"Speeding" defined the zeitgeist in the 1920s. Motorization meant technical progress and modernization. However, taking weekend trips to the countryside in one's own car or motorcycle was a status that few achieved despite the increased production of inexpensive small cars. Like the automobile, the motorcycle conveyed the belief in technical progress and modernization that was widespread in the Weimar Republic.
While motorcycles were still a luxury item before the First World War, sales figures rose sharply in the 1920s. Between 1921 and 1924, the number of motorcycles in Germany increased from just under 26,700 to around 98,000. Almost 800,000 motorcycles were registered in the German Reich by mid-1931. In the everyday lives of Germans, the motorcycle found use as a fast, cheap and reliable means of transportation. Neckarsulmer Fahrzeugwerke AG (NSU) was the first German company to use the assembly line for the purpose of rationalization and type standardization in motorcycle construction. The "NSU 251 R" built in 1927 was equipped ex works with a 250 cc engine. It was later replaced by a 200-cc engine - produced from 1928 onwards: machines up to this displacement were license-free.
After the Second World War, it was necessary to motorize a people again. This was realized not only by means of the 250ccm-mobiles, which one was allowed to drive with the old driving license of class 4, but also by the successful sale of two-wheelers.
In order to open up as wide a circle of buyers as possible, a new cubic capacity class was introduced on 01.01.1953: 50ccm! However, this did not yet satisfy the definition, because the legislator had a concrete idea of how the 50ccm had to be used. So they offered them either in a bicycle with an auxiliary engine, which was officially called a moped from 1954 on (max. weight 30 kg plus 10% tolerance, minimum wheel diameter 580mm, pedal cranks with 125mm length) or in a motorcycle (heavier than 33 kg, pedals, no maximum speed, driving license class 4).
From now on Alfred Kreidler comes into play, whose two-wheelers did not fit into this scheme. Due to their heavier weight than 33 kg, they were neither mopeds nor, with footrests and kickstarter, motorcycles. Kreidler had thus created the class of mopeds, which was subsequently reflected in the Lex Kreidler when the legislature amended the STVZO again on August 24, 1953.
As a result, mopeds flooded the German market, with foreign manufacturers, some of them distributed by mail-order companies, trying to spoil the German top dogs' soup until the mid-1980s, when the market for mopeds collapsed completely due to the newly introduced light motorcycles.