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Old 05-25-2012, 06:32 AM   #1
Speedo66 OP
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Nimbus- Any out there?

When I was in Copenhagen Denmark in 1970 I saw quite a few Nimbus (Nimbai?) there, but never see much mention of them in the US.

Interesting inline 4 cyl. engines with exposed valve springs and a frame that looks like it was made from thick strapping metal.

Even saw commercial versions with a platform mounted on the front for carrying goods.

Anybody here have one, any pictures?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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There is a Dutch guy with two in my area of SoCal. Don't recall what years but they all look kinda vintage.
Rode with him for awhile and the one he was on was slow revving, quiet and understated.
Reminded me of the Indian 4 i saw being ridden. The Nimbus is a smaller, lighter bike.

Dutch guy said that before Nimbus closed shop, they HAD to make a serious production run of service parts
because the police and other agencies used so many of them. This run included 1500 cylinder heads.
In 2002, about the year i talked to him, he said OEM parts were not an issue.

utube has videos and there should be an owners club here in the USA.

Consider this a bump.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:15 AM   #3
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They are popular as vintage bikes here in Denmark.

Parts are not a problem. In fact I just visited Nimbus Aarhus today :)

The typical ones range from the 1930-1950s.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:58 AM   #4
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I always have been a fan of their sleek lines. Never heard one run . Do they sound like an old Indian 4 ?
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:28 AM   #5
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There are a few. I know an ex-pat Dane who owns at least two of them.
I had a chance at buying one about 20 years ago, from the estate of a motorcycle dealer in a town about 150 miles away (my Dane friend ended up with it), but I just thought it was too expensive for a bike made of strap iron with exposed valve rockers.

They were probably the most popular motorcycle in Denmark. Production virtually unchanged except for incremental improvements dating from 1934 to 1957.

They pioneered the telescopic fork. (one year before BMW came out with one)


They sound just like any other mildly tuned inline four.
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:49 AM   #6
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Because of the metallurgy of the early period, valve springs were exposed to keep them cool.
All that flexing causes heat.
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Because of the metallurgy of the early period, valve springs were exposed to keep them cool.
All that flexing causes heat.

We're talking about 1934-on, not 1911.
By 1934, exposed valve springs were already in the minority.

And Nimbus continued using exposed valve springs up until the very end in 1957.

BTW, really, I'd have loved to purchase that Nimbus when it was available, I just didn't have the money. I was being facetious in my previous post, as my Danish friend pointed out, that frame looks like it's made of common strap-iron, but it's really very high-quality carbon steel, and the exposed valve springs were quite well set-up so they didn't fling oil everywhere.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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do a search for "dumb way round". 2 guys from norway who rode sidecar nimbus's around the world, super interesting read for me. they rode across the dakotas in january to minneapolis--major props
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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Those "dumb way" guys were cool.

I've been to the Nimbus shop in Copenhagen. I had a line on a free one in a basement in the Faroe Islands. When I got there, the guy said he alredy had the bike I was talking about! Damn. I don't think I'll ever get another shot at one.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd View Post
We're talking about 1934-on, not 1911.
By 1934, exposed valve springs were already in the minority.

And Nimbus continued using exposed valve springs up until the very end in 1957
point is still about cooling them. Nimbus just held onto it a long while.

hair-pin valve springs were never enclosed and Norton racing singles used them well after 1934.

so take it easy mr. nerd.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
There is a Dutch guy with two in my area of SoCal. Don't recall what years but they all look kinda vintage.
Rode with him for awhile and the one he was on was slow revving, quiet and understated.
Reminded me of the Indian 4 i saw being ridden. The Nimbus is a smaller, lighter bike.

Dutch guy said that before Nimbus closed shop, they HAD to make a serious production run of service parts
because the police and other agencies used so many of them. This run included 1500 cylinder heads.
In 2002, about the year i talked to him, he said OEM parts were not an issue.

utube has videos and there should be an owners club here in the USA.

Consider this a bump.
I think the prez of the Nimbus club is in Seal Beach, I see a guy coming out of Terminal Island riding south on one.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r77toy View Post
I think the prez of the Nimbus club is in Seal Beach, I see a guy coming out of Terminal Island riding south on one.
Yeah, it's him and i am probably mistaken about him being Dutch as his features are fine like a Dane.
Really nice guy, talked to him about 5 years ago.

South out of TI puts him in the water. He better be riding East.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:54 PM   #13
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Saw this beauty at a local rally two years ago. Had never heard of one before, very cool!




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Old 05-26-2012, 06:47 AM   #14
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When I first saw the exposed valve springs in Copenhagen, my thought was "isn't that oil going to pick up a lot of contaminants, i.e., dust, etc. and bring it back into the engine, bearings, etc?"

Do they have a way of stopping that from happening aside from an oil filter, or does the engine just deal with it?

I was also surprised by the amount of weight they were carrying on the platforms of the commercial ones, like entire skids of bricks, and other heavy construction materials.

I met those 2 guys traveling around the US on their Nimbus', they give a talk and slide show in Brooklyn at Bar Matchless for a little fund raiser to continue their trip. IIRC, they both had a sort of box sidecar attached filled with spare parts, etc.

Beeper- Nice detail photos, thanks. Looks like I forgot to mention they had drive shafts.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
When I first saw the exposed valve springs in Copenhagen, my thought was "isn't that oil going to pick up a lot of contaminants, i.e., dust, etc. and bring it back into the engine, bearings, etc?"

How?
The only grit egress would be down the intake valve guide. Note the rockers are sealed at the head.
They might be equipped with graphite/oil impregnated bronze valve guides but IDK.
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