RideNorway is counting down to Winter Solstice with trip planning tips and trivia!
21 December: Top 3 motorcycles and mopeds from Norway
Triumph. Moto Guzzi. Ducati. BMW. KTM. You know them, and you know where they’re from. Whereas Norway has been pretty good at producing the juice which makes these makes run, we do not have a long and glorious history of motorized vehicles. But we have some very few that we are still somewhat proud of. Here are the Top 3 motorized vehicles from Norway.
With a history traced to 1908, the Øglænd Brothers began serious moped and light motorcycle manufacturing after WW2, even though serial production of some motor-powered bicycle-like contraptions was ongoing since the 1930s. The Tempo became for Norwegians what Vespa was for Italians: A practical, economical and robust means of transport. The Tempo brand comprised mainly bikes from moped size 49 ccm to light 175 ccm motorcycles, and the Øglænd factory kept churning out these mainly Sachs powered vehicles until the last moped was shipped from the factory in 1987. Not totally unexpected, the Norwegian Tempo Club is one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – motorcycle enthusiast club in Norway.
The Raufoss Moped. (Image: Andreas Mathisen)
2. The Raufoss Moped
The traditional armament producer Raufoss Ammunisjonsfabrikker had in the mid-1950s a brilliant idea: Why not make a sturdy, top quality moped that was also prepped for winter duty for the Norwegians? As said, as done: In 1958, the Raufoss moped was presented to a huge audience (for Norwegian standards) comprising representatives from all but one of the 19 Norwegian counties, a dozen newspapers, more than a hundred retail sellers and more. The interest was very high in the days, as was the quality of the moped: Prepped for winter duty and a sturdy Zündapp engine was supposed to make it the ideal transporter for Norwegians. Alas, after only four years of production and very meager sales, the Raufoss moped was history in 1962. Its quality never lost appeal, however, and is today highly sought-after by Norwegian moped connoisseurs and enthusiasts.
The 1922 Spanjola. (Image: Unknown)
3. The Spanjola
If you pull the “Spanjola” name up in talks even with Norwegian riders, they will most lightly not have a clue of what you are talking about. No wonder: This monster of a sidecar contraption is a single build, being the brainchild of Norsk Hydro engineer Christian Larsen in 1920-1922. It is three meters long and has plenty room for a family of five and their two dogs. It was powered by a V4 of 2000 ccm, derived from Indian engines, and even had aluminium parts to make it somewhat lighter. The remains of this beauty was discovered some years back and is under restoration. The restorers have pledged to have it on the road in 2021. A unique and fascinating piece of Norweigan motorcycle history!