NVT, Scorpion and Mizer

 England flag

NVT history: Condensed from Wikipedia

NVT was a British motorcycle manufacturer from 1972 to 1978, formed by the British Government.

Triumph had been owned by the BSA Group since 1951, but by 1972 the merged BSA-Triumph group was in serious financial trouble. British Government policy at the time was to save strategic industries with taxpayers’ money. They decided to bail out the company, provided that to compete with the Japanese it merged with financially troubled Norton Villiers, a subsidiary of British engineering conglomerate Manganese Bronze.

The merged company was created in 1973. As BSA was both a failed company and a solely British-known brand (the company’s products had always been most successfully marketed in North America under the Triumph brand), the new conglomerate was called Norton Villiers Triumph.

NVT inherited four motorcycle factories—Small Heath (ex-BSA); Andover and Wolverhampton (Norton); and Meriden (Triumph). Still short of development cash, the company was restricted to launching developments of existing products, most notably around the popular Norton Commando. With its classical parallel twin probably by now overdeveloped, from March 1973 the Roadster, Hi Rider, and the Interstate all began to use a new 828 cc engine. Later NVT also produced the Easy Rider moped including a “sixteener” version with a Morini engine and pedals, and the NVT Rambler 125/175 cc with Yamaha engines. 

NVT was eventually liquidated in 1978. Even though Norton Villiers Triumph is no more, motorcycles bearing the Triumph name are still being made; the marketing rights to Triumph were sold to the Meriden workers’ co-operative in 1977 and in 1983, sold on to a new Triumph Motorcycles Ltd company situated in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

’76-77 NVT Eazy Rider (ER), 2. ’76-77 NVT Ranger, 3. NVT ER4L (UK model)


From The Empire Strikes Back, by Mark Daniels http://www.icenicam.org.uk/articles5/art0086.html

The first Eazy Rider ER1 and ER2 step-through automatic models were introduced in March 1976, and were assembled near Birmingham, at Shenstone in Staffordshire.

There’s some speculation that NVT made the chassis, but seems unlikely since the swing-arm and pressed steel chain guard appear on other, variously branded, Italian-built machines which are generally credited to Bianchi/Italtelai manufacture. The NVT frame however, never appears on any other Bianchi/Italtelai made bikes, though tube sizes and some forms are fairly similar, so it seems possible that Bianchi/Italtelai could have made the chassis to Bob Trigg’s specific design, so maybe the Easy Rider range wasn’t quite a totally bought-in machine assembled from off-the-peg components.


Late 70’s NVT Eazy Rider (UK models) sales flyer


NVT Eazy Rider US and UK models:
ER     Morini MO-1 engine (1-speed) step-thru
ER2   Morini MO-2 engine (2-speed) step-thru
ER2L Morini MO-2 engine (2-speed) top-tank

NVT Ranger Morini MO-1K off road

NVT Eazy Rider UK models:
ER2L   Morini MO-2 (2-speed automatic) top-tank
ER4L   Morini MO-4 (4-speed foot shift) top-tank
ER4TL Morini MO-4 (4-speed foot shift) top-tank

NVT ER and ER2 specs: tires 2.25 – 17, weight 110 lbs, total length 66.5″,
mono-tube frame gas tank 0.95 gallon, vent button behind seat, sprockets 12 x 28T.

NVT ER and ER2 components: Domino 1970’s controls, chrome (stainless) levers,
double-ended brake cables with both ends mushroom type,
Grimeca hubs, 90mm brakes, 11mm axles, Lucas 679 (England) tail light, CEV “bullet” headlight,
CEV round chrome switches, brake light switches in parallel, normally open when installed.

Some US models have “small” Bosch magneto, dark grey colored flywheel, with internal ignition ground,
and a third source coil powering the brake light.

Some US models have a Dansi 101286 magneto, gold colored flywheel, with an internal ignition ground.
The lighting coil is split into two outputs, so it looks like two source coils but it is actually three. 

NVT service info

NVT ER gas valve 10×1
male, spigot back, with 
long detachable shaft

NVT Eazy Rider Wiring
Dansi 101286 magneto
internal ignition ground













Scorpion history: From The Empire Strikes Back, by Mark Daniels http://www.icenicam.org.uk/articles5/art0086.html

Towards the end of 1977 NVT announced the securing of export orders to the USA of 1,000 Easy Rider mopeds per month.  Export market American mopeds were mainly sold as either NVT Easy Rider or, from August 1977, as Scorpion SC1 (step-through frame, single-speed auto), SC2 (step-through frame, two-speed auto), and SC-2X Scrambler models (sports styled, two-speed auto). Frame plates indicated these machines as ‘Manufactured by Scorpion Inc. Crosby, Minnesota’, a snowmobile manufacturer established from 1959, who marketed the mopeds as a product diversification.

US model NVT mopeds were imported by Scorpion, Inc. Box 300B, Crosby Minnesota USA. Before August 1977 they were sold as NVT, and after that they were re-branded as Scorpion.

Info NVT color  j
Left, 1977 NVT Eazy Rider ER1 or ER2. Right, 1978 Scorpion SC1 or SC2.
On the left side the MO1 and MO2 engines are the same. You can’t tell the model from these photos.


1. 02-1978 Scorpion ID, 2. 1977 Scorpion SC1, 3. 1978 Scorpion SC2X


SC1: Morini MO-1 engine says Cuyana,
Weight 102 lb

SC2: Morini MO-2 engine says Cuyana,
Weight 105 lb

SC2X: Morini MO-2 engine says Cuyana
top tank, long seat with storage. Weight 113 lb



Cuyuna: The Cuyuna Development Co. made snowmobile engines, named for the Cuyuna Iron Range in Minnesota, near Crosby MN. Their stickers are on Scorpion moped engines, made by Franco Morini.



Specs and Equipment: tires 2.25-17, fuel mixture 40:1, CEV sealed beam headlight,
Lucas 679 tail/stop lamp, steering lock, mirror, luggage rack, speedometer/odometer,
Dellorto carburetor with automatic releasing choke.

Brake cables are 2-ended with mushroom ends.





In 1978 Fred Zak began selling Scorpion mopeds in his shop “West Side Recreation” in Little Falls Minnesota. Little Falls is 48 miles from Crosby, MN the home of Scorpion. Zak sold 100 Scorpions in 1979. Gas was high $0.79/gal and Americans wanted things like mopeds that save gas.  

Sometime around 1980-81 moped sales slowed, and Scorpion sold its snowmobile and moped business to Arctic Enterprises. Arctic did not want to dabble in mopeds, so they stored all of the Scorpion moped parts inventory in a warehouse.

In 1982 Fred Zak purchased the Scorpion inventory from Arctic Enterprises and formed Falls Mopeds, Inc. The Mizer was born! Fred with sons Bob and Fritz assembled 30-40 Mizer mopeds, made out of individual parts, not assemblies. The frames and frame parts were painted and Mizer stickers and stripes added.  


1982 Mizer 2 with Morini MO2 engine, restored by Dan Van Bruggen in Big Lake Minnesota USA.

Mizer components: Mizer has the same parts as Scorpion, including the special double-ended brake cables.