Technical Information Pages for the Restoration of the BMW R75 and Zündapp KS 750.


Editor:   ERSATZTEIL- DIENST   Hans-Peter HOMMES       D-41748   VIERSEN   Tiefenstraße 10       Tel. 02162 - 8100933

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  No. 76


 Preparations for our winter trip



H - P Hommes


© 2010 h-p hommes



The first Winter Trip with the Zündapp KS 750

Before we started our first winter trip to Norway we got some information about all the good equipment that is necessary. Our trip started in Kiel with a comfortable ferry trip to Oslo. From there we took the E16 to Beitostølen, a ski resort in the mountains.  When the Kristall Rally takes place there are not so many skiers on their way because with minus 25°C it is still too cold for skiing. The Kristall Rally is a must for the real tough motorcyclists in Europe. We wanted to belong to them and planned the trip with three Zündapp KS 750. But to drive a motorbike at minus 25°C requires careful preparation in terms of clothing and preparing the Wehrmachts­gespanne.

For our motorcycle suit we chose a two-piece thermo boy, consisting of overall and jacket and underneath the good angora underwear. Most people in Norway that work outside or on board of ships wear the thermo boy. It is really top. Above 0° C you cannot move in it without starting to sweat immediately. As for the boots I decided Moonboots would be the best. They are as plump as a tub totally ultra-light and warm throughout and shifting the gears is not a problem with them.

For the hands there were American fist gloves with long cuffs and a fur border on top. Putting your hands in there with normal finger gloves on as well ensured your hands stayed warm

The helmet. As a wearer of glasses I had chosen an integral hemet without visor.

A balaclava with replaceable mouth protection which was attached with a few press buttons (sewed them on myself) was the subhelmet.

As a wearer of glasses I had organized double glassed ski goggles, taken them apart and then glued in two old lenses with silicon because the fogging of the glasses during a winter ride can make you feel very insecure.  Forget all the anti fogging towels and remedies, we had taken about ten different ones for a test, it would have been better to have taken another bottle of rum! A good scarf made the connection between helmet and suit.

Now we only waited for the first bitterly cold winter day in Germany to have a test drive wearing the new set of clothes. From Norway we had bought a sleeping bag – brand name Ajungilak (which means “sleep well“). The manufacturer promised well-being even at a temperature of minus 25°C, at still air. And the sleeping bag lived up to the promise of the manufacturer. We decided to take an extreme drive in snow and ice and we also brought along a good igloo tent from Hellsport together with a self inflating vamping mat.

Then beginning of December we had a massive drop in temperature and a snow storm in the Rhine area. That was what we had been waiting for. We met in the late afternoon. Georg, Guido and I started from Viersen over the snow-covered highway towards Aachen. Our travel destination was the Eifel/Ardennes, the transborder low mountain range between Germany and Belgium. The distance is about 70 km. It snowed quite heavily, so there was hardly any traffic.

The few cars that passed our way looked a bit irritated at the three Zündapp KS 750s with their thickly mummied drivers. We arrived in Aachen very quickly. We knew an excellent steak house to warm up and have a lovely dinner. Outside it snowed just slightly, but the temperature was around minus 10°C when we drove along the “stairway to heaven” (a straight up and down hill road built by the Romans) in the direction of the Snow Eifel. After two hours of exciting driving through the snow we turned into a forest parking space close to a small village. It had stopped snowing and we had a moonlit but clanking cold night ahead of us. Guido produced some cans of beer out of his sidecar. But we could have only sucked at them as the beers had turned to ice. With great foresight I had taken a small bottle of vodka. We put our bikes together so that one side of our campsite was open. Then we put our thermo camping mats down.  It was only around minus 15°C and because of the "warm weather“ we had not even brought the tent with us.

As I had no experience with my new sleeping bag, I had left my thermo boy on. But after a few minutes I noticed that it was getting far too hot. So out of the sleeping bag again taking my trousers and jacket off. The head end of the sleeping bag had a wonderful hood with collar. Both could be pulled tightly with a cord from the inside so that only the mouth and nose were uncovered. I slept very well in my Ajungilak that night.

