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Old 22nd October 2021, 19:11   #1
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Default Visit to the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum

A well known part of motorcycle history and Germany is that Germany was/is the birth place of the Motorrad/Motorcycle, with Hildebrand & Wolfmüller becoming the first series production motorcycle, in 1894. While BMW may be the only surviving German brand, many motorcycle companies and brands have had their roots in Germany and these are all showcased at the Deutsche Zweirad Museum ( German Two-Wheeler Museum ), located at Neckarsulm. While Neckarsulm may not be a very well known town tourist-wise, it has an important place in the history of Germany, engine development and the auto history. A few excerpts from the history of Neckarsulm and the company NSU

NSU: NSU Motorenwerke AG, or NSU, was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and pedal cycles, founded in 1873. Acquired by Volkswagen Group in 1969, VW merged NSU with Auto Union, creating Audi NSU Auto Union AG, ultimately Audi. The name NSU originated as an abbreviation of "Neckarsulm", the city where NSU was located.

From the outside, the museum is rather unassuming, compared to the museums of Mercedes Benz and Porsche, but on the inside, you're greeted by nearly four floors of Motorcycle, Engine and Automobile history.

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The ground floor after the Reception had a special exhibition on Racing Motorcycles and this is what we came across:

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In the adjoining rooms on the ground floor are some art exhibits and the large video room, where various videos on the history of NSU, Motorcycles, the Second World War etc keep playing. The cool part about this theatre is you get to sit on some of the historic bikes and view the videos, along with excellent sound effects. My son was extremely thrilled to experience all this. Even as I sat on them, I could think of only one thing, " Man, are these comfortable to sit on", seems like we have lost the basic purpose of comfortable transportation with the current lot of motorcycles;.

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As is displayed, these are the steps in the evolution of the motorcycle, as put in a broad sense: Invention, Breakthrough, Freedom

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Last edited by hifisharu : 25th October 2021 at 16:13.
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Old 22nd October 2021, 19:42   #2
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Default Re: Visit to the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum

In the basement and the upper floors are more or less chronologically, the founding of the NSU company, the various products they used to make, right from sewing machines to cars, the various phases of cycle and Motorcycle evolution and the kind of history repeating itself cycle with modern day cycles and e-bikes.

Basement: History of NSU and the various products they used to make

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One can have a hands-on experience of various engine and gearbox mechanisms, through these cut-away models. Of particular interest was the Wankel engine section, since the unique Rotary engine was invented by Mr. Felix Wankel, an engineer at NSU. Mr.Wankel received his first patent for the engine in 1929 and then began development in the early 1950s at NSU. A complete working prototype was shown in 1957 and NSU subsequently licensed the design to companies around the world. Unfortunately, the Wankel engine was very cost intensive for NSU and ended-up being bought by the VW group.

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As we entered the first floor, we were greeted by the 'first' motorcycle, the Reitwagen and this floor is all about the early motorcycles, the various engine positions, the different engine configurations and varied forms and functions.

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So many different brands, so much of innovation and very similar to the now defunct British motorcycle brands, why did so many German brands die? In the mix, I also found like the Great grand father ( or mother ) of my Triumph bike, which though now is a British brand, started out in Nürnberg as a Sewing machine, Typewriter and Cycle manufacturer.

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Last edited by hifisharu : 25th October 2021 at 18:37.
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Old 25th October 2021, 18:22   #3
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Default Re: Visit to the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum

The higher floors have dedicated sections to Race motorcycles, Mofas or Mopeds, some unique Transcontinental achievers and many iconic scooters. Then there is the section on the sort of history of Cycles, evolution of various cycle forms and some of the latest Audi models, with Carbon fibre frames, 3D printed parts and modern e-bike, battery and transmission tech. We also got to try out one example of the Penny farthing cycle and boy! were these difficult to get on.

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One can definitely spend a great deal of time going into the details of each era, mode of two wheeler transportation, their particular brand/models of interest etc. Time to time, they have various different special exhibitions and I look forward to more such opportunities when I can visit this fascinating world of Two Wheelers.

Last edited by hifisharu : 25th October 2021 at 18:27.
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Old 26th October 2021, 05:18   #4
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Default Re: Visit to the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 26th October 2021, 08:03   #5
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Default Re: Visit to the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum

Wunderbar !!!! Wonderful.
The best part is that they let you gave a feel in the exhibits. Great collection and well maintained. Spacious museum otherwise I have seen even a good collection of Vintage cars in cramped space.
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Old 29th October 2021, 08:28   #6
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Default Re: Visit to the Deutsches Zweirad- und NSU-Museum

Thanks for sharing about this museum, hifisharu. This is the first time that I am seeing a museum allowing visitors to sit on some of the bikes and experience them. I wish more museums were as flexible as this one. Definitely a must visit place for me, if I ever visit that part of the world.
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