Oslo Motor Show 2021

Text & Photo: Jan Sigurd Aarberg


The corona spectacle is finally over, Norway has opened, and pleasant events - such as the Oslo Motorshow - are back in place where they should be (in the Norwegian Trade Fair, Lillestrøm). We got a small indication of how hungry the motorists have been at such events, when we hit the traffic jam already before the Ræling tunnel, about three kilometers south of the fairgrounds. After a bit of creative snooping on the small roads, however, we were on our way into the exhibition area. 150 exhibitors in 30,000 square meters of indoor halls plus 7,000 square meters of outdoor rally track. We had barely entered the first hall before stumbling across four ironed long forks. Cars are fine, but it is two-wheelers that are the thing, preferably customs, and this promised well!


H-DOCN with 35th anniversary

Still, some of the charm of the Oslo Motorshow is the width. Here are classic fifties Americans, more ordinary cars that were a common sight on the roads when I was in my teens, but which now jaggu have become classics, they too, huge trucks, barely half a meter high custommopeds, lots of other things - and, not least bicycles. From early in the last century to next year's models. Some very original, others carefully customized, and still others who had taken it all out - and a little more. H-DOCN, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, was present, with cake for all members, HOG was also in place, Indian had its own stand with several models, including an incredibly tough, stripped-down all blacked out Chief. Harley-Davidson was unfortunately not represented as an official dealer, but the brand was undoubtedly the best represented at the fair anyway!


The oldest Harley on display was from the First World War…

The oldest exhibited Harley was from around World War II - the first, and had a carbide lantern. A fascinating principle where the fuel is in solid form, usually calcium carbide, which is converted to acetylene gas by the addition of water, supplied in small drops, not surprisingly eventually displaced by electric light. Lots of exhibited choppers, sparkling in chrome and fancy paint jobs, some had chosen to go the other way, as two Sportsters were good examples of - these should be ridden a little fresh in turns, and then it is not suitable to lower the bike max, which of course coolest out. Some creative souls had mounted adjustable dampers on one of them; lift up or drop down the back 'with a push of a button'. Brilliant. It also helped that both paint job, exhaust and other customization were definitely inside on both!


From when Hitler Germany occupied the country

Interesting stories often hide behind old bicycles. I talked a bit with the owner of a military gray Nimbus, who told me that Czechoslovakia had ordered around 70 pieces. of these just before World War II. When Hitler Germany occupied the country, the Czechs hid the bicycles in a remote warehouse, but the Germans are a thorough migration and by reviewing inventory lists, the missing bicycles were discovered and traced (probably under threat of putting some of the responsible Czechs in front of the execution platoon) . This specimen ended up in Norway during the war, and remained here after the Nazi capitulation. For those who do not know: Nimbus is an old, venerable Danish brand, the engine is a series four with overhead camshaft and open valves - very ahead of its time when it was launched in 1934, not so much when production was discontinued in 1960. The company is probably better known for its vacuum cleaners of the brand Nilfisk, which are still being produced.


Audience record - again!

On the whole - fantastic fun on two and four wheels, from barely half a meter high mopeds to large trucks. Also nice to get some replenishment of (useless, but fun) knowledge. Did you know that the French in the eighties produced a 1300 cubic meter with Citroen GS engine? Neither do I…

The visitor numbers for this exhibition at least confirmed that this was something the motorists missed, and appreciated. On Saturday when Scanbike stopped by, we had the company of 24,068 others. And, a new audience record in total with 47,517 motor enthusiast visitors at the Norwegian Trade Fair in Lillestrøm - the previous record, set in 2019, was 43,517 visitors. And in the spring there is MC-messe…



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