Today in Motorcycle History

NSU Motorcycles (Great Britain)

186 Great Portland Street, London, W

UK division of NSU

1904 N.S.U. Cycle and Motor Co, 1 and 6 Hatton Wall, Hatton Gardens, London.

1907 Incorporated as a limited company.

1914 Motor manufacturers. Specialities: motor cycles and motor cars, engines, two-speed gears, carburettors etc. Employees 1,500. N.S.U. MOTOR Co., LTD., Enesu Works, Grange Road, Willesden Green, London, N.W.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Importer.

Stanley Show 1905

NSU 1905 Twin

The N.S.U. 5½ h.p. Twin-cylinder Model, with spring forks, free engine, and magneto ignition.

NSU 1905 Twin-Cylinder Motorcycle Combination

An excellent combination, consisting of a 5½ h.p. two-cylinder N.S.U. machine, fitted with sidecar on the right hand side.

NSU 1905 Contact Breaker

The contact breaker used on N S.U. Motor Cycles with accumulator ignition

An Enterprising Firm.

Twin-cylinder engines are a speciality this year with the N.S.U. Co., whose machines have decidedly caught on in England. In arranging the two cylinders the firm have taken the precaution of setting one cylinder vertical and the other inclined forward at an angle of 60°; this ensures both being well cooled. So that both cylinders may be equally lubricated, the conveying pipe is carried at the back of the vertical cylinder, as there is a tendency for the inclined one to receive slightly more oil than the other.

In a previous description of this firm's machines we pointed out that the Eisemann magneto was employed throughout. On this pattern with the twin-cylinders it is a Simms-Bosch.

Both brakes are on the rear wheel; the one on the belt rim can be either applied by pack-pedalling through the clutch on the bottom bracket axle or an independent pedal and rod is fitted to apply this brake. The valve lifting mechanism for raising the exhaust valve is of a special description, and consists of a cam under each stem that revolves horizontally and lifts a bar which is fitted underneath the two exhaust valve tappets. As 24in. wheels are fitted to this machine it would necessitate a very small engine pulley if the belt rim was attached to the tyre rim by means of spokes. Therefore some special clips have been fitted which allow the belt rim to be almost equal in diameter to the rear tyres, and enables an ordinary sized engine pulley to be employed.

A neat little fitting outside the tank on each side is a tin case, enamelled the same colour as the tank, which is made to exactly fit an oil and paraffin tin, and is provided with clips for holding them firmly in position. The portion of the free engine clutch which always revolves whether the engine is driving or not is now provided with a groove for the fan belt. Separate tanks are employed for oil and petrol. This is to prevent any chance of leakage from one compartment to another without the rider being made aware of it. On the twin-cylinder pattern two gallons of petrol spirit are carried and half a gallon of oil. This may appear rather excessive now that petrol can be obtained almost everywhere, but it should be remembered that it is a twin-cylinder pattern that we are now describing, and the consumption is of course greater.

Sidecars are an introduction this year, these being made adjustable so that they will suit any bicycle bought from the firm. The design differs a little from English sidecars. The frame is composed of very large tubing, these tubes being provided with clamps, which enable the sidecars be moved so that the rider on the machine and the occupant of the sidecar can be brought exactly in line on any machine that is made by the company. We understand that numbers of these machines are being exported, and that the trade in motor cycles at the Neckarsulm factory is quite as good at this time of the year as it is in the summer, owing to the way the colonial trade has been developed, and that this is extending in all directions.

The Stanley Show, November 1905

Stanley Show 1907

THE N.S.U. exhibit, which, owing to its unavoidable incompleteness, we were reluctantly compelled to omit from the description of the Show exhibits, was a particularly imposing one, as all the numerous well-known models referred to in our forecast issue were staged. The 1¼ h.p. lightweight has been much improved. The magneto machine is now carried on the crank case, and is gear driven in a particularly neat manner. To the contact breaker no fibre ring is fitted, the break being effected by means of the insulated rocker revolving with the armature rubbing against a bevel-ended steel block. The new resilient forks with concealed springs attached to the lightweight are also worthy of mention. Another useful machine to be found on this stand was the N.S.U. non-convertible forecar - a passenger machine which is likely to appeal to motorists whose purses cannot satisfy their ambitions.

Stanley Show 1907

NSU 1908 Twin

A Twin N.S.U. with mechanically-operated valves. The tyres are fitted with N.S.U. anti-skidding bands.

Stanley Show 1908

N.S.U. Motor Co., Ltd.

186 Great Portland Street, W. Stands No. 262 and 263.

Several new patterns and a number of detail improvements will be noticeable in the 1909 N.S.U. models. The range of machines now consists of a 3 H.P., 31/2 H.P., 33/4 H.P., 4 H.P., and 11/4 H.P. light weight single-cylinder machine; a 21/2 H.P. twin-cylinder light weight, a 4 H.P. and a 6 H.P. twin, a. 6 H.P. twin side-car machine, a 6 H.P. twin tri-car, and a 4 H.P. single-cylinder carrier tri-car. The spring forks, which are fitted to all models are made to a new design. There is a new style of tank, which allows the exhaust valve of single cylinder machines to be entirely removed .without disturbing it. Handle-bar control is more extensively used on all models; and the exhaust. lifters have now a little thumb catch to hold them up when the machines have to be wheeled. The neat little 11/4 H.P. light weight has not been much altered, and we consider that it is so excellently suited to the work for which it is designed. that alteration would scarcely be desirable.

