In the Retro Mod class at the 2014 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building there was one bike that had many people scratching their heads in wonder at what it was powered by. The clue was in the bike’s name – Nimbus 4 - Nimbus being the name of a Danish motorcycle manufacturer active between the ‘20s and ‘60s, and the motor used in TMT Moto’s custom build
TOMAS Turner, of TMT Moto in the Czech Republic, first entered the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building in 2013 when he placed 2nd in the Retro Modified class with his Shovelhead build T5. Tomas returned to the Championship in 2014 and this time took the win in the Retro Modified class with Nimbus. This time his build was centred around a unique engine choice with a Nimbus 75 inline four-cylinder being seen for the first time in the Championship’s history.
Nimbus was the name given to the motorcycles produced in Denmark by Fisker and Nielsen between 1919 and 1960, followed by the production of electric motors, and from 1910 the first vacuum cleaners in Europe under the Fisker brand name.
Despite being the highest selling motorcycle brand in Denmark during the ‘30s, the Nimbus motor that Turner sourced is one of the later models produced primarily for use by the Danish military and postal service, and like all of the bikes made, features shaft drive to the rear wheel.
Original Nimbus frames are made from steel strips riveted together, and Turner chose not to try and modify it, but instead to rework a H-D Wishbone frame, stretching it as necessary to fit the longer in-line/Nimbus motor and drivetrain package. Along with the rear of the frame being heavily modified to accommodate the shaft drive, the head stock was also heavily raked to lower the front end. At the front a WLC Springer front fork was used in conjunction with the frame to keep things simple.
A pair of 16in rims were then laced up to the hubs and shod with Firestone 5.00-16 tires, to keep a period look, further accented by the use of a WLC drum brake on the front wheel to match the fork.
It is not only the engine that is an unusual choice on Nimbus, many of the other parts used in the build are from different sources. The gas tank for example was once a fire extinguisher, the tail pipe on the exhaust was once the whistle on a steam train, and the shift lever for the transmission came from an old car.
The unusual touches continue on Nimbus with the finishing kit that includes a ’20s Vitalux headlamp and a solo leather seat suspended on a series of linkages and a pair of leaf spring.
Whether it was Turner’s unusual choice of engine or the extremely high level of detailing and repurposing parts from a variety of sources, or a combination of both, his fellow competitors at the 2014 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building thought enough of Nimbus to vote it into first place in the Retro Mod class. All that remains to be seen now is whether Turner will return to defend his title in that class or make the move up to Freestyle and attempt to take the ultimate title.