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-   -   The NSU Scooter and the Girl in the Tight Skirt: A Dating Problem (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/other-bikes-tech/nsu-scooter-girl-tight-skirt-35718)

normw 6 Jun 2008 01:24

The NSU Scooter and the Girl in the Tight Skirt: A Dating Problem
When I was 17 there were, in my mind, three things devoutly to be wished:

1) A scooter
2) A black leather jacket
3) A girl in a tight skirt sitting side saddle on the back of the scooter, Italian style.

All of these elements came together for me during a 15 minute period on Montreal's Sherbrooke Street in 1964. It was a golden era, or at least a golden quarter hour. The girl I haven't seen in forty years although I heard on good authority that she became a militant anti- fluoridationist. The scooter eventually disappeared into the mists of history but was never forgotten. I loved that scooter.

So recently, in a spasm of nostalgia, I found and bought one just like it. It had spent the last twenty years in a storage room in hell, a hell that is partly real and partly embellished by a Hollywood movie company (but that's another story).

Well, I now have a restoration project in the shape of a 150 cc. NSU Prima D, circa 1954-56. Incidentally, in 1956 a British couple rode one two up from England to Australia. They crossed Afghanistan when that country had virtually no real roads and ground their way up mountain passes with no siginficant mechanical problems until they reached Kabul. This machine was solidly built.

The NSU sits expectantly in the garage next to my travelling bike (Kawi ZR-7S) and my work of art ('83 Honda CX650 Turbo). In attempting to gather parts I've encountered a dating issue. NSU built what were basically Lambrettas under licence until that licence expired around 1955. They then commenced manufacturing their own similar looking but mechanically distinct 150 cc. machine known as the Prima D. Parts advertised on line are often accompanied by vague references to the Prima and to years ranging from 1954 to 1957. I haven't been able to figure out when the D actually came out. I just took a chance and ordered a gasket set for a '54 Prima D but some sources suggest there may have been no such model yet in that year.

So, does anyone know when NSU actually began manufacturing the Prima? An esoteric question I realize but I've provided a hopefully entertaining preamble so you have'nt entirely wasted your time.

By the way, the book of the 1956 scooter voyage from England to Australia is being serialized online at "Two-Up" By Scooter to Australia.

Happy trails.


sholborn 8 Jun 2008 01:42

Try The History of NSU in my words

Also check out the book Classic Scooters - which has a bit of NSU Scooter history in it.



Check out my NSU Prima restoration page as well
NSU Prima Scooter Restoration - Home

normw 16 May 2009 02:11

Carpe Diem
A belated thanks Mister Sholborn.

The trouble with rummaging around on the net is that you occasionally bump into some information you would rather not have. In this case I came across an obtituary for the woman who was the girl on the back of the scooter during the aformentioned golden era. It was 45 years ago but it seems like the blink of an eye.

So as is often said around here in one way or another...carpe diem..smell the two stroke.


SpitfireTriple 17 May 2009 17:11

Carpe diem indeed. That somehow became a theme for me on my own Big Trip. You get some good thinking time on a long bike trip.

backofbeyond 1 Jan 2010 10:25


Originally Posted by REBECCA12 (Post 269868)
dont let them know that u have that condition.

What would that be? Carpe Diem syndrome? That's a brain condition that everyone suffers from. My 19yr old son was only complaining of it last night and by the time you've added on a few more decades it can become a terminal problem.

Politicians are particularly prone to it where it's known as "old man / woman in a hurry" disease and leads to the introduction of half thought through legislation (not to be confused with "general election on the way" itis which sometimes has similar symptoms).

No real cure but you can sometimes mask the effects by buying a classic bike / car (men) or antiques (women) (valid for my household anyway).
If it advances to the stage where you're writing up your memoirs on a web site you may need medical attention. See pisquick tours link below for example of someone off to see a psychiatrist this morning (my father in law!)

normw 16 Jan 2010 22:02

Interesting to see this thread spring to life and its philosophical expansion. I was also surprised to see that it has had over 2600 views. Who's interested in an obscure technical question about an obscure half centrury old German motor scooter (the answer to which is still obscure)? Could it have something to do with the reference to a girl in a tight skirt?

The NSU has been turned over to nice professionals for some mechanical work with the comment..."Its been fifty years so there's no rush". They've taken that advice to heart which is fine by me. That's part of the charm of resurrecting old machines.


paperman 14 Jun 2011 20:21

The NSU Scooter and the Girl in the Tight Skirt
NORM: I was roving through the web looking at classic motorcycles, came across NSU (I had a prima scooter io the late 50's with a spot light on the front mudgard) and started looking and google dropped me on to this page. It is a long time since this page was active so maybe it it too long, but did you get your scooter up and running. Funnily enough I had a similar experience here in UK with my girlfriend of the time (tight mini skirt and legs that went on forever) however she wasn't willing to go side saddle so straddled the pillion seat with the skirt suitably raised to accomodate, I was hardly able to concentrate... As a footnote to that we met again about 5 years ago and she is now the regular pillion on my Honda ST1300 and she still has great legs !!! :censored:

normw 19 Jun 2011 22:38

Surprising how this thread keeps percolating.

The Prima emerged from the Scooter Hive, a local go to vintage scooter repair shop (unfortunately no longer extant), in running shape. Unfortunately it developed a transmission issue. Wiser men than me advised that NSU transmissions are frightening things and I wasn't prepared to go there. So it was sold to a braver and more mechanically inclined soul.

As for historically significant women on motor scooters...more power to them.


DaveSmith 24 Jul 2011 17:16

Doesn't everyone love NSU? I love hearing stories about them. I'm sorry about your pillion in the short skirt.

The only NSU I have is a car (Sport Prinz) which was forced into a Moto Melee without enough time to drive it and break it in slowly. The stupid driver replaced the heavily leaking valve cover gasket with cork and when that didn't work, I added just enough gasket sealant to gum up the works. It still got me home.

Eventually, I'll buy an NSU motorcycle to add my crap collection. Someone stop me before I NSU again!

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