • 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.

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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

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