HOREX history

HOREX is a traditional German motorcycle brand. In the eyes of classic bike fans, HOREX is still today regarded as one of the most coveted and highly respected motorcycle brands. The following milestones depict the company's celebrated and eventful history.


Early success: Fritz Kleemann installs the „Gnom“ auxiliary motor with 63 cc and one horsepower on prefabricated bicycle frames. The motor is produced by Columbus-Motorenbau AG (Flugmotorenwerke Oberursel until 1918), a company in which his father Friedrich Kleemann is the majority shareholder.


Sports-minded manager: Using the letters HO, an abbreviation for Bad Homburg, and REX, the name of his father's glass jar company, 24-year-old founder Fritz Kleemann creates a name for his enterprise: HOREX Fahrzeugbau AG. The first sport models are introduced at the end of 1923. Kleemann places his trust in the 248 cc Columbus engine developed by the ingenious aircraft engine designer Edward Freise. The motorcycle chassis is built by the machine factory Stein. Victories in a number of racing events demonstrate the potential of the first HOREX model and the company soon starts manufacturing its own motorcycle frames.


Consolidation: Columbus and HOREX merge. The motorcycles are sold under the HOREX name. A number of single and twin-cylinder models with displacements from 200 to 800 cc are built until 1938. The big 800 cc twin-cylinder engine from 1933 with its OHC valve gear demonstrates the innovative strength of HOREX.


Future engine: Chief designer Hermann Reeb develops the HOREX SB 35 with a 342 cc long-stroke engine. This model serves as the basis for the subsequent HOREX Regina.


Wartime production: HOREX is forced to manufacture war materials. Civilian motorcycle production is discontinued during this time period.


New start: After producing a series of diesel and stationary engines, motorcycle production resumes with the HOREX SB 35.


Regina: New suspension, improved brakes and a departure from rigid frames represents a quantum leap from the SB 35 to the new Regina. Production of the new single-cylinder model is launched in December – and is highly successful. A total of 18,600 HOREX Regina motorcycles are built in 1950 and exported to 60 countries around the world. In 1953, HOREX starts manufacturing the Regina 250, which was initially intended for export. A Regina 400 designed for use with a sidecar is added to the product lineup.


Imperator: HOREX built a prototype of the Imperator motorcycle with a twin-cylinder 500 cc engine in 1951. The production model produced in 1955 has only 400 cc. Along with the twin-cylinder model, the company developed the HOREX Resident as a successor to the Regina. The two models are unable to offset declining sales on the motorcycle market.


Standstill: HOREX discontinues motorcycle production and starts manufacturing mopeds and scooters along with parts for Daimler-Benz, which takes over HOREX in 1960.


Company closes: The rights to the HOREX name are assigned to Friedel Münch who builds the HOREX 1400 TI as a collector's item. Hörmann-Rawema gains trademark rights from other stakeholders and starts rebuilding and redesigning historical HOREX motorcycles.


Unveiling: HOREX reemerges under new management as a motorcycle brand and to introduce a modern and spectacular VR6 motorcycle.