Posts Tagged ‘Scooters’

9670_sears alstar

This scooter was a mail order special from the Sears Roebuck Catalogue way back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.  It actually is a rebadged stamped frame Puch, it has a 3.9 hp. 1 cylinder 2 stroke engine and a three speed twist shift transmission. The sales sheet says it’s supposed to go 42 mph. These were cheap scooters for the time, I don’t think any were thought of being collectable. This scooter sold for $ 297 brand new out of the catalog. The Allstate Compact Scooter had 3.9 horsepower,  got 100 miles out of the gallon and had a 2-stroke engine and 3 speed transmission.

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771bastert_03Germany 1949  – 1955. Helmut Bastert’s factory in Bielefeld, Germany built bicycles, mopeds and light 48cc-248cc motorcycles, but is best remembered for unusual Das Einspurauto (one-trace-car). These expensive and sophisticated scooter-like bikes had 150cc ILO [JLO] engines with three-speed transmission or 175cc with four-speed transmission. Some sources mention a 200cc ILO and others a Sachs 248cm. The body was fabricated from aluminium built up over a steel frame, aircraft fashion, and the wheels were solid aluminium.

The machine had an engine compartment light, Bosch ignition and twin taillights in teardrop design. The dash panel included an idividual light for each gear selected, and the rider’s red leather-covered seat converted quickly to a dual seat.


The first prototype of this machine was stolen and never recovered. From 1952 to 1956 around 1200 units left the factory.

Text From Sheldon’s EMU

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After twelve months of development and ‘anything up to £20,000 costs’ the new Excelsior scooter was announced in June 1960 for production on the 1st July. The scooter was called the Monarch MKII and as the Scooter and Three Wheeler magazine stated ‘It’s all by Excelsior this time’ and ‘Glass Fibre for a new British Scooter’ The frame consisted of a 2¼” single tube backbone with three channel cross members supporting the floor.

The wheels were 10” diameter and quickly detachable – a well needed improvement over the rear wheel on the old Monarch. The engine was the same 147cc Excelsior unit with the Albion three speed gearbox operated by heel and toe pedals.


The new scooter had a complete glass-fibre bodywork consisting of six sections, the rear body as one unit, two sections for the footboards, two mouldings formed the front apron with a separate moulding for the front mudguard.

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The Honda Juno is a scooter. Two versions were produced, the K-series of 1954 (K, KA, KB), and the M-series of 1962 (M80, M85).

770_juno k

Juno K

The Juno K was a deliberately elaborate bike in 1954. It was Honda’s first scooter and would be competing with the well established Fuji Rabbit and Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon. It featured the first electric start, a full windscreen with a tilt-back sun-shade, and built-in signal lamps. It also introduced Fibre-Reinforced Plastic body construction to Japan.

Only 5,980 were produced in a year and a half. Kihachiro Kawashima, who retired as executive vice-president in 1979, remembered the bike as a "splendid failure": it was too expensive, the engine overheated, the FRP body was heavier than expected and made the bike underpowered and clumsy, the new cantilevered suspension was problematic, and customers did not like the motorcycle-style clutch operation.

The final Juno KB model can be distinguished by enlarged rear vents and new vents added to the windscreen.

Technology developed for the Juno K would be applied to later bikes. The electric start was re-introduced with the C71 Dream in 1957, and the new Plastics department under Shozo Tsuchida developed polyethylene components that would distinguish the Super Cub.

770_juno m

Juno M80/M85

The Juno M80/M85 was a different approach introduced in November 1961. Unlike the K-series, there is no upper windscreen, the engine is an exposed horizontal-twin rather than an enclosed fan-cooled unit, and the body construction is conventional monocoque steel rather than FRP panels over tube. The M80/M85 also introduced a clutchless Badalini-type hydraulic-mechanical transmission which would provide the basis for the later Hondamaticmotorcycle transmissions.

The M80 and M85 are essentially the same vehicle, with the M85 designation indicating a mid-year engine enlargement. The Juno was discontinued by year-end with only 5,880 produced.

