GoogleCustom Search

NSU Classic Motorcycles


    The first NSU motorcycle rolled out of a sewing machine factory turned bicycle factory turned motorcycle factory, in 1901. The NSW factory was in Neckarsulm Germany. The 1901 model used a motor made by the Swiss company called Zedal. It was a 234 cc engine which put out 1.75 horse power, and had a top speed of 48 km/hr, or 31 mph. It had a bicycle type frame, which made sense since it was made in a bicycle factory. In bicycle fashion, it has a chain and freewheel, and a bicycle brake on the front wheel. NSR went on to make motorcycles, sidecars, and tracked motorcycles for the German army in WWII.

    NSU returned to motorcycle production following the end of the Second World War with a range of machines that were essentially updates of their pre-war production pending the development of a new machines. Introduced during 1953 the Max was to become one of the most successful machines of the period and would influence many of the emerging manufacturers around the world, most notably Honda. The new models distinctive pressed steel frame, leading link forks and pivoted fork suspension were both effective and economical to produce, whilst the single cylinder four stroke engine offered a high level of performance for its capacity combined with exceptional reliability. The standard example which featured a twelve litre fuel tank and iron drum brakes was joined by the Spezial in 1954, distinguishable by the larger 14 litre fuel tank and alloy drum brakes fitted. Further development would result in high performance versions taking to the track, regularly winning at the highest level and the Supermax, featuring twin shock rear suspension.

    Bike Image Description
    1910 NSU Forecar 1910 NSU Forecar NSU stopped producing the Forecar in the early 1920's and concentrated on motorcycles. By 1955 they were the Worlds largest motorcycle manufacturer. This picture was kindly provided by
    1913 NSU 1913 NSU  
    1930 NSU 501T, 497cc 1930 NSU 501T, 497cc
    1930 NSU 301 TS 1930 NSU 301 TS
    1930 NSU 501 TS 1930 NSU 501 TS
    1937 NSU Pony 201 ZDB 1937 NSU Pony 201 ZDB
    1939 NSU 351 OSL 1939 NSU 351 OSL
    1942 NSU ZDB 125 1930 NSU 301 TS
    1942 NSU 251-OSL 1942 NSU 251 250cc.
    1948 NSU 125 ZDB 1948 NSU 125 ZDB
    1951 NSU Quick 1951 NSU Quick 98cc.
    1951 NSU Konsul I (350cc) 1951 NSU Konsul I (350cc) Picture courtesey of
    1952 NSU Konsul II 1951 NSU Konsul I (350cc) 500 Sidecar version. Single-cylinder.
    1952 NSU Fox 1952 NSU Fox

    NSU had introduced the Fox in 1949, as the Fox 4 101 OSB with a new post-war design and 98cc ohv engine. In 1951 The Fox 2′ was added; it was a Fox 4 with a new 123cc 2-stroke engine. The Vincent-Fox was the Fox 2 model with the 123cc 2-stroke motor. The Fox went on sale in Britain in 1955, but the timing was not good for launching a lightweight motorcycle. The market in 1955 was dominated by the latest motoring marvel - the moped. Only 40 were built.

    1953 NSU 200 Lux 1953 NSU 200 Lux
    1954 NSU 350 1954 NSU 350
    1954 NSU Fox 2 1954 NSU Fox 2 125cc.
    1955 NSU Max
    NSU Max

    In 1953 the famous NSU Max, a 250 cc motorbike with a unique overhead camdrive with connecting rods. All these new models had a very innovative monocoque frame of pressed steel and a central rear suspension unit. Albert Roder, the genius chief engineer behind the success story, made it possible that in 1955 NSU became the biggest motorcycle producer in the world. NSU also holds 4 world records for speed: 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1955. In 1956 Wilhelm Herz started at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. Herz was the first man to drive faster than 200 miles per hour, in August 1956. [dubious – discuss] In 1957 NSU re-entered the car market with the new NSU Prinz, a small car with a doubled NSU Max engine, an air cooled two-cylinder engine of 600 cc and 20 hp. Motorbike production continued until 1968.

    Image provided by

    1955 NSU Fox NSU Fox 125cc, OHV four stroke. Suspension is a type of monoshock and it has two saddles - the pillion being an ingenious one adjusted by a spring system. It has been in storage in the Professor Fritz Ehn Museum collection in Austria since 1983
    1955 NSU 250cc MAX 251 OSB
    NSU 250
    1956 NSU Supper Lux NSU Supper Lux 198cc 2 stroke
    1956 NSU Super Max 1956 NSU Super Max
    1957 NSU Quickly, 49cc 1957 NSU Quickly, 49cc
    1958 NSU Prima 1958 NSU Prima This is the last and in the company's opinion the best model of the NSU Prima, The "D" Series had electric start and a larger 150cc engine.
    1958 NSU Quickly Scooter 1958 NSU Quickly Scooter
    1958 NSU Quickly Model L NSU Quickly Model L

    This is a rare model of NSU Quickly, being the company's deluxe version with extra bodywork.

    Image kindly provided by

    1958 NSU Prima D, 150cc 1958 NSU Prima D, 150cc
    1959 NSU Cavallino 1959 NSU Cavallino
    1960 NSU Supermax NSU Supermax Stainless rims and spokes and a recent new silencer. Developed from the earlier Max and Special Max models, the Supermax was the final development of the very unorthodox Ultramax valve gear system designed by Albert Roder. The drive to the overhead valve gear was by long connecting rods housed in a tunnell cast on the left of the cylinder barrel. At their ends, these rods carried eye encircling counter-balanced eccentric discs connected to the half-time pinion and overhead camshaft. As the engine revolved, so the eccentrics imparted a reciprocating motion which was transferred to the valve gear. Hairpin valve springs were used and the entire mechanism was enclosed.
    1961 NSU Prima de Luxe NSU Prima de Luxe NSU's license to build Lambretta scooters expired in 1955. NSU engineers created their own well designed version. This 174cc Prima V is effectively the culmination and pinnacle of the series that ran through five evolutions. Completely redesigned the Prima V had more streamlined bodywork, a 12 volt system with electric start and a more powerful 174cc engine, sold in the UK as the "Prima 5 Star" it was an expensive and well regarded scooter. Original Twin seats, spot lamp, spare wheel and carrier assembly completes the look of 50's style and luxury"
    1962 NSU Quickly 1963 NSU OSB 175 Maxi
    1962 NSU Quickly NSU Quickly

    The NSU Quickly was the 'Cyclemotor Killer'. Essentially, it was a superb design for its day and was launched right at the beginning of the 'moped onslaught' of 1954.

    It was a fast machine with a 2-speed gearbox. Even though customers might not have realized at the beginning how reliable the engine was, it still set such an impossibly high standard for moped design that it killed off the cyclemotor instantly.

    One of the most attractive aspects for buyers was the excellent back-up service worldwide.

    1963 NSU OSB 175 Maxi 1963 NSU OSB 175 Maxi
    1963 50cc NSU Quick NSU Quick
    1964 NSU Quickly S/2-23 NSU Quickly 49cc
    1966 NSU Quickly S23F, 49cc 1966 NSU Quickly S23F, 49cc
    1966 NSU 23-F Moped NSU 23-F Moped
    1967 NSU Quickly S23 NSU Quickly S23 Picture courtesey of Shanklinbrian.
    NSU 201 ZD Pony NSU 201 ZD Pony

    Please e-mail the webmaster if you have a picture worth adding to our database, e-mail: