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Sachs moped motor
Vintage hydraulic bicycle drum brake manufactured by Sachs

ZF Sachs GmbH was a German manufacturer of motorcycles, mopeds, motorised bicycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

On 1 August 1895, the Schweinfurter Präzisions-Kugellagerwerke Fichtel & Sachs General Partnership (oHG) was founded in Schweinfurt by inventors Ernst Sachs and Karl Fichtel, to produce ball bearings and bicycle hubs. In 1897, the company introduced the world first freewheel.

By 1911, the year Fichtel died, the company had approximately 7,000 employees. In 1923, the oHG partnership was changed to a stock corporation, and the ball bearing division was sold to the SKF, a Swedish ball bearing corporation, with the condition that the production remain in Schweinfurt permanently.

From 1929 to 1996, F&S also produced motors, first for bicycles, and later for motorbikes, two-stroke snowmobiles, and small cars. In 1929, F&S started production of automobile components, mainly clutches and shock absorbers. Ernst Sachs died in 1932, and, in 1936, his son Willy Sachs donated the Willy-Sachs-Stadion sporting arena to the city of Schweinfurt. In 1987, the German Mannesmann AG acquired the majority of F&S stock, and, in 1997, F&S was renamed to Mannesmann Sachs AG.

In the early 1970s, Sachs produced the revolutionary Wankel rotary engine powered Hercules motorcycle.

In 2001, Sachs was sold to ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and renamed to ZF Sachs AG . The bicycle division was sold to a US-company, the Chicago-based SRAM corporation, leaving the Sachs division of ZF to focus on the production of automobile components for drivetrains and chassis. As of 2003, ZF Sachs AG had 16,511 employees in 19 countries, and a sales volume of 2.1 billion euros.

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