French Motorcycles

Motorcycles at the Paris Salon of 1902

The Salon opened on December 10th 1902 and closed on Christmas Day.


PROSPER LAMBERT, Nanterre, shows a motor-bicycle for racing purposes of huge dimensions. It has a 12 h.p. De Dion engine, with large water-cooling tank and centrifugal pump. The drive is by a 2½in. flat belt on to an immense pulley on rear wheel axle. The tyres are 4in. diameter, and wheels about 26in. Very high speed capabilities were claimed for the instrument.

GEORGIA KNAP, Troyes, shows the "Knap" gear-driving motor-bicycle in three powers, ¾, 1¼ and 2 h.p. The principle on which this machine is constructed has been described and illustrated in "M. C." recently. The 1¼ and 2 h.p. machines have duplicate forks and Bowden brakes fitted, and Dunlop tyres on Westwood rims. The light touring machine has the tanks cased over with a canvas cover.

Further information: Georgia Knap

The "UNIVERSEL" two-cylinder motor-bicycle is one of the most interesting features of the motor-bicycle exhibits. It is remarkably compact and light, and the motor develops three horse-power. It has combined flat belt and chain drive. The motor is clamped in between the main and down tubes. A spray carburetter is used. On this stand several small motors, both air and water cooled, are shown. This machine is made by Porteus Butler, 24, Passage de l'Opera, Boulevard des Italiens, Paris.

More information: L'Universel

The "ATLAS" co., Usines Prunel, 4. Rue de Paris, Puteaux, show a standard pattern De Dion quadricycle. The motor is of 4½ horse-power, with water-cooled head, and the radiators for cooling the circulation water are mounted at the ends of the tank. The controlling levers are placed well forward on the horizontal tube. The front carriage is of very comfortable design, and everything about the machine is of the finest quality and finish. If desired, a two-speed gear can be included in the equipment. The maximum speed obtainable is 32 miles per hour.

The HAUSTGEN Co., 103, Boulevard d' Italie, Paris, make two types of machines, a 1½ and 2 horse-power air-cooled, and a 1½ and 2 horse-power water-cooled motor. The motor is mounted in a good position in front of the bracket. The drive is by means of a chain. The cooling tank carries about seven pints, and the carburetter is a simple type of spray, with suction feed...

Continued: Haustgen

The "PEUGEOT" motorcycle, as might be expected, is one of the best-made and finished machines in the Show. It has a vertical motor of 2 horse-power. The carburetter is a special type of Longuemare, and the motor is placed in an excellent position in front of the crank bracket. Ignition is by coil and accumulator, and power is transmitted by twisted hide belt...

Continued: Peugeot 1902-1903

The GRIFFON Co., Courbevoie, show a very light touring motor-bicycle with a Clement motor fixed on the main tube. The petrol tank is carried on a pair of duplicate front forks. The coil is placed behind the diagonal, and the battery slung from the horizontal tube. The drive is by a small diameter hide belt, with jockey pulley adjustment. A back rim and front tyre brake is fitted. The weight of the machine complete is 65 lbs., and the price comes out at the very low figure of £30.

THE C.F.C. motor-bicycle is a well designed machine, made by the Company Francaise, 7, Rue Darboy, Paris. The motor is 1¾ h.p., and is fitted vertically between the main tubes. The petrol supply tank is fixed on the back forks. Ignition is by coil and accumulator, and drive by means of a round hide belt...

Continued: Company Francaise

The "ROUE AUTOMOTRICE" machine is made by Gaston Rivierre and Co., 28, Boulevard de Courbevoie, Courbevoie, Seine. This machine is of remarkable design, having a four-cylinder motor, in which the cylinders alone rotate with the wheel. Thus there is no chain or gearing...

Continued: Rivierre

J. CARREAU, 93, Avenue des Ternes, Paris, shows a motor-bicycle, in which the motor is placed vertically in a loop frame. This is known as the No. 2 Model, and can be supplied with a De Dion or Aster motor of 1¾ or 2¾ horse-power. The machine illustrated has a water-cooled head. A spray carburetter is used, and high tension ignition is fitted. Drive is by means of a flat belt. The carburetter is of the float feed spray type....

Continued: J. Carreau

The BRUNEAU motorcyclette is oonstructed by P. Bruneau and Co., a´ Tours (Indre-et-Loire). It has a vertically-placed motor of 2 horse-power. The frame is of a good rigid design, with extra horizontal tube. The carburetter is of the spray type. The transmission of power is effected by a chain...

Continued: Bruneau

The "ROUE MOTRICE" machine is the invention of G. Boivin, 14, Rue Girardon, Paris. It bears a striking likeness to the English Singer motor-bicycle, inasmuch as the motor, carburetter, etc., are contained within the wheel. The wheel axle is driven by means of reduction gearing from the motor shaft. Two patterns are made...

Continued: Boivin

L'AUTO-CYCLETTE GARREAU, 43, Rue Lemarois, Paris, show a remarkably light and compact motor-bicycle. The motor develops 1¼ h.p., and it only weighs about 101bs. The firm claim that this will do 45 kilometres in the hour —over 30 miles— and climb hills of 1. in 8 or 9 without use of the pedals. The petrol tank, carburetter, coil, and accumulator are contained in a case supported from the horizontal tube...

Continued: Garreau

Motorcycle exhibited at the Salon in 1902; supplied engines to Bagys.
Bourdache p146

Motorcycle exhibited at the Salon in 1902
Bourdache p430

Light motorcycle engine presented at the 1902 Salon
Bourdache p432

René Gillet Exhibited a single-cylinder motor at the 1902 Salon but being unknown to the organizers he was relegated to a corner of the first floor. In 1903, he returned to the show and began to achieve recognition.

1 Motor Cycling, Dec 24th 1902, pages 373 and 374. Courtesy Howard Burrows via the Early Motorcycle Literature group.

2. Bourdache