The Big Car Database

Sachs Motorcycles

Sachs Motorcycles is a German-based motorcycle manufacturer, founded in 1886 in Schweinfurt as Schweinfurter Präzisions-Kugellagerwerke Fichtel & Sachs, formerly known as Fichtel & Sachs,Mannesmann Sachs and later just Sachs.

It is one of the world's oldest motorcycle manufacturers, and manufactured their first motorcycle in 1904. Peugeot, the oldest extant, began manufacture in 1898. Triumph produced bikes in 1902 andHarley-Davidson and Husqvarna both in 1903. The company produced ball bearings, motorcycle engines and bicycle parts. Sachs Motorcycles was a subsidiary producing motorcycles, mopeds, motorised bicycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The manufacturing of motorcycles was broken out of Sachs into its own company and the mother company producing automotive parts was bought by ZF Friedrichshafen AG to form ZF Sachs.

Sachs took over Victoria, Express and DKW in the 1960s. Fichtel & Sachs became a large maker of automotive parts. Their moped motors continued to be used by many brands until the mid-90s and small capacity motorcycle engines of up to 175 cc displacement were also made. The company began to supply motorcycles for the German Federal Armed Forces in 1992.

After facing a series of financial problems, stemming from pensions issues relating to the Hercules bicycle works, the company went into insolvency proceedings and ultimately saw a successful management buyout led by the managing director Corrado Savazzi. At this time Sachs was reduced to local assembly of small, cheap, Chinese-sourced scooters, which weren't doing well. The distinctiveSachs MadAss was the only Sachs-engineered motorcycle made at the time.

The insolvency administrator Mr. Wolker Boehm was not only able to continue trading, but also put the company in a position to develop new models, such as the new XTC125, unveiled at the Intermot fair in Cologne, Germany in October 2006. In 2007 the company moved to new locations in Nürnberg / Katzwang and 2008 changed its name from SACHS Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH to SFM GmbH. In 2010 it has become one of the market leaders in self-propelled electric bicycles and development of new motorcycle and scooter models has continued, taking the brand away from local assembly of cheap scooters under the crisis years to possibly rebuilding its own former strong identity.


  • 150KN (Sold in Australia as "Express")
  • B-805
  • Balboa
  • Bee 50 and Bee 125
  • Big Roadster V 3.8
  • Dirty Devil 50
  • Dirty Devil 110
  • MadAss
  • Prima
  • Prima G3
  • Roadster 650
  • Hercules 125 cc
  • Roadster 800
  • Roadster V 1.6
  • Roadster 125 V2
  • Roadster 2000
  • Speedjet R 50 (Air cooled)
  • Speedjet RS 50 (Liquid cooled intr. 2010)
  • SR 125
  • SX-1
  • SX-1 (Urbano Limited Edition)
  • VS 125
  • Westlake
  • X Road
  • XTC 125
  • XTC-N
  • XTC-R
  • ZX 125


The precursor of the current SFM GmbH was founded by Carl Marschütz on April 5th, 1886 in Neumarkt as the Nürnberger Hercules-Werke. Initially he manufactured bicycles with eight employees. Already eight years later the company had grown to a total of 170 employees.

