Custom Simson Motorcycle. What’s That?

Never heard before about a brand of motorcycles called Simson. And you? Founded in Germany by a Jewish family, the Simson’s fled their country in 1936 to escape Hitler’s dictatorship. Under the framework of dispossession of Jewish industrialists a trustee took control of the firm and merged it with other German factories.

Then in 1946 when World War II ended, the manufacturing plant was partially dismantled and transported to the Soviet Union (USSR). This was part of the Soviet reparations’ program to compensate for the damage inflicted on the USSR by Germany during the war. The Simson factory was integrated into the Soviet SAG Awtowelo (state stock company motorcycle). Later, the USSR handed back control of the factory to the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and in 1952 it was renamed VEB Fahrzeug-und Gerätewerk Simson Suhl.

Simson produced more than 300,000 motorcycles of the type AWO 425. There was 2 models: touring and sport. A 1960 sport model that was shaft driven with 250 cc four stroke engine and twin shock rear suspension is the platform for this custom motorcycle. Bikers from East European countries seem to be still very attached to this brand and I guess it’s the reason why Zsolt Muller from in Hungary spent so much time and money customizing it. A very pretty small cylinder bike. The pro judges of the AMD Europe Championship Of Bike Building agreed with me and recently gave Zsolt a 6th place trophy in the Freestyle Class. (HRF Photography)

13 Responses to “Custom Simson Motorcycle. What’s That?”

  1. 1 Apr 29th, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Sharp little bike! Interesting backstory on the original manufacturer too, I’d never heard of this brand.

  2. 2 Apr 29th, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Almost looks like a new concept bike. It reminds me of an old Sunbeam bike I had long ago.

  3. 3 Apr 29th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    its really will be in sturgis for the amd show…my friend gabby from south florida choppers had a hand in it…hse hungarian!

  4. 4 Apr 29th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Very original and compact bike, congrats to the builder.

  5. 5 Apr 29th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    What a great story & a great custom build.

  6. 6 Ryan Apr 29th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you Cyril for this great article. The story is what makes this bike so unique, especially for us Americans.

  7. 7 industrial biker Apr 30th, 2010 at 6:35 am

    A couple of my mates had 50cc Simpsons when we were lads. That’s in England.

  8. 8 Apr 30th, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    For more about the AWO/Simson, click and scroll down to the story dated 12/30/2008.

    Cyril, love this kind of stuff on your blog.

  9. 9 Charlie Lecach May 3rd, 2010 at 8:49 am

    This was really one of the nicest and most original bikes you could see at the recent Custom Chrome Europe Dealershow / AMD European championship. There are plenty of details you’re missing on the photos, like the Electra Glide rear wheel converted to a shaft drive ! A beautiful work or art !

  10. 10 May 3rd, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    never even heard of a simson before now. (except for homer and bart )
    good looking bike
    nice to see builders using all types of engines for their projects.
    not that i have anything against using a harley motor.
    love the ould shovels myself..
    very interesting feature cyril.

  11. 11 May 6th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I’m blown away by the story and the bike itself. It’s so nice when you run across something so out of the ordinary. CONGRATULATIONS ! and thanks for sharing something so unique.

  12. 12 Alexander Simson Sep 12th, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    ^Such a Sh**

    It’s not a Custom Simson based onthe type AWO…
    It’s a prototype from 1945 built after world war II because the weaponproucing from Simson Suhl was forbidden. They was advised to built bikes and built this TRIAL called BSW Friedenstaube (BSW Peacedove)

    Never was built in series….

    So how ever the tuner got this piece – he’s a lucky guy or a good rebuilder. The only thing he changed was painting and he pulled off the front- and backfender which were full fenders – u just saw not a half of the wheels….

    be lucky with that bike – it’s amazing, but not a custom based on AWO

  13. 13 Feb 4th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I saw this bike in person at a Vintage Motorcycle Show in Dania Beach, FL on January 29th 2011.
    The bike is beautiful and very unusual. Details and workmanship are outstanding.
    It looks like a modern custom creation using old mechanics.

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