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Zündapp (aka Zuendapp) was a major German motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1917 in Nuremberg by Fritz Neumeyer, together with the Friedrich Krupp AG and the machine tool manufacturer Thiel under the name "Zünder- und Apparatebau G.m.b.H." as a producer of detonators. In 1919, as the demand for weapons parts declined after the First World War, Neumeyer became the sole proprietor of the company, and two years later he diversified into the construction of motorcycles. The company folded in 1984.
The first Zündapp motorcycle was the model Z22 in 1921. This was the Motorrad für Jedermann ("motorcycle for everyone"), a simple and reliable design that was produced in large series. Zündapp's history of heavy motorcycles began in 1933 with the K-series. The "K" refers to the type of drivetrain that these models used, Kardanantrieb, meaning enclosed driveshaft with two universal joints. Zündapp introduced the enclosed crankcase, a novelty at the time. The series encompassed models from 200 to 800 cc displacement and was a major success, increasing Zündapp's market share in Germany from 5% in 1931 to 18% in 1937.