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Friday, 16 September 2011

Friday bike

Possibly one of the most advanced and influential motorcycles ever built.

The NSU Max, first built in 1953. A 250cc single with an overhead cam (very rare in those days). Leading link forks and pressed steel frame look suspiciously similar to what Honda were building a few years later, though they didn't copy the single rear shock setup.
By 1955, NSU were the biggest bike manufacturer in the world, selling even more than BSA, although few (if any) NSUs were imported into Britain at the time. NSU also set numerous land speed records with Max based bikes, and in 1956 built the first bike to do over 200 mph.
The overhead cam was driven by a sort of 'conrod', a setup later used by NSU on their Prinz car.

Look at the picture of the Max and compare it with what the British bike industry was producing in 1953.


  1. Out in my "overflow" area is parked the little brother 125 Superfox version of the Max. I really need to do something with it before winter hits. The NSU's were definitely very modern for their time. Anyone out there have an exhaust system for one? If I could find the threaded exhaust ring, I could fabricate a system to fire it up with. Be interesting to hear it run.

  2. Pictures! Pictures! I've seen a couple of German registered Maxes at a bike event, but I've never seen a Superfox. Unlikely to find an exhaust (or anything else!) for one in the UK, but this place in Germany might be able to help:

  3. I'll try to get back there and un-tarp it and pull it out for pics before I move it up a notch to the carport. I'll check out the place in Germany, thanks.
    What I should do is get together with a Shop teacher friend of mine and machine up the threaded collar I need. Fabricating a header pipe and coming up with a muffler to suit shouldn'tbe too hard. Something from a Honda would probably probably work for now.

  4. Just about anything that'll fit (or be made to fit) should do. It's better to get the bike up and running first then worry about the correct parts later. Good luck!