The origins of the Golden Moped race date back to 1958. At the time, the legendary sports and education worker, Aleksandrs Briedis introduced motor sport for children. Together with his associates, he established the auto-motor club "Bieriņi". More than 50 years ago, the club hosted one of the world's first motorcyclist, moped and scooter races on runways and highways.
During this time the "Golden Moped" competition has become one of the basic values of the Latvian national motor sport. Several motor sport professionals discovered their passion for motor sports directly at the Golden Moped. This event has laid the foundations for thousands of motor sports enthusiasts, without which modern Latvian motorsport is unthinkable.
The Golden Moped was a turning point for Latvian motor sports. At that time, the Golden Moped was great and certainly golden. Today, this brand has become an important trait and cultural heritage of the Latvian people. This legend and tradition is now experiencing a rebirth.
One of the annual race events, in the Golden Moped programme, is held in Cēsis, a small town with a strong sense of history. This year's event was timed to coincide with the 811 year celebrations of the town.
In 1965 the first model, called Riga-1, was released. The frame and look was inspired by the East German Simson Suhl. The engine was an imported Czechoslovakian made Jawa Stadion S11/S22 engine. It used a two speed gearbox and foot pedals could also be used. Later production of the engine was brought in-house.
Since its launch, the Riga-1 evolved over successive years of production, with the development of the Riga-22 in 1981. This was the last model produced and continued to be manufactured until 1989.
The early models used a 49.8 cc, air cooled, 1.5 HP engine using carburetor, mostly of type K30 or K35. They had 19" wheels and skirted fenders. In later models the engine had progressed to a 2 to 2.2hp engine. The large-diameter, 19-inch wheels were replaced by smaller, 16-inch wheels, which remained until the end of the Riga moped production.
1986 was a turn-around year for Riga. Deteriorating quality and engine problems made the need of a new model apparent. So in 1986 the new Riga Delta was introduced. The engine is in no way resembles its predecessor. The frame is completely changed. It has a new fuel tank, with only "Delta" written on it. Replaced the front and rear lamps and ignition. The Deltas were available in three colours; pea-green, brick red and beige. Deltas also featured 3 gear gearbox.
In 1986 the Mini Riga was introduced. It was a mini moped using the V-50 and later V-501 engines. In the early 1990s the engine was changed to the well-known Jawa 210 Babette's two-speed, automatic transmission engine.
Sources: www.lamsf.lv [Latvian Motorsport Federation] / wikipedia.org