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Image of the Tomos BT50

About Tomos

T‘varna [factory] M‘tornih koles [two-wheelers] Sezana [city located in Western Slovenia about 7 miles from Italian border]

The beginnings of an idea:

TOMOS has had a long storied history for over 50 years in the two-wheeled industry.  It took collaboration of like and proud minds, as well as determination and vision to work together to start this enterprise.  These gentlemen never imagined that TOMOS would become larger than themselves. Hereís our story: 

After World War II, opportunities to develop a new industry were sought at Karst.  Despite obstacles, doubts, and contrary opinions justification of producing two-wheelers was realized in July 1954.  The founders established the factory of motorcycles and the project was signed in SeĢana.  The very next month, the name TOMOS (TOvarna MOtornih koles SeĢana) appeared in the company documents for the first time. In October 1954, the Slovene government finalized a territory and started to build a factory in Koper, the seaside industrial center of Slovenia, where it remains today.


The first director of the factory, Franc Pecar, signed the license agreement with the Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch which corresponded to Tomosí production plans, as it produced economical and robust motorcycles suitable for gravel roads and steep terrain characteristic of the region.  Puch offered favorable licensing terms and conditions as it doubted that the factory would ever be able to operate independently.
Temporary premises were set up at the end of 1954 and they started producing motor vehicles the next year. The construction of a new production facility started immediately after the establishment of the company and lasted until 1959, when the factory was officially opened by the then President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz-Tito (1892 Ė 1980). 


Production:

The first product made in TOMOS was a motorcycle called TOMOS Puch SG 250. In 1955 they made 137 of these motorcycles and assembled 124 RL 125 scooters and one hundred mopeds. The next year, mopeds accounted for the majority (1712) of the total number of assembled units, followed by motorcycles (615) and scooters. Simultaneously with the licensed production, TOMOS focused all of its strengths in its own development of serial models. 

The beginnings of our own development of mopeds reach back to late 1950s, when numerous variants of the moped Puch MS 50 were produced under the common name Colibri. The first Colibris were marked VS 50; later marks ranged from 01 to 013. Individual variants were adapted to foreign markets. In 1959, they produced more than 17,000 Colibris and signed a contract for the first major export to Sweden. Among the most successful Colibris was the type 12, while its version Colibri T 12, which was first presented in 1961 became the most popular moped in Slovenia. 


In early 1960s, market research showed that the interest in heavy motorcycles was decreasing all over Europe, which is why TOMOS adapted its range of motorcycles and focused exclusively on the production of two-stroke 50 cm3 motorcycles. In order to ensure systematic and organized development, the Institute for Technical and Economic Research was established in 1962, which was later developed into modern and well-equipped Institute of TOMOS. 

The 1960s were the most productive period for TOMOS.  Holland emerged as an important market in 1960.  TOMOS had so much success, that the only other plant outside of Slovenia was granted to Holland in 1966.  The factory still produces for the Holland market along with research and development of new units.  Holland remains the strongest market for TOMOS today.


At the brink of the 1970ís, TOMOS started preparing for the production of ďautomaticsĒ designed and constructed by the company itself, as the market was increasingly interested in such type of motorcycles and the components produced abroad were more and more expensive. Therefore, they produced Automatic A1 with improved single gear engine which was built into the framework structure of the previous Automatic. Its successor, Automatic A3 was made in 1973 when they launched the new, modernized production line with automated machines for framework welding. This was the beginning of the production of new frameworks in TOMOS which were visually different from the licensed Puch's motorcycle frameworks. 

As the standard of living increased significantly in the seventies, the number of young buyers also grew. These were attracted by automatics and mopeds of the type A-OS, A-ON and APN. The latter type was particularly popular among the young, which is why TOMOS started producing special variants of these mopeds with raised handlebars, seat with back support, side bags and a lot of chrome. 

In the 1970ís, several new models of Colibris were sent to the markets. Colibris T-03, T-12 and T-13 had Puchís motors while Colibri 14V had inbuilt motor produced by TOMOS, according to its own design. After 1973 all motorcycles and bicycles with motors attached produced by TOMOS were equipped with in-house manufactured engines. In this period, they also developed Colibri 15 with a stronger motor which could almost compete with motorcycles. 

In the 1960ís and 1970ís TOMOSís developmental activity reached its peak in terms of the volume of patents and prototypes.  However, during the 1979 Ė 1980 time frame TOMOS was faced with restrictive environmental standards for the first time.  In the 1980ís, TOMOS modernized the entire range of two-wheelers and concentrated on reducing the level of noise and harmful emissions, and increased the riderís comfort along with a more modern look.

1976 saw the debut of TOMOS in the United States of America through US distributors. These new distributors set up the initial dealer network stateside.  There were many European manufacturers who had mopeds in the USA market.  The market hit its zenith in 1979 as gas prices were at a premium and shortages were common due to a change in OPEC policy.  People started to rethink their consumption of gasoline and looked to more efficient means.  The moped surfaced as that alternative reaching over 100 mpg.

The entire range of two-wheelers was again competing globally after the modernization in the 1980ís. The first product from this new range was APN 6 which was introduced in 1981. In 1985, TOMOS launched a new generation of motorcycles, the BT 50 with cast wheels and turn signals.  Based on this model, TOMOS ATX 50 C was produced later for off-road use. 

Early in 1991, the Republic of Yugoslavia broke up.  Slovenia with its close ties to Austria and Italy was first to gain its independence.  This brought on new challenges for the company to which were navigated successfully.  In 1998, the company was bought out by a large private corporation; Hidria.  This move proved to be very successful and beneficial to TOMOS.  It allowed for continual improvements in the factoryís future endeavors.  

In the 1990ís TOMOS came out with the Sprint, Targa, and Targa LX.  The later two were eventually changed to TOMOS ST and TOMOS LX.  A new engine was introduced called the A35. 

In 2000, TOMOS USA was started in Greenville, South Carolina. The new office and warehouse complex is over 24,000 sq. ft. It was the first time that the factory from Europe took over operations in the USA from American distributors. This decision was made to streamline operations and for the factory to get a better feel for the North American market. 

Back in Europe, the factory was focusing on doing more business with some of Europeís premiere motorcycle brands.  Because of TOMOSís strict adherence to quality, a contract was signed with Germanyís BMW to produce component parts for some of its units.  In 2004, Slovenia was admitted into the European Union.  This move allowed the company to further benefit from a stable currency, trade, and a collective European system.

New models were also introduced during these years such as the Revival, Streetmate and Streetmate R.  Complementing these new units was a new family engine called the A55 in 2006.  Due to stricter EPA emissions, TOMOS mounted the A55 engine on all of its 2007 models.  TOMOS continues to meet or exceed EPA standards and has met the requirements for 2013. Our devotion, proud heritage, and history are evident in the products that we produce and will continue to produce in the future and next 50 years.  We constantly seek new ideas from our research, the market, and customers like you.  Our goal is to remain the number one moped manufacturer in the world. Although our Slovenian plant has closed, we will be continuing production of all our mopeds in Europe.

TOMOS USA also offers a great line of 4 cycle engine scooters: The Nitro 50, Twister 50 and the Nitro 150.   You can be assured that if the decal reads " TOMOS", the bike has passed an exteremely difficult inspection process with flying colors. 

We truly appreciate your consideration of TOMOS for your transportation needs.