Killinger und Freund front wheel drive motorcycle from WW2.

Wow. This is an incredible bike and story. Hard to believe there is a 600cc triple under the front fender. Must have been interesting to ride.

Makes you wonder what else the Allies discovered as they blazed across Europe.

killinger freund - Killinger und Freund front wheel drive motorcycle from WW2.

This is one of the most unusual motorcycles I’ve seen in a long time: it’s a ‘Killinger und Freund’ built in 1935 in Munich, Germany. The art deco styling is obviously eye-catching, but it’s hiding something even more interesting: this machine is a front-wheel-drive motorcycle, like the Rokon. And underneath that huge front fender is the engine itself. The motor is a sizeable 600 cc two-stroke triple—or perhaps three one-cylinder engines joined together. Yet the bike was reportedly very light, at just 135 kg. There’s obviously a story behind this picture too: is the soldier an American who found the bike in the dying days of the war, and posed for a picture taken by a colleague? The Allies rolled into Munich on 30 April 1945, and Wikipedia reports “One motorcycle was discovered by the US Army in the spring of 1945 at a German military installation, but it is not known if this was the original prototype or another Killinger und Freund Motorrad.” If you can cast any further light on this oddity, please let us know. [Thanks to Adam Zerbib.]