Motor Assisted Bicycles the Vogue. Miniature Motor Cycles. Few Medium and High Powered Machines. British, American, Belgian and Swiss Motor Cycles also Represented.
IF all the French motor cycles exhibited at the Paris show were on exhibition in an English city, there is no doubt that a large number of our readers would make a point of inspecting them, if only for the reason that British motor cyclists are keenly interested in all kinds of machines propelled by mechanical means. It is because we appreciate this that we annually visit the Paris Salon in order to place on record, for the benefit of our readers, an impression of the progress made by and the trend of the French motor cycle industry.
Not so Representative as in 1921.
Many years ago the motor cycle industry in France promised to equal our own, but those days passed, and motor cycles were in a moribund state until after the Great War, when, owing to the success of the motor cycle in the Services, the industry received an impetus which led one to believe that a great revival was on the horizon. Last year's Salon appeared to confirm this, but one is not so sure after examination of the 1922 exhibits. For instance, fewer manufacturers are represented, there are less really practical motor cycles and very few sidecar outfits.
It is impossible to say whether public interest has increased or decreased since last year, for the reason that in 1921 the exhibits were in the Grand Palais along with the magnificent automobile display, and it was impossible to discriminate between the merely curious and the potential motor cycle buyers. This year the motor cycles, together with the cycle cars and fire-engines, omnibuses and tip-waggons, were sent across the Seine to a group of temporary buildings in the shadow of Les Invalides, wherein lie the mortal remains of Napoleon Bonaparte and his generals.
Whether this separation is to the good of the motor cycle exhibitors is a moot point; some of them think that it is, but we consider that the importance of this section of the automotive industry is minimised in the eyes of the general public.
Motorised Bicycles the Vogue.
As has already been mentioned in The Motor Cycle, the motorised bicycle is at present the most popular type of motor cycle with the French manufacturers. Nearly every exhibitor displays a specimen in one form or another, ranging from pedal cycles, of standard design, fitted with auxiliary engines to machines which are slightly reduced editions of the orthodox motor bicycle.
It appears that the French industry is making a bid to draw into the petrol vehicle field buyers who have not hitherto been partial to the motor cycle.
Apparently it is not expected that these cyclists, after having enjoyed the advantages of an engine, will develop into motor cyclists proper. There are many million cyclists in France and it would seem that the French motor cycle industry will be content to provide auxiliary powered bicycles for them.
Therefore the makers have produced machines of the type which this section of the community things it requires, at the danger of losing their custom, rather than endeavouring to teach the pedal cyclist that (1) an ordinary bicycle is not quite suitable for the extra stresses, on account of the higher speeds attained and (2) that discomfort is bound to accrue with ordinary cycle tyres.
THE MOTOR CYCLE SALON.
This year the motor cycles, together with the pedal cycles and cycle cars, are accommodated in a group of temporary buildings just across the Seine from the Grand Palais where the Automobile Salon is held.
Three Types of Miniatures.
A few of the French designers have realised this and have embodied spring forks, others have produced miniatures of the conventional type, but, on the whole the French idea is a motor propelled pedal cycle rather than a true lightweight motor cycle as proportionate to the 250 c.c. type as the latter is to the 350 c.c. machine.
Thus, taken generally, the French motor cycle industry is producing three types of machines for a new market, which is considered to be immense :
(1) Auxiliary engines for existing pedal cycles.
(2) Re-designed pedal cycles fitted with miniature engines.
(3) Miniatures of conventional motor cycles.
Taking each of these types separately we may group them as below :
Auxiliary Engine Attachments.
CYCLOTRACTOR. (sic) 50x55 mm., two-stroke, driving front wheel by friction pulley in contact with tyre. (Cyclotracteur)
MICROMOTEUR. 46x38 mm., two-stroke, driving front wheel by friction pulley in contact with tyre.
SICAM. -50x55 mm., two-stroke, driving by belt a separate countershaft from which the drive is usually taken to the back wheel by chain. Expanding pulley used as a variable gear and clutch.
Velotouriste 60x40 mm., two-stroke unit designed to fit under bottom bracket of a pedal cycle. The crankshaft is at right angles to a countershaft, from which the final drive is taken.
