1952 Type C Nimbus Motorcycle
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Other parts include an MZ front brake lever and switches, a Saab 96 door hinge for the H-D saddle, a Suzuki kickstand, and innumerable small bits and pieces Kim made in his workshop. The cut-down rear fender, the fender strut and the brakes are all Nimbus items.
Kim rode the bike without a speedometer for years, and though it doesn’t appear in these photos, he eventually added a Smith Chronometric as he likes its clockwork-style operation. Plus he needed the bike to have a speedo for a trip he was planning to Japan. More on that in a minute.
More modificationsRemember Monty Python’s “dead parrot” sketch? No? In any case, this was re-enacted with Kim doing the John Cleese part, and the painter as the idiot pet shop owner. Over and over the parts were painted. When Kim wanted semi-gloss, the painter did gloss — nice and shiny in one place, and badly wrinkled at the other side. “Oh, can’t be done any other way,” the painter told him. The colors were wrong, too, but at least they matched. In the end another painter had to finish it, which he did beautifully. It took a full year to get the paint work done.
The last major modification was a new constant-mesh 4-speed gearbox, which replaced the original 3-speeder. Though it was hideously expensive, Kim says it was well worth it. “Hand gear change and suicide clutch took a little while getting used to,” Kim says. “So did the welcome at the annual Nimbus Club rally. Ten years ago they might have considered stabbing me – now it is smiles all around. Even the police, who do stop me every so often for other reasons, seem to have decided to ignore the obvious irregularities, like the missing front fender, which is illegal in Denmark.”
Unlike many custom motorcycles in the U.S., this bobber was built to be ridden. Kim has taken three major trips and put more than 6,000 miles on it since he finished the build, and he says the bike still works exactly the way it was designed to. “The Harley saddle and the wider handlebar make it much more comfortable than a standard Nimbus, mainly because the original Nimbus was designed at a time when people were just a lot shorter than they are today,” Kim says.
Oh yes, and remember that mention about Kim wanting to take the bike on a trip to Japan? Not only did he make the trip on the Nimbus, but he kept a blog throughout his eight weeks in Japan that makes for quite an interesting read. Check it out at www.nimbustripinjapan.blogspot.com MC
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