Text from Wikipedia

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The Achilles factory of Weikert & Company was located in Wilhelmshaven in northwestern  Germany. They produced scooter-like bikes with 147cc and 174cc Sachs two-stroke engines between 1953 ans 1957. These had a four speed gearbox with foot-change gear lever and a neutral selector switch on the handlebars. The chassis had 8 inch wheels, telescopic front forks and swing-arm rear suspension.


Text from Sheldon’s EMU and images from ManxNorton.com

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662_Cezeta 505_03

In 1961 the CZ (Ceske Zavody Motocyklove n.p) motorcycle factory (Czechoslovakia) produced a commercial 3-wheeler called the Cezeta 505.  The vehicle used the front end of a Cezeta scooter that was attached to a tubular frame with two rear wheels.  Powered by a 171cc single cylinder engine, the Cezeta came with a number of bodies including a flat bed, van body and drop side that provided a load capacity of 200kg.  Production ceased in 1963.

662_Cezeta 505_01662_Cezeta 505_02

Text from 3wheelers.com

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1922 A machine was built called the Avro Mobile. It had low seating and, to begin with, was fully enclosed. It was fitted with a 349cc Barr and Stroud engine, three-speed Albion gearbox and all-chain drive. The frame was made of sheet steel formed into a channel section, with sprung front and rear suspension. It had hub-centre steering, 12-inch disc wheels and drum brakes. Although the machine started out with a completely enclosed body, this was soon revised to resemble a scooter-type with bonnet and front screen and a seat and tail behind. Under the hinged tail-panel lid was a storage space with the tools carried inside the lid.


English aircraft manufacturer Sir Edwin Alliott Verdon Roe riding his Avro Mobile, which he invented, at Southampton. June 1924


Text from cybermotorcycle.com

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From the ad text:

We have next to modern moped fabrication also taken up the manufacture of moped-scooters. Like the heavier scooter’s advantages over traditional motorcycles, this moped-scooter has a low centre of gravity, and in running position one can put both feet on the ground when needed. Thereby greater traffic safety, better stability and smooth running characteristics are secured.

The moped-scooter was produced in a small number in the late fifties and very few are left in running order to day. One can be seen at The Sandvik Collections at Lillehammer. Another moped factory Andreas Øgland’s mopeds enjoyed enormous popularity in Norway in the late fifties, early sixties so the competition was probably to great for this strange hybrid  – Ted

Scanned from my vast collection of old family- men’s- and news magazines


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A beautiful advert for the BSA Sunbeam scooter (also sold as the Triumph Tigress), as it appeared on the rear cover of the 17 November 1960 issue of The Motorcycle magazine. Unfortunately, reliability was not as good as it’s looks.


Text and images from VintageStuff

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In the 1950s, Ducati entered the market of scooters with a technically innovative project: the Ducati Cruiser. The scooter was first released at the Milan Show in January 1952.


The Cruiser had a lot of firsts: it was the first Italian four-stroke scooter, the first scooter in Italy with an automatic transmission and the first scooter produced by Ducati. Initially the Cruiser was designed to have 12 horsepower but the engine was later reduced to 7.5 hp because of a governmental regulation limiting the scooters speed limit to 50 km/h.

This model was Ducati’s response to the ever-increasing invasion of scooters in the motorcycle market. The Cruiser was an elegant luxury scooter, superior to the standards of the time and made for a mid-to high portion of the market. Ducati spared no expenses in the development of the Cruiser: Giovanni Fiorio was responsible for the development of the engine and the style was designed in cooperation with Ghia, a company famous for designing luxury cars.


The resulting style was unmistakable.

Without a reputation in the market for scooters, the Cruiser was unable to compete with already successful models such as the Vespa or the Lambretta. After only 2 years and approximately a thousand Cruisers made, production was put to a stop.