LUTETIA. 50x55 mm., two-stroke, embodying reduction gear. For fitting directly over the rear wheel, which it drives by chain.
Hunter - 55x48 mm., two-stroke, embodying a reduction gear in a case integral with crank case.
La Cyclette. - 51x45 mm., two-stroke, embodying a countershaft and clutch.
Velo Moto. A unit, on the lines of the original Motosacoche, made to fit complete with tank into the diamond frame of a pedal cycle. It embodies the Sicam engine.
Anzani 60x40 mm., four-stroke, M.O S/S valves, mechanical lubrication, gear reduction by spur wheels.
Wonder Flat twin, two-stroke, gear drive to bicycle bottom bracket axle.
EXSHAW. 50x50 mm. two-stroke, on the carrier driving rear wheel by belt.
These little engines are splendidly made and finished, and more, that one enthusiast no doubt would like a specimen to place in his drawing-room cabinet. Apart from this they do not interest the man who is already a motor cyclist, although they are attracting considerable attention on the part of the non-motoring public.
It is on examining the many examples of bicycles built specially to take small engine units that one realises that a large number of the people making them are cycle manufacturers pure and simple. Lack of experience is written too plainly on many of the machines by the manner in which the adaptations have been carried out. For example, on one motorised bicycle it had evidently been found that the driving chain fouled a projection on the engine, and in order to raise the chain a diminutive jockey sprocket is fitted. Again, where there is belt drive, almost flat leather straps are used instead of the type long proved to be the most satisfactory, i.e. the 28° rubber belt. On scale no effort has been made to lessen front wheel shocks by fitting spring forks, while the flimsiest of stirrup brakes are relied upon for safety and small cycle saddles for comfort.
To Attract the Lady Cyclist.
In the majority the workmanship and finish are of the best, and to the uninitiated, probably, they will make a strong appeal. Ladies who hitherto have eschewed the motor cycle are attracted by their apparent simplicity and the manner in which engine and transmission are guarded, but whether these miniatures will, by introducing their riders to the more substantial types, prove, of lasting value to the motor cycling industry is somewhat doubtful. So much depends on the individuals riding them. If moderate speeds are adhered to, then they might I be useful recruiting agents to the motor cycle world proper. On the other hand, if maximum speeds are indulged in, the I road vibration from the small tyres and perhaps the engines also will cause motor cycles to be condemned untried as uncomfortable. Very many of these machines are now being offered to the bicycling public, but not all of them are exhibited at the Salon. Those shown are:--
Armor. La Cyclette engine, light pivoted spring fork, final belt drive, 26xl¾in. tyres.
Alcyon. A pedal cycle with a slightly elongated frame to accommodate small two-stroke engine forward of the pedalling gear. All-chain drive, light pivoted spring fork, 26xl¾in. tyres.
La Cyclette. La Cyclette unit. Gentleman's model: ordinary cycle frame with spring forks, final drive by belt. Lady's model : frame designed to take unit. A third model more on motor cycle lines with curved top tube, extra tank rail.
Griffon. Following the general lines of a motor cycle, with sloping top tubes, spring forks, but has pedalling gear and 26xl¾in. tyres, Sicam engine unit.
P.S. Similar to the Griffon, but with a Train engine unit, clutch and chain-drive. Linked spring fork with vertical laminated spring. Neat lady-model also shown.
Labor - Practically a duplicate of the Armor.
Peugeot An excellent production. 52x52 mm., two-stroke engine, set across the frame between duplex tubes, worm reduction gear, final drive by belt. spring forks, pedal cycle brakes 26xl¾ in tyres.
Leloir In spite of its pedalling gear more like a conventional motor cycle than the majority. 55 X 52 mm. Train two-stroke unit with clutch final drive by belt. 26xl¾in. tyres. Triumph type spring fork, pedal cycle brakes.
MOTOTOURISTE. An ordinary bicycle frame fitted with a spring fork. Velotouriste proprietary engine unit. Chain transmission. 26xl¾in. tyres.
THOMANN La Cyclette unit, final belt drive, spring forks, 26xl¾in. tyres.
