Italy and the moped
There was a major decline in new registrations in Spain in 1960. The 175cc engine was no longer attractive to the public, who demanded a new, different model. One type of model that enjoyed tremendous success at the time in Italy was the small cylinder vehicle. The moped. With this in mind, RIEJU looked for solutions in Italy. The company formed an alliance with MOTORI MINARELLI. RIEJU became the exclusive importer of this brand of engines and parts in Spain.
1964. RIEJU's second phase
RIEJU began what many consider to be its second phase in 1964. After signing an agreement in 1960, the company obtained a license to manufacture Italian engines in Figueres. This marks a "before and after" for RIEJU, since all of the moped engines the company assembles to this day are of MINARELLI origin.
The manufacture of Minarelli engines (under license) began in Figueres (at Industrias FITA), with a progressive plan to produce an integral engine. The first result was the JACA Version with a 3.5 CV engine and a maximum speed of 70 km/h. The speed had to be limited due to a new law, which established a speed limit of 40 km/h for mopeds. Since the RIEJU engines were not being used to their full potential, they became known as being practically "indestructible". This reputation prompted state officials, such as those at Correos de España (the Spanish Post Office), to begin to use RIEJU vehicles.
A new series of RIEJU motorcycles and mopeds resulted from the MINARELLI-RIEJU partnership. This series of motorbikes proved to be very reliable on the often difficult Spanish roads of the 1960's. These robust motorbikes with solid wheelbases - a symbol of quality - are still ridden throughout the country to this day.
The P3A model was manufactured until 1971, the year the off-road version was introduced. In May 1974, the company began manufacturing the CONFORT 400, CONFORT 402, and TT 402 models. These models were all updates of previous models, similar to the GT 404; a moped with a much more modern double cradle frame.
Adding to the product line
In 1976 and 1977, new models were constantly being introduced to the market. Many of the models were improvements over the previous models. The first all-terrain motorcycles were developed during this time. Later, RIEJU would showcase these developments by achieving success in the competitive racing world. During these years the CONFORT, TT 503, CONFORT 501, and TT 504 models were brought to light; with aesthetic changes from the previous models.
Welcome to competition
In 1978, the TT 406 came onto the scene as an improved redesign of the TT, with a 74cc engine. MINARELLI wanted to introduce this model to the highest level of all-terrain competition. And so it was. RIEJU began a successful adventure, participating in its first ever Spanish Enduro Championship in the 75cc category. (RIEJU obtained a total of 12 national championships in this category during its history!).
This year, RIEJU unsuccessfully competed in the automatic moped category
1979 is also one of the most important years in RIEJU history. The TT 505 (with an exhaust type "muffler") MARATHON series in 50 and 74cc was developed, and was presented at the Barcelona Exhibition. The series gave identity and color to the RIEJU name: From that time on, the public associated the color green with the RIEJU brand name for all-terrain vehicles. As a result of the success obtained from this model, RIEJU began to specialize in off-road motorcycles.
This color remains associated with RIEJU even today, as does the mythical name associated with the brand name when speaking of the MARATHON: almost a legend in the mind of fans, fueled by a nostalgic desire to own a motorcycle produced since the time of their birth through the 1990's: its features and successes make it a deserving part of Spanish motorcycling history.
Also in 1979, manufacture of the 50 AUTOMATIC KS began.
The 80cc Marathon
At the 1985 Barcelona Exhibition, RIEJU displayed the new models. The SPRINT model (a new automatic moped) included the first aesthetic changes to the MARATHON (the SUPER MARATHON 50 that would later become the RV 50 in 1986). That year RIEJU received the Silver Plate for Motorcycle Achievement from the Spanish Government for winning second place in the Enduro World Championship. RIEJU also won the 80cc Spanish Enduro Championship and the 80cc Junior Speed Championship.