Text found at ducati.com


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When scooter boom begun after WW2, in the countries behind the iron curtain some attempts have been made to build such vehicles, too. In 1952 in WFM (Warsaw Motorcycle Factory) construction office a small division was created in order to design a simple two-seated scooter, based on parts of motorcycles 382_osa2which were already produced in this time. In 1955-1956 three prototypes were tested: Żuk („The Beetle”), Bąk („The Bumble-Bee”) and Osa („The Wasp”). Their main creators were: Krzysztof Brun, Jerzy Jankowski and Tadeusz Mathia. The power unit they had chosen was S-06 engine, mounted at the different angle then in motorcycle (cylinder was in horizontal position). The best of three prototypes was Osa, and this design was chosen to be developed. After some changes (e.g. handheld engine starter was replaced with a foot operated starter) the first trial series of scooters was made in February 1959. Mass production of M-50 model started in May.

Osa was a comfortable scooter due to a good design and big wheels (14”diameter) and it was selling very well, even though it was quite expensive; the price was 17 000 zloty. Some users complained about the seat length – it was a bit short for two persons – and the size of the fuel tank. Some others found it confusing to have brake on the left side and gear change lever on the right side. Still, Osa was the only Polish scooter in this time and it was getting more and more popular. It was succesful in sport, too. In 1959 the WFM rider Mirosław Malec came seventh in Tatra International Rally, riding Osa scooter very similar to production units. In two next years Osa scooters with 175cc engines took part in many international events. They had gained a good opinion and soon Polish scooters started to be exported. In 1962 a new model was introduced, M-52, with bigger engine and air blower unit. Osa production ended in 1965, when WFM factory was merged with another company and its scooter division was closed. From 1959 to 1965 about 25 000 units of Osa scooter were built (both models, M-50 and M-52).

Text from Vintage Motorbikes

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The Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon is a series of scooters made in Japan by Mitsubishi between 1946 and 1963. The first was the C-10, based on a scooter imported from the United States by Koujiro Maruyama, which began production at the Nagoya Machinery Works of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Along with the Mizushima three-wheeler pickup truck it represented Mitsubishi’s first contributions to the Japanese post-war personal transport boom. The Silver Pigeon’s primary competitor was the Fuji Rabbit (and in 1954, the Honda Juno). Motor scooters were so important to the post-war vehicle industry that In May 1948 both a Silver Pigeon and a Rabbit were presented to the Emperor of Japan. The Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan (Japanese) lists the Silver Pigeon C-10 model introduced in 1946 as one of their 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology.


The Silver Pigeon proved sufficiently successful to remain in production for almost twenty years. Motor Cyclist magazine voted it "best in styling" for three consecutive years in the 1950s, a decade after its introduction, while from 1950 to 1964 it maintained an average 45 percent share of the domestic scooter market. By the time production came to an end in 1963 over 463,000 had been manufactured, with the 1960 C-200 proving the most popular individual model, with almost 38,000 sales.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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325_sears scooter

Back when people bought everything from the Sears catalogue, you could even order yourself a scooter. This Sears Allstate scooter was made by Puch and sold for $279. The Allstate Compact Scooter has 3.9 horsepower, did 42 mph and gets 100 miles out of the gallon. It has a 2-stroke engine and 3 speed transmission.

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In 1953, a year when Dwight Eisenhower became President, Soviet engineers produced something quite outstanding: the scooter. Just like almost everything else in the USSR, the scooter was initially a brick in the propaganda wall — it was supposed to become the means of transportation which your typical Soviet citizen could buy for their average two-month paycheck (just like Lenin promised.) And the engineers delivered, by accidentally producing a masterpiece.

Vyatka 3 – 1974

Initially, Vyatka Industrial Plant which produced mostly military equipment, planned to copy Vespa-150, smack a red star-logo on the front and call it the Soviet scooter (that’s exactly what happened to the Soviet family car Lada, i.e. Fiat.) However, Vespa could not handle Russian roads, cold winters and poor quality fuel. Ironically, it still can’t. So naturally, there was a need for some industrial design and engineering.

