NSU 1956 247cc Racing Motorcycle Engine no. 748666
Seeking to deflect criticism of the decision to withdraw its works team from Grand Prix racing at the end of the 1954 season, NSU announced that a racing version of the Max roadster – the Sportmax – would be offered to privateers.
From the start of the 1955 season the Sportmax was simply the fastest over-the-counter 250-class racer on the market.
As well as providing works-supported ‘veteran’ rider Hermann Müller with the 1955 250cc World Championship, the Sportmax was one of the most competitive lightweights of any kind available to the privateer, and in the right hands proved capable of a respectable showing in national events well into the 1960s.
Other prominent stars Sportmax-mounted for ’55 included John Surtees, Sammy Miller, Pierre Monneret and former NSU works rider Hans Baltisburger, while later in the decade an up-and-coming Mike Hailwood used the ex-Surtees example to spectacularly good effect.
This racing motorcycle offered here features a Seeley-style frame and a handsome handmade aluminium-alloy fuel tank, oil tank, half-fairing, mudguards and seat.
Other noteworthy features include alloy wheel rims and twin-leading-shoe brakes at both ends.
Last raced in 2010 by the Dutch rider, Leo Veenman, it will require re-commissioning and the customary safety checks before returning to the track.