Notes on some of lesser known Norwegian marques
This page lists brands for which we currently have limited information.
For a more complete listing visit the Index of Norwegian Motorcycles.
Carl Bendtzen with his sons Johs and Sven produced the first machine in 1926. In the following years Atlanta Motorfabrik in Kristiania produced three models, two with Villiers engines of 172 and 342cc which were joined in 1929, the final year of production, by a 500cc JAP machine. In total 21 motorcycles were built, some of which were based on components supplied by the Sun firm in Great Britain.
Carl Bentdsen also had a patent for an "injection device" for two-stroke engines (no. 29712 1917), and he is mentioned as having raced on the Bjerkebanen with his own motorcycle, where only the rims were of foreign manufacture.
Sources: NMs, digitaltmuseum.no.
Basse Hveem 1940s-1950s
Marketed by Columbia sykkeldepot of Youngsgt, Oslo in the 1960s, these were motocross machines powered by Sachs 125 and Villiers 250cc engines. The motorcycles were constructed by Samsing and Finn Lysebråte. The company was later absorbed by Jakob Øglænd.
Manufactured by Kaare Eikenes of Oslo under licence to Eilenriede. The engine is a sidevalve fourstroke which is mounted above the front wheel which it drives via friction roller. An example of the bicycle engine may be viewed at digitaltmuseum.no, with the name of the firm recorded as "Norsk Cykkelmotorfabrikk".
The company also produced mopeds branded Kaare Eikenes using Cucciolo, and similar mopeds with HMW engines which were sold under the HMW label.
Sources: mo-ped.se, digitaltmuseum.no
Manufactured by K.G. Karlsson of Sweden at his bicycle factory in Moss, Norway, the Gladiator was fitted with a single-cylinder Moser engine of 2 hp in two versions, one of which had sprung front forks. In 1913 the 2¾ hp and 3½ hp singles were joined by a twin-cylinder model which had a much stronger frame.
The motorcycles were quite expensive, and it is thought that other makes of engine may also have been fitted. Brochures were printed in German and Russian, as well as Norwegian.
The company failed in 1919.
During World War II, Werner Lorentzen (Schweigaardsgate 44, Oslo) built an electric motorcycle for a doctor who used it to ride between Oslo and Nesodden. This machine was named the Elektro-Gnom, and took its name from the nickname "Gnomen" which Werner gained in his youth when he built a motorcycle powered by a Gnome-Rhone engine.
In 1950 Lorentzen built some six examples of a 50cc Sachs scooter named Gnom, probably Norway's first, but the mini-scooter was faced with stiff competition from the likes of Vespa and Iso. Later he produced at least 7 racing machines. Werner Lorentzen was famed as a speedway rider in Norway and was a member of the team which took the Nordic Team Championship in 1951.
Sources: NMs, internationalspeedway.co.uk, tempoklubben.no.
N.B. Werner's name is spelled "Lohrentzen" in some references, and the motorcycle is also referred to as "Gnomen".
Gresvig of Oslo had the agency for the Mustad Folkescooter in Norway. It is believed these were assembled at the Gresvig factory in Strømsvegen, and used AMO engines. Gresvig also marketed a moped under their own name which was designed by Bjarne Christiensen, one of the designers of the Mustad.
Jon Ødegård was an international speedway rider from Norway who built several motorcycles under the J.H.Ø marque. Most were fitted with much-modified Puch 175cc engines. Each time he built a new racer for himself the old one was sold off, and some of these became street machines.
Ødegård also built an engine for a Puch mopeds which had the external appearance of a standard Puch but had modified crankshaft and crankcase which been machined to Ødegård's specifications.
Ødegård took a gold medal at the European Longtrack Championship in 1970, he won the Nordic Longtrack Championship four times and the Norwegian Longtrack Championship seven times between 1964 and 1976. In 1969 he rode with the Swindon Robins in the UK.
Sources: NMs en.wikipedia.org
Manufactured in Bergen by F.G. Amundsen using Sachs 98cc engines, these were produced around the mid 1930s. The parts were sourced mainly from Øglænd.
Built in Namdalen, probably in the late 1930s. Powered by an EBE 1919 engine of 140cc and fitted with a Burman model C gearbox. The fuel tank, exhaust system, chain case, footrests and many minor componenents were produced in-house. Front motor mount comes from a door lock. Nothing on the machine is welded, everything is either soldered or riveted. Probably a one-off.
