Go anywhere with this NSU Kettenkrad tank bike

Published: 17 March 2017

For those of you looking for the ultimate go-anywhere motorcycle, this 1944 NSU Kettenkrad could be the bike you've been looking for.

The Kettenkrad was designed for the German Wehrmacht during World War 2 as a light, multi-terrain, towing vehicle and came with high and low transmission ranges: 'Gelande' - off-road and 'Strasse' – street, for a total of six speeds. Gelande and Strasse are what the GS stands for in BMW's GS range, making the Kettenkrad the first GS.

The Kettenkrad is powered by a 1478cc inline water-cooled engine from the Opel Olympia car and an advanced track system, which used roller bearings and padded tracks, enabled a top speed of 50mph on road surfaces, making, it the fastest tracked vehicle of WW2.


The bike goes up for auction on March 19 at the Goodwood Members' Meeting and is expected to fetch £60,000-80,000.

Only 8000 NSU Kettenkrads were produced during the Second World War, compared to over 600,000 Jeeps and since almost all German army equipment was destroyed at the end of the war, very few remain. There is no recorded history for this example prior to its acquisition by the current vendor in 2011. The chassis has a stamped VIN of 116381, which dates it to September 1944; it is also stamped 474, which indicates post-war use by the German Forestry Commission. 

For more information view the full auction listing.


Looking for the perfect two-wheeled companion? Visit MCN Bikes For Sale website or use MCN's Bikes For Sale App.