Detail

AUSTRIA’S FIRST
TWO-SEATER MOPED

Rotax engines power the Lohner Sissy

ECONOMIC UPTURN AND THE MOTORIZATION OF THE MAN IN THE STREET

In the mid-1950s, the motorbike boom and still more, the automobile motorization boom, arrives in Austria. The more liberal market conditions, improved economic situation and not least, a change of perspective in the population after the strains and privations of the reconstruction years encourage all social classes to become motorized. While the motorcycle had been a generally accepted and popular means of transport in the inter-war period, the Second World War has left basic human needs, for food, safety and work, in its wake. Reconstruction is mainly achieved through human labor. Technical devices are still uncommon. Enterprises such as Rotax fill the gap only gradually. Mobility is the first priority to emerge beyond basic needs in these years, addressing the desire for freedom by means of bicycles, motorcycles and new categories of product such as scooters and mopeds. Austrian manufacturers compete with international manufacturers.  While Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG is top dog, Delta-Gnom, RWC and KTM also begin to produce motorcycles.  A successful Austrian player emerges in the scooter and moped sector: Wiener Lohnerwerke and their preferred engine supplier, Rotax.

CHIC, LIGHT AND LICENSE-FREE: THE LOHNER SISSY

Wiener Lohnerwerke are also the first to incorporate Rotax innovations into their mopeds. In 1957, the first-ever purely Austrian-made moped is introduced. The two-seater Lohner Sissy soon wins riders’ hearts in a market where competitors only offer one-person mopeds. At the heart of the two-person moped is a Rotax three speed engine.

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