c.1935 NSU 494cc 501TS
Engine no. 98635/690
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 1930s, the 501T (later 501TS with saddle tank) having a unitary construction sidevalve engine of 494cc producing 11bhp and driving via a three-speed gearbox. Top speed was around 62mph (100km/h). Total production of the 501TS amounted to approximately 2,700 units between 1930 and 1936. An older restoration, this example was purchased in Barcelona in 2007.
- The frame number for this lot should read 828687.