A-Z of Motorcycling

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V8 Motorcycles:1990s- Netherlands
VAGA: 1925-35 Italy
VAL: 1913-14 UK
VALE: 1914 Victoria, Australia
VALLEE:1949-54 France
VALENTI: 1979- Italy
VALIANT: Late 1964-65 America
VALLIERRE: 1903 France
VAN HAUWAERT: 1930-54 Belgium
VAN TECH: 1960s-? USA (racing frame maker)
VAN VEEN: 1978-81 Netherlands
VANLEISEN: 1875 Switzerland
VANONI: 1926-27 Italy
VAP: Early 1951-early 70’s France
VAREL: 1952-53 Germany
VARELLI: 1957 Germany
VAREN: 1903-05 Russia
VASCHETTO: 1936-38 Italy
VASCO: 1921-23 UK
VASSENA: 1926-29 Italy
VATERLAND: 1933-39 Germany
VAUXHALL: 1923-24 UK
VECCHIETTI: 1954-57 Italy
VEE TWO ALCHEMY: 1989- Western Australia
VEE TWO SQUALO: 1996- Western Australia
VEGA: 1947-49 Italy
VELAMOS: 1927-30 Czech
VELENZO: 1955 Netherlands
VELMO WIEL – 1951 Germany
VELOCE: 1911-14 UK
VELOX: 1923-26 Czech
VELOX: 1904 France
VELOSOLEX: 1945- France
VELOSTYLE: 1952 France
VELOX TECNICA: 1951-53 Italy
VELTA: 1939-40 Italy
VELTRO: 1954-55 Italy
VENUS: 1920-22 UK
VENUS: 1920-22 Germany
VERGA: 1951-54 Italy
VERIBEST: 1914-18 Tasmania Australia
VERHOVINA: 1950s-? Russia?
VERLOR: 1930-38 France
VERONA: 1978 Italy
VEROS: 1922-24 Italy
VERTEMATI (VOR): 1990s?- Italy
VERUS: 1919-25 UK
VESPA: 1946- Italy
VESTING: 1955-59 Netherlands
VESUV: 1924-26 Germany
VG: 1931-35 Italy
VIATKA: 1957-79 Russia
VIBERTI: 1955-Late 1960’s Italy
VICENTINI: 1925-26 Italy
VICINI: 1984-88 Italy
VICTA: 1911-18 NSW Australia
VICTA: 1912-13 UK
VICTOIRE: 1900 France
VICTOIRE: 1899-1902 Switzerland
VICTOR: 1903-05 South Australia
VICTOR: 1903-17 Tasmania, Australia
VICTOR: 1908-12 Victoria, Australia
VICTOR: 1914-16 Victoria, Australia
VICTOR: 1910-21 South Australia
VICTORIA: 1902-26 UK
VICTORIA: 1899-1966 Germany – One of the oldest manufacturers of motorcycles in Germany, made a wide range – from 600 cc vertical twins to 38 cc mopeds
VICTORIAN: 1902 South Australia
VICTORY: 1916 Tasmania, Australia
VICTORY: 1950-55 Italy
VICTRIX: 1924-27 Italy
VIERGE: 1900 France
VIERKLEUR: 1904-06 Netherlands
VILLA: 1968- Italy
VILLANI: 1925-37 Italy
VILLEMAIN: 1904-05 France
VILLIERS: 1913-70s UK (engines only?
