Puzey Family History

History

Mike Puzey Family History

The Puzey family has business roots in Africa dating as far back as 1930. Originally a vehicle franchise, Puzey & Payne Ltd (later Puzey & Diss (Pty) Ltd) became the sole sales and service agent for a variety of vehicle brands including DKW, Rolls Royce, Dodge, Leyland, Wolsey, Austin, Amyl, Hudson, Morris, Cord, BSA, Morgan, Jaguar, Ford, Star, Mazda, Mini and VW through numerous dealerships in northern and southern Rhodesia.

It was into this largely mechanical family that Michael Puzey was born in 1966. Inspired by his father, the renowned Formula 1 ace Clive Puzey, Mike was already able to strip and rebuild his go-kart engine by the age of 5 and by the age of 11, built his first Motocross bike by welding together cannibalised scrap parts.

However, it was not just the continued exposure to cars, motorbikes and racing that inspired Mike as he soon developed a passion for aircraft. And at a younger age than most, he qualified as an aircraft engineer and commercial pilot, even going on to build his own plane named the "KR1".


Early days

Early Puzey Innovations

It was this vast interest in all things technical that laid the foundation of what is still an ever-increasingly illustrious career, constantly setting new boundaries of invention, design and innovation. Since 1994, many of his innovative products have led to Puzey becoming a household name, earning Mike a string of awards, credits and over 20 patents. Included in this design portfolio is the original, internationally acclaimed Big Boy scooter, the Armadillo Roll top, a range of mass-market exercise machines, a pool cleaner, a hovercraft, a two-speed gearbox, a four-stroke scooter engine, a human powered hydrofoil called Pumpabike, and more recently, the EVO Powerboard range.

Another set of Mike's innovations contributing to the development of the ever-popular Bladez scooter range was the belt chain reduction drive system, position lock folding system and canter-lever brakes. These have to date been copied by more competing international manufacturers in the scooter industry than any other. It is however, the design and development of the Big Boy Scooter (for which Mike won his first SABS award) and the EVO Powerboards that have in particular contributed to Mike gaining the reputation as being the world leader in the field of personal transport vehicles (PTV's), setting a worldwide benchmark in their development.


A New Era

In 2002 Mike took the decision to expand the Puzey brand to merge retail and wholesale with his innovative product design, thereby expanding what was then Puzey Design to include the complete development of motorcycles and accessories for the Puzey Motorcycle brand he planned to launch.

Officially opening its doors in 2006, Puzey Motor Corporation (Pty) Ltd now promotes as its core principle the commitment to becoming a world leader in cutting edge design, manufacture, marketing and distribution. Furthermore, Mike Puzey and his team of passionate individuals place great emphasis on supplying products that add value to the market while always remaining competitively priced.

Puzey Motor Corporation

To ensure that the conditions of this undertaking would be met, Mike set out to source a product mix that would complement the high standards he had set in the development of his own products. To do so, he carefully selected a wide range of branded and affordable motorcycles from a number of top international suppliers. All of which however, were never rebranded as is the popular trend with mere operational distributors. Instead, Mike and his tech savvy team insist on adding value to each product by remaining involved with the development of all products supplied by its manufacturers, enforcing a strict policy of attention to detail, ensuring that the best possible product quality is delivered with every motorcycle that is sold.

This commitment to product excellence is reflected just as comprehensively in the service and support that Puzey offers its clients. Backed by a rigorous parts and support strategy, the Puzey staff will ensure that any defects that may arise are dealt with quickly and professionally and will offer continued support to ensure maximum longevity, enduring functionality and satisfaction, value for money and the best possible resale value for all its products.

Added to the above, the company boasts a skilled staff complement capable of providing a range of services including RND, prototyping, life testing and development, factory part procurement, in-house fabrication and modification, product assembly as well as full sales and parts support management.

Although fabrication was initially moved to Taiwanand then to China, Puzey has now come full circle and is producing product back in South Africa. Currently, the Puzey range of brands includes the in-house developed EVO Powerboards, Bladez Scooters and a variety of pit-, road- and off-road Puzey Motorcycles (included here was the XTR LC2 for which Mike won his second SABS award). Added to this, the Puzey product offering includes Benelli (Italy), Megelli (UK), TVS (India) and most recently, Keeway (Hungary) and ranges from 50cc to 1130cc. The range covers many segments from daily commuting and recreational use to full sport applications, ensuring that the needs of any motorcycle enthusiast are met.

The Puzey dealer network (currently consisting of more than 50 dealers) is widely dispersed throughout southern Africa, making the range of Puzey products as accessible as possible. Each dealer is furthermore carefully selected to ensure that they are capable, technical and experienced, ensuring that each has the correct credentials to offer the best possible support for the sale and support of Puzey products.

In summary, the Puzey Motor Corporation has a personal drive behind the family name that has been revered in the motor transport industry of southern Africa for more than 8 decades. We as a team strive to uphold the values that laid this foundation and aim to expand the boundaries of what has thus far been an immensely successful entrepreneurial journey to globalise its success andequate, if not surpass its international counterparts.


