The Czechoslovakian Orion company was established in 1859 by Vilém Michl in Slany which, at the time, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The company produced bicycles, and built its first motorcycle in 1902 badged ‘Michl Orion’. Production of quality single- and twin-cylinder machines ceased at the onset of war in 1914, resuming shortly after the armistice. Vilem’s wife became the first female motorcyclist in the country, and their son Zdenek created a number of successful designs and Orion machines were quite successful in competition.
The company foundered in 1933 as a result, presumably, of the Great Depression.
Orion 2hp Single-cylinder air cooled, 1902 - 1912
Orion F 58 1924 ~ 1927
Sources: Tragatsch, Henshaw
Notes: There is also a French Orion marque (c1908-1930), an Italian-made Orione (1920s), a German Orion (better known as Orionette, 1920s) and a Chinese brand (ca2000-).
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