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  • Writer's pictureSilvia Josten

Second chance for Simsons: cult moped becomes electrified

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

orangenes SIMSON Moped steht vor grüner Baumallee

19 July is World Simson Day. The motorbikes with cult status have even made it into the World Action Day calendar. The motorbike achieved great fame because it was produced in high numbers in the former GDR and availability was comparatively high. Simsons were ubiquitous in the GDR. With a total of almost 6 million motorbikes produced, Simson was the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in Germany. Two well-known cult models are still very popular today: the Simson S50/51 and the famous Simson Schwalbe KR51/2. The young start-up Second Ride from Berlin is now offering a second chance for these two models: thanks to a sophisticated conversion kit, they electrify the moped so that the former combustion bike into a cool electric vehicle.

Zwei Männer posieren mit zwei grünen Moped aus alten Zweiten: Simson und Schwalbe, zwei DDR-Kult-Modelle
Gründer von Second Ride sind Carlo Schmid und Sebastian Marten

"Second Ride" develops retrofit for Simson S50, S51 and KR51/2 models.

From a project workshop at the TU Berlin, founders Carlo Schmid and Sebastian Marten developed a company specialising in the electrification of cult motorbikes. Why should e-vehicles always be built from scratch? The number of vehicles on the roads increases many times over, because what happens to the existing vehicles, which are often still in good condition? Why should bodies that are still worth preserving be thrown on the scrap heap? The conversion kit transforms the combustion engine vehicle into a climate-friendly electric version within just two hours. Sustainability is thus doubly implemented here, as existing old vehicles are thus preserved and Simsons are given a second chance. Even inexperienced people should find the conversion easy.

What does the conversion kit change?

The conversion kit for the Simson consists of three modules: the drive with electric motor and control unit, the seat with the built-in 1.8 kWh Li-Ion battery and a new throttle twist grip with an associated speedometer and ignition lock.

The vehicle's registration-related maximum speed of 60 km/h remains unchanged. Range up to 50 km. The mid-engine has an output of up to 4 kW, putting a whopping 5.4 hp on the road instead of the previous 3.6 hp. It only takes 2-3 hours to charge the battery. The seat is only slightly harder than on the predecessor. The ride comfort is definitely there, the acceleration is impressive. Pure riding pleasure!

With a sample certificate supplied, you can have the conversion inspected by the TÜV, Dekra or other technical service and have the conversion registered. If you want to restore the original condition at a later date, you can, because the conversion does not destroy any parts and is therefore reversible.

The conversion kit also works for the 2-seater swallow, only the seat mounting is slightly modified.

Elektrischer Motor an Moped in Nahaufnahme


We think that the young company Second Ride has created a great solution to preserve the cult Simson bikes and thus gives the Simsons a second chance to participate in the transport revolution. This is sustainability at its most efficient. More conversion kits for other models are to follow in the next few years. You can reserve your own conversion kit via a crowdfunding campaign. More information can be found on the Second Ride website.



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