Norwegian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Samsing Motorcycles

Kjell Samsing (1923-1980) was a constructor and mechanic who in the 1950s worked partly in his father's workshop (Sverre Samsing) in Galgeberg and partly in his own premises in Munkedamsveien in Oslo. From 1963 he ran a workshop at Furnes just outside Hamar. Kjell Samsing was a perfectionist with countless ideas about engines and frame construction who used the names Samsing and Samsing Special for his creations. In the 40s and 50s he worked with Basse Hveem's cycle business. Kjell Samsing also carried out a number of framework experiments, i.e. with rear wheel suspension. In 1949, Kjell Samsing designed and produced two successful motorcycles for Basse Hveem which were innovative. The short-track machine had the tank in the frame, and the front wheel is to the left of the rear wheel. It was designed thus to reduced the skidding in the turns. The long-track motorcycle featured rear suspension in order to reduce bounce that occurs during high speed cornering, giving better handling and improved drive in the rear wheel. Kjell experimented with fairings, as may be seen on the Basse Hveem special displayed at the Norsk Teknisk Museum.

Samsing built a speedway bike named the Bjarne Grorud Special powered by a Puch SVS 175 twingle around 1955, tuned by Grorud and Basse Hveem. The machine won 25 out of 25 races it entered and propelled Bjarne Grorud to the Nordic championship.

Bjørn Roy Andresen, Norwegian speedway champion for 1963, restored the machine and "[t]he sound of this tuned two-stroke engine with open megaphones can scare the hell out of flat ground, they say." (Lyden av denne trimmede totakts motoren med åpne megafoner kan skremme fanden på flat mark, sies det.)

A Samsing machine with a Jawa CZ 125cc engine built in 1954 was advertised for sale in Speed Nytt by Edna Falao in 1957. Edna, a famed speedway rider and close friend of Odd Samsing, fell in love with France and opened a nightclub in St. Tropez where she associated with Brigitte Bardot and other celebrities of the day.

Kjell Samsing also produced two 125cc cross street versions in 1965. These had a Sachs engine and were marked with Samsing in bold plastic letters on each side of the tank. They were sold from a car dealership in Stenersgt but the production was not a financial success.

Sources: Norskproduserte Motorsykler,