Vyatka Turist – 1965

In 1957, when the scooter went to mass production, it was truly the Soviet-made product. The scooter, called Vyatka, was 15 percent lighter than Vespa, had more power, could reach 60 miles per hour in 10 seconds and could be easily disassembled for storage; there were other innovations implemented, including electric start. From 1960 to 1975 there were some 1.5 million scooters produced.

Tula-T 200 – 1962

In 1960, another Soviet scooter appeared on the market. "Tula", produced by yet another military plant, was heavier than Vyatka and had much more power. It instantly became a hit in the villages, where farmers bought this cheap little vehicle, added huge trunks and used it to transport their pigs, potatoes and chickens.

The last Soviet scooter was produced in the 1990.

Text from readrussia

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The Maico Mobil is an early touring motorcycle made by Maico between 1950 and 1958. Conceived and marketed as a “car on two wheels”, the Mobil had body panels that enclosed the drivetrain, protected its riders from the elements, and included an integral pair of panniers and a mount for a spare tyre.

Frame, body, and suspension
he Mobil had a tubular steel space frame on to which steel and aluminum body panels were bolted. A large front fairing enclosed the front wheel. Mounted on the fairing were a transparent plastic windscreen that wrapped around the handlebars, a dashboard through which the steering column protruded, and lower panels containing a glovebox and provision for a car radio to be installed.Mounted on the dashboard were the ignition switch, the speedometer, and the fuel filler cap; the fuel tank was mounted to the frame under the dashboard.


The rear bodywork included a pair of integral panniers and a rear mount for a spare wheel. The panniers were accessed by unlatching a panel under the pillion. The Mobil used telescopic front forks and a rear swingarm.

Engine and transmission
he Mobil originally had a 150 cc single-cylinder two-stroke engine mounted between the dashboard and the rider’s seat. Access panels on both sides of the Mobil could be removed to work on the engine. Power was transmitted through a three-speed transmission operated by a twist grip.


The capacity of the Mobil’s engine was increased to 175 cc in 1953. An optional 200 cc became available in 1955, the same year that the three-speed twist-grip controlled transmission was replaced by a four-speed transmission controlled by a heel-and-toe pedal shifter.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Fed up of camping? Can’t afford a B’n’B? This homemade scooter-caravan hybrid may be just the answer you’re looking for.
Read the whole story of how it was build  HERE

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A digital recreation of an article published in Popular Science, 146_tiny_scooter_01April 1940
Up to 230 miles on a gallon of gasoline is the economical fuel-consumption rate of a curious motorized scooter constructed by E. Roberts, of Philadelphia, Pa. Converted from a toy motor cycle, the midget vehicle is driven by a one-fifth-horsepower model-airplane engine, acting on the front rubber-tired wheel through a spring-supported friction roller. Fifteen miles an hour is top speed on level ground.


Text and images found at modernmechanix.com

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he Maxam CP250 did start life as a concept—way back in 2005. But then Yamaha put it into production. It’s billed as a ‘tandem cruiser’, and it’s on sale right now in Japan. The technical specification is uninspiring: power comes from a 250cc single, and there’s only 20bhp to pull a very substantial 201kg (440 lbs). But that’s not what the Maxam is about. It’s about the styling, which is out of this world. It seems to be channeling the legendary General Motors designer Harley Earl, with cues from a 1950s Cadillac and four colorways to choose from. That bodywork comes at a price though, because the Maxam costs the equivalent of US$7,500—nearly a thousand dollars more than Vespa’s range-topping GTV 250. But is there any better way for two young Tokyo hipsters to comfortably cruise the neon streets of Shibuya?

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On a scooter, a pressed-steel full enclosure under the seat encases the rear wheel, engine and gearbox. In order to remain within its operating temperature range, a cooling fan was added to the air-cooled MZ engine. Powering this fan sapped the engine’s already inadequate 5 bhp power output. IWL copied Glas and Heinkel by giving the Pitty a large fairing that enveloped the front wheel. This increased the scooter’s weight to 139 kilograms (306 lb), which was heavy for its class and further impeded its under-powered performance. IWL claimed a 70 km/h (43 mph) top speed, but in practice this was seldom achieved.

