Nimbus 1938 Model “C” 746 cc OHC inline four frame # 4314 engine # 5830
The Nimbus motorcycle first appeared in 1919 and was the result of diversification by the Danish vacuum cleaner manufacturer, Fisker & Nielsen. Unusually, only inline four-cylinder models were built.
These were of advanced design, using shaft final drive and pressed steel frames right from the start of production, and pioneered the use of the telescopic front fork in the mid-1930s.
The early models featured a distinctive tubular spine frame that doubled as the fuel tank, soon gaining the nickname ‘stovepipe’.
Motorcycle production was suspended in 1928 to enable the company to concentrate on producing its Nilfisk vacuum cleaners, and when the new Nimbus appeared in 1934 it was with a power unit that showed strong motor-industry influence, being constructed along car lines with integral crankcase/cylinder block in cast iron and a detachable alloy sump.
The cast-iron cylinder head was topped by an alloy housing for the single overhead camshaft, which was driven by shaft-and-bevel gears.
A single-plate clutch transmitted power to the three-speed gearbox.
Foot change for the gearbox, a beefier front fork and larger brakes had been added by the end of the 1930s, but from then on the Nimbus changed little until series production was ended in 1954, once again to free up resources for the vacuum cleaner business.
An additional few machines were assembled from spares between 1954 and 1959 but none have been made since then.
Production was always on a limited scale but such is the quality of the Nimbus that many remain in service today.
Most model C’s were purchased by the Danish army, police, and post office.
It is worth noting that the concept of maintenance of the model C was to swap complete engines so it is very rare to find matching engine and frame numbers today.
A Nimbus is a real touring motorcycle; it provides 18 HP @ 4,000 RPM.
It is a pleasant and unusual design with a good spares situation.
The Nimbus Owners Group UK provides interesting information on their website: http://www.veetopia.com/nimbus/history.php?page=h-nimbus-history