VILLOF: 1951-1961 Spain
VINCO: 1903-05 UK
VINDEC: 1902-29 UK
VINDEC-SPECIAL (VS): 1903-14 UK and Germany
VIPER: 1919-22 UK
VIPER: 1990s- USA
VIRATELLE: 1907-24 France
VIRLAT: 19?? France
VIS: 1923-25 Germany
VITTORIA: 1931- Italy
VI-VI: 1955-57 Italy
VIZA: 1990s USA
VOLLBLUT: 1925-27 Germany
VOLTA: 1902-07 Italy
VOLTA: 1932-33 Belgium
VOLUGRAFO: 1939-42 Italy
VOMO: 1922-31 Germany
VOR: 2001 Italy
VORAN: 1921-24 Germany
VOSKHOD: Late 1966- Russia
VOSTOC: 1964-65 Russia
VOXAN: 1990s? France
VOYAGER: 1985-90 UK
VRP: 1992 (GP machine)
VS: 1922-24 Germany
VULKAAN: 1911-17 The Netherlands
VULKAN: 1904-24 Czech
VULCAN: 1922-24 UK
VYLEA: 1926-27 Austria


WABO (Wagenbouw): 1955-57 Holland
WACKER: 1922-23 UK
WACKWITZ: 1920-22 Germany
WADDON-ERLICH: 1981-82 UK – 250cc Rotax racer designed by Joe Erlich, see EMC
WAG: 1924-25 UK – 2 stroke V-twin 500cc – Wright and Gasking
WAGENER: 1906 South Australia
WAGNER: 1930-35 Czech
WAGNER: 1901-14 USA
W.A.K.: 1920 Victoria, Australia
WAKARECKY: 1903-04Russia
WALBA: 1949-52 Germany – Ilo engined 100 to 175cc machines
WALL (Autowheel): 1909? UK – Manufactured an innovative rear wheel clip on 120cc engine kit for bicycles, also produced ROC. See also Smith Motor Wheel
WALL Tri-car: 1911-15 UK
WALLACE: 1921-25 South Australia
WALLIS: 1925-26 UK
WALMET: 1924-26 Germany
WALTER: 1903-42 Germany – Used Fafnir engines at first, then Villiers, Sachs and Ilo from the 20s
WALTER: 1923-26 Czech
WALTER: 1900-49 Czech
WALWIN: 1960s?? UK
WAM: 1912 Belgium
WANDERER: 1902-29 Germany – models SV 250, 500 SV V-twin, post-war 616cc, and 750cc v-twins. Buyer could order either 2 or 4 valve motors. In 1928 a shaft drive 500cc OHV single was produced. 1929 the firm collapsed and the 500 was sold to F. Janacek in Prague. The Janacek Wanderer was later abbreviated to Jawa.
WARATAH: 1913-47 NSW, Australia
WARD: 1912-15 Victoria, Australia
WARD: 1915-16 UK
WARDILL: 1924-26 UK, unusual 2 stroke
WARREN: 19?? Australia
WARRIOR: 1921-23 UK
WARWICK: 1909-15 UK
WARWICK: 1903 USA – made by PMC
WASP: 1963-? UK – Small British firm located near Salisbury, specializing in custom sidecar competition mx and grass track bikes as well as a few enduro machines using Triumph and later Norton engines. Founded in 1963 by Robin Tutt.
WASSELL: 1970-75 UK – Founded by WW2 pilot Ted Wassell of Birmingham. Made a 125cc Puch engined motocross machin in 1970 and a trials bike with a 175cc BSA Bantam engine. Made an offroad bike with 125cc Sachs engine in 1972. After making more than 2,000 machines, high manufacturing costs and a falling American dollar made his bikes too expensive for the US market, so he closed production in 1975.
WATNEY: 1922-23 UK
WATSON: 1906 South Australia
WATSON: 1911 NSW, Australia
WATSONIAN: 1950 England – Sidecar manufacturer, made their own motorcycle in 1950 using a 996cc sv V-twin JAP engine.
WAVERLEY: 1905-12 USA – 500cc OHV single. Also made Jefferson and PEM machines and sold engines
WAVERLEY: 1921-23 UK
WAVERLEY: 19?? Australia
WD: 1911-13 UK
WEARWELL: 1901-06 UK – the Wearwell Motor Carriage Company commenced in 1899 and released its first motorcycle in 1901 using engines built by the Stevens Bros. they were sold as Wearwell – Stevens. It was fitted with a two and a half hp, air cooled, 4 stroke Stevens engine, with automatic inlet valve, and mechanically operated side exhaust valve. The engine was mounted above the front down tube, had accumulator ignition, a surface carburettor, and belt drive to the back wheel. The same year saw the introduction of the ‘Motette’ powered tricycle. It was a modified version of the two and a half horse power motorcycle. In 1905 a redesigned and sturdier model was launched using the ‘Wolf’ name. It was fitted with a three and a quarter hp Stevens engine. Later they made new models using the name Wulfruna and Wolf until about 1922. The company was acquired by the Waine brothers in 1928 and they started producing Wolf badged motorcycles around 1931 until the start of WWII
WEAVER: 1922-25 UK – made by Alfred Wiseman
WEBB: 1906 Victoria, Australia
WEBER-MAG: 1926-27 Germany
WEBER & REICHMANN: 1923-26 Czech
WEBSTER: 1914 NSW, Australia
WEBSTER: 1920 Victoria, Australia
WECOOB: 1925-30 Germany
WEE McGREGOR: 1922_25 England
WEGA: 1923-24 Austria
WEGRO: 1922-23 Germany – unusual long wheelbase machine – 500cc 2 stroke twin built in Berlin by VIS-Ges
WEISS: 1925-28 Germany
WE-KA-BE: 1922-23 Austria
WEL-BIKE: 1940s UK – collapsible military bike
WELA: 1925-27 Germany
WELLAND B: 1920-22 UK – mase by Spartan
WELLER: 1902-05 UK – made cars and bikes
WELLS: 19?? Tasmania, Australia
WELS: 1925-26 Germany – assembled 350cc and 500cc machines using Kuhne and JAP motors
WELT-RAD: 1901-07 Germany
WENDAX: 1930s Germany
WERNER: 1897-1908 France – the Russian brothers Werner,designed, built and patented the cradle frame in 1901. Werner built a front wheel drive bike in 1898 but determined that it would improve handling to mount the engine between the wheels.
WERNER-MAG: 1928-1930 Austria
WERNO: 1921-24 Germany – 155cc 4 stroke or 145cc 2 stroke models built in berlin by Werner Noel
WERTAL: 1953 Austria
WESPE: 1937-38 Austria
WERNO: 1921-24 Germany
WESSON: 1912? Victoria, Australia
WESLAKE:1936-78 England (engine manaufacturers) – Speedway machines and engines, British designer and engineer Harry Weslake started making advanced carburetors in the early 1920s under the name Wex (Weslake-Exeter). He started working on improved Sunbeam engines in the late 1920s. He formed Weslake and Taylor in 1936 with Geoffrey Taylor. He expanded after WW2 as Weslake and Company to focus on R&D and consulting and designing and building new engines. The company also made engine conversions for the Rickmans. The first complete Weslake speedway machines were produced in 1977. Harry Weslake died in 1978
WEST: 1920s Western Australia
WEST COAST CHOPPERS: USA – Custom V-Twin Choppers by Jessie James
WESTFALIA: 1901-06 Germany
WESTFIELD: 1993 England
WESTOVIAN: 1914-16 England
WFM: 1947- Poland – absorbed Sokol in 1951
W&G: 1927-28 England
WHALLEY: 1911-12 Victoria, Australia
WHEATCROFT: 1924 England
WHIPPET: 1903-06 England – small capacity machines with Aster and FM engines
WHIPPET: 1920-59 England – 180cc scooters
WHIPPET: 1957-59 England – small scooter moped machines -46-64cc
WHIPPLE: 1903-07 USA – tricycle with the two wheels in front using an Aurora Manufacturing engine
WHIRLWIND: 1901-03 England
WHITBOURN: 1910 Victoria, Australia
WHITE: 1903-04 Victoria, Australia
WHITE: 1950s-75 Hungary (re-badged Pannonia)
WHITE ELEPHANT: 1970s England
WHITE&POPPE: 1902-22 England – mainly made engines for other firms, but also made complete machines
WHITING: 1912-20 Victoria, Australia – Saville Whiting designed several motorcycle prototypes but could never get them put into mass production in England or Australia. They used engines made by Douglas, JAP and the last used a V – Four of Whiting’s design
WHITLEY: 1902-06 England – built engines, some water-cooled, and some complete motorcycles
WHITWOOD: 1934-36 England – produced by the OEC company, they specialized in two-wheel cars, with two doors, folding hood and windscreen, in 1934. They had four models with engines from 150 to 1000cc. two small outrigger stabilizing wheels kept the machine stable at rest. Despite some innovative designs, they stopped production in 1936.
WHIZZER: 1947-54 USA – popular motorized bicycles
WIDE: Sweden 1923
WIGA: 1928-32 Germany
WIGAN-BARLOW: 1921 Coventry England
WIKRO: 1924-26 Germany
WILBEE: 1902-06 England
WILD BOAR: 1990s-? USA
WILD WEST: 1990s-? USA – Harely custom clones
WILHELMINA: 1903-15 Netherlands
WILIER: 1962-70 Italy
WILKIN: 1919-23 England
WILKINSON-ANTOINE: 1903-06 England – made in Belgium
WILKINSON-TAC (WILKINSON-TMC):1903-16 UK – Wilkinson Sword Company made the TAC (Touring Auto Cycle) in 1909 and TMC (Touring Motor Cycle) in 1911, four-cylinder, air- and liquid-cooled, 676cc (later 848 and 996cc). The TAC was piloted by a steering wheel, like today’s cars. Made a shaft-drive in-line four in 1909. Production was taken over by the Ogston Motor Company from 1914 to 1916.
WILLAM: 1966-1980 France – Willam was basically a marketing label for a variety of foreign-made vehicles to be sold in France. As head of Lambretta S.A.F.D. in Levallois-Peret, M.H. Willam first presented Lambretta-engined prototypes at the Paris Salon in 1966, which were actually manufactured by Scattolini in Italy. In 1967, he entered into an alliance with Lawil of Italy, which produced a range of microcars sold in France under the names Willam City and Farmer. In 1971, another 125cc prototype was shown but not produced. Instead, Willam imported from Italy the Baldi, Zagato Zele, and later the B.M.A., Decsa and the museum example, the Casalini. Casalini was a maker of mopeds, scooters and trikes, who built the tiny Sulky in 50 or 60cc versions. Unusually for the type, it had all-steel bodywork on a tubular steel frame. In 1980 it gained a fourth wheel (and was then called Bretta or David) as well as a Break-style body. Another model was called the Kore. With sales of 1000 per year, Casalini long outlived the other Italian makes.
WILLIAM: 1950 France
WILLIAMS: 1906-10 South Australia
WILLIAMS: 1912-20 USA – J.N. Williams built a 53 cubic inch radial three cylinder engine that was built inside the wheel on several prototypes – the footboards are also the starting mechanism. This unorthodox machine never went into production.
WILLIAMSON: 1912-20 England – early models had air/water cooled 996cc flat twin
WILLIS: 1903 USA – see Butterfield
WILLOW: 1922 Tasmania, Australia
WILLOW: 1920 England
WIMMER: 1921-39 Germany – OHV machines from 140cc to 500cc built in Bavaria. Some Bark 2 strokes also built
WIMMERA: 19?? Victoria, Australia
WIN: 1908-14 England – used Precision motors
WINCO: 1920-22 England
WINDHOFf: 1924-33 Germany – licence built Bekamo machines at first. In 1927 an advanced 750cc oil cooled OHC inline 4 cyclinder shaft drive machine was built. Later replaced by a 1000cc shft drive flat twin. In the 30s production declined to Villiers engined machines.
WINDLE: 1970s-? Germany
WINDLE ADM: 1996-? Germany
WINDSOR: 1912-13 Victoria, Australia
WINGED WHEEL: England – A bicycle engine kit made by BSA
WINGWHEEL: 1950-52 Netherlands
WINHA: 1970s Finland
WINTON: 1913 Victoria, Australia
WIRKAU: 1908-14 Russia
WIRRALL: 1924-26 UK
WISCONSIN WHEEL: USA – version of Smith Motor Wheel
WITHINGTON: 1916 Tasmania, Australia
WITTALL: 1910-23 England
WITTBER: 1916 South Australia (engines only?)
WITTEKIND: 1952-54 Germany – 40cc mopeds
WITTLER: 1924-53 Germany – 250cc 2 stroke, after WW2 it made mopeds and lightweights with Zundapp and Sachs motors
WIZARD: 191? South Australia
WIZARD: 1920-22 Wales Later name for Fowler & Bingham machines, also FB Wizard
WK: 1920-22 Germany – 250cc motorwheel that attached to a bicycle
WKB: 1923-24 Austria
WMB: 1924-26 Germany
WMR: 1929-31 Germany
WOLF: 1901-39 England – see Wearwell. Produced on and off until 1931 when the company came back with two models, then made several models with Villiers engines until 1940, when production ceased.
WOLF SUPERIOR: 1927 Germany – 500 singles built by Hans Wolf in Nuremberg
WOLSIT: 1910-14, 1932 Italy
WOLSELEY: 1896-1914 UK
WOOLER: 1911-55 England – founded by John Wooler in 1911 (who designed his first bike in 1909, a two-stroke horizontal single with a double-ended piston). Renowned for unusual designs including several fore-and-aft twins, a vertical camshaft single, transverse four beam engine and a transverse flat four. First motorcycle was a 230cc two-stroke with front and rear plunger springs and a patented ‘anti-vibratory’ frame. The bike was made by Wilkinson from 1912 and marketed as Wilkinson-Wooler, raised to 350cc. Production halted during WW1 and resumed in 1919 with a new, advanced bike nicknamed the ‘Flying Banana.’ In 1930 the Depression closed the company. Wooler resumed in 1945 with a prototype 500cc transverse four. It was displayed at the Earls Court show in 1948 and again in 1951 and 1954. Only half a dozen hand-built machines were ever made and the machine never made into production.
WOOLSTON: 1906 South Australia
WOTAN: 1923-25 Germany – Leipzig firm – 170cc 2 strokes
WSE: 1924-25 Germany – W. Elsel built 250cc SV
WSK: 1946-1985 Poland – Wytwornia Sprzetu Komunikacyjnego – “Communications Equipment Factory”, closed in 1985 after agitation against the Communist regime. The strike in the WSK factory was the first in Poland, before the Gdansk strike. Produced small-displacement bikes, 125 and 175 cc, two-strokes.
WSM: 1919-23 Germany
WUCO: 1925 Germany
WULFRUNA: 1912-28 UK – see Wearwell
WUL_GUM: 1937-39 Poland – Sachs engined machines
WURRING: 1921 Germany – August Wurring of Dusseldorf also sold bikes as AWD
WURTTEMBERGIA: 1925-33 Germany – Berlin concern that used Blackburne 200 to 600cc engines
WUYANG HONDA: 1990s-? China
W&W: 1925-27 Austria
WYATT-JAP: 1911-19 South Australia
WYNNE: 1919 UK – early scooter


XINGFU: 1985- China – started with Jawa clones – manufacturers of 50-250cc motorcycles and mopeds
XL: 1921-23 UK – 400-490cc singles, built by Norfolk Engineering Company
XL-ALL: 1902-06 UK
XTRA: 1920-22 UK


Y2K: 1990s- USA – Marine Turbine Technology – 460 lbs with an Allison Rolls Royce 250 gas turbine making 320hp and 425 ft lbs of torque. Estimated top Speed of 250 mph, 1/4 Mile: 9.80 secs @ 160 mph, 0-200 mph in 15.0 seconds. Price tag $150,000
YALE: 1902-15 USA – first bike produced was the Yale-California
YALE-CALIFORNIA: 1902 – 1915 USA, Consolidated Manufacturing Company in Toledo, Ohio, , Bought the rights for the California motorcycle
YAMAGUCHI: 1941-64 Japan
YAMAHA: 1954- Japan – Made first bikes around 1954. The first Yamaha motorcycle was the YA-1, produced and sold in Japan only (125cc, 2-stroke, single cylinde). In 1958 the first Yamaha Motorcycles was sold in the USA. Yamaha’s first large capacity 4-stroke motorcycle model was the XS1 650. In 1984 the first production 5-valve per cylinder engine was introduced on the FZ750 motorcycle. Yamaha dominated GP racing at various times with their TD, TR and TZ 2 stroke production race bikes. They also were successful in the 60s with their multi-cylinder GP machines and in the 70s, 80s and 90s with their YZR GP machines.
YAMATARGO: 1929-? Japan – pre-war utilitarian tricycle
YANKEE: 1922-23 USA
YANKEE: 1903 – 1908, USA, – Charles Haberer assembled motorcycles with Thor engines and sold them as “The Yankee” until Thor started building their own motorcycles. He then became a dealer for Thor
YANKEE: 1970-74 USA – Ossa manufactured machines for the US market, impressive well made 500cc twins that deserved a better fate
YDRAL: 1950s?-? France (Engine manufacturers) – manufacturer of engines for a range of French machines
YELROMA: 1915 South Australia
YEZDI: 1980- India – another manufacturer of Jawa clones, see Ideal Jawa
YORK: 1927-30 Austria – JAP engined machines
YOSHIMURA: 1970s- USA – specialist in performance products for Japanese machines
YOUNG: 1919-23 UK – Clip-on enginess, made by Mohawk bicycle company.
