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[img]NSU Ladies Tourenrad from 1951, fitted with Gnom engine.

[img]NSU began in the town of Riedlingen on the Danube in 1873, and moved to Neckarsulm, where the river Sulm flows into the Neckar, in 1884. Initially, its founders Heinrich Stoll and Christian Schmidt produced knitting machines. In 1886 the company began to produce bicycles, the first of them branded as the "Germania", and by 1892, bicycle manufacturing had completely replaced knitting machine production. At about this time, the name NSU (from "Neckar-sulmer Strickmaschinen Union" or Neckar and Sulm rivers) appeared as a brand name.

[img]„When the bicycle market started to boom, NSU joined many other bike manufacturers and their cycles proved very popular (...) Developed from a bicycle, their first motorcycle was introduced in 1901; it was fitted with a 1.5hp Swiss Zedel engine. The picture (to the left) shows their factory in 1904. By then, there was already a choice of 6 different models.” (from The bicycle production continued into the early 1960s.