Prima picture
My 1956 NSU Prima
The Story Thru Pictures . . .
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March 24th, polished the tail light housing a bit, reinstalled the newly chromed headlight rim and visor. I'm all ready for my safety inspection and visit to the DMV tomorrow.

March 25th, the safety inspection went sooothly, but I couldn't register the it because I don't have the new title yet. To make matters worse, I noticed that the paperwork for the new title had the wrong address on it so I'll have to wait for it to be mailed and then returned to the DMV, and then I can request a duplicate title. On the bright side, I did get a thirty day temporary operating permit, so at least I'm on the road for now. I've been around town a bit and my first impression is "slow". Compared to my p200 or even my wife's 125 Startstream, it sure is a, uhh... leisurely ride. I also put a new headlight bulb in the Starstream so we're ready to terrorize the streets of Salt Lake City.
NSU Prima

March 26th, rode to work today, took side roads, it's a pretty slow scooter. I still need to change the oil, and it could probablly use a new spark plug too.

April 1st, It seems I've got an electrical problem, I don't think the battery is getting charged. I haven't had any time to work on it. It snowed today.

April 4th, drained the gas tank and removed the petcock to try and track down a fuel leak. The petcock has a filter on both sides, one as fuel enters the petcock, and another as it leaves on it's way to the carb. I was considering an inline fuel filter, but now I think it'd be overkill. I made a few washers out of gasket-paper and nothing leaks now except the actual on/of valve, but that's a very slow leak. I'll keep an eye on it and order a new one if it gets worse.
Also waxed both side panels, it's good paint, but there's some places where it's a little pitted. I think I may repaint it eventually, but not this year.
NSU Prima

April 6th, I think I tracked down why the battery wasn't getting charged. There's a wire that runs from the starter/generator to the battery, for charging. It wasn't hooked up. I tested the output of the generator with a 12v bulb that I soldered some wire leads to. Also, the wiring diagram in the manual was helpfull. As a test I managed to push-start the scooter without a battery in it at all.
The petcock is leaking as bad as ever, I wonder if there's something I can use to make the threads seal better, without it disolving and fouling my carb.

April 11th, Yet another attempt at fixing the leaky petcock, it's still leaking a bit, but hopefully it's down to a trickle and not the flood it has been.
Also straightened out the side-panel trim to try and make it fit again, apparently the guy that polished it warped it pretty badly. Two of the pieces have sheared off bolts (my bad) that I need to fix. I think I'll need to get new posts brazed on.

April 13th, Changed the oil (finally) and put in a new plug, a NGK B8HS, the manual says to use a Bosch W 240 T 11 plug, but I can't find them anywhere. Also drained the tank and pulled the petcock off again. I found a web page that tells how to rebuild a "everbest" petcock, which this is, but the instructions didn't seem to apply to this particular petcock, but to ones used on BMW cycles. I sent off an email to the author of the page asking for info, and one to NSU-Motzke asking if they had one in stock. The new plug makes a big difference in how it runs, it's starting right up and putting out a more power. Looks like the battery is charging too, I rode to and from and still had juice when I got home. It was a really nice day out today.

April 18th, tore down the carb and cleaned jets, also found the idle adjuster and a mystery adjustment screw of some sort.

May 4th, Drained the gas tank to remove the petcock, I'm sending it off to be rebuilt so it wont leak all over anymore.

May 17th, Called the DMV, they have my title ready, it should be here in 7-10 days and then I can get a plate.

May 20th, My title arrived today, I'm going to try and get a plate next week.

May 21st, three new Continental whitewalls arrive from West Coast Lambretta Works, $59 each.

May 29th, I scanned and posted copies of two NSU sales brochures Dan Spannraft was kind enough to send me. One is for the line of scooters, and one is for the Quickly mopeds.
NSU Prima NSU Prima

June 8th, Replace the spare tire with a new whitewall and mounted my license plate. I also re-fitted the petcock. It still leaks a bit, I'm hoping it's just because the cork inside hasn't soaked up enough gas to expand enough.
NSU Prima NSU Prima

June 19th, went on a ride up Milcreek canyon with Jinx, barely limped to the top, my jetting is *way* off. I need to order one of each size jet and figure out which one is correct for Utah's altitude.
NSU Prima

July 1st, emailed off another order to NSU-Motzke, crossing my fingers that I managed to get all the right stuff, reading German is not easy. I was amused that a float is called a "Schwimmer".
Also, I've been thinking of making some copies of the parts book, since mine is incredibly useful for ordering parts. If you want a copy let me know.

July 4th, Replaced the choke cable, the old one was a pain to get out and I ended up cutting off one end, but the new cable went in pretty easily with the help of some thin wire.

