Top test NSU Supermax
In 1952 NSU proudly presented “the most powerful 250 in the world” with the Max and shocked the competition. As the crowning glory of the “100 Years of MOTORCYCLE” series, the high-flyer from back then has to take part in today’s top test.
By motorcycle one means Max. «With this statement, press spokesman Arthur Westrup wanted to emphasize the top position of the 250 NSU in the German motorcycle landscape of the 50s.
The four-stroke engine, which was designed with a short stroke of 69 millimeters and 66 millimeters of stroke, obtained the outstanding performance for the time from an elaborate engine concept, the technical details of which were mostly reserved for Grand Prix motorcycles at the time. An overhead camshaft driven by two push rods controlled the two valves, which were pressed onto their seats by hairpin valve springs. A dry sump lubrication ensured the well-being of the engine, a dry clutch for safe power transmission.
Just as the Max is the epitome of the motorcycle according to NSU, the top test for MOTORRAD is the ultimate test. Which the Max consequently had to undergo. For this purpose, Rolf Pössnecker’s »NSU agency« provided a Supermax from the last series from 1962, already equipped with indicators and a rear-view mirror. The tension increases with the acquaintance
the motorcycle that my colleagues paid such deep respect four decades ago.
The first test takes place during the starting process using the kick starter. Once the driver has mastered the procedure, the Max always starts reliably. Even cold weather cannot harm it. Briefly press the swab on the float chamber twice, slightly open the throttle, one courageous kick, and the single cylinder is already chugging cleanly at idle. Starting up is also very easy. Does the dry clutch move gently? Ducati is said to have already ordered a Max for study purposes? and pushes the 173 kilogram single with a full tank, measured by today’s standards, rather unspectacularly. The aisles want to be sorted carefully and forcefully. The stew strives for the performance zenith at 7000 rpm completely evenly, without any breakdowns, and finds a clean connection in the next courses. In the fourth, the forward urge abruptly diminishes because of the too long translation jump. A problem that is particularly evident in mountainous terrain. The speed drops in the cellar on slight inclines, the third party has to be constantly tried. NSU once praised the single cylinder as a climber. MOTORRAD would like a closer step between third and fourth gear or even better a five-speed gearbox.
The chassis, on the other hand, behaves in an exemplary manner, coping with the given power with ease. Even when accelerating fully or at top speed, driving stability or even handlebar slap are not an issue. Incidental shimmy can be eliminated by the steering damper, which is aggressively in the field of vision and manually adjustable while driving. With which the Supermax scores 44 out of 50 possible points in the two criteria and, thanks to the steering damper, far surpasses Honda’s Fireblade and Yamaha’s R1.
The NSU runs steadfastly in a straight line, but demands in curves despite that
low weight, high steering forces in order to circle all kinds of bends in a stable, neutral manner and with perfect freedom from lean angles. The pushed short swing arm speaks super-sensitively on the smallest ground-
bumps and only reacts to
coarser patchwork of pavement stubborn. The two suspension struts, the most important innovation in the Supermax, on the other hand swallow pronounced bumps with flying colors.
The brakes master the available power less confidently. Although the NSU captain takes the Ver-
delay thanks to the 100 percent anti-
The dive effect of the pushed swing arm with braking torque support, similar to the Telelever from BMW, is far less true than with the telescopic fork. In the event of an emergency stop, the suspension simply irons undulating asphalt smooth. But 65.4 meters of braking distance from 100 km / h drive the adrenaline level, especially of hard-nosed late brakes–
other times to alarming heights. On the other hand, there is never any risk of blocking, the dreaded tendency to stand up when decelerating in an inclined position is alien to the Max.
The driver can go into the irons and up to the apex of the curve
then immediately tear open the throttle grip as far as it will go.
Apart from the brakes, driving on the NSU is extremely enjoyable
relaxed. The pilot and pillion are comfortably accommodated. The variable ergonomics of the handlebar, driver and passenger foot-
Resting allows long stages. This is also made possible by the country road consumption of 4.1 liters, which ensures a range of a good 340 kilometers with the 14-liter tank. The 40-year-old two-wheeler is also busy collecting points for its equipment. A folding bench is just as much a part of it as the main and side stand or the extensive tools. In addition, the Max does not receive
Just because of the sensational turning circle of 3.7 meters at hand-
18 out of 20 points.
Even if the slogan: “If you want to drive sportily, drive the tight Max from NSU” no longer applies to the single cylinder, there is still a considerable amount in the points account. Especially because of the ergonomics ?? neither driver nor front passenger mutate into contortionists? and not least because of the exemplary workmanship, the NSU Supermax continues to cut a good figure in 2003. And beats two points in performance despite the modest? which we opposed
zu trust our pre-testers even less experienced motorcyclists ?? in the top test even some current machines with multiple performance clear .
Conclusion – NSU Supermax
Because of its excellent chassis, the Supermax not only leaves the larger-capacity 350 Horex Regina behind and does not rank far behind a BMW R 50 in a direct comparison, but also makes a 2003 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Injection look old (top test in Motorrad 3/2003: 442 points). It is impossible to imagine how the NSU would fare with effective brakes including ABS, five-speed gearbox and modern exhaust gas cleaning.
Technical data and MOTORCYCLE measurements
Air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, an overhead, pushrod-driven camshaft, two valves, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, round slide carburetor, no exhaust gas cleaning, Ø 26 mm, kick starter, battery light ignition machine, 60 W, battery 6 V / 7 Ah. Bore x stroke 69 x 66 mm Displacement 247 cm3 Compression ratio 7.4: 1 Rated output 13 kW (18 HP) at 7000 rpm Max. Torque 21 Nm (2.1 kpm) at 5500 rpm Power transmission Primary drive via gears, mechanically operated multi-plate dry clutch, four-speed gearbox, chain, secondary ratio 42:16 , Simplex drum brake at the front, simplex drum brake at the rear. Spoked wheels 2.15 x 19; 2.15 x 19 tires 3.25-19; 3.25-19Tires tested, Metzeler Block C5Chassis data, wheelbase 1320 mmService dataService intervals every 2000 kmOil change every 2000 kmMotor oil SAE 20Spark plug Bosch W 240 T11Valve clearance inlet / outlet 0.05 / 0.10 mmTire pressure solo (with pillion passenger) front / rear 1.3 / 1.8 (1.3 / 2.0) barColors blue, blackPrice 2076 Marks (from 1961) MOTORCYCLE measurementsDrive performanceMaximum speed 126 km / hAcceleration0 ?? 80 km / h 13.8 sec0 ?? 100 km / h 38.4 secDirection40 60 km / h 8.7 sec 60 80 km / h 14.8 sec Fuel type Normal consumption in the test Country road 4.1 l / 100 km Theor. Range 341 kmDimensions and weightsL / W / H 2010/680/960 mmSeat height 780 mmTurning circle 3700 mmWeight fully fueled 173 kg Permissible total weight * 325 kg Load 151 kg Wheel load distribution f / h 44/56% Tank capacity / reserve * 14 / 1.5 liters
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