MONET-GOYON An elongated bicycle with power unit between rear wheel and bottom bracket. Four-stroke engine, with automatic inlet.
Louis Clement - On bicycle lines but having webbed lugs to the frame. A miniature two-stroke engine drives a countershaft by chain, final drive by belt. Spring forks of the link type with laminated springs.
Magnat De Bon - A neat little machine, with spring forks, curved top tube, two-stroke engine, all-belt drive. 26xl¾in. tyres.
Spada - An open frame miniature, resembling the Skootamota, but with its power unit immediately in front of the rear wheel. This is a side-by-side twin two-stroke, embodying reduction gear and driving (the) small rear wheel by chain. The cylinder dimensions are 44x49 mm.
B.C.R. - A single-speed open frame miniature, on the lines of the Reynolds Runabout, 20x2in. tyres.
La Francaise Diamant - Probably the neatest machine of its type in the Salon. Frame embodies welded tank. Two-stroke engine with integral reduction gear, final drive by enclosed chain, 1 to 1 ratio. A lady's model on similar lines is also shown.
Propul Cycle - Reminiscent of the early J.E.S. motorised bicycles. Small 4-stroke engine, rather high in the frame. Chain drive to countershaft (below the bottom bracket), containing clutch, motor cycle type brakes, final belt drive, 26xl¾in. tyres.
Motosolo Baby - Inclined top tube to frame, spring forks with laminated spring across the top of handle-bars, two-stroke engine, driving its magneto from mainshaft. Primary drive by friction wheel on countershaft engaging similar wheel on engine-shaft, final drive by chain, 26xl^4in. tyres,
O. Papize. - A Diamant under another name.
Goliath - Two-stroke. horizontally arranged over the rear wheel, driving by chain a countershaft, on which is a friction wheel engaging with the edge of the wheel rim.
Columbia. - Train engine unit with clutch, chain drive, spring forks, 26xl¾in, tyres.
D.F.R. - Train engine unit.
SICAM. - Sicam proprietary unit, countershaft on down tube of ordinary bicycle frame, transmission by belt and then by chain, rigid forks, 26x1¾in. tyres.
Auto Moto. - Two-stroke with reduction gear in front of engine, belt drive, motor cycle brakes, 26xl ¾in. tyres. (Automoto)
Miniature Motor Cycles.
Rather than the merely re-designed pedal cycle, we think the ultimate type of machine "for the million" will be on motor cycle lines, but lighter and smaller than existing 250 c.c. machines. At the present time there are very few of this class on the market. We are glad, therefore, to see that a few French makers have recognised the possibilities of this step between the motorised bicycle and the present 250 c.c. motor cycle.
The examples of this type of miniature motor cycle at the Salon are :
ROVIN.- Except tor its pedalling gear, a reduced edition of a conventional motor cycle, with sloping top tube, small two-stroke engine, two-speed and clutch, 24x2 1/4in. tyres.
Leloir. - A flat twin four-stroke engine of 176 c.c, with Albion two-speed gear and clutch, spring forks, chain drive, 650x50 mm. tyres.
Monet-Goyon. - 125 c.c. Villiers engine, sloping top tube, 600x50 mm. tyres, 2-speed and clutch, chain and belt transmission, link type spring fork.
Lightweight Motor Cycles.
While many manufacturers have abandoned the orthodox motor cycle in favour of the motorised bicycle, there is a good sprinkling of genuine lightweight motor cycles, but in most cases very little change has been made since the last Salon. Although several makers produce their own engines, proprietary units are largely used.
Of orthodox motor cycles, the 250 c.c. and 350 c.c. types are the most popular in France. The following examples are exhibited :
Supplexa-Jap. On conventional British lines, with sloping top tube and embodying English components, such as Jap engine and Albion gear box, 26x3in. tyres.
Magnat De Bon. Inclined two-stroke, loop frame, 24x2 1/2in. tyres.
SOYER, An excellent production made by a firm seriously interested in motor cycles. It is reminiscent of the American Cleveland so far as general outlines are concerned, but follows British practice in the lay-out of the power and gear units. 250 c.c, two-stroke. Chain-belt transmission. 650x55 mm. tyres.
