10 Best German Motorcycle Brands

Germany is the producer of some of the finest manufactured goods in the world. This reputation for quality extends to the motorcycles that they produce. German-made motorcycles first made an appearance in 1885 and have since gone on to become incredibly popular with riders around the globe.

Several popular German motorcycle brands have made a name for themselves in other parts of the world. This has left many people wondering, what is the best German Motorcycle brand? This guide has compiled a list of the top ten best German motorcycle brands currently available for purchase.

The best German motorcycle brand is BMW. This may come as no surprise, as BMW is one of the most recognizable brands in the entire world. BMW is known for high-quality, luxurious vehicles and that is evident by the quality of the motorcycles they produce. They are at the number one spot due to superior craftsmanship and a broader availability for purchase than some other popular German motorcycle brands.

That being said, there are several other brands worth taking a look at. Using this guide, you can narrow down your search to only the best German motorcycle brands which will help you make an informed purchase when choosing a German-made motorcycle. The list below is in ascending order with BMW at the number one spot.

Top German Motorcycle Brands

Make and ModelEngine PowerPrice
BMW HP4 Race1000cc$80,000
Zundapp K800800cc$34,000
Vintage Brennabor200cc$14,000
Sachs XTC125125cc$7800
Horex VR61200cc$32,000
DKW E206200cc$11,000
NSU Supermax250cc$10,000
Adler MB 250S247cc$17,500
Hercules W2000294cc$18,000
MAICO 490 Mega 2490cc$16,000

The table above contains side-by-side comparisons of all of the motorcycles listed in this guide. Use this to further help make an informed decision when choosing a German-made motorcycle.

1.BMW

Finally, at the number one spot is by far the most recognizable brand on this list, BMW. BMW is known for both their quality and luxurious cars and also their powerful and durable motorcycles.

BMW is responsible for engineering one of the most advanced engine systems at the time. This engine system went on the change the way that manufacturers approached motorcycle engines.

Because of this, BMW is engrained in the rich history of motorcycles. They have since gone on to produce some of the most popular motorsports, touring, and sports bikes ever made. The most popular motorcycle offered by BMW by far is the BMW HP4 Race.

BMW motorcycle

The HP4 Race is an extremely agile and powerful racing bike. It is known for being extremely light but still being able to deliver a massive amount of horsepower. The HP4 Race is one of the most popular racing bikes with riders around the world.

This bike has a hefty price tag to reflect its power and advanced features. You can expect to pay a whopping $80,000 for this bike. If the price tag does not turn you away, rest assured that there is hardly any bike on the market today that can compete with the HP4 Race.

Additional spec information on the BMW HP4 Race can be found in the table below.

BMW HP4 Race
Price$80,000
Miles Per Gallon30
Engine Power1000c
Weight370 pounds
Fuel Capacity4.5 gallons

2.Zundapp

Zundapp is one of the most collectible German motorcycle brands ever made. With a rich history dating back over a century, Zundapp became known for the Wehrmacht side-car motorcycles.

Zundapp mainly produced heavy-set motorcycles before beginning the production of their most popular series of bikes, the K-series. Zundapp closed its doors in 1984, turning the motorcycles introduced into valuable collectibles.

The most popular Zundapp motorcycle is the Zundapp K800. The K800 is popular with modern riders due to the vintage look and the durability and craftsmanship of the frame and internals. You can purchase a Zundapp K800 for around $34,000.

Zundapp motorcycle

Addition spec information on the Zundapp K800 can be found in the table below.

Zundapp K800
Price$34,000
Miles Per Gallon28
Engine Power800c
Weight430 pounds
Fuel Capacity4 gallons

3.Brennabor

Brennabor began producing motorcycles in 1901 and since then went on to become one of the most well-known and well-regarded racing bike manufacturers in the world. These bikes are highly collectible due to their rich history and prevalence in the race scene.

If you can get your hands on a genuine Brennabor to add to your collection or to use as a base for upgrading, you can expect to pay around $14,000 for one of these collectible vintage bikes. Additional spec information on vintage Brennabor motorcycles can be found in the table below.

Vintage Brennabor
Price$14,000
Miles Per Gallon18
Engine Power200c
Weight389 pounds
Fuel Capacity4 gallons

4.Sachs

Another popular modern German motorcycle brand is Sachs. They are currently still a prevalent manufacturer of motorcycles, with a focus on Rodsters. Sachs is mainly known for their powerful street and leisure bikes, as well as scooters and mopeds. They are also one of the earliest motorcycle manufacturers.

You can find many different Sachs motorcycle offerings but the most popular is the Sachs XTC125. This 125cc leisure bike is powerful enough for veteran riders to enjoy while also not overwhelming new riders. You can purchase a Sachs XTC125 for around $7800.

Addition spec information on the Sachs XTC125 can be found in the table below.

Sachs XTC125
Price$7800
Miles Per Gallon15
Engine Power125c
Weight416 pounds
Fuel Capacity3.6 gallons

5.Horex

Horex has a long history in the motorcycle industry. Founded in 1923, Horex focused on producing extremely powerful engines for their racing bikes. These bikes would typically double the engine power of most other motorsports bikes of the time.

After several changes in management over the years, the Horex name has recently seen a resurgence. In 2010, Horex resumed motorcycle production and released the Horex VR6. The Horex VR6 quickly became a staple in the motorsports community and went on the win several championship races.

The VR6 is an extremely modern and powerful bike. It has a 1200cc engine, which is more than enough power for casual to intermediate racing. Because this bike is still currently in production and has some of the most advanced features available in a bike to date, the price reflects that.

You can purchase a new Horex VR6 for $32,000. Additional specs on the Horex VR6 can be found in the table below.

