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At the end of our conversation, Kris Thompson mentioned that his 1954 Nimbus motorcycle was designed and built by the Fisker company which builds vacuum cleaners and sewing machines. Then, all of what he had related to me in the previous thirty minutes made sense. This motorcycle was the ultimate utility machine. Built for utility, for a purpose; just like a sewing machine or a vacuum. No hint of "build it sexy" for the marketing department and for the sales guys, this bike was all about getting a job done.

Kris kindly and patiently described his latest motorcycle purchase. Kris was taking part in the European Motorcycle Nightat the Haymarket in Lincoln, Nebraska.

This 1954 Nimbus is an inline machine with a drive shaft and a 45 cubic inch engine. Every part of it, the overhead cam, the kick start, the inline driveshaft power set up; and even the painted tire pressure on the fenders revealed the point of the Nimbus, to get from point to point.

Kris purchased the Nimbus at an auction a few years ago, and except for some clean up, an oil change, a new carburetor, and new tires, the bike started up and ran like a champ.

Kris has had the bike up to a top speed of about 100 KM per hour (about 55 mph), but feels more comfortable at about 40-45 mph riding the bike.

The Nimbus was manufactured in Denmark and its last use before Kris purchased it at auction was with the NATO forces in Europe in the 1960's. This mission-oriented nature for the bike is hinted at with the military-style rear light covers.

Suspension for the bike consists of a few rubber bands to give the seat some bounce.

Kris's interest in the Nimbus feeds a great interest in antique things. He grew up in a family that bought and sold antiques. With this built in interest in the reason and story behind something, the Nimbus is a good fit for Kris. This classic tells a story as it sits in the street. Maybe of a much simpler day when things had a straightforward purpose...and so did the people who rode them.

I met Kris at the European Motorcycle Night get-together at the Haymarket in Lincoln, Nebraska. You can see more photos of that event.

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For more information, visit the Nimbus Motorcycle Club.