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1955 Nimbus Model C ‘Bumblebee’ – 746cc in-line four by Fisker & Nielsen

June 26, 2016

In 1973 I was doing a series of mine visits in Scandinavia. Our entry to the region was via Copenhagen. Whilst looking around I kept seeing these very unusual motorcycles – in-line 4, exposed valve train and frame not made from a tubular construction but flat plate. These bikes were manufactured over the period 1919-1960 in Denmark (on Jutland). The Nimbus design is unlike any other mainstream motorcycle. After a recent close up view of a restored Nimbus in the Barcelona Motorcycle Museum I decided this degree of difference merits inclusion of this bike in our collection. And so the hunt was on……..

In 1919 F&N started production of their A model ‘Stovepipe’ and then continued with the B model. Both of these had a variety of design issues, so in 1934 F&N began production of the redesigned Model C. It stayed in production till 1960. Twelve thousand were produced in total in four models: Luxury, Standard, Special and Sport. The most distinctive differentiation between these is chrome plating on the tank of the Luxury versus paint only on the Standard.

Technical features of the Model C are:
•    22 bhp
•    Max continuous speed of 90 Kph (54 mph) – with up to 120 kph (72 mph) for short spells – which if extended cause cylinder three to overheat.
•    Telescopic forks
•    3 speed gearbox
•    In-line 4, overhead cams, exposed valve train, single carburettor
•    6 volt electrics
•    Flat plate frame construction
•    An engine noise (like other in-line bikes such as the Indian 4 and the Sunbeam S8) which is more a buzz than a roar – hence the ‘bumblebee’ nick-name.

This bike was acquired in the UK as a regular ‘oily rag’ runner – it has a long VMCC history. It is a Standard Model. 2WheelsMiklos has decided to paint it one of the original 1955 colours (RAL Blue Green/RAL 6004/Nimbus Green 4). The bike will also receive a thorough technical inspection and any necessary refurbishment will be done. The engine etc will not be stripped if not required.









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