Name That Motorcycle

January 17, 2013

Thank you to everyone who commented on the “Name That Motorcycle” photo on the HVA website and the HVA's Facebook page.

This bike is a 1959 Zimmerman, which was designed by the model builder Emil Zimmerman. It is believed to be one-of-a-kind and is housed in the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in Birmingham, Alabama. The most unusual characteristic of the Zimmerman is that its valve operation is controlled by a ported rotary sleeve and there are no conventional valves, springs or lifters. The bike was ridden in the Jack Pine Enduro and has been beautifully restored by Chuck Huneycutt, Barber's chief restoration mechanic.

And the winner of the contest is...Ben Thompson, from Lumberton, Texas!

For guessing correctly, Ben will receive a free HVA ballcap. 


  1. Don Atkinson S. Lanmcaster, Ma.

    The bike looks like a1966 441 BSA.

  2. raymond bell prince george va

    i think it is an indian bike

  3. Doug Carlo Lincoln, NE

    1947 Henderson

  4. Ed Daniels trinity, Fl

    I belive the bikeis a Boniville 650 made by BSA

  5. David Fisher Lehigh Iowa

    1965 Honda

  6. Bob Geier Silver Spring, Maryland

    The motor cycle is a BSA

  7. Kimberly Bossenbery Las Vegas


  8. tommmy burniston Erie, PA

    1945 BSA B31

  9. Neal Alderman FL

    I think it is a Norton

  10. Richard LawrenceLooks to be United States

    Looks to be a BSA circa1958

  11. Holly Kerr Tampa

    1954 BSA

  12. vince browne bridgewater nj


  13. Rob Twinsburg Ohio

    1959 harley

  14. Frank W Jones Osceola, Ia

    I believe the bike in question is a "Matchless" .

  15. robert hill Boulder, Co

    It is a 1959 Zimmermann-and what a fantastic job Emil did! I can only hope that some day my machining skills will be that good. Cheers,Rob

  16. Grant Brinker Arnold Missouri

    I believe the bike is a 1968 Norton, it is very cool no matter what it is.

  17. Eric Howard Paso RObles CA

    It looks like a AJS to me.....AJS

  18. Charlie Puha New Jersey

    1968 CZ

  19. Seafoodlover Ohio

    65 Triumph 650

  20. Michael DeSantis Phoenix NY

    I will guess that this motorcycle is a 1957 Triumph.

  21. mark norko Ct

    ariel square four 1960's

  22. Kai Baumann Baden, PA

    1953 NSU

  23. Hal Heather Federal Way Washington

    1966 BSA

  24. Marty Thomas WI

    I think it might be a Matchless, around a 1965. I had a modified '62 that looked similar, but with a 650 twin engine and an older style seat.

  25. John McKenzie Endicott, N.Y.

    It looks to me like it's a Brit bike. My guess is Sunbeam form the early 1950's.

  26. mike ceres, california

    1965 Norton

  27. Steve Kahle Texas

    1957. Triumph

  28. Alfred Gerisch United States

    1950 honda

  29. Lincoln Olson Lake City, Florida

    It certainly looks like a triumph and I'd guess it's a 1963 model

  30. Gary Collier Gaylord Mi 49735

    1954 Vincent Black Shadow




    This looks like about 1963 Triumph, maybe a 250cc sprint.


    This looks like about 1963 Triumph, maybe a 250cc sprint.

  34. duane 811HermanroadHorsham,Pa19044

    1947 Vincent

  35. Larry baker batesville indiana

    Venson black lightning

  36. george allison 16148

    BSA 1941

  37. Larry Baker Oldenburg IN

    Vencent black lighting 1952 love the song

  38. Ben Thompson United States

    The motorcycle shown is a 1959 Zimmerman. Very nice restoration!

  39. Salvatore Oakfield, New York 14125

    BSA 1951

  40. Ron Grinold Cleveland TN


  41. john everett Arkansas


  42. Bill McNair Midwest


  43. Carter Willey Esperance, New York USA

    The motorcycle is a 1959 Zimmerman.

  44. Robert Wood 46660 rt 25,Southold ,New York,11971

    Is that a 1958 Velosett?

  45. john tatu pa.

    this is a bsa

  46. pete nv.

