Saturday, November 13, 2010

Can you identify this mystery motorcycle?

It's not a Royal Enfield (I don't think) but the motorcycle shown in these pictures really is a beauty — or once was.

Enzo from Argentina emailed me these pictures, asking if I could identify this V-twin motorcycle by make, model and year of production.

I certainly couldn't but maybe one of you readers can. My guess is that it's British and very old. The tin cover on the primary drive and the pedestrian slicer license plate holder suggest Britain. Girder forks and hard tail suggest it's old.

The tank is very elaborate, with several caps and openings. This must have been a powerful and expensive machine it its day.

Enzo doesn't say where he found the motorcycle or whether it's for sale. It has a picturesque resting spot in what looks like an old shop/shed.

A really beautiful sidecar is there, too, collecting dust.

What do you think?


  1. Sheldon's EMU has that bike listed as a 1930's NSU. More here and here. But I'm skeptical. The type of fins on the engine look like those in NSU's, but I haven't been able to find another picture of an NSU v-twin of that year. And the 1928 and 1932 brochures do not list v-twin models. At the same site one can find the Baujahr Liste 1924-1940 and the only two cylinder models were built in the years 1924-1927 and although the engines of those models look vaguely like the one on this bike, this is not a 1920's bike (tank, etc, look 1930's). Also NSU used to stamp its name on the engines.

    Let me enter wild speculation territory here. The teardrop pedestrian slicer it has is not British. Similar ones were used in Spain. For many years it was common in Spain to import motorcycles and to sell them under a local brand. For instance after WWII NSU's were sold by LUis BErajano under the brand "Lube". So going out on a limb I'd speculate this was a specially made NSU for the Spanish market or a locally assembled machine with an NSU engine. The mystery continues...

  2. I posted this same bike on my Facebook site for The Vintagent, just last week; nobody has come up with a definitive answer. NSU didn't make such machines in this period; the last was in '26, and looked nothing like this (neither engine nor chassis). I'm inclined to agree with Jorge, except I think it's a JAP engine. The Royal Enfield engine didn't look like this either.


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