Hans F. Messell was a motorcycle dealer in Trondheim who built a motorcycle in the mid-fifties which was driven on the company's trade plates but was not registered. It had an AMC 125cc engine, the frame was probably built in Trondheim and the front hub was two joined brake drums from a Tempo Standard. The machine somewhat resembled a Vincent Comet and was light green in colour.
Messell also built and raced speedway machines, one of which has a 350cc JAP engine and Drott gearbox. His son John restored the machine and it was later donated to the Technical Museum.
Another machine was a racing sidecar outfit powered by a Jawa engine.
John Olaf Anderson ran the Cycle & Sports business A\S Mundus in Verdalen (@550km east of Oslo) around 1910. He sold bicycles and motorcycles under the Mundus brand. The Mundus bicycle engines were imported from the Elleham firm in Denmark, and it is thought that Anderson may have assembled complete machines.
Manufactured by Aktieselskabet Norsk Bicyclefabrik Kristiania at Ekeberg (between Svingensgate and Ryenbergveien) in 1907.
The factory was founded in 1896 and was to produce bicycles. A sizeable plot of land was purchased, they built a large factory and invested in very modern machinery. The production never became profitable and the company went bankrupt, with the slump of 1907 quite possibly a strong factor. The investors suffered heavy losses.
NSU (Brandval) 1957~1961
Johan Danelius assembled NV motorcycles at his factory in Trondheim. The firm marketed the NV 175 Jet Crosser and the NV 125 Red Sport in 1957. The company had previously assembled of Ford automobiles.
More information: NV History
Marketed from 1959 to 1967 by Axel Bruun of Trondheim, these were mostly rebranded imports, though it appears some were built in their own bicycle factory.
Their 1964 Corvette de Luxe 240, for instance, is identical to the Tempo of 1961, other than the badge.
Manufactured by P. Øie Stordalen per Ålesund. These off-road motorcycles were built before WWII using parts sourced from Øglænd, but with its own tank and a Villiers engine. He also sold machines under the Solo brand.
Produced by G. L. Skahjem of Oslo in the 1930s, the Regent concern was a bicycle and sports shop in Pilestredet 39D. Their motorcycle was powered by a 98cc Sachs engine and weighed 60 kg. In an advertisement from 1934 it is referred to as "the all-rounder's motorcycle with a specially built frame, balloon tyres and engine with gears and neutral".
Oscar Engstrøm, a foreman at bicycle importer C.S. Sontum, built a motorcycle in 1903 which is displayed at the Norwegian Vehicle History Museum in Lillehammer. An Engstrøm is listed in the vehicle register and is probably the same machine.
This must be one of the most remarkable "barn finds" of all time. Dragged from the bushland where it was found and then lovingly restored, the enormous unit-construction two litre transverse V-four was built by Norwegian engineer Christian Larsen at Norsk Hydro Rjukan in 1922. The engine has four cylinders from 1000cc Indian Powerplus twins.
The sophisticated machine with its aluminium sidecar was in use until 1934 and made many long trips in Norway carrying Larsen, his wife, their three children and two dogs.
Sources: spanjola.no, Tore Olsen, NMs.
Sigurd Tjøsvoll, from Åkerhavn on Karmøy, made several versions of a monowheel where the driver sat inside the wheel. The first of these appeared in 1928 and was followed by others powered by single- and twin-cylinder (Douglas 350) petrol engines and an electric motor.
The engine, seat, footrests and a steering mechanism which caused the wheel to tilt were inside the circumference. Sigurd claimed the top speed was 200 km/h, and was not exaggerating when he added that the brakes were a considerable problem.
Tjøsvoll was quite the inventor and had several patents, one of which was for a device named "folkeflyet" which received considerable attention. It had the appearance of a bewildered Darlek.
Fred Olsen, a Bultaco importer and leading light in Observed Trials in Norway, joined forces with Rolf Welde to construct trials machines. Welde built the frames, and Olsen developed the engines which were initially from Tempo and later from Sachs. The 200cc Sachs engines were expanded to 204 and 208cc using Saab pistons. Forks were from JØS and Ceriani. At least 5 motorcycles were created. All have disappeared into the mists.