    1957 Matchless

  47. Stephen D Brading 512 highway 160 Charlestown In. 47111

    1966 Honda 160

  48. Stephen D Brading 512 highway 160 Charlestown In. 47111

    1966 Honda 160

  49. Mike Adams Jacksonville Fl.

    1968 BSA "MX Thumper"

  50. Rick Rickerman Knoxville, TN 37938

    1963 -1964 Honda

  51. Wayne Rodgers 7513 Crested Quail St, North Las Vegas, NV 89084

    I would gues it is a - 1965 Triumph motorcycle

  52. george singh nj


  53. Jon Fuja Durand, MI

    Looks like a Bridgestone 175cc scrambler

  54. Mike Weir Spokane, WA.

    1954 Triumph

  55. Bob Wash. D.C

    1956 norton. Wild guess

  56. Keith Berg Elkhart, IN

    1957 BMW

  57. Chris Nelson Palm Bay,Florida USA

    This looks similar to the 1949 AJS that I owned back in the 1960's. My guess is 1953 AJS.

  58. art garibell pa

    1957 bsa

  59. Alice Mercer utah

    i think it is a indian

  60. Lee Ewald Central Lake, MI

    I think that it is a 1950s era BSA.....Gold Star (around 1954)

  61. Eric Nicholson United States

    It is a 1959 Zimmerman.....but I confess...I cheated. Google has the ability to not just search for text but it will search for images I copy and pasted the image into Google's IMAGE search and out popped the below website. I did enjoy reading about it thanks for that. Also you may want to consider renaming the image something different if you are trying to make a guessing game out of this because if you right click on the image and try to save it the name defaults to "Zimmerman" ;) I was originally going to guess BSA because it kinda reminds me of my dad's old BSA bike that he drove in the early 50s.

  62. joseph hollingsworth baton rouge la.

    1957 Matchless

  63. joseph hollingsworth baton rouge la.

    1957 Matchless

  64. Duane Salisbury NC


  65. Duane Salisbury NC


  66. Estill Smith Lexington, KY

    It looks like a 1958 Norton

  67. Karl Dickert Lansing, Mi.


  68. Don Fooshee Terrell Texas


  69. Henry Ashton Queensbury, New York

    My guess is a 1959 or 1960 Honda

  70. ken lee columbus ohio

    Zimmerman, since that is the name of the JPG file that you are showing on this site. LOL.

  71. Jim Lancaster, PA


  72. Dennis Boese Homosassa, Fl

    Mid '50s Matchless motorcycle

  73. Joseph Mota Rhode zisland

    1955 Matchless

  74. Rick Johnson Mokena IL

    1959 Zimmerman.

  75. Kirwin Darney Cary, NC

    1948 BSA

  76. Charles Gabel Wyandotte MI.

    I believe a Royal Enfield 53

  77. Joseph Stickovitch Mesa, AZ

    My guess on this motorcycle is - 1961 BSA

  78. Tony Cenicola New York

    1956 BSA

  79. jim Frankel houston


  80. xavier valdes Miami FL

    Indian !!

  81. jim schaffer deer park, illinois

    bmw 1964

  82. Tom McHugh United States

    I know it's a Zundapp and it is at the Barber Museum in Alabama. I remeber seeing it and have pictures of it there.I'm guessing it's a one off 'concept' model as it's a two stroke twin, at least as I remember it.

  83. gene waterman home

    It'a a BSA

  84. Bernd Berberich Bellport, N.Y.

    I believe it is a BSA.

  85. Bernd Berberich Bellport, N.Y.

    I believe it is a BSA.

  86. Jim Wydareny St. Thomas On.

    1960 Norton

  87. mark crites venice florida

    1968 buell

  88. shawn cole lawrence,ks

    it is a 1971 triumph st150

  89. Robin Bell Maryland

    1965 BSA Lightning Clubman

  90. John Wilson League City, Tx

    It is a BSA

  91. Frank Power Mississippi


  92. Nic v d Paardt Brentwood, CA

    1956 NSU

  93. Pete Valdosta, Georgia

    It's a Zimmerman.

  94. J Breneman CT

    60'vintage Zundap

  95. Phil Turner Eastsound, WA

    Had to search it out as I was stumped. Plunger rear suspension said 50's or earlier, forks/ front brake looked like 50's vintage BSA but the engine was the tough call ; v-twin that looked like a flathead or a 2-stroke, twin side-mount amals ? The frame looked setup for the dirt w/ high pegs. Tank with the triangular pads could have been from any number of brit or german bikes - BSA, Triumph, Norton, Velo, Zundapp, Ariel, AJS. Turns out it's a one-off '59 Zimmerman. Who knew? Beautiful engine machining by the builder.

  96. Al canada

    I think its a Vincent prince little brother to the black shadow my dad had one its the same seat he also had a AJS porcupine very rare bike guess?????

  97. Richard Dandreas New Jersey

    The bike looks like a 1963 BSA