August 2nd, Received my order from NSU-Motzke, everything is there, and of good quality, now I just have to figure out what parts are what, there's a bag of little copper studs and I don't remember what they are. Now that I've got a petcock that doens't dump gas all over, the next step is to get the jetting right, but I think I can get the jets here in America. I've been working on my P-200 alot lately.

September 18th, pulled the carb off and wrote down any relavant numbers I could find, so I can order some larger jets.

November 29th, mailed the set of carb jets I got form NSU-Motzke to the Bing Agency in Kansas in hopes that some other jets can be modified to work. They don't have the exact parts.

December 10th, received a package from Bing Agency with a carb jet in it, maybe I'll put it in tomorrow and go for a ride around the neighborhood.

December 12th, put in the new jet and went for a few short rides, much more pickup, and after riding the plug was actually brown instead of the usual soot-black. I'm realizing that this bike will never be fast enough for a daily rider, but that's ok. It seems that the amount of power produced is affected a lot by the position of the choke/carb-tickler, which unfortunatly doesn't stay in the position you put it, but just sort of migrates to the middle. Adjusting that cable will probablly make it put out more power, but that's a task for a much warmer day. I also pulled out the battery and brought it indoors, the freezing tempratures in the garage make for a battery that won't hold a charge if you leave it out there all winter. I've got to get some fuel stabilizer too.

January 1st, 2000, this is not a Prima related entry, but please note that the world did not end, thank you.

March 3rd, beautiful day today, I put in the battery and went for a spin around the block. It still feels like it's bogging a bit, I'll have to get some advice from someone who knows thier carbs. I've got to fix the choke cable so it stays where it's put, too. Maybe I'll ride over to the Jinx swap meet tomorrow.

April 7th, Inspired by an entry in the guestbook, I pulled apart the pipe, it was pretty carbonized. I cleaned it out as best as I could, it made a big difference. On my short test ride I managed to hit 60km/hour(about 35mph), and the pickup was a lot better. Everything was going fine, until the pipe fell off. Oops. Apparently there is another bracket that's missing. I'll investigate tomorrow.

April 9th, went out to figure out what's supposed to hold the pipe on. There is no diagram or mention of any sort of brackets in the parts book, and I ended up using a "fix" that I'm pretty embarrased about. It involves a couple of hose clamps, and wood spacers. If anyone know's how it's really supposed to attach, drop me a note. At any rate, it's pretty secure now. I also discovered that I should be running 4% oil, instead of the 2% that I have been using, time to buy another gas can.
NSU Prima NSU Prima

June 18th, Pulled the carb off and cut a gasket for the top of the float bowl, also put a hose clamp (crimp kind, not the ones you tighten with a screwdriver) on the fuel line. Maybe this will stop the leak.

July 8th, When I removed the cowl flash, two different bolts sheared off, tonight I ground them out with a Dremel. I've got some metal epoxy that'll hopefully hold in some new pieces. Also, the carb doesn't leak anymore.

June 8th 2001, I got a safety inspection today, I'm going to try to get an 'Vintage' plate for the Prima. Also took a short ride downtown.

June 12th 2001, went to the DMV, apparently they don't have vintage plates for motorcycles anymore, so I just did a regular renewal.

September 29th 2001, replaced the front tire with a Continental whitewall, and replaced and adjusted the front brake cable. Also cleaned the brake pads and such with some brake cleaner, nasty stuff, that. The front brakes actually sort of work now.

September 30 2001, Changed out the back tire for a Continetal whitewall, it looks really sharp with nice white tires on. Tried to start it up, but it just doesn't seem to want to fire.(stale gas?) I've acquired copies of The Book of the NSU, and a NSU dealers service manual that have been very helpful.

October 6th 2001, Cleaned carb jets, and drained the gas, with fresh gas it started right up. I also changed the oil.

November 16th 2001, Spent the evening scanning my latest acquisition a 1960's NSU factory press kit. Some cool pictures of the factory floor and such, all in german.

December 3rd 2001, Scanned a hi-res version of the wiring diagram, suitable for printing.

June 17th 2002, Scanned and posted a complete Dealers maintenance manual, (thanks Eric!), also a zip file of the whole thing, if you want to print a copy.

February 5th 2003, Scanned and posted a complete a different Dealers maintenance manual, it looks like the 1957 suppliment to the 1956 manual, and a zip file of the whole thing, if you want to print a copy.

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Moreto come...
Mail me
NSU-USA, good page with NSU car & bike info.
Bing Agency International had carb jets, and were very helpfull. Email them at
NSU-Motzke has an online catalog, but it's all in German. Responds to email in english
German Parts Unlimited no online catalog, but they respond to email in a few days.
Kjetil's NSU page another Prima owner's site.