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1957 NSU Supermax

NSU Motorenwerke AG or just NSU, was a motorcycle and automobile manufacturer which was located in Riedlingen, Germany. They were one of the earliest companies to mass produce motorcycles with production starting in 1901. They were often well designed, quality machines. N.S.U was invincible in Word Championship road racing in the early 1950s. By 1970, they were absorbed into the V.W. empire.


NSU which was founded in 1873 as a sewing machine company and moved to Neckarsulm, Germany in 1884. The letters "NSU" came from Neckarsulm Strickmaschinen (knitting machine) Union. Motorcycle production began in 1901, making NSU Germany's first commercially built motorcycle. They continued to build innovative mopeds and scooters into the 1960s also producing a Wankel (rotary) powered automobile, but too much money had been spent on the venture with little return. NSU built the proto-type "Porche Light Car" that was to become the VW Beetle. NSU was acquired by Volkswagen Group in 1969. VW merged the company with Auto Union, to eventually evolve into Audi as it is known today.

NSU had several successes in the Isle of Man TT races in the 1950s. NSU holds 4 World records for speed: 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1955. During the 1930s, and in the mid 1950s NSU was the largest motorcycle producer of the world.

The NSU Quickly was the most popular moped of its time. It was produced between 1953 and 1966 in over 1.000.000 examples and still can be found today all over the world as more than 60% were exported. Two wheel production stopped in 1965 and NSU merged with VW in 1969.


1931 NSU 500SS
1901 NSU
1953 NSU Rennmax

1954 NSU Sportmax
1957 NSU Supermax

501 TS

1930 N.S.U. 501 TS

This was a typical touring model.


1961 NSU Supermax

A very advanced design by NSU with unique "Ultramax" valve operation using eccentrics and two connecting rods. Racing versions, the Sportsmax, were very successful, winning the 250cc world road-racing title in 1955. In just over a decade NSU had sold over a hundred thousand Max-based models. The Max was an expensive machine, priced level with the British 650 twins, but the quality was superb.

251 OSL

1951 NSU 251 OSL