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French Motorcycles

Camille Daudon Cyclotandem
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1952 Cyclotandem Camille Daudon
powered by Ducati Cucciolo 48cc

This machine is powered by a top-of-the-range Cucciolo 48cc engine. In Italian cucciolo means 'Little Puppy' and this early 4-stroke bicycle auxiliary engine is one of the earliest Ducati models from the days before Ducati made complete motorcycles!

By 1952 the Cucciolo engine had already proven itself in the gruelling Paris-Nice road races and, fitted to various cyclemotor configurations, was the most popular choice for competitors.

This one was factory-fitted to this top-of-the-range cyclotandem built by the company Camille Daudon. This cyclotandem is essentially a bicycle tandem that has been uprated by the constructeur to stand the extra stresses resulting from motorization.

Whereas, in Great Britain, bicycles and cyclemotors (or mopeds) were manufactured for the masses and sold on the basis of their competitive prices, in France, since the twenties, there had also been a market for extremely upmarket 'fashionable' cyclemotors. Their selling point? - Exclusivity and their high prices.

In its day, this machine would have been one of the most expensive cyclemotors you could buy. It was a bespoke creation and the manufacturer's shop was in the Champs Elysees! This was the equivalent of the 'Brough Superior' of the cyclemotor world.

The speedometer is in good working order... It has drum brakes front and rear. The exhaust silencer box needs to be re-fitted; this will be done in France in the next few weeks, along with a general service so it's ready for the road.

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Allen Motorcycle Museum
Allen Motorcycle Museum
Private museum in Boston, MA, with many highly collectable vintage motorcycles for sale.