1952 Type C Nimbus Motorcycle
The Danish Bobber
By Jeppe Sorensen
Danish citizen Kim Scholer has owned and ridden Nimbuses for most of his life. “It’s like a virus I’ll never get rid of, in spite of frequent affairs with other brands,” he says. So one day he decided, why not a Nimbus bobber?
Kim explains: “Nimbuses are common as dirt here in Denmark, so the local vintage bike community doesn’t care much for them. Besides, they are too reliable, too easy to fix, parts are too cheap and too easy to find, and thus they’re completely missing that essential masochistic element so dear to most old-bike enthusiasts.
“But I’m a lousy mechanic, I ride a lot, and new bikes just don’t cut it for me. So a Nimbus it had to be. When the bobber style came back some years ago, I thought I’d go with it. A Nimbus bobber would almost be legal here, and in any case, leaving it all to the Harleys and the Indians just didn’t seem right.”
Different by designKim’s first step was to draw and redraw the project dozens of times. He found the process to be tricky with the Nimbus, finding often that by changing one thing, eight other things suddenly looked wrong.
But he kept on, tracking down needed parts and modifying where necessary — most notably the stock front fork, which was cut down 8 centimeters (about 3 inches) and its plate-type handlebar replaced with a motocross-type one. This was originally meant to be an interim solution, so Kim would know exactly how to bend the Harley-Davidson WLA-type bars he planned to add. But the motocross bars grew on him, so he plans to keep it that way.
Kim found an original, late 1920s Indian headlamp at a flea market for a ludicrously cheap price, then traded for the replica item a friend had for his Indian Four project. The replica’s internals consist of a VW Polo (Golf in the U.S.) reflector, an old piece of glass and an “ungodly amount of silicone keeping everything in place,” says Kim. A fellow Nimbus owner in Florida located “The Peace Taillight” on eBay for him, complete with the original packaging and all, for just $55.
The stock 19-inch wheels were replaced with 18-inch H-D wheels, and they’re now shod with Avon tires designed for sidecar duty: Tire quality is the one thing Kim didn’t want to skimp on. “Besides, I like the zigzag pattern,” Kim says.
An old friend of Kim’s fabricated the exhaust system, using four pre-bent 35 millimeter tubes exiting from the cylinder head joined to a 50 millimeter main tube. “Great care was taken to have it as close to the engine as possible, as I didn’t want a heat shield to mess up the styling. It took him three years to do it, though. He’s very good, but smokes too much funny stuff,” says Kim.