Pannonia is a motorcycle brand manufactured by the Hungarian Chepel plant from 1956 to 1975.
The Chepel machine-building plant, located in the eponymous suburb of Budapest, began production of motorcycles in 1947 with the development of a copy of the German model DKW RT 125. Initially, the motorcycles wore the Chepel brand. In 1954, the plant mastered the new TL 250 model with an engine capacity of 250 cm3. Since 1956, it began to be sold under the brand name “Pannonia”.
After the modernization, the production of motorcycles of the TLT series, and then TLF, began. TLF series had modifications: TLB with two separate seats and TLD with ignition from a 60-watt generator. The TLT series began the export of Pannonia motorcycles to the USSR, which became the main consumer of these motorcycles outside of Hungary. Exports to the USSR reached 25,000 motorcycles per year. In addition to the USSR, Pannonia motorcycles were delivered to many other countries, including the United States. In total, up to 70% of production was exported.
By the beginning of the 1970s, the T5 and P10 models produced by the enterprise, which represented a further modernization of the TL series, were out of date. In this regard, in 1968 the plant licensedly mastered the production of the P20 series, which was a copy of the Yamaha YDS-2 motorcycle. The motorcycle was very technically perfect for its time. However, the USSR refused to purchase such complex and expensive motorcycles. The company had problems with the sale of products. Because of this, in 1975, Chepel decided to stop the production of motorcycles. In the Soviet press, the termination of the production of Pannonia motorcycles was justified by the growing demand for bicycles, which is why the Hungarian plant reoriented from the release of motorcycles to the assembly of bicycle equipment.
In total, from 1954 to 1975, the Chepel plant produced more than 600 thousand motorcycles. Of these, from 1956 to 1975, 286,959 units were exported to the USSR.