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Puch
Sears
J.C. Penney
Montgomery Wards

Hi,

I just thought it might be of interest to include this info about PUCH and other mopeds. I'm sure many people already know this, but maybe some don't.

During the 1950's-70's Sears sold mopeds (and small displacement motorcycles) under the Allstate name (which they also used to sell insurance, and a number of other things. The Allstate insurance of today is distantly related to PUCH mopeds, then!). These mopeds were manufactured by the old PUCH factory in Austria, before it was bought out by Piaggio.

Of course, since Sears was in on it, J.C. Penney and Montgomery Wards would not be outdone, and so both also made similar trade agreements with European moped manufacturers.

J.C. Penney imported Austrian mopeds made by Kromag, and they were sold under the name "Pinto".

Montgomery Wards sold Motobecane mopeds with their own name (Mont. Wards) proudly emblazoned on the side of the gastank.

Sales of the Sears Allstate models were quite good until mopeds began to drop in popularity and Sears stopped carrying them. The Mont. Wards models sold somewhat less than the Allstates, and the J.C. Penney "Pinto" sold rather poorly, hence their rarity today.

G.S.

Tomos An old timer. Currently based in Slovenia (former part of Yugoslavia). This is the brand that most dealers carry, and I've mostly heard good thing about it.

Here's some more Tomos info

Peugeot Hello, I see that Peugeot is not in your Moped Makers page... They did import quite a lot of mopeds to the State and Canada, mostly of the 102 and 103 variety. They are speed limited in their North American form (tuned they can reach 75 mph).

I own a 77 103 and I also own a Velosolex (an original, not a Motobecane) too, but like you I'm in need of information as to their presence in the US, particularly on parts source.

...

Ciao,
Francois Dion francois@hyperreal.org)

  Andy Paul

Kinetic To my best knowledge, the cheapest moped on the American market today. The Kinetic company is one of the major moped/scooter makers in India and they use Vespa engine in their mopeds. Kinetic uses a Vespa knock-off clutch and a half-knocked off engine. Not officially licensed by Piaggio.

Jawa One of the companies that remained in US after American Moped Fever was over. Back in the 70s, they manufactured Jawa Babetta (I am still curious, why would Czechoslovakian company use an Italian sounding name). I've heard mixed opinions about Jawa mopeds. Our local moped dealer is nostalgic about them, says they were excelent. Somebody else advised me to stay away from them (giving no particular reason). Jawa is now in the Czech Republic. Nothing wrong with the product, except they fouled up both in the US and Canada on the emission and lost their certification for a while. But they're excellent machines, great acceleration. The Babetta was very popular in Eastern Europe.

 

Puch Originally manufactured in Austria. New Puch is made by Piaggio. The one I've seen was manufactured in Slovakia, but there is also a model that comes from Spain. Some Puch derived components are used under license on the Corrado, made in Slovakia.
Piaggio owns several plants and produces a variety of mopeds in Taiwan, Italy, Spain, India (not Kinetic!) and controls many brand names, including Puch which is made in Spain. Shame, because the Maxi was a great little machine, very sexy and also very loud.

Sachs Made by Fichel & Sachs A.G. in Germany. Many other mopeds used Sachs engine, uncluding American-made Columbia Commuter.

These are the models that Sachs exported to US:

  • Suburban - step thru
  • G3 - top tank design
  • Sundance - economy model

Hercules is part of Fichtel-Sachs. The holding company controls both. Hercules makes bicycles, mopeds and retrofit (aftermarket) 25cc engines for bikes.

I have 2 Sachs Moppets, both less than a 100 original miles. They're excellent mopeds, very good pick-up, excellent shocks, which is no wonder, because Fichtel-Sachs is like Monroe - one of the largest, if not the largest maker of shocks in Europe.

Hercules It was originally manufactured by Nurnberger Hercules Werke, Germany. In 1995 the company was acquired by Atag Holding and is now part of Atag Cycle Group.
Uses Sachs engine.

Solex Originally from France. They say, it is still manufactured in Hungary and Slovakia.
It is currently distributed in U.S. by Continental Solex
 

Motobecane Back in the 70s - the biggest moped manufacturer in the world. Now their name is MBK and they are subsidiary of Yamaha Motors. They are still a leading moped/scooter manufacturer in France.  

Comments by Paul Angyal are taken from his letter to me. Email me if you have more info on these or other moped brands.


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