Help required for restoring Enfield Fury 175 gp
My friend, you might be interested to know that the Germans not only invented the Moped – they even invented the name Moped That was because, after the war, they were at first restricted in making motorcycles no larger than 50cc. that restriction lasted only a very short time, but during that time the new vehicles became very popular. A name was looked for, and it was agreed upon Moped for MOtor velociPED, i.e. motorized bicycle in French language. Later the term was used for MOtor PEDals, once bikes with kick start were available (which were then called Mokick).
In Germany once existed a very large number of makers of mopeds, of which Zundapp, Kreidler and Hercules were only the largest. Many many MANY brands built own frames and used slot-in engines such as Zundapp’s immensely popular CombiMot (on which Zundapp’s first actual moped, the Combinette, was based) or a whole range of Sachs engines. You can even find mopeds from firms like Miele – otherwise known for washing machines!
Only due to the HUGE popularity of these vehicles in Germany they began sweeping whole Europe, with non-German manufacturers producing for the German market first, then starting to sell in their own country too.
The concept went around the world, as did the German-made mopeds – they rode Zundapp in Australia and the U.S.A. for example, and manufacturers there followed suit – and finally the moped that truly mobilized Asia was born and managed to outlive them all, Honda’s legendary Super Cub which was first made in 1958 and ist still being made today, virtually unchanged, over 60 million of them already!
In Germany, where it all began, meanwhile the manufacturers were in an arms race – faster, faster, faster, so much that the authorities had to start restricting – new classes were born, then the moped suddenly was only allowed to go 40 km/h and everything else was a different class now requiring a driving license, and even later another new class, even slower, was born for the yougsters – the Mofa.
And as the original ones became too fast (as mentioned in the late 70’s an open 50cc easily exceeded 100 km/h, some exceeded 120 km/h) the class was scrapped altogether in favour of a new class with more power but a strict speed limit to 80 km/h. And ever since the popularity has declined, as the fun was well and truly out. Foreign manufacturers, particularly the Japanese, overran the market with their cheap products, and one by one the traditional German manufacturers faltered.
Zundapp being the last of the big ones, while Hercules managed to struggle on because they also made bicycles. Hercules in a sense does still exist – they have been bought up by their previous engine supplier Sachs, which is now the company’s name.
In these days, Germans ride mopeds more than ever – because of the insane petrol prices in that country (where 85% of the petrol price is tax!) many simply can’t afford to use a car, hence 50cc’s are popular to whizz around in citys, nowadays these are mainly Taiwanese scooters (rolling toilets as they are called) that are cheaply sold in supermarkets and the like, they are easy to ride and a car driving license still allows to ride them at a speed no higher than 45 km/h.
Germany may produce some of the best and/or fastest cars in the world, but Germany will probably also be the first country where nobody can afford to use one any longer as the taxes keep going skyward. one of the reasons for me to say good bye to that country and vow never to return.
- For Your Eyes Only
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- Ed Youngblood’s Motohistory News July 2009