Wednesday, January 12, 2011

While on the subject..............

I recently posted a video and a brief biography of Rupert Hollaus the subject of that IOM race movie. Well, I might as well as give you the rest of the story which is a brief history of Hollaus' ride- the 125cc NSU Rennfox.

NSU was founded in 1873 originally as a knitting machine manufacturer that diversified into bicycles and finally producing their first motorcycle in 1901. Jumping forward a few decades, NSU built the famous or perhaps infamous kettenrad- the chimeric combination of motorcycle and halftrack.

After the war, NSU had a slow start offering several pre-war designs as well as a civilianized version of the Kettenrad. Then in 1949, NSU produced both a two-stoke and four-stroke version of the NSU Fox. The hallmark of the motorcycle was a pressed monocoque frame coupled with a central rear suspension. NSU motorcycles were conspicuously successful in the 1950's with 4 world speed records in 1951, 1953, 1954, and 1955 as well as multiple Grand Prix victories along with Hollaus' World Championship. In 1956, NSU propelled the first motorcycle to the 200 mph mark at the Bonneville Salt Flats.

NSU Rennfox "Blauwal"

For you gearheads, the NSU Rennfox specifications are as follows:

Motorcycle: NSU Rennfox 125 Manufacturer: NSU, Neckarsulm Type: Racing Year: 1953
Engine: NSU single-cylinder, four-stroke, with single-shaft overhead distribution operated by a shaft with bevel gears. Displacement 123.6 cc. (54 mm. x 54 mm.)
Cooling: Air
Transmission: Four-speed block
Power: 15.5 h.p. at 10,000 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: 100 m.p.h.
Chassis: Single frame tube in stamped plate with projecting suspended engine. Rear, telescopic suspension; front, swinging-link suspension
Brakes: Front and rear, central drum operated by double cam

Hollaus rode the same bike as above with some modifications most notable among them was a 6-speed gearbox.

The excellent engineering of these bikes under the direction of Albert Roder eventually led NSU to be the largest motorcycle producer in world in 1955 only to end production 13 years later producing a moped known as the Quickly.

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