Pannonia T5 and Duna sidecar
1973, 250cc twin-port, air-cooled Hungarian two-stroke outfit
▲ Duna sidecar with space-age styling. Earlier Dunas (built by the Hungarian firm Vaci Hajogyar) were steel bodied, but aluminium was a necessity for skinning these lightweight/low power motorcycles rated variously at anything from 14 - 18hp. For tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans, these outfits represented quality, practical, everyday transport. Today, Pannonias and Dunas are viewed mostly as interesting curios of the Soviet era. However, build quality is reasonable, and is better than might be expected given the restrictions and limitations of the Eastern European market conditions and economy.
▲ Pannonia was a prolific firm that built a huge range of machines including cars and trucks. Most of the firm's motorcycles were a bewildering range of two-stroke singles, but the company also manufactured vertical twins and a boxer twin (flat/horizontal twin). There's a fairly large international group of Pannonia fans, many in the USA where Pannonia sold bikes branded as White. Parts are tricky to get and might involve the odd trip to a Hungarian, Polish or Russian autojumble to find the right contacts. But Pannonia experts are out there, and there's still a lot of stock to be unearthed.
Copyright Sump Publishing 2016