A Brief History

Nimbus motorcycle
P A Fisker

The original factory was founded by Hans Marius Nielsen and Peder Andersen Fisker in 1906, and they quickly became well known for their high quality electric motors, switch gear, and metalwork. However, in 1910 when P. A. Fisker wanted to make vacuum cleaners, the two partners decided to go their separate ways. The name of the company - Fisker & Nielsen Ltd stayed however, and the business went on to make some of the best vacuum cleaners money could buy.

Nimbus motorcycle
P A Fisker riding his 'Stovepipe' in 1922

P A Fisker's first motorcycle became nicknamed 'the stovepipe' due to its large tubular structural petrol tank. This model was an Inlet-over-exhaust configuration produced around 1919, and was a very modern design (for the time) incorporating many of the features found on motor cars. 4 cylinder in-line engine, a 3-speed gearbox and single-plate clutch, with shaft drive to the rear wheel. It went through an improved 'B' version, before production stopped in 1928, by then 1252 motorcycles had been manufactured. It was a quality machine that performed well, but the purchase cost was expensive, and was a victim of poor sales.

Fast-forward to 1934 for the next Nimbus motorcycle.

After waiting for several years after the demise of the Stovepipe, and predicting a boom in personal transport needs, P A Fisker made the decision to make another motorcycle. So during the first years of the 1930's, P A Fisker worked with his son, Anders Fisker, to completely redesign the old 'B' stovepipe using fresh ideas and techniques. Anders Fisker had gained an engineering degree in 1932, and no doubt that contributed to move things forward quickly.

Nimbus motorcycleThus was born new 'Model C'. This motorcycle eventually became known as the Bumblebee - so named by the Danish because of the buzzy engine/exhaust note. When British motorcyclists were being married to heavy single cylinder machines - usually side valve engines - chain drive - heavy girder forks and frames - usually no electric lights, and needing to wear oil-proof boots - Fisker & Nielsen Ltd. produced the light and nimble Nimbus 'Model C'. With four cylinders, overhead camshaft, shaft drive to the rear wheel - plus numerous other highly innovative features - it was a motorcycle way ahead of its time.

Nimbus 'Bumblebee' motorcycles were manufactured in a new modern factory in Copenhagen, Denmark, and continued for over 25 years.

Top of page