KTM Comet Gt50

KTM Comet Gt50

1974 KTM Comet GT50The GT Comet can trace its origins back to the early 60s, in 1974 this cosmetically altered model was first imported into England for the growing UK learner market, with a redesigned tank and seat and capable of 50+ mph, it differed to European models in many ways, the most obvious being the addition of pedals and drive chain engineered on the left hand side so to comply with new British moped laws.

Costing around 209 pounds, it was quite expensive, having no indicators or mirrors, better deals could be had with the influx of Japanese models swamping the market, with all the necessary sundries a sixteener could want, this limited sales somewhat, thus seeing one roadworthy is extremely rare today.

In most cases the UK was sold a quite a basic bike, but in Germanic countries you could purchase a bike called the Comet MSS 50, it had alloy wheels, front hydraulic disc brake, rev counter, better carburetor, and more powerful 6kw modern two stoke engine, sporting 5 speed gearboxes, engine cradles, alloy barrels and head, and of course without those pesky pedals, quite an achievement in the 70s.

Other variants on offer to the UK was the Comet Cross, off road model, this capitalized on KTMs European and World success in motocross, then slightly later, the more popular Comet GP50 Grand Prix that boasted a sports seat with cowling that housed the rear light cluster, the petrol tank tunnel was also extended down, forming a skirt, small changes but completely altered the look of the bike, both the GP and Cross had an unusual lockable tank compartments, that housed the tool kit, all variants had the same 47cc Sachs 50/4 two stroke motor. But most importantly the GP found fame as one of the best looking bikes a sixteener could own. Now that’s street cred!

The Comet Gt50 model you see, wasn’t my first choice, I originally wanted the Grand Prix, however this one turned up, almost complete, but looking very tired, a wad of notes passed hands, with the reassurance from the vender, “Parts are easy to get”, how gullible am I.

Difficulty 7/10

Through much research I have discovered KTM used parts common to Kreidler, Hercules and Puch, and that Puch also supplied engines for some variants of KTM mopeds, as did Sachs supply engines to a number of other European motorcycle manufactures, which were exported around the globe, for example the full engine gasket set and seals, I required, came from America, the piston came from Switzerland, bearings, fork legs etc came from Germany. You get my point, yes parts are available but the postage is a killer.

All I can say If you want one then make sure its complete, and your parts are serviceable, It might be cheaper to have items such as wheel rims re-chromed as they have an unusual 150 width, It helps if your good with a sewing machine too, new seat covers are difficult to acquire, I made mine myself, I also spent many hours manufacturing the KTM world champion transfer for the tank, it amazing what can be done with an old computer and some sticky back plastic, Blue Peter eat your heart out! Although powder coating and specialized chroming was outsourced, everything else was done at home, including zinc plating the various springs etc using white vinegar an old zinc chloride battery casing and a 6v charger.

But things still need doing, specialist suppliers are out there such as RBO Ing.Stockl amongst others, but I still require a new exhaust silencer, but again main land European types won’t fit, unless you happen to own a swaging machine, the connector is the wrong size and the fancy lube access control cables are all but sold out. Having said that, these machines were very well screwed together, and capable, would outperform most oriental offerings, and wouldn’t decay into a pile of iron ore before the end of a cold wet British winter.