Pannónia motorcycles to be resurrected
The last Hungarian "Pannónia" motorcycle was manufactured in Csepel on October 24, 1975, but the brand is being revived by a small team of enthusiasts. The new one will be presented at the end of this year.
Imre Mázló, head of Pannónia Motors Magyarország, hopes that after more than three decades in the wilderness, manufacture of motorcycles will start again in Hungary later this year. The company has bought the rights, and millions of forints have been invested on developing new models. A 20-member "bike lover" team is currently working on designing the range, most of them as a second job.
Pannónia Motors Magyarország was formed in 2002 by Pannónia fans to resurrect the brand and develop a new model. Following extensive market research and several years of development work, marketing of new Pannónias will start this year. The company has capacity to manufacture 100 to 300 motorcycles a year, and is planning to open five stores and service stations around the country.
The steel structure, the seat and several other parts will be manufactured at workshops belonging to the "smaller cartel," and the bikes will be assembled at the Isaszeg plant. The first model, TL 2007, will have a four-stroke, two-cylinder, 234-cubic-centimeter, 18.5-horsepower V engine and a five-gear transmission. The inline, two-cylinder bike will be similar to the former T 5C. The letters TL stand for "teleszkóp" (telescope) and "lengővilla" (fork), a key feature at the time.
The first Pannónia motorcycle was made in Csepel in 1954 and was named by technician László Molnár. Pannónia motorcycles were sold under the brand name "White" in the US. According to the "Pannónia chronicles" by Zoltán Ocskay, production came to an end after experts from the Yamaha negotiated a 40,000-square-meter investment in Csepel in 1974, where 50,000 Japanese-Hungarian motorbikes would have been built every year, 70% of them for export. However, the Hungarian management at the time sabotaged the idea and the last Pannónia, the 689,039th to come off the production line, was built a year later.