Motorcycle resurfaces after 56 years of underwater hiberation

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We’re sure you’d recollect the Harley Davidson Softail that the Tsunami swept from Japan to the shores of Western Canada after being sea borne for more than a year. Some motorcycle seems to have a life of their own, don’t they?

Another case has sprung up recently- but this one has a tale of hibernation scaling to the extent of……. 56 years (phew!). A fisherman by the name of Ken Seemann in New Ulm, Minnesota had an unusual heavy catch in his nets. When pulled up, he came across a bizarre sight- a rusty waterlogged motorcycle tangled in his net.

The story spread like wildfire and finally the owner of the motorcycle was located by the name of Dean Ailie. A mishap in the year 1957 landed him and his motorcycle in the Big Swan Lake. Though his life was saved by nearby fishermen, the motorcycle could not be recovered despite scuba dive attempts.


The motorcycle is a 1938 NSU 251-OSL manufactured by NSU Motorenwerke, an 1873 founded German manufacturer then into production of automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles. Having numerous speed records to its name including a 200+ mph run at the Bonneville Salt Flats way back in 1956. Later acquired by Volkswagen in 1969, it was merged with the Auto Union which we know by the brand Audi today.


Though the 56 year underwater stint has corroded most of the parts of the motorcycle, the front fenders, handlebars, wheels and a few engine parts have still retained their newness.

As an obvious afterthought, the motorcycle isn’t going for sale and would be on display with the proud story behind its immortality. And we go around saying that “a cat has nine lives”.

VIA DuluthNewsTribune

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