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Taiwan-made Mopeds

August 27, 2012

Welcome. Taiwan mopeds were imported into the United States in the late 1970’s surge of consumer demand. It was common for small companies to order one container with about 100 units. You could order them with your own choice of decals, or blank, or with their default names, like “Speed Bird”. Even the owners manuals, which were made by the manufacturers, were available either with the brand name of your choice, or blank, where you put your own labels.

Many of the Taiwan mopeds sold in the United States were from the Los Angeles area, because of the Port of Los Angeles, the busiest container port in the US, and because it’s the closest port to Taiwan. Most of the lower price Taiwan mopeds, like Moprix, Speed Bird and Wheel King were sold in the urban part of Los Angeles. The opposite of those was the General brand, the high end of Taiwan mopeds, with the highest quality.

Taiwan components are similar and sometimes exact copies of Japanese items, particularly Honda. More will follow later about Taiwan component families, and Asian versus European design philosophy and practices. Basically Asian mopeds are made like scaled down motorcycles, European mopeds are made like scaled up bicycles. That’s an oversimplification.  

 

Taiwan Flag

 

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1980 Condor 729

1980 Condor 729

     Condor               made in Taiwan by ?         engine ?

Condor was imported by G.M.E. Company, Inc, 15671 Industry Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92649 USA.

This bike appears in the 1981 Moped Buyers Guide, and nowhere else, not even in the thousands of mopeds pictured in the Moped Army Photo Gallery.

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Dong Yang Motor   Crown   made in Taiwan by Dong Yang Motor    Sachs 505-1D engine

This moped is an exact copy of a German-made Hercules/Sachs Balboa/Suburban. Even the diamond shape Hercules logo is embossed into the head light mounts, except without the letter “H”. The brand name on the gas tank is “Crown”. The model name on the side panels is “DYM – 1D”

 

Crown DYN-1D made by Dong Yang Motor

Crown DYM-1D made by Dong Yang Motor

Dong Yang logo on tail light

DY tail light

DY logo on gas cap

DY gas cap

There was no ID plate so the date is estimated to be 1979-1980. It does not have any DOT approval markings. 

Dong Yang logo on seat

Dong Yang logo on seat
The aqua and black DY logo
was photo-shopped from this!

 

The rims are Dong Yang. Hubs look like Grimeca, or an excellent copy.  Head light is CEV. Speedo is VDO. Exhaust is Sachs copy, stamped left and right halves welded down the center line.

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Cuyler small     Cuyler      made in Taiwan by Wheel King      Sachs 505-1A engine

 

Wheel King

Wheel King – Cuyler

1978 Cuyler Get Around Sachs 505/1A engine

1978 Cuyler Get Around
Sachs 505/1A engine

The Cuyler C-1A “Get Around” was imported by Cuyler Corporation, 2501 Devon Ave, Elk Grove, IL 60007 USA. It is the same as Wheel King, Road Runner, and possibly others. 

 

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1977 Gemini Commander

’77 Gemini Commander

Gemini Commander      made in Taiwan by Gemini      Gemini engine

Gemini Commander Parts exploded view

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gemini Commander is an original design, frame and engine. There were many problems, and improvements needed to be done, especially the clutch. The original factory parts for the engine were in Gemini packaging. 

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               Moprix          made in Taiwan by Pou Yen            Tas engine

1980 Moprix, Tas engine

1980 Moprix, Tas engine

1980 Moprix

1980 Moprix

Moprix was made in Taiwan by Pou Yen Mechanical, and imported by Moprix, 616 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, California 90401 USA. The engine is a Tas BE-48 (Tanaka Kogyo Co. Ltd, Japan). See Sprinter below. Moprix also made an electric moped, way different from the Tas gasoline engine model. See buyers guides p56. 

There was a Speed Bird with a Tas engine, identical to the Moprix.

 

Moprix top tank with 14 x 1 gas valve

1980 Moprix top tank
discovered by Adam R.

Moprix top tank ID plate made by Pou Yen

Moprix top tank ID plate made by Pou Yen Mech

Here is a rare 1980 Moprix top tank moped, made by Pou Yen. It has the same Tas BE-48 engine and components as the step thru model shown above. The top tank gas valve is a 14 x 1 thread.

 

 

 

 

 

Moprix yellow

Moprix with Casal engine

Taiwan Casal connection

Moprix-Casal connection

1979 Casal K177

1979 Casal, M140 engine

This Taiwan made Moprix is different. It has a Casal M140 1-speed automatic engine, made in Portugal. It looks partially like a Honda PA50. 

Besides this “Moprix Casal” there was a “Sprinter Casal”. It was a way different, a re-branded Gemini Commander. 

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1981 Motobecane Romp made by Paijifa

1981 Motobecane Romp made by Paijifa

Motobecane             made in Taiwan by Paijifa       MB 50V copy

1981 MB Romp

This very close copy of a 1979 French-made Motobecane is made by Paijifa Industrial Co. Ltd., 109 Liou Ho 1st Rd, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC. Paijifa made motorcycles and motorscooters.  

 

 

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                  Oakwood             made in Taiwan by Pou Yen       Minarelli  V1 engine

1979 Oakwood Catalina

1979 Oakwood Catalina
Minarelli V1 engine

Oakwood ID plate

Oakwood ID plate

Oakwood seal

 

The 1979 Oakwood Catalina is made by Pou Yen Mechanical Co, 5 Kuochi Rd, Hsinshis Hsiang, Tainan, Taiwan . It is not like any other Taiwan moped. It is rare, but not valuable. It shares the same componentry as other Taiwan mopeds. Of course, the Italian made Minarelli engine is very common, as is the Dellorto SHA carburetor.