YOUNG RIDER: 1990s Italy – Competition mini bikes
D’YRSAN: 1925 France
YUNG SHIN: 1986- Taiwan – foldup motorcycles
YVEL: 1921-24 France
YZR: 1990s Australia – modified Yamaha for Australian conditions


ZABEL: 1990s Germany
ZAETA: 2012 Italy
ZANELLA: 1958-60s Argentina
ZANNETTI: 1967-75 Italy
ZANZANI: Italy – build Motobi replicas
ZAP:1999 USA – electric bicycles
ZEDEL: 1901-07 Switzerland
ZEDEL: 1902-15 France
ZEGEMO: 1924-25 Germany – Dresden based company producing 248cc machines
ZEHNDER: 1923-39 Switzerland
ZEHNER: 1924-26 Germany
ZENIT-ITALIANA: 1953-56 Italy
ZENITH: 1904-50 UK – Started manufacture in 1904, with Tooley’s patent two-wheel ‘bicar’ powered by a Sarolea. Motorcycle production began in 1907 with the sprung-frame Fafnir engined Zenette. Known for its Gradua variable ratio transmission with adjustable gearing operated by a hand lever. Also produced a 350cc model with either a Blackburne or JAP engine and a 1000cc JAP twin. Offered Villiers and JAP-engined singles in the 1930s, but production stopped in 1931 because of poor turnover during the depression. Commenced production again when they were bought by new wners, and continued until the start of WW2. Range of 20 models in 1933, 14 in 1934, dropping to six in 1939 when war stopped production. Resumed briefly, 1947 to 1950, with a 747cc sv JAP engined model and a smaller 250cc.
ZEPHYR: 1922-23 UK – produced 131cc clip-on bicycle engines, plus some complete machines
ZETA: 1948-54 Italy
ZETGE/ZETTGE: 1922-25 Germany – low framed lightweights wit 142cc – 173cc DKW engines
ZEUGNER: 1902-06 Germany – Berlin company which used proprietory engines
ZEUS: 1902-12 Czech
ZEUS: 1925-27 Germany – Klotz and Becker Leipzig based comany whuch used OHC Kuchen engines
ZHEJIANG: 1990s? China
ZHUFENG: 1990s? China
ZIANG SHANG: 1990s-? China
ZIEJANU: 1923-27 Germany – Albert Ziegelgangsberger and hans Jakob Nurnberg built their own 211 and 246cc 2 stroke machines. Also built JAP 350 and 500cc machines. Also known as ZJN.
ZID: 1990s? USSR
ZIF: 19??s USSR
ZIKE: 1994 UK
ZIP: 1990s? USA
ZIP CYCLE: 1990s USA – motorised bicycle manufacturer
ZIPRIAN: 1970s? East Germany
ZIRO: 1919-24 Germany
ZITTAVIA: 1924-25 Germany – built mahines using Alba, JAP and Blackburne engines
ZJN: 1923-27 Germany (see ZIEJANU)
ZPMOTO: 1912 Germany
ZUCH: 1938-39 Poland
ZUNDAPP: 1917- 1984 Germany – Armaments factory Zunder and Apparatebau copied early Levis design. Zundapp was soon one of germany’s largest motorcycle manufactureres with 200cc and 300cc light-weights and some 4 stroke singles using Rudge-Python engines. In 1933 4 stroke engines were produced, 350 and 500cc shaft driven flat twins and 600 and 800cc flat fours, The KS750 flat twin was produced during the war. After the war a 600cc flat-twin and a 200cc 2 stroke single were produced. In 1953 the 150cc Bella scooter and a 50cc clip engine were popular. 2 strokes from 50cc to 250cc were produced into the 80s. An 80cc GP racer won the 1984 World Championship but soon after the company collapsed and the tooling was sold to China and continue to be produced as the Tianjin
ZURTZ-REKORD: 1922-26 Germany
ZWEIRAD-UNION: 1958- 74 Germany – Victoria Express ad DKW merged in the 50s. Hercules joined the group in 1966 before being taken over by Fichtel and Sachs in 1969.
ZWERG: 1924-25 Germany – briefly built lighweight 2 strokes of 150 and 190cc
ZWI: 1952-55 Israel
ZSS: Poland
ZZR: 1960- Poland