Nokia Tyres 01

There are these moments in life when you have your jaws on the ground but aren’t really sure what you are amazed about. I had one such moment when I saw the video embedded below. Do I fold over double and drop to the ground at the beauty of the sculpted fuel tank on the Diesella motorized bicycle? Or do I gawk at brand Nokia on the tyres and come to terms with my ignorance?

Nokia Lumia 920 PureMotion HD
Nokia made tyres, electric cables and gas masks?

The Nokia Corporation started as a conglomerate formed in 1967 as the result of a merger between Finnish Rubber Works, Finnish Cable Works and the Nokia Company. This was the period when Nokia – the name that of actually a small town in Finland – was making bicycle and car tyres, electric cables, machinery for power generators, the M61 gas mask for the Finnish Army in addition to a number of other things. It was in the late 1980s that the tyre business split off into ‘Nokian Tyres’, a company now famed for its winter tyres, with their most recent achievement being that of setting the World’s Fastest On Ice record with a speed of 331.61 km/h in an Audi shod with Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7 studded tyres.

Lest we put off the purists, we should point out that ‘motorized bicycle’ might be a ‘loose’ term. These machines are better known as bicycles with auxiliary engines and thus ‘Auxiliary Cycles’. Diesella, a manufacturer based out of Kolding in Denmark was famed for its revolutionary engine introduced in the late 1940s, that could be mounted on any bicycle. These engines were fondly referred to by the press as “Den revolutionerende lilleput Cyklemotor” or “The revolutionary Lilliputian Cycle Engine“.

The engine positions and transmission mechanisms varied with each brand of auxiliary cycles. The Diesella had an engine mounted in the inverted position, on the luggage carrier! Power was transmitted to the rear wheels by means of steel rollers. Thanks to the really tall height of the seats, these cycles of this type came to be known as a ‘røvskubber‘ meaning bum pusher, or simply a ‘skubber‘ meaning pusher. The centre of gravity for such cycles was high and before you start wondering about the effects on handling, remember there was the more basic issue of putting the cycle on its stand.

The Diesella had an engine mounted in the inverted position..

Back to the beautiful fuel tank, it would seem the fuel tanks were not made by Diesella itself, but by ‘Brdr. Petersen’ a company that was also known as BP Toys. Yes, a toy maker! Three brothers Svend Aage – Thorkild – and Christian Petersen started out with Brdr. Petersen making some charming toy cars, motorcycles and tractors. While the toy business did fantastically for a period of time, with big names like BP, the London based energy company commissioning BP Toys for scale models of a BP Tanker, BP Petrol Pump and a BP Truck carrying bottles made of wood.

By 1950, the firm was looking to other profitable ventures and soon ended up being a supplier of fuel tanks for Diesella. After the initial batch of 10000 tanks, which were so good, the company is said to have expanded its workforce to 10-12 employees who welded the tanks throughout the day unto the late 1960s.

Diesella Ad 1

Diesella Tank 02

Nokia Tyres on a Diesella



1. Jonathan Henning via MNB

2. Lene Bøgh Sorensen What a fantastic image of the Diesella tank

3. Should be your first destination for any info on all things to do with auxiliary bicycle.