The 21/2 H.P. light weight is fitted with an under-geared pulley, so that a comparatively small back wheel belt rim can be used in conjunction with a large outside diameter pulley. The mechanism is very simple, the pulley having teeth cut in it internally meshing with a small spur wheel on the end of the crank shaft.. Further, the pulley is carried in an eccentric, which may be moved by rotating a small handle on the top tube, thus tightening or loosening the belt. The side-car machine and the two tri-cars have the new N.S.U. 2-speed hub. This is actuated by a large lever on the top tube and gives two speeds with an intermediate free engine. In the carrier tri-car, the high speed, as well as the low, is geared down in the hub, so that though the maximum speed of the vehicle is not high the belt, speed is sufficient to give a satisfactory drive. Both the tri-car and the side-car engines are cooled by a powerful. though small, fan, mounted on the right-hand side, and belt driven from the crank shaft.

Altogether the N.S.U. Company have a very fine exhibit, and one which should be attractive, both to the trade and the public.

Stanley Show 1908

NSU 1909 Twin

An attractive mount is the twin-cylinder lightweight N.S.U. illustrated above. The geared-down engine pulley is to enable the belt to obtain a better grip of the pulley. A new type of spring fork is fitted for this machine.

Stanley Show 1909

The N.S.U. Motor Co., Great Portland Street, W.

(No. 264, Gallery).

The N.S.U. Motor Co. will occupy the same stand as before in the Gallery, on which about eighteen of their well-known machines will be open to inspection. At least two new models will make their debut on the occasion of the Stanley Show, among which we may mention a 4 h.p. single-cylinder, 82 x 105 mm., illustrated on page 837 last week.

Another new model will be the 4 h.p. two-cylinder, 64 x 85 mm., fitted with geared down engine pulley, thus enabling almost equal size belt pulleys to be used. As in the case of the 4 h.p. model, the magneto is carried behind the rear cylinder. In this case also a large silencer will be fitted and a new type of spring forks, which may be seen in the illustration. The handle-bars upon these two models are merely an experimental type, and will not be finally adopted by the N.S.U. Co.

In addition to the above machines, there will be the popular 3½ h.p. model (which has done so well during the present year), the 80 X 80 mm. model, and the 6 h.p. twin. The 1¼ h.p. lightweight model will be greatly improved, and the 2½ h.p. lightweight twin will also be slightly altered in detail. Also both the two-speed gears will be slightly improved. Machines fitted with sidecars and forecars will be shown on this stand; also a tricar specially designed for industrial purposes.

Stanley Show 1909

The Motor Cycle November 8th 1909, page 862

NSU 1910 Models

1910 Cycle and Motorcycle Exhibition

The N.S.U. Motor Co., Ltd.

186 Gt. Portland Street, London, W. Stand No. 91.
In addition to the 11/2 and 21/2 H.P. - the latter of the twin-cylinder class - which this firm have manufactured with such success during the past season, and which will - with sundry detail improvements - be continued during the coming season, two entirely new models have been brought out which must appeal to that ever-increasing class of motorcyclists who like comfort and luxury. The first of these machines is a 2 H.P. single-cylinder, with mechanically-operated valves, spring fork and spring frame; whilst the second is a 3 H.P. twin-cylinder machine, in which the same system of spring fork and frame is employed. Both these types promise the acme of comfort to their riders and should prove ideal mount.

The N.S.U. standard touring machines are also constructed in single and twin-cylinder forms, the powers being 3.5 and 6 H.P. respectively. Both are provided with very efficient spring forks and a specially strengthened frame. In passenger machines the 6 H.P. twin-cylinder with side-car is retained, and also the tri-car of the same power, but, of course, not convertible. This latter machine is very efficient, and owing to the medium power of the engine is generally more satisfactory than the extremely high-power tri-cars tried some few seasons back.

Olympia Show 1910

Engine - 2 h.p. single-cylinder four-stroke, 58 x 72 mm., 190 c.c., overhead inlet valve.
Iqnition - High-tension magneto, gear-driven.
Carburetter - N.S.U., dual controlled.
Change Speed - N.S.U. engine-shaft two-speed gear and free engine, gears and 6½ and 9¾ to 1.
Transmission - 2in rubber belt.
Dimensions - Height of saddle from ground, 30½in. Engine clearance 5½in. Wheelbase, 51in.
Other Features - Hoop frame. N.S.U. spring forks. 26in. x 2 in. Continental tyres.
Price - With adjustable pulley, £31. With two-speed gear and free engine, £36.

N.S.U. MOTOR Co., LTD., Enesu Works, Grange Road, Willesden Green, London, N.W.

British Lightweights, 1914

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle