Konig 500 GP

Konig 500 GPThe elegant König was an extremely competitive race bike. Rather strangely, it was powered by a boat engine: a water-cooled, four-cylinder, two-stroke. In the hands of New Zealand racer Kim Newcombe, the König (‘King’ in German) trumped the MVs of the day. Unfortunately, Newcombe died after a crash at Silverstone in 1973, just one point away from winning the 500cc championship.

  • Joe

    When ditching an Umlaut (the two dots over a vowel, e.g. König), add an “e” (e.g. Koenig). It does change the sound and sometimes meaning, like the difference between something being “homosexual” versus “humid.”

    Often seen with Zündapp / Zuendapp, BMW’s main motorcycle competitor during the mid-20th century. Their name is a truncation of “ignition-apparatus-builder” as they used to make detonators — happy thought when see their grenade-inspired logo on the gas tank between your legs.

  • Tim Hanna

    Great picture. I am about to publish a biography on Kim Newcombe and offer one correction. He had already lost the world GP championship by the time he got to Silverstone.

    • Richard Driver

      How big is your nose now Tim?

  • Adrian

    I think they also put that motor in racing sidecars as well.

  • jeff

    They certainly did use them in sidecars, they were good enough to win the world championships in the early 70’s. We tried to run a 750 konig in 1977 but struggled with reliability problems. My mate is rebuilding a classic outfit at the moment using a 750 konig motor

  • Jan Postmus

    Hello,I like to have contact to Tim Hanna.
    After Spa/Francorchamps, we lost already the Championship.MV has made an faster bike after several races.You see it on top speed and laptimes.
    After this event we go back to Berlin and Built in 4 days and 3 nights an new 350/4 for extra race time.The bike has being altime in top 10 places.
    We were supprised about this.Kind regards, Jan Postmus([email protected])


    The KONIG name means KING in GERMAN I am a direct desendent of the family and know this to be true from family documents. Their is also a KONIG (KING) Castle still standing on the Rhine river in germany. Just wanted to set it strait for the records. So Joe , you have to go back to your liberal U and get it correct.
    I hate it when the so called educated revise history to suit their own idea’s.


    • I see from your post that you are a decendant of the Konig family in Germany. My grandfather told me we were from Germany and had changed our name to King, possibly because we had been Hessian soldiers left behind by the British. I was able to find the first child to be named King instead of Konig was in 1835, either in Pensylvania or Tennessee . Do your family records show a John King born about that time? He served in the Confederate army during the War Between The States. Possibly there might be a family connection?

  • A Hindle

    My husband Barry Hindle was sole importer of Konig engines & knew Kim Newcombe very well & was at his final race meeting when he died. I would very much like anyone who was involved in this era to contact me as Barry has not been well & loves talking about those old times.

  • luis miguel

    una fantastica historia , que lei hace muchos años en algun sitio , y que gracias a esta pajina he podido recordar, gracias

  • David

    HI Mrs Hindle remember Barry fondly, hope he is on the mend would love to get in touch I was Allen Blasdell,s mechanic in 74/75 on his konig,s. Am still in touch with Allen and am presently in the process of rebuilding his old Seeley Konig which should be ready for some outings next year regards dave hutchens

  • Loose101

    As far as the Konig go,s if it were ant good which it was not due to reliability problems. It would still be made today. As for Kim Newcombe it is a fact that he is a world cup loser. Nobody rembers who came 2nd.. Poor subject matter for any book Any one who should write such a book would be on to a loser, Enter Tim hanna.. If it were not for Word this book would have been unable to happen as tim can not even spell.

    • Bruno

      Nein: Newcombe’s tilt at the world GP is a worthwhile story subject.

  • Jarno

    The forward of Hanna’s book reveals a dark side to his character.Personal vitrilolic rants driven by jealously and a covetous obession with Newcombe’s widow. Very distracting to have his personal agenda intrude on what should be a balanced and factual account. The book is probably self-published as I recall some unsavoury news stories about him sueing publishers and viceversa.

    • Peter

      There are two sides to every story and me thinks Hanna doth protest too much in his bizzarre rant.

  • Phil

    Hanna claims he is making his own film on Kim Newcombe and the Konig. I worked with the cameraman recently who taped the interview with Newcombe’s widow back in 2004, I have worked also for Richard Driver -an honorable person well known in the film & TV world… Hanna arrived at the location with no questions prepared at all. The producer, Richard Driver who organised and financed the project, had to write an the entire set of questions for Hanna -and he still fluffed his way along. So Hanna’s claim of his own film is fraudulent. Driver paid for the key interview filming that Tim Hanna claims as the basis for his ‘film’ and Driver also wrote -at last minute-Hanna’s questions
    Yet ‘I wuz robbed’ says Hanna – yeah right. Be warned do not enter into any agreement with this man.