NSU 1922 “3PS” 351 cc IOE frame#412229 engine#43579
The company started as a knitting machine manufacturer ( Neckarsulmer Strickmaschinen Union) and went into the bicycle trade in 1886.
It was a logic step to move into motorcycle production and in 1901 the first motorised NSU bicycle with Zédel clip on engine was produced.
Soon the development and production of the company’s own engines were taken up and the firm became one of the biggest motorcycle firms in Germany.
NSU recommenced motorcycle manufacture at the war’s end with a range of 1914 models, pending the arrival of new designs.
First seen in 1920, these were a 351cc single and 495cc v-twin, both of which were powered by ‘F-head’ (inlet-over-exhaust) engines.
The 495cc twin was updated the following year when it was joined by a 995cc v-twin featuring a three-speed gearbox and all-chain drive.
Although they were new designs, these early post-war NSUs represented the company’s past rather than its future, and as the 1920s progressed they gave way to a new line-up powered by side valve motors, commencing in 1924 with the 251R.
The machine offered here is an example of the 351cc (3PS) two-speed model, 3,280 of which were manufactured between 1920 and 1923.
The gears and clutch are housed in the engine pulley and are operated by the tank-top mounted lever.
The machine is equipped with an acetylene headlamp and generator manufactured by Ernst Jal Arnold, Dresden.
It has been restored some years ago.