At the beginning of 1955, reporters from the East German Der deutsche Straßenverkehr magazine tested the Pitty and gave IWL numerous suggestions to improve it. Numerous customers who bought the scooter also complained. The Pitty has a dualseat that riders complained was too hard. Unlike most scooters, the Pitty has no steering lock for security. Its only anti-theft device is a flap in the enclosure under the seat that can be closed over the fuel tap and locked. IWL reacted to criticism by quickly developing a successor model, and kept the Pitty in production for only just over a year. In this time a total of only 11,293 Pitty scooters IWL’s first production model, named the Pitty, was launched early in 1955 at a retail price of 2,300 Marks. The Pitty’s front wheel had leading link suspension, while its rear wheel had hydraulically damped swingarm suspension on which the engine and gearbox unit was mounted: an arrangement that Vespa had pioneered. However, IWL followed West German practice in mounting the engine in front of the rear wheel instead of beside it, thus giving the Pitty a much longer wheelbase than its Italian counterparts.

IWL’s first production model, named the Pitty, was launched early in 1955 at a retail price of 2,300 Marks. The Pitty’s front wheel had leading link suspension, while its rear wheel had hydraulically damped swingarm suspension on which the engine and gearbox unit was mounted: an arrangement that Vespa had pioneered. However, IWL followed West German practice in mounting the engine in front of the rear wheel instead of beside it, thus giving the Pitty a much longer wheelbase than its Italian counterparts.

SR 56 Wiesel

 In 1956 IWL replaced the Pitty with the SR 56 Wiesel. "SR" stands for StadtRoller ("town scooter"), 56 is the year, and Wiesel is German for weasel. Instead of the Pitty’s huge fairing, the Wiesel has a more conventional scooter fairing behind the front wheel and a separate front mudguard. This reduced the weight to 124 kg (273 lb): still heavy, but 15 kg (33 lb) lighter than the Pitty.

 Also in 1956 MZ introduced the RT 125/2 motorcycle, for which it marginally increased engine power to 6 bhp. Both the weight reduction and the power increase were small, and the Wiesel’s power-to-weight ratio was inferior to that of numerous western competitors. IWL claimed a 60 km/h (37 mph) cruising speed, but in reality the Wiesel was only 3 km/h (2 mph) or 4 km/h (2.5 mph) faster than the Pitty.

Despite customer complaints, the Wiesel retained its predecessor’s hard upholstery, lockable fuel tap flap and lack of a steering lock. It was easy for a thief to force the flap, and Der deutsche Straßenverkehr’s testers were astonished that IWL had not rectified this fault from the previous model. IWL produced the Wiesel until 1959, by which time a total of 57,400 had been built.

SR 59 Berlin

In 1959 IWL replaced the SR 56 Wiesel with the SR 59 Berlin. This shared the same bodywork as the Wiesel but had well-upholstered separate saddles for the rider and pillion passenger. Also in 1959, MZ introduced the RT 125/3 motorcycle, which had not only a slightly more powerful engine but also a four-speed transmission. IWL specially requested that the version of the RT 125/3 motor made for the scooter be bored out to 143 cc, which increased power output to 7.5 bhp. IWL credibly claimed a top speed of 82 km/h (51 mph) and a cruising speed of 70 km/h (43 mph). The four-speed transmission improved the machine’s flexibility, making hill-climbing significantly less strenuous. The Berlin at last gave riders in the DDR a scooter that was good enough for practical use. It was therefore just as well that IWL at last included a steering lock to secure the relatively desirable Berlin against theft.

The Berlin still had less power than many of its western counterparts. In common with its predecessors, its front suspension was undamped, which on roads as bumpy as the DDR’s was a significant weak point. Nevertheless, the Berlin secured IWL’s first export orders. IWL produced the Berlin until the end of 1962, by which time a total of 113,943 had been built.