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Speed Bird        made in Taiwan by TYM       Angel engine

Angel and Speed Bird

TYM mopeds

1977 Speed Bird

1977 Speed Bird

Speed Bird is a trade name for a Taiwan moped made by T.Y.M. Industrial Co. Ltd, 554 Chung Cheng Rd, Yongkang Hsiang, Tainan Hsien, Taiwan, ROC, The Speed Bird BP-48 and BP-48S models have the same TYM (Batavus M48 copy) engine as the Angel AP-48, also wheels, and other things.

There is also a Speed Bird with a Tas BE-48 engine (Tanaka Kogyo Co. Ltd, Japan). The “Tas Speed Bird” is exactly the same as the Moprix. See Moprix above.

 

 

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Tas Engine

Tas BE-48 Engine, by
Tanaka Kogyo Co.,Ltd.
looks like Solo (Germany)

    Sprinter         made in Taiwan by Tsing Hua      Tas or Casal engine

Sprinter was imported and distributed by Sprinter Mopeds, 1 Syme Ave, West Orange, New Jersey 07052 USA. In the western US they were distributed by Southern California Sprinter, 2798 Waxwing Cir, Costa mesa California 92626. Sprinter made at least two different models, a “Tas Sprinter” and a “Casal Sprinter” The Tas Sprinter shown below had a Tas (Tanaka Kogyo Co. Ltd, Japan) BE-48 engine. The Casal Sprinter was a re-branded Gemini Commander with a Casal (Portugal) M140 engine. See Gemini above. 

1976 Sprinter

1976 Sprinter

1978 Sprinter

1978 Sprinter


 

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Tsing Hua SA50

Tsing Hua SA50

Tsing Hua        made in Taiwan by Tsing Hua      Sachs 505-1A

 The rear half this frame is the same as the rear half of the Sprinter frame.

 

 

 

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Taiwan mopeds

Taiwan mopeds

Wheel King        made in Taiwan by Wheel King      Sachs 505-1A

Wheel King

Wheel King

1978 Cuyler Get-Around

1978 Cuyler Get-Around

 

 

 

 

 

Wheel King is a Taiwan moped with 2.25 x 16″ tires and a Sachs 505 engine. The Wheel King,  Road Runner, and Cuyler brands of this same bike are made by Wheel King Corp. Taiwan R.O.C. Wheel Kings were imported and distributed by T. & J. Moped, Inc, 3518 Firestone Blvd, South Gate, California 90280 USA. Their excellent owners manuals did not say who the manufacturer was. Some were completely blank, where you would put your own brand name on the cover, and some said CUYLER. 

Flying Dutchman Ted Van Der KolkT. & J. Moped, Inc was a formed by Ted Van Der Kolk Sr, and John Cochran. Ted Van Der Kolk, the original “Flying Dutchman” grew up in the Netherlands. He had a moped shop there, as well as souvenir shops in the Dutch West Indies, before moving to California in 1972. Ted was already selling Sparta mopeds and bicycles in the Netherlands. His shop in Glendale, just north of Los Angeles, was open from 1972 to 1991. John Cochran worked for Ted Van der Kolk for awhile, fixing and selling mostly Flying Dutchman mopeds. John Cochran then later formed is own shop, T. and J. Inc, at 3518 Firestone Blvd, South Gate CA 90280, just south of Los Angeles. Later T and J became Moped City, a few doors down, South Gate California.  Most of the Flying Dutchmans in Southern California came from those three shops. Besides teaming up with Van Der Kolk, John Cochran made one of the first moped expansion chamber exhausts, and employed Carlos Rodriquez as main mechanic at Moped City. John Cochran died in 2004. The “Flying Dutchman”, Ted Van Der Kolk, Sr is alive, as of Sep 2013, but in his nineties. 

Wheel King’s 16″ wheels and “tubone” frame are like many Italian mopeds. No other Taiwan moped has those Italian features.

Wheel King ID plate

1978 Wheel King ID

Wheel King frame

’78 Wheel King frame, red faded to rusty white

Wheel King fork top

Wheel King fork top

Wheel King speedometer

Wheel King speedometer  made by Tatung

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheel King fork

Wheel King fork

Wheel King front wheel

Wheel King front wheel cast aluminum brake plate

Wheel King rear wheel

Wheel King rear wheel looks like a Grimeca

Wheel King frame

Wheel King frame that looks like a Negrini Harvard

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheel King engine left

Sachs 505/1A engine left

Wheel King engine right

Wheel King engine right showing wiring terminal

Wheel King left control

Wheel King left control

Wheel King right control

Wheel King right control

 

 

 

 

 

 

1979? Wheel King with Sachs 505/1A engine restored by J. Lazecki. Many things are not original: Sachs front end, Sachs speedo, long seat, fenders, shocks. But the decals are original replicas.

1978 Wheel King with Sachs 505/1A engine
restored by J. Lasecki. Many things are not original:
Sachs front end, Sachs speedo, long seat, fenders, shocks. But the decals are original replicas.

Wheel King tail light

Wheel King tail light

Wheel King speedo cable

Wheel King speedo cable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Wheel King original parts were all from the same red bike at left, before it was repainted and many of the rusted things replaced with fresh but different ones. 

 

 

 

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Taiwan Flag