The next morning it was cold, but the sun had already made its way over the mountain and everything looked very pretty. None of us really felt like crawling out of the warm sleeping bag when a heavy off road vehicle stopped at our parking place just in front of our bikes. A couple got out. As our bikes and sleeping bags were slightly covered with snow they had not directly noticed us. When they opened the boot lid of their car they saw the bikes and the snow covered creatures in front of them. They paused and did not know how to react. Out of the boot jumped a huge Saint Bernard, ran directly to us and sniffed at Guido’s sleeping bag. Guido sat up and dog and Guido looked at each other rather interestingly. Then Guido said dryly that the dog had no barrel around its neck like a rescue dog in the alps. He would not let it rescue him. The dog turned around and went back to his master. It was time for us to get up. We could not make our desired cup of coffee as our gas cooker just did not want to work. It was too cold. Gas does not like the cold.

On our winter test drive we came to the following conclusions:


The gas cooker was replaced by a Russian petrol cooker. This one is simple and works at all temperatures. You do not even have to take fuel for it as it also works with normal fuel, but it is then very smoky

Sitting on the bike the thermo boy was very tense at the knees and the cold crept from there through the whole body. We sewed for each leg a sheepskin with a water–repellent fabric at the outside. We put it on with rubber suspenders when the temperature fell below minus 15°C. The sheepskin was like a heating device, it helped fantastically against the cold.  

Do not save on good equipmentlike sleeping bag, tent or clothing! 



Our experiences during our trip to Norway (down to minus 32° Grad)


After some time our buttocks also got quite cold on the thin saddle. A piece of thermo mat was cut in the right shape, covered with fabrics and attached with a cord – thankfully our bottoms were not cold anymore.


The press buttons that serve to attach the mouth protection to the balaclava gave me two small frostbites in the face. I had not glued any fabrics on the blank metal. Therefore the press buttons were directly on the skin and left two spots that are still visible until today.


Sweating which can be caused by starting or pushing another bike should be avoided at all costs. It is advisable to approach everything so that you do not work up a sweat.


It is better to spend breaks during the trip outside in the cold than in an overheated restaurant. In places like this you risk getting back on your bike sweating and afterwards you suffer from the severe cold. I speak from experience. Three drivers that ignored our advice had to stay in bed and miss a meeting due to a heavy cold and fever.


Huts, simple, warm and clean for the night can be found in every small village in Norway that has a campsite.


Tunnels in Norway have their own character. Especially when they wind upwards from sea level within the mountain like into Hardangavidda. At the entrance of the tunnel we had minus 15°C and the temperature increased in the tunnel to a few degrees below zero. The humidity increased enormously, everything fogged up and became damp. At the exit of the tunnel we came into the absolute cold with minus 28-30°C and everything that had just been damp became icy. The visor and the glasses iced up on a few hundred meters drive in the tunnel and limited the eye sight very much. Then out of the dark, warm tunnel into the cold with the shining white of the snow, that dazzles you completely. The temperature differences and the humidity are both problems in the tunnel. Another one is the vision. Driving in snow and sun requires strongly tinted glasses. Driving into the tunnel one sees nothing and takes the glasses off. But it gets warmer the further you advance in the tunnel and the eyes get more and more used to the weak tunnel light.  Visor / glasses get fogged up in the tunnel and you feel the high humidity of the tunnel in your face too. After some time you see the end of the tunnel with joy. But now it starts getting really cold again. Shortly before the exit the glasses are put back on again, but they are full of ice and you drive almost blinded.Tunnels in Norway can be up to 10 km long. The best approach is to make a short stop just behind the tunnel to re-arrange your clothes. Because the next 50 km it can be close to minus 30°C and then every piece of cloth should sit properly. Every small area of skin that is not covered properly will freeze. That is not funny, because especially at the beginning one does not realise it is happening.


It is a great adventure to make such a trip during the Norwegian winter.

But it is an achievable adventure if you are well prepared.

To me it was fun and overall I did it six times.

 Hans-Peter Hommes



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