Founded in 1873, NSU was a German manufacturer of automobiles, knitting machines, pedal cycles and motorcycles. The first NSU motorcycle appeared in 1901. During World War II they produced the Kettenkrad, the NSU HK101 and the 251 OSL. After the war, Albert Roder, the chief engineer at NSU propelled the company into another stratosphere as it became the biggest motorcycle producer in the world – with the NSU Fox and the NSU Max with their monocoque frame of pressed steel and a central rear suspension unit. In 1956 Wilhelm Herz of NSU at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah, became the first man to ride a motorcycle faster than 200 mph.
As research & production costs soared in the 60s, NSU was taken over by Volkswagen who merged the company with Auto Union to form Audi.