Walther Luft, former Austrian Trials Champion, Puch factory rider and exceptional machine developer and innovator is 70 years of age!
Happy Birthday Walther from Trials Guru!
Walther’s first Scottish Six Days Trial was in 1970 on a 169cc Puch which he made himself. He was accompanied by his good friend Peter Bous and Puch manager Hans Maiditz a former ISDT rider for Steyr-Daimler Puch A.G. (Graz).
Walther won the Edinburgh Trophy for the best foreign rider at his first attempt.
Luft developed the Puch trials machine virtually on his own with parts supplied by the factory at Graz. He took the Puch 169cc six speed motor out to a full 250cc displacement. It was a machine which was nearly 20 years in development.
Luft was always making components lighter, in fact well before his time the same processes were used many years later my mountain bike riders and manufacturers.
Walther was a talented engineer and exceptionally good at metal working as this was his trade or craft.
Much of the Puch was made from Nylon 66 material, such as the sump guard and chain tubes which was a feature of Luft’s machine and was copied by Montesa when they brought out the production Malcolm Rathmell Replica 348 machine in 1976.
Luft also went on to develop along with German champion, Felix Krahnstover the KTM trials machine. However the growing KTM concern decided to pursue motocross and enduro markets, as they were more lucrative and profitable for the Mattighoven based organisation.
A story here from the premier Austrian ‘Trial.at’ website: