Wilhelm Burger
Puch Motorcycles

Puch motorcycles were popular in Austria before WWII and then in the 1950-1960s. They are mostly (all?) two-stroke engines with a characteristic dual-piston design. The two pistons are placed behind each other and move in parallel, connected by a forked piston rod. The engine is lubricated by pumping fresh oil to the cylinders and bearings. This oil successively burns which may cause substantial exhaust smoke if not the right type of oil is used or the pump is not properly adjusted. These engine were considered high-tech in the fifties, although they had thermal problems and tended to seize easily.

Classic Puch motorycles announce themselves by a strong, slurping intake noise which can be heard over quite some distance. They feature a solid, sheet-metal frame and relatively small wheels. I heard veterans tell many times that these motorcycles were considered "sporty" in their days and competed successfully against other brands such as BMW, Horex, and Triumph, particularly in local mountain races. Interest in these cycles faded in the 1970s and one could find them for very little money. Spare parts were not a problem then, perhaps because a special version of the 250 SGS model was used by the Austrian military long after the end of the civilian production.

My own experiences were quite different. When I was still in high school, I restored and drove 150, 175, 250 SG and 250 SGS models, and none of them seemed to be very unreliable (perhaps due to my poor experience as a mechanic) and certainly not very sporty. Unfortunately, only a few pictures survived.

Today the Puch motorcycle company does not exists any more but there is a large community of fans and collectors and well-kept pieces are strongly sought for.

Puch 150 >>

Puch 250 TF/SG/SGS >>