Classic Racer - - PADDOCK GOSSIP -

Simson AWO ma­chines will make their first UK ap­pear­ance at the CRMC at the Donington Park Clas­sic Fes­ti­val over Au­gust 4-6. The Rennkollek­tiv Simson will travel from Sax­ony, in what was the for­mer DDR, to bring the rare mo­tor­cy­cles to race and pa­rade. Only 15 such race ma­chines were ever pro­duced for sale, to­gether with an­other hand­ful of works ma­chines which were ex­clu­sive to fac­tory rid­ers. The bikes, which date from 1952 to 1955, are 250cc and 350cc sin­gle-cylin­der four-strokes, with shaft drive and four-speed gear­boxes. It is hoped that 10 ma­chines will be present. The Simson fac­tory started in 1856, pro­duc­ing every­thing from ham­mers to prams, bi­cy­cles, clip-on en­gines for bi­cy­cles, ri­fles, pis­tols, qual­ity cars and of course mo­tor­cy­cles. Simson be­came known in the UK for the 50cc range of two-stroke ma­chines, but the four- stroke ma­chines were never sold here. Al­though the fac­tory went through many changes it was the Sovi­ets who de­cided that Simson should pro­duce four-stroke ma­chines, un­der the then Soviet name of AWTOVELO (mo­tor­cy­cle) which was ab­bre­vi­ated to AWO, which is what ap­pears on the tanks of these rac­ers. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Rennkollek­tiv will be Stromhardt Kraft, a MZ125 RE racer from the clas­sic 1960’s era and com­peti­tor in over 70 in­ter­na­tional races.

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