c.1929 NSU 298cc 301T
Frame no. 829875
Engine no. 124001
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. The marque established a strong presence in the UK market, ranking second only to Indian among imported makes prior to WWI.
NSU recommenced motorcycle manufacture at the war's end, rapidly returning to full production. A wide range of four-stroke singles was produced during the 1920s as the old inlet-over-exhaust engines gradually gave way to a new line-up powered by sidevalve motors, commencing with the 251R of 1924, and belt final drive was superseded by chain. Several new models debuted in 1928, one of the most significant being the 251T. The latter was the forerunner of a range of broadly similar models including the 301T, which was introduced for the 1929 season. The 301T's 298cc single-cylinder engine (NSU's first of that capacity) produced 7bhp, which was good enough for a top speed of 58mph. Total production of the 301T amounted to 9,337 units between 1929 and 1930.
An older restoration, this 301T was purchased at a Barcelona 'garage sale' in 2007. Noteworthy features include Bosch electric headlamp and horn, and the original supplying dealer's plaque.