Horex motorcycle
Horex VR6
Price$32,000
Miles Per Gallon15
Engine Power1200cc
Weight550 pounds
Fuel Capacity5  gallons

6.DKW

DKW was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world during the 1930s. It was during this time that their popular two-stroke engine motorcycles rose to prevalence in the world of competitive racing.

DWK bikes can still be found in production today being sold under the IFA and MZ brand names. Those interested in genuine DKW brand motorcycles will definitely be interested in their most popular offering, the DKW E206.

The DKW E206 was a lightweight motorsports bike that made full use of its 200cc motor to power through tight turns and long stretches of track. You can find a DKW E206 from an auction or private seller for around $11,000.

Additional spec information on the DKW E206 can be found in the table below.

DKW E206
Price$11,000
Miles Per Gallon28
Engine Power200cc
Weight375 pounds
Fuel Capacity2.8 gallons

7.NSU

While NSU has become more prevalently renowned for the cars that they manufacture, at one point in time they were one of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers in the world. During that time, their powerful competitive racing motorcycles grew popular with riders.

Riders went on to win numerous awards and championships while riding NSU motorcycles. The power and precision that riders were afforded when riding NSU bikes helped boost their reputation.

This reputation for quality would eventually catch the eye of Volkswagen, who would wind up purchasing the company and turning it into what is now known as Audi. The last NSU motorcycles produced under the brand name were released in 1965.

Because of this, genuine NSU motorcycles have become quite collectible to riders and motorsports fanatics. One of the most popular models of NSU motorcycles is the NSU Supermax.

The NSU Supermax was made for both racing and leisure riding, which made it a great middle-ground for riders. You can find this bike at auctions or from private sellers for around $10,000. Addition specs on the NSU Supermax can be found in the table below.

NSU Supermax
Price$10,000
Miles Per Gallon25
Engine Power250cc
Weight418 pounds
Fuel Capacity3.2 gallons

8.Adler

Adler manufactured one of the most popular German competitive racing bikes ever made. The company, after a brief foray into the car manufacturing industry, decided to cut down production and focus on typewriters and motorcycles.

This decision would prove to be a lucrative one, as for many years Adler motorcycles dominated the competitive racing scene around the world. Adler motorcycles became known for power and precision handling, as well as being fairly priced at the time.

Alder was later absorbed by another company in the late 1950s but was still able to operate in some capacity with bikes being produced under the Adler name for several years.

By far the most famous and well-regarded Adler motorcycle is the MB 250S. The MB 250S is a highly collectible sports bike that featured a 247cc engine and was renowned for its extremely tight and responsive controls.

Like the other collectible bikes on this list, you will likely have to find the Adler MB 250S at an auction or from a private seller. You can expect to pay an average final cost of $17,500 to own this piece of motorsports history.

Addition spec information on the Adler MB 250S can be found in the table below.

Adler MB 250S
Price$17,500
Miles Per Gallon26
Engine Power247cc
Weight411 pounds
Fuel Capacity3.6 gallons

9.Hercules

Another extremely popular vintage German motorcycle brand is Hercules. This brand was established in 1886 and was at one time the largest motorcycle engine manufacturer in all of Europe.

Hercules specialized mainly in middle-tier road bikes and high-performance sports motorcycles. The brand came to be known for the powerful engines it produced and what were at the time extremely advanced technological features.

Hercules brand motorcycles have been prevalent in the competitive motorcycle scene for decades. If you are looking for a powerful and durable racing motorcycle, you cannot go wrong with a Hercules brand bike.

Hercules closed its doors in 1997, leaving its line of competitive racing motorcycles to rapidly gain collectability. By far the most popular and sought-after Hercules motorcycle is the Hercules W2000.

Riders are drawn to the Hercules W2000 due to its vintage look and general rarity. The W2000 was the first rotary-powered motorcycle, making it extremely collectible to those interested in the rich history of motorcycles around the world.

Should you wish to purchase and restore or modernize the Hercules W2000, you will have an extremely powerful and durable base to build upon. The W2000 makes use of every bit of the 294cc rotor engine to deliver power and precision on the track.

You will have to find a Hercules W2000 at an auction or from a private seller if you wish to purchase one. Recent auctions and private sales of the Hercules W2000 had an average price of $18,000.

Addition spec information on the Hercules W2000 can be found in the table below.

Hercules W2000
Price$18,000
Miles Per Gallon32
Engine Power294cc
Weight395 pounds
Fuel Capacity4 gallons

10.MAICO

MAICO is known for the production of some of the most powerful and responsive German-made racing motorcycles available. With a focus on off-road racing, MAICO quickly made a name for itself in the motocross community across the globe.

MAICO riders have won numerous Grand Prix races, which is a testament to the quality and power of MIACO racing bikes. In recent years, MAICO motorcycles have become sought-after rare collectibles due to the original company going out of business in 1986.

The brand does still exist in some capacity, with another German company producing motorcycles under the MAICO name. These bikes are typically 616cc off-road racing bikes that are touted to be the most powerful ever made.

The best bike to consider if you are interested in purchasing a now collectible original MAICO is the MAICO 490 Mega 2. The MAICO 490 Mega 2 is to this day one of the most powerful motocross bikes ever made.

This bike is a collector’s item and can be pricey. Recent auctions and private sales of the MAICO 490 Mega 2 had an average selling price of $16,000. Additional specs on the MAICO 490 Mega 2 can be found in the table below.

MAICO 490 Mega 2
Price$16,000
Miles Per Gallon28
Engine Power490cc
Weight408 pounds
Fuel Capacity3.5 gallons

Final Thoughts

This guide has provided you with detailed breakdowns of all of the best German motorcycle brands on the market today. Use the information provided for you here to make an informed purchase and find the bike that is best suited to your needs.

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