DKW Hummel. ULM, small, but brave

DKW Hummel
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Once, when children playing football on the street would hide when they saw the local police officer approaching on his service bicycle ... Recovery: Once when the moped youth had a lot of fun with the local cop on his microlight.

A ULM was the service abbreviation for Ultra Light Motorcycle

That phenomenon was the step just after the service bicycle, but was still under the BMW R50, and the KSA and the GSA. The KSA was the Small Surveillance car, a VW beetle. The GSA… Well, the Volkswagen van. That was the time when two unruly people were huddled behind the front seat of that Beetle and then remained very quiet. Police still had authority at the time. That is, if you didn't happen to be the agent on the 47 cc microlight. And that while the microlight was intended to solve the mobility problem at the police. We write 1961 ...

Great was the astonishment that the General Inspector announced that spring that there were 800 mopeds; Berini's or ULM's (Ultra Light Motorcycle) with three gears, in black with nickel and with a top speed of sixty kilometers per hour, would be purchased. The Corps was not enthusiastic about it. Even the included polishes and leather bags with handheld spotlight with conversion lenses, first-aid kit, folding warning triangle and a piece of chalk made little impression.

Also read: More stories about classic engines

Mopeds of 16+ people usually ran (quite a bit) faster than sixty. And let the microlights have just been bought to check mopeds. There was a meeting about it. So it went wrong.

New Round, New Opportunities

Because as a government you can always spend more money, people then switched quite quickly to the purchase of real light motorcycles. That became the DKW Hummels (which ran 65 km / h) and shortly afterwards the Sparta Sport and the DKW RT50 (which ran 70/75 km / h). At the back of these service vehicles was a metal rack with leather bags. It contained a traffic vest, battery light, first-aid kit, plumobile, two magnesium torches and a writing board.

A driver's license? No!

A motorcycle license was required by law to drive these 50cc engines with a maximum speed of only 65 km / h. In order to save on costs for obtaining a motorcycle license for so many police officers, and because it was not possible to give driving lessons to hundreds of microlight drivers for a driving license A in the short term, an exemption was granted for these vehicles.

Speed ​​in-house

In almost every local force there was a colleague who was familiar with the production of these vehicles or a good acquaintance of an equally local moped salesman. The fast German parts were easy to get. The toppers among the ULMs ran about eighty kilometers. That was against company rules, of course, but everyone knew about it. Also the inspector engine equipment. But because the arrival of that official was always neatly announced, he only found standard microlights. Fine!

A brave survivor

In the meantime we met Gerrit Koopman who is called such an ULM for adoption. It's a DKW. A copy that is original (not 80 km / h) fast. The little DKW has an endearing patina and as a retired civil servant he can enjoy his peace for a long time.

We thank Gerrit for his photos. And if there is an AMK reader who wants to arrest the DKW, we will forward Gerrit's address. Provided, of course, you can provide proof of good behavior!

Also read:
- DKW and NSU - Classic Beauties
- DKW: From global brand to Volkseigener Betrieb
- A very happy customer column
- NSU MAX Special (1956). Hendrik's world champion.



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  1. Ah that moped period. I (year of construction 1955) drove home from school in The Hague in the early seventies on my tuned-up Zündapp. Was stopped by two policemen asking if I knew how fast I was driving. Mwah, about 35? Via a creaking two-way radio, his colleague who was standing back (with a radar gun…) told that it was 78 km / h!
    Having to leave the moped behind and walk home with the school bag under my arm.
    A few weeks later I was allowed to pick him up at the police station. There he was, and above it hung on an iron wire the “wrong” parts such as the carburettor, piston, cylinder and gears. Because the front sprocket was welded to the output shaft (due to worn splines, something the previous owner had done) the shaft was completely removed from the block.
    I obviously did not accept that (I was sixteen years old…) and asked where I could file a complaint. That is possible with the police, I was told, "there you are now and there is the hole in the door and now go"!
    That my father agreed with him didn't help either… :-(.

    Later it worked out with a Suzuki T500, Honda 750f2, Yamaha XJR 1300 SP and Suzuki V-Strom.

  2. What you describe is the state of affairs at the country groups of the then National Police. The municipal police forces arranged choice, purchase and maintenance autonomously. The only national control was that of the service weapons. The RP was already driving (just like the GP) BMW, usually with a Glaser fairing.
    As far as performance is concerned, these were completely different times. The dynamometer came much later and it took knowledge and experience to be a servant to determine whether such a thing was performed or not. The 'wrong' parts were disassembled and you got your moped (with fine) back, unless you had also messed with the cylinder capacity or had hung a block without a bottom bracket underneath. All tricks were only 'perishable'.
    All in all a completely different time than now ...

  3. In the past you had to compete against a 'ULM' with your moped or not.
    A little later, those ULMs had already disappeared from the streets and we had to compete against real passenger cars or the T2 Volkswagen buses of the officers. I can say that you had to be smart about it. Or you didn't put your moped up so they could control what they wanted. Or you tuned it up and made sure that with an untraceable gimmick you turned the thing back into a 'standard' moped with a single handle. (Left option)
    Or… yes…. you performed it so mercilessly that the cops just couldn't get you.
    The experience values ​​of the necessary speed and power were about 90 km / h + and that when he came out of a corner he even got nervous in the front wheel in his second when you gave 'plein gaze'. And folks, what was available to give a Zundapp the spurs.
    The common inhibitor was more for form. How happy I was with that big Kreidler brake hub in my front wheel !! A serious stopper!
    But let's be honest. If we wanted to ride a motorcycle, we just had to get our driver's license. We became calmer with the years, and that driver's license?… It came. The history of being naughty remains. By the way,… has anyone read the booklet 'Belly Slider' by Gabriel Kousbroek? I can recommend it to you.
    Laughing muscles will be put to the test😄

  4. One of my best childhood memories; local police officer Foesenek ('De Foes') who chased us in December 1962 on his Berini on the ice of the pond in the Brabant Park in Breda, because we were not yet allowed on the ice, and then fell through the ice with his moped, which was too weak, because we were not allowed on it 🙂 Initially we did not dare to laugh, but after Red Henkie Verhagen laughed hard, the ice was broken 🙂

  5. Ben.
    Can still remember that I was chased on my heavily performed Kreidler by the “district commander” on such a Dkw.
    Was laughing, you let him walk in a bit, then switch to his 4 and disappear from sight ... ..

  6. One day, it was in the 60s, we drove rounds on old mopeds and motorcycles at a sand pit near the village. But unfortunately there was a complaint from the neighbors (noise pollution)
    There came the village police officer on his DKW Hummel. Guys, he said there has been a complaint so you should stop. But before you stop, I'll take another round ha ha. no sooner said than done. Yes that was still possible then I still think back with pleasure.

  7. Old mopeds are tough.
    Terribly old-fashioned but tough.
    Even though scooters drive you left and right nowadays, such an oldie always attracts attention

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