Innovations

1994 -1997: Commercial products

Armadillo roll-top vehicle system: A common product in South Africa and other parts of the world today. A system that was designed to be installed on the back of a bakkie/truck to close the loading area and offer security for items stored. The system was also later extended to cater for commercial vehicles and even swimming pools.

Infomercial gym machines: Many now common gym machines were developed during this period. Included in these were the first elliptical spinning bikes and resistance devices, pneumatic automatic weight adjusting toning and strength machines as well as pneumatic rowing equipment.

Other infomercial products: Among several products developed for mass consumption were a unique golf ball launch pad (T- ball system) and a dish washing device. Many gismo type devices were conceived and developed during this time for distribution through infomercial channels.


1994 – 2002 Water products

Pumpabike: Arguably one of the most innovative products ever challenged. A human-powered Hydrofoil that could reach speeds up to 18mph/29kph, weighed only 14kgs and acted as a personal watercraft that took only minutes to assemble. Conceived, developed and produced over a 10 year period the Pumpabike interestingly required the development of more than 80 prototypes in pursuit of perfection before the product was finally mass produced in 2003.

Twin sub-pool cleaner: Hailed as one of the most innovative pool cleaning devices after the Barracuda and Kreepy Krauly era, it offered '2 matt technology' and an innovative motion that eliminated many of the problems experienced by the common cleaners of the time. Would have been a household product today had it not been consumed by a court case stopping its production just before full production was to start.

Steamless shower/mirror system: A fantastic device that allowed for constant visibility in the shower, using a simple yet innovative method needing only water to function.


1998 – 2005 Personal transport vehicles (PTV)

Big Boy scooters up to 50cc: A simple, functional machine that was based on the original Go-Ped concept from the USA. By improving the functional uses in this category of PTV's, the Big Boy scooter's innovation in functional reliability led to global sales successes and contributed to the brand's success today.

Big Boy electric scooters up to 450W: This was to be the first electric scooter, breaking new ground in the field of PTV's. Electric scooters were unknown at the time and the 450W machine allowed for quiet clean transport, leading to this market-leading machine selling over 800,000 units in the USA alone between 2002 and 2005.

EVO 2-speed folding sport scooters: The 2-speed scooter marked the next innovative step for PVT's. Being the first of its kind and still the only 2-speed version today, this innovation revolutionised the PVT category once again by offering a product that is more usable and enjoyable.

EVO 800-1000W sport electric boards: These are the latest versions of the electric scooters with three 12V batteries (36V system) and the most robust design to date. Depending on user weight, the scooter can reach speeds of up to 22mph/35kph and with pneumatic street tyres and front and rear disc brakes, once again sets the bar in PTV development.

The following list of innovations were all patented for use on PTV machines during their development:

  • The first belt chain reduction drive system
  • Simple and effective micro canter-lever brake system
  • Innovative position-lock frame folding system
  • The only two-speed gearbox of its kind globally
  • Micro PTV 4- and 2-stroke engine developments for greater performance

2004 – 2014 Motorcycles

Pit Bike development: The Pit bike craze was started in the USA but with leading innovations and design Puzey was able to become a leader in the category. Puzey also produced OEM frames and parts of many other top brands during this period.

125 to 250 full size motorcycles developed: Puzey also went on to become the first company to develop and manufacture off road sport machines in China. The XTR-F and XTR-LC2 were simple air and water cooled machines that proved that a reliable low cost bike could be manufactured in China and compete with top brands in competition.

300cc and 500cc Motorcycle design and development: The next step would be another first for Puzey design, leading the way in bigger capacity 4-valve high output engines to be manufactured in China. These machines were the first to equal the performance of top branded machines in the market. Smooth to ride and with exceptional handling, the XTR-4 300cc and 500cc were breaking new ground in China and exceeding all expectations in performance, while remaining reliable and affordable (selling at 60% of competing branded products). The XTR-4 range was produced in four versions: MX, Trail, Enduro and MTD with an adventure machine based on these frame designs to follow.

The BRM 300 is the first ever South-African manufactured motorcycle. Powered by the Italian TM engine, this 2-stroke race machine is making waves in events against world-famous race-winning brands, holding its own and even out-performing many competitors in its class. Already cementing its presence at the Roof of Africa 2012, the BRM 300 is the best value-for-money 2-stroke your buck can buy.

Bike carry device: A simple tool developed to carry small to full size bikes on the back of any vehicle. It simply locked onto the tow bar in seconds saving customers the hassle of having to hitch a trailer.

Bakkie/truck tailgate Xtender: Another great product that can extend the load area by up to 600mm. A simple yet tough aluminium design that rotates onto an open tailgate for more usable space or inwards to create a convenient enclosure to store and secure loose cargo. The Xtender clips off easily when not in use and is suitable for all double cab, club cab and single cab models as well as half, three-quarter or one-tonner bakkies/trucks.