In 1969 Austria is still best known for just 2 things, being the birthplace of Adolf Hitler and having shared ownership of a scattering of mountains called the Alps.
The country was in serious need of a little sprinking of stardust to edge its image into the black. Then along came something which basically amounted to an application to rejoin the human race, along came the Puch Maxi moped. The factory in Graz went on to produce 1.5 million of these little bikes in all shapes but basically just one size.
The fact that company founder Johan Puch was Slovenian and that the company had enjoyed the fruits of slave labour during World War II were incidental and dealt with using the gift of 'denial'. The fact that the company had until now built pretty mediocre motorcycles was also incidental. This company in the year of our lord, 1969 was about to build a game changing motorcycle.
Maxi D or LS
Maxi Sport MKII
Maxi Guam Edition
A walking stick
Sturdy walking boots
Fuel system failure
Exhaust system failure
Electrical systemt failure
(difficult to detect as they never work)
The Puch Maxi uses a 2 stroke 50cc petrol engine that comes in three horsepower ratings, 1, 1.5, and 2 HP that limits the speed to 20, 25 and 30 mph respectively. However, these can be modified by de-restricting the airbox, carburetor, exhaust manifold, pipe, and the use of aftermarket and performance parts. Derestriction options beg the question, why the hell did they restrict it in the first place.
The engine is coupled to either a single speed E50 or a two speed ZA50 transmission. The versions of the transmissions can be identified by the shape of the gearboxes: The E50 has a round gearbox whereas the two speed has a rectangular gearbox. Both transmissions use a centrifugal clutch.
Three levels of performance are available. These are:-
Poor - Very poor - Non runner
While early models had a sprung seat the later models were upgraded to full shock absorber suspension. By far the best option for comfort on longer journeys is to have a big fat arse to sit on.
All in all these are beautiful bikes to own and run provided you have the time to fettle with them and you're not in a hurry to get anywhere.