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Thread: The Kettenkraftrad

  1. #1
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    Default The Kettenkraftrad

    I just read an interesting article on the kettenkraftrad in the March 2014 issue of WWII magazine by Jim Laurier. It's name means tracked motorcycle. It was built by the NSU and Stower companies totaling about 8,000 units. They were designed to be carried by gliders or the JU 52 transport. They could carry two soldiers ( riders faced the rear enduring mud and dust ), tow trailers or guns, lay wire or mount weapons. It was an excellent vehicle in the mud, but on flat roads it could reach 43 mph. It had a six speed transmission and the front wheel and forks could be removed so it could operate just on it's tracks. It was powered by a 1.5, four cylinder liquid cooled engine. All in all, a very useful little vehicle.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    A picture of the one in Saumur is my iphone's opening background. Overall, this is a vehicle I would drive around town pretty regularly.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    Also very popular with allied troops.









    "I just ran out of ammo. I will ram this one. Good bye, we'll meet in Valhalla." - Major Heinrich Ehrler, April 4, 1945

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    [QUOTE=flamethrowerguy;191737]Also very popular with allied troops.

    Nice photos, thanks.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrowerguy View Post
    Also very popular with allied troops.










    I've never read anything on it, but I would have to guess that this vehicle in no small way influenced the post war boom in recreational and commercial use of off-road utility vehicles (ATV's)...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    According to Wiki, production was restarted post war, and about 550 were built for use in agriculture. Production finally ended in 1948 or '49...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I've never read anything on it, but I would have to guess that this vehicle in no small way influenced the post war boom in recreational and commercial use of off-road utility vehicles (ATV's)...
    You make a good point, the kettenkrad looks like a snowmobile / dirt bike hybrid. Sure looks fun to drive.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    It was very useful, one of the few good ideas for light transport. There were others too, though perhaps not quite as practical for the Military. Modern Hyanide Sno Bike in the center.
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    Last edited by tankgeezer; 03-30-2014 at 04:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    They were temperamental to handle on rough terrain.-there is a youtube showing a guy tipping one over on himself.
    Jeeps were similar and many a GI met his end flipping one.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    During my hitch, we used the M-151 series Jeep, which had independent suspension on all wheels. They were so unstable on regular roads, and streets that the Army required 8 hrs of training to get licensed to operate one. Once they began to be replaced, the Gov't required that they be torch cut into four pieces to dissuade people from using them. This plan didnt work very well, as people jigged them up, and welded them back together and drove them anyway.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    Aw I heard a little about these. Quite useful they are. If I could get my hands on one of them I don't need no drives license. Just a motorcycle license!

    Life is short... We should then cherish every sec of it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    I was in Missouri last fall and passed an overgrown yard that literally had piles of cut up jeeps.
    There was a Gamma Goat out front that is said by users to be the worst vehicle ever made in terms of using it.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    The Gamma goat was a handful,and awful to ride in the back of. it was adopted because it could follow tracked vehicles more ably than the Jeeps, and 1-1/4 ton trucks. All wheel drive, and 4 wheel steering made it somewhat nimble. It also was able to swim after a fashion. It could operate with only 5 wheels if needed, but was a maintenance nightmare. Just keeping up with the 80+ grease fittings would be a days work..
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    Last edited by tankgeezer; 04-28-2014 at 01:33 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    80 grease fittings????? That must be brutal !

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Kettenkraftrad

    I bet it was,, no one wanted to work on them. you'd get some serious muscles pumping grease every month.

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