If we followed the worldwide production of motorcycles and mopeds in the 50s of the previous century, we would see that Poland had a good positon among other countries – and this was thanks to the United Bicycle Manufacturers "Romet".
The company products were so popular that 15 or 20 years ago practically every enthusiast of single-track vehicles had a model from the company's stable. In spite of their simplicity, the constructions appeared to be so well-proven that many of them are still in use even today, and "Komarek" or the minibike is still a familiar sight on the streets.
And it started with…
The history of moped production by the United Bicycle Manufacturers Romet dates back to the end of 50s of the previous century. It was then that the plan to expand the production into mopeds came into being.
The idea resulted not only from market demand but from the international position too. The political system of that time made sure that the People's Republic of Poland wasn't left behind the capitalist Germany or France which produced their own motopeds. The Romet specialists set themseves to design the first motoped, based mainly on their own concepts, and lacking a test department they were forced to test prototypes in traffic conditions. The engine reached a sheer magic power of 1,4 hp and had a two-speed gearbox, pedals and a hand start, which was quite an achievement at that time.
Engine: two-stroke, air-cooled
Power: 1,4 hp at 4000 rpm
Transmission: 2 speed
Weight: 100 Ib (45kg)
Speed: around 55 km/h
The first moped intended for the general public was called MR 230 KOMAR.
In 1961 alone about 4.000 mopeds of this model were sold, which at that time was more than 30% of all the mopeds available on the market. Everyone rode Komar: postmen, clerks, youngsters, adults, the working class. The interest was so great that Romet soon opened an additional factory and the designers worked intensively on new models. In 1968 the Romet production constituted 98% of the country's single-track vehicle market.
To conquer a market
The market success of the Komar and the modernization of the factory enabled Romet to extend its offer. In 1976 a moped equipped with an extraordinarily powerful engine, considering that time, the Ogar 200 was put on the market.
The next moped models were introduced gradually – Kadet 780, Kadet 110 Automatic with Jawa's engine. The most powerful of the range – Romet 50T had a 2,5 hp motor which could reach a speed of about 65 km/h. The last model, Chart 210, in production since 1988, referred to contemporary trends and varied stylistically and technologically from the former production of Romet. It had factory-fitted indicators, a stop light, hydraulic shock absorbers and a double-seat saddle.
A new chapter… that is Arkus & Romet Group
Expansion to worldwide markets
Success on the local market bore fruit abroad too. In 1966 alone 13.000 mopeds were exported; at its peak the number of sales exceeded 20.000 mopeds a year. Export expanded to Sweden, Germany, Ireland and even exotic Nigeria and Turkey – over 145.000 Polish mopeds all together. The worldwide prestige of Romet increased so much that in 1980 preliminary talks took place to start a new model production in cooperation with major Italian or Japanese motorcycle market players.