Racer and restorer Bo Neilsen is a bonafide professional on little-known Nimbus bikes. A lot in order that YouTube’s Traditional Bike Channel rewards its viewers with a deeper take a look at Neilsen’s 1947 Nimbus 750 Sport sand racer. From its Erector Set-like body to its throaty exhaust notice, Neilsen’s Nimbus—and all Nimbuses, for that reality—stay in a category of its personal.
Nobody is aware of Nielsen’s hot-rodded sand racer like the person himself. For that purpose, we’ll depart the explaining to him. For these unfamiliar with the model, nevertheless, include us for a skip down reminiscence lane.
In 1910, H.M. Nielsen and Peder Andersen Fisker based Nilfisk, an electrical motor and vacuum cleaner producer. Fisker launched into a completely new endeavor in 1918, although. That’s when Nimbus was born. Growing an all-new motorbike prototype, the Danish entrepreneur did issues his personal method.
That included a 746cc, longitudinal inline-four. The mannequin’s shaft drive departed from conference too. There’s nothing extra distinctive than the place that distinctive drivetrain resided: a flat metal body. The Sort A and Sort B fashions have been the outcome, debuting in 1919 with 10 horsepower and a 53-mph prime pace. Sadly, the mannequin’s building earned it the nickname “Stovepipe”, a monicker Fisker himself scorned.
Financial elements pressured the corporate to wrap manufacturing on the Stovepipe by 1926. The second time round proved extra fruitful for Fisker. With the assistance of his son, Anders Fisker, the Nimbus co-founder returned to the drafting board, designing a brand new platform in 1932.
The Sort C arrived by 1934. Nimbus’ signature shaft drive and flat metal body returned, however the longitudinal inline-four earned a brand new overhead valve and overhead cam format. These enhancements spurred the cruiser onto 18 horsepower (22 horsepower on later fashions) and a 75-mph prime pace.
Like Harley-Davidson‘s rise within the U.S., Nimbus didn’t simply promote nicely with customers but in addition benefitted from Submit Workplace, Military, and Police contracts. The Danish authorities alone spent kr. 50M (~$7.3M USD) to modernize the Military’s fleet with Sort Cs. The agency’s navy contract represented almost 20 p.c of its manufacturing. In consequence, Nimbus did not introduce new fashions as a result of equipment and components stock required for such a platform.
The Sort C was simply as prevalent inside the civilian world. Many police departments didn’t part out their items till the early ‘60s whereas the put up workplace continued using the mannequin till 1972. Whereas Nimbus discovered mass adoption in Denmark, it determined in opposition to exporting the Sort C. Nonetheless, collectors the world over, equivalent to Bo Neilsen, covet the Dainish two-wheeler. And, now we all know why.