The Big Car Database

Mars Motorcycles

Mars was a manufacturer in Nürnberg, Germany founded in 1873 that manufactured motorcycles in various periods from 1903 until 1958.

Production was interrupted variously by the First World War, hyperinflation in the 1920s and the Second World War. When Mars ceased production for the final time in 1958, production of the 50 cc Monza Super Sport model was taken over by Gritzner-Kayser AG under its Gritzner brand.

The most famous motorcycles made by Mars were the series of motorcycles called theWeiße Mars ("White Mars"), which included the A 20, MA 25, MA 27, and MA 1000 Sport. Designed by Claus Franzenburg, the A 20 and its derivatives had a box-section frame connecting the headstock to the rear wheel and housing the transmission and drive chain, while the engine was mounted in a subframe below. 

The flat-twin engine was designed by Franzenburg and manufactured for Mars by aircraft engine builder Maybach. It was mounted with its cylinders in line with the frame. was started with a hand crank, and had an enclosed primary drive to the transmission. The A 20, with a trailing-link fork, was made from 1920 to 1925; the MA 1000 Sport, with a girder fork and recirculating lubrication system in the engine, was made in 1928. Despite being called the "White Mars", the motorcycles were also available in red and green.

Mars began motorcycle manufacture in 1903 in Nuremberg using Fafnir and Zedel engines. They built the futuristic "White Mars" in 1921, a behemoth with a 986cc Maybach boxer twin and a frame of pressed steel. Production ceased ind 1924 during the worst of the inflationary period, and resumed in 1926.

Rudi Albert joined Mars in 1950 and designed the Mars Stella ‘150' which was deservedly one of the most successful bikes sold in Germany at that time. These were available with Fichtel & Sachs 150 and 250cc engines (and possibly also 175cc.). Mars also employed both JLO and Raleigh engines. Production ceased in 1953.

There were apparently several motorcycle firms using the name Mars.