• Rare Edwardian era NSU
• An older restoration
• 'Coffee grinder' gear
Yet another motorcycle manufacturer with its roots in the bicycle industry, NSU built its first powered two-wheeler in 1900. The firm had originally been founded in Neckarsulm, Germany by Christian Schmidt to manufacture knitting machines, its initials standing for Neckarsulm Strickmaschinen Union. Zédel proprietary engines were used initially but within a few years NSU was making its own power units and was one of the first manufacturers to fit two-speed transmission. Designed by its late founder's son, Karl Schmidt, the first all-NSU model of 1903 was powered by a 329cc engine rated at 2½hp and would turn out to be a huge success by the standards of the day, in excess of 2,000 being sold up to 1905. A host of different models was introduced up to the outbreak of war, including a range of v-twins in various sizes. The marque established a strong presence in overseas markets, being exported widely throughout Europe and even to the USA; indeed, prior to WWI, NSU ranked second only to Indian among imported makes in the UK.
This rare, Edwardian-era NSU is powered by a single-cylinder engine (believed to displace 410cc) with inlet-over-exhaust valve gear. The engine drives the rear wheel directly by belt, while there is a 'coffee grinder' type variable-ratio engine pulley affording a limited range of gearing. An older restoration, somewhat deteriorated, the machine boasts an acetylene lighting set and appears complete apart from its pedals, which are missing. The machine was purchased from Mr Redhouse, who also sold the vendors some of the others in the collection. There are no documents with this Lot, which is sold strictly was viewed.