The deeper you dive into motorcycle history, the more surprising little pockets you find. Take this 1968 Simson Spatz SR4-1, for example. For those familiar with East German two-wheeled transportation, this will no doubt look very familiar. However, it’s a much rarer thing to see in the U.S., which inevitably contributes to its charm. Well, that and the simplicity of its design, to be fair.
Upon first laying eyes on this particular Spatz SR4-1 and reading the listing, I thought it seemed more like a moped without pedals than a proper motorcycle. Delving a little deeper, it seems that Simson offered the Spatz SR4-1 in three different versions: one with pedals, one with a kick-starter, and one with both options. The model for sale here features a kick-starter and no pedals, but is no more powerful than the pedal version.
An air-cooled, 49cc two-stroke single-cylinder engine powers the Spatz SR4-1, and you shift it with a two-speed hand shifter. The particular bike in question here was manufactured in what was then East Germany, for export to the West German market. Due to import restrictions at the time, bikes brought into West Germany couldn’t be sold with either a horn or a battery. To get around that, Simson stuck a bicycle bell on the handlebars, as well as a 15-watt headlight and taillight that run direction from the engine.
Gallery: 1968 Simson Spatz SR4-1
When new, the Spatz SR4-1 put out a claimed 2.3 horsepower, and could reach a blistering top speed of 40 kilometers per hour (governed), or about 25 mph. This diminutive little scoot was acquired by the seller in 2009, and shows 573 kilometers on the odometer (or about 356 miles). Total mileage is unknown, but the seller says they estimate they’ve put around 50 miles on it since they’ve owned it.
Overall condition is charming and lived-in, with the kinds of wear marks that seem appropriate, given its age. The condition of the saddle is fairly impressive, as many younger saddles are often in much worse condition than this one. As you can see and hear in the video, this bike is a runner—so you could easily zip out on some low-speed errands and grab the attention of everyone in the neighborhood, if you win this auction and that’s your thing.
It’s currently being offered at no reserve on Bring a Trailer, and the bid as of May 13, 2021 is $1,250. This auction ends on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, so you have a few days to make room at your place. It doesn’t seem like it’d take up too much space, though, so what are you waiting for?