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SR1 was built from 1955 to 1957 by VEB Fahrzeug- und Gerätewerk Simson in Suhl, Thuringia (see also: Simson Suhl SR2). The top speed of the machine was 45 kph, and its range was about 250 km. SR1 had to be started with pedals (it could also be driven by pedalling, like a bicycle). It was fitted with air-cooled, two-stroke 1-cylinder Rheinmetall engine 47.6 cc and it had two gears (hand-operated). The rider's position and comfort were similar to bicycle riding, still the vehicle was reliable, light (46 kg) and handy, and many people used it even for far-distance cruising, like going to the Baltic seashore. The price was 990 eastern Deutsche Mark. 151.657 units were sold.

SR1 was the first scooter marketed in the GDR, replacing there famous NSU Quickly from 1953. The vehicle was designed by VEB Büromaschinenwerk Rheinmetall in Sömmerda: „SR” stands for Suhl and Rheinmetall. The moped's construction was one of the best to be found in 50s and the vehicle was very succesful. Initially there was a bit of confusion about driving license and insurance issues; in 1956 a new class was introduced in GDR for mopeds and scooters. In 1956 some improvements were made to the SR1 model, reshaped fenders being the most obvious change. SR1 could be bought with steel or aluminium wheel rims. First units, made in 1955, were all painted blue-gray with dark blue or orange striping. Next, lime-green lacquer with dark green or (not too often) dark blue striping appeared. In 1957 maroon and beige lacquer became most popular. Maroon mopeds were given orange striping and beige mopeds – orange or red striping. In 1958 SR1 was replaced with the newer version, SR2.