Established in 1919, the German motorcycle manufacturer DKW earned international acclaim in the thirties as a producer of finely crafted two-stroke racing motorcycles. It was at this period that the reconnaissance division of the Wehrmacht, focused on mechanization, was accelerating the deployment of motorcycles. At first, the Wehrmacht did not express an interest in the two-stroke engine produced by DKW. In 1938, however, they decide to adopt the 11hp single cylinder two-stroke engine equipped DKW NZ 350 medium cycle. In 1940, production was started on the NZ version, specially modified for the Wehrmacht.