1972 DKW 125 Motocross (MC)

Model Information

"With suspension this good, it's understandable why many say it's the best handling 125 on the market." – Popular Cycling

Initially, DKW stood for Dampf Kraft Wagen, which meant "steam-powered wagon." I'm not exactly sure when DKW introduced their first 125 motocross bike, but they definitely were successful off-road winning their class in both the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. Possibly that was the reason for the 2.9-gallon fuel tank, the cool integrated skid plate that was welded onto the frame, and the outboard frame tubing that protected the cases (way ahead of their time).

The 125MC was basically a stripped-down version of the enduro model. The cool-looking "Motocross" model is easily recognized with its leading link Boge front suspension, which was optional in 1972. The other option was the same bike with the new telescopic Betor forks with 6.75" of travel; this bike was called the "Hornet." According to Popular Cycling, both handled about the same when tested. Although heavy, a primary benefit of the Boge Leading Link suspension design is that the front end doesn't dive when the front brake is applied. My 1967 BMW R69S street bike uses the same technology, and I have to say that, in practice, it's pretty cool.

At about $800, the 125MC was considered fairly expensive, but it was nearly indestructible and came fitted with a reliable six-speed, 27mm Bing carbureted 24hp Sachs engine. Other nice features included Magura controls, unique oval-shaped grips, a handlebar-mounted choke lever, and Metzeler tires.

The suggested retail price of the DKW 125 Motocross was $829 (leading link) or $859 (Betors).

1972 DKW 125MC

Before Sachs merged with DKW in the late '60s, the bikes were called Sachs. Around 1970 they switched to the DKW brand name. The 1972 model was the first year of the 6-speed Sachs engine.

I acquired this bike from Greg Berg in April 2004. Greg grew up racing a DKW in southern California during the 1970s, arguably the most exciting time and location for American motocross.

This is a pristine and professional restoration utilizing all original components right down to the correct Metzeler tires, tank badges, and the unique and innovative springs and chains that compose the spring-loaded footpegs. This bike was displayed at the Monterey Historic Auto Week when the marquee was Auto Union (DKW, Audi, Horch, and Wandered).