  • 1894. Production of almost 5.000 bicycles
  • 1895. Move of the production facilities from Neumarkt to the Fürther Straße in Nuremberg
  • 1898. Hercules develops an electronic vehicle, capable of 40 kph maximum speed and a radius of 40 kilometres
  • 1905. Production of the first motorcycles and start of the truck production with 1,2 t capacity
  • 1928. Start of the motorcycle production using JAP, Villiers, Moser, Bark, Sturmey-Archer and SACHS engines
  • 1930. Production of three-wheeled automobiles with 200 cc-engines
  • 1945. After the Second World War restart with 30 employees, first producing milk churns, then producing bicycles. Later production of the first motorcycles with a 97 cc-engine and following a motorcycle with a 125 cc-Ilo-engine
  • 1951. World record by Georg Dotterweich on a 50 cc-engine assisted bicycle reaching an average speed of 79 kph
  • 1962. Supply of the SACHS 50/5 - engine. Production of the successful model K50
  • 1963. Fichtel & Sachs AG, Schweinfurt takes over the Nürnberger Hercules- Werke GmbH
  • 1964. Great sportive success of 222 factory and private drivers: 1.049 gold-, 151 silver- and 58 bronze-medals
  • 1965. Take over of Zweirad-Union with the brand names Victoria, Express and DKW by Fichtel & Sachs AG, Schweinfurt Development of the predecessor of modern Quads named KRAKA (Kraftkarren). This agile all-terrain vehicle with a total weight of only 528kg, a 400 cc-engine and 18 HP had various functions in public services, forestry and military
  • 1974. SACHS introduces the world's first motorcycle with a Wankel - engine
  • 1987. Introduction of the Saxonette - a bicycle with a 30 cc-wheel-hub engine
  • 1990. Presentation of the first electric moped reaching production status on the IFMA in Cologne
  • 1991. Hercules builds the motorcycle K 180 BW for the German Federal Armed Forces
  • 1995. New shareholder structure: the bicycle department is sold to the Dutch ATAG- group, the motorising department is renamed to SACHS Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH
  • 1997. Development and production of a new 125 cc model range. Contract with Daimler-Benz for the production of the Mercedes Hybrid Bike.
  • 1998. The SACHS Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH is sold to the Dutch Winning Wheels Group
  • 1999. Development of the Roadster 650 and Roadster 800
  • 2000. Presentation of the Roadster series with 650 cc- and 800cc- engines and start of production. Presentation of the SACHS BEAST. 1000 at the world's largest international motorcycle exhibition, the Intermot in Munich.
  • 2002. Starting in April SACHS produces a limited edition of the legendary MUENCH MAMMUT 2000, the strongest and most expensive serial motorcycle of the world
  • 2003. Introduction of the first electronic bicycle with energy recuperation reaching a distance of 80 km
  • 2004. Merger of the two traditional two-wheeler companies of Nuremberg SACHS Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH and Zweirad Union Grundbesitz AG
  • 2005. 100 years serial production of motorised vehicles. Re-entry on the US market with MadAss models. Foundation of the SACHS Bikes Owners Club.
  • 2006. Introduction and serial production of the MadAss 125. Asian investment group invests in SACHS.
  • 2007. Move to new facilities in Nuremberg / Katzwang. Presentation of the ATV 4rock 450 and 4rock 650 as well as the 400 cc-engine scooter Quattrocento.
  • 2008. Name change: "SACHS Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik GmbH" becomes "SFM GmbH". Introduction of new Speedjet and Speedforce models as well as the 125cc-Scooter "Futuro".

(source: Sachs)

ZF Sachs

ZF Sachs AG was a German manufacturer of automotive parts, producing powertrain and suspension components. It was formerly known as Fichtel & SachsMannesmann Sachs and Sachs. In the past the company also produced ball bearings, motorcycle engines, bicycle parts and – via its subsidiary Sachs Motorcycles– motorcycles, mopeds, motorised bicycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).


On 1 August 1895, the Schweinfurter Präzisions-Kugellagerwerke Fichtel & Sachs general partnership (oHG) was founded in Schweinfurt by inventors Ernst Sachs(1867-1932) and Karl Fichtel, to produce ball bearings and bicycle hubs. In 1897, the company introduced its freewheel for bicycles, which became widely popular.

By 1911, the year Fichtel died, the company had approximately 7,000 employees. In 1923, the oHG partnership was changed to a stock corporation, and the ball bearing division was sold to the SKF, a Swedish ball bearing corporation, with the condition that the production remain in Schweinfurt permanently.

From 1929 to 1996, F&S also produced motors, first for bicycles, and later for motorbikes, two-stroke snowmobiles, and small cars. In 1929, F&S started production of automobile components, mainly clutches and shock absorbers. Ernst Sachs died in 1932, and, in 1936, his son Willy Sachs donated the Willy-Sachs-Stadionsporting arena to the city of Schweinfurt.

In the 1960s and early 1980s, F&S purchased several traditional bike parts companies and brands like Hercules, Rabeneick, Huret, Maillard and Sedis.

In the early 1970s, Sachs produced the revolutionary Wankel-engine-powered Hercules motorcycle.

In 1987, the German Mannesmann AG acquired the majority of F&S stock, and in 1997 F&S was renamed to Mannesmann Sachs AG.

In 2001, Sachs was sold to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and renamed to ZF Sachs AG. The bicycle division was sold to a US-company, the Chicago-based SRAM Corporation, leaving the Sachs division of ZF to focus on the production of automobile components for drivetrains and chassis. As of 2003, ZF Sachs AG had 16,511 employees in 19 countries, and a sales volume of 2.1 billion euros. The sales volume has since dropped to 1.8 billion euros in 2011.

In 2011 ZF Sachs was incorporated to ZF Friedrichshafen AG.