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Simson Suhl SR2 moped from 1963, the successor of SR1. SR2 was built from 1958 to 1963 by VEB Fahrzeug- und Gerätewerk Simson in Suhl, Thuringia.

[img]Simson & Co was established in 1854 by brothers Löb and Moses Simson, who bought one third of a steelhammer works in Suhl (Germany). Simson brothers produced carbon steel first, in following years they also manufactured guns and gun barrels. In 1871 the first steam engine started its service, and from 1896 the production of bicycles started, followed by production of cars (from 1907). In30s they also made prams. Under the Third Reich, the factory was seized from the Jewish Simson family. Simson brothers were forced to leave the country in 1936. Since this time, the company was governed by a trustee.

[img]After merging with some other factories it became Berlin Suhler Waffen- und Fahrzeugwerke (BSW).By 1939 the company was called Gustloff-Werke – Waffenwerk Suhl, named after assassinated Swiss Nazi Wilhelm Gustloff. As well as the main works in Suhl, the Gustloff-Werke had branch factories at Greiz in Thuringia and at Łódź in Nazi-occupied Poland. Sachs-engined motorcycles from 47 cc to 123 cc were made within the Gustloff group from about 1934 until about 1940. The firm continued to build bicycles, weapons and cars until 1945.

[img]In 1946, by order of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany the manufacturing plant was partially dismantled and transported to the Soviet Union as part of the Soviet reparations programme for the damage inflicted on the USSR by Germany during the Second World War. In 1947 the factory was integrated into the Sowjetische Aktiensgesellschaft Awtowelo (SAG Awtowelo or "Soviet Avtovelo Company Limited").

In late 1948 the Soviet military administration ordered to build a bike with a 250 cc four-stroke engine (first known as AWO 425, and later as Simson 425). The production started in 1950. In 1955, the year that the 425 S motorcycle was launched and the Simson brand name was restored, the factory also began making two-stroke mopeds. The first model was the SR 1, a 48 cc machine producing 1.5 bhp. This was succeeded by the SR 2 in 1957 and the SR 2E in 1959. In 1958 Simson launched the KR 50, which has integral legshields and a rear wheel enclosure like a motor scooter, but 16-inch (410 mm) wheels like a small motorcycle. When four-stroke motorcycle production was terminated in 1961, the Simson factory was directed to concentrate on moped production. It lasted as long, as GDR (German Democratic Republic) existed. In the late 1980s the Suhl plant had approximately 4,000 employees and produced nearly 200,000 mopeds a year. After German reunification in 1990 a number of attempts to modernise the assembly lines were made. The company was manufaturing mopeds, electric cars, police guns etc. The production ceased in 2002 and in 2003 the Simson Suhl company was closed. Now the make is continued by derivative firms, Simson Gewerbepark GmbH and TLG Gewerbepark Simson GmbH.