TR 150 Troll

n 1963 IWL replaced the SR 59 Berlin with the TR 150 Troll 1. Whereas the Wiesel and Berlin had retailed for 2,300 Marks, the same price as a Pitty in 1954, for the Troll 1 the price was increased to 2,550 Marks.

"TR" stands for TourenRoller and "Troll" stands for TourenRoller Ludwigsfelde ("Ludwigsfelde touring scooter") emphasising the longer journeys on which IWL scooters were now being ridden. The "1" at the end evidently indicated that IWL hoped to develop a further model. However, in December 1962, during the Troll 1’s development, the Ministerrat der DDR ("Council of Ministers of the GDR") had announced that the factory would switch to making a new model of IFA truck. This decision may have acted as a disincentive to improve the Troll 1 from before the model’s launch in 1963 until the end of production in 1965.

Both in Germany and in most of the European states to which IWL might have hoped to export scooters, trolls are known from Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore as beings that are in many cases slow-witted, in some cases ugly, seldom friendly to humans and in a few cases inclined to kill and eat people. Why any vehicle maker would choose to name one of its models after such creatures is not clear.

In 1962 MZ had introduced the ES 150 motorcycle, and the scooter version of its 143 cc engine supplied for the Troll 1 had its power increased to 9.5 bhp. The rear chain runs in an oilbath in a patent MZ hard-rubber enclosure, which keeps oil in and dirt out and greatly prolongs chain life. IWL revised the bodywork, giving a tail unit like that of the Heinkel Tourist model A2 and quickly detachable side panels like a Dürkopp Diana. Each side panel is secured by a central bayonet lock and is simple to undo and light to remove, easing access to the engine, gearbox and rear chain.

For the Troll 1, IWL reverted to a dualseat, perhaps because twin saddles were becoming dated. The Troll 1 had 160 mm (6.3 in) diameter drum brakes: 10 mm (0.4 in) bigger than on all previous IWL models.

Tatran S 125

rom 1966 a scooter from the ČSSR was imported for sale in the DDR. The Tatran S 125 had only a 124 cc engine producing 7 bhp. However, with less weight and a shorter wheelbase than any IWL model, the Tatran’s power-to-weight ratio was practical and at last offered East Germans a real "town scooter"

Campi trailer
215_Campi trailer
lthough IWL projected their scooters as a"town scooters", new private motor vehicles were in such short supply in the DDR that customers made no such distinction. The Berlin was capable of longer journeys, including holidays, but a scooter has far less luggage capacity than either a small car or a motorcycle and sidecar combination. Instead of devising a sidecar to fit the Berlin, IWL collaborated with Stoye of Leipzig, the DDR’s sidecar manufacturer, to develop a lightweight, single-wheel trailer.

The result was the Campi trailer, which was styled to complement a scooter and was roomy enough to carry a set of 1960s camping equipment. IWL made the Campi’s chassis, including a tubular steel towing link that connected to the scooter behind the pillion seat and above the rear light. Stoye made the bodywork, which is aluminium and contributes to the trailer weighing only 30 kg (66 lb). This made it light enough for a Berlin’s 7.5 bhp engine to cope with the combined weight of its rider, passenger, trailer and luggage, albeit at markedly less speed than when being ridden solo.

The Campi added inconveniently to the length of the scooter, while adding less luggage capacity than a sidecar. Because of these limitations, its use was confined chiefly to holiday and leisure journeys. The Campi was made until 1965, by which time a total of about 5,700 of these trailers had been built.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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204_KTM Ponny_002

KTM sold out its share for the first time in 1955 to a businessman named, Ernst Kronreif and result he bought the major part of the company. As as result, the consortium was renamed to Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen. In 1957, KTM launched its very first moped, the Mecky. Followed by Ponny in 1960 and Ponny II in 1962. Meanwhile, KTM also molded bikes for racing. Unfortunately, the major stake holder, Kronreif died in 1960 and so the founder of KTM, Trunkenploz in 1962.

204_KTM Ponny_001

Text from bikes4sale

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