Moto Solo. Loop frame. 250 c.c., two-stroke engine. Druid type forks.
Ultima. On similar lines to Moto Solo and many others; sloping two-stroke engine.
TERROT. One of the best known lightweights - similar to the Moto Solo, Ultima, Peugeot, etc
Yvels. A Villiers-engined machine on British lines. Druid forks, 26x2 1/2 tyres.
D.F.R A good range of two-stroke and four-stroke machines, the latter with an o.h.v. Blackburne engine and all-chain drive through an Albion gear box.
Peugeot. A proprietary two-stroke engine. Two-speed gear. Curved top tube.
Alcyon. A good-looking machine with Ballot combined engine-gear unit.
Armor - As Alcyon.
LABOR. As Alcyon and Armor.
BASTIDE. A machine built around an o.h.v. Blackburne engine.
B.C.R. Conventional type of 250 c.c. light-weight, with 650x65 mm. tyres.
Both Brakes on Rear Wheel.
There is nothing of particular interest in connection with the machines mentioned above. All are of average design and construction, excepting that in the majority of designs. both brakes operate on the rear wheel. Sometimes these are side by side, at others inside and outside the belt rim, or, a third method, with both shoes engaging the V of the drum, one above and the other below the stay. Taken generally, the engines are well made and finished, being perhaps more " clean " than the average British machine. Against this, however, many mudguards are not of good quality, and a few of the tanks are very indifferently finished.
One motor cycle in this group - the Bastide - calls for special mention, as an example of how not to build a frame around an engine unit. Apparently the makers decided at the last moment to stage a model embodying the o.h.v., Blackburne engine, perhaps on account of the success of the D.F.R.-Blackburne at the Bois de Boulogne speed trials. A standard frame obviously did not leave room for the rather tall Blackburne, so to accommodate it the lower tank tube was bent upwards to clear the o.h. valve gear. This was not sufficient, however, to render the cylinder head accessible, hence it was necessary to take this distorted tube by a circuitous route. By the time this was achieved there was no room for the tank beneath the sloping top tube, and so it finally found a resting place on the top of the tube. The result is something startling, to say the least.
Medium Power Singles.
As most manufacturers arc focusing their attention upon the motorised bicycle, it is perhaps natural to expect that the medium-size single would be neglected. Very few machines of the types approximating to the Triumph, B.S.A., Sunbeam, etc., are exhibited, but those that are on show are produced by firms which take the motor cycle industry seriously rather than make it merely a side line in some other business.
In this class the French makes represented are :
Gnome-Rhone. - A fourstroke of 499 c.c. with outside flywheel, closely following British lines. Produced entirely by its makers.
Griffon. A rather large but handsome machine with an Anzani engine. Spring frame, using laminated springs, and Sturmey-Archer gear.
Magnat de Bon. A 500 c.c. four-stroke with overhead valves. The engine is inclined in the frame.
GILLET. A large two-stroke with gear unit in front of power unit.
French Twin Motor Cycles.
The twin-cylinder engine seems to be falling into disfavour in France if the number of exhibits is to be taken as any criterion. Perhaps, however, the makers consider foreign competition too strong. The only examples of French multi-cylinder machines of the types used for sidecars in the Salon are given below, but the Alcyon Co.'s catalogue quotes prices for such a model, although it is not staged.
Rene Gillet. A conventional type of sidecar machine, very heavily constructed, with 3 speeds, all-chain drive, 26x3in. tyres, Brooks' cantilever saddle, spring sidecar wheel.
A.B.C. The French-produced model of the well-known British design.
Orial. An M.A.G.-engined mount at one time sold in this country as the G.L. A nicely-made machine with all-chain transmission and rounded pressed steel tank.
LUTECE. Vertical twin engine gear unit combined shaft-transmission, spring frame, electric lighting and starting.
So few are the sidecars at the Salon that they are almost overlooked. Last year there were many very excellent productions, such as only a French coach-builder could build, but this year, with one exception, there is nothing which would attract attention at Olympia. The exception is a Lutece boat-built body.
Of the others, the Ceel is an all-metal body of the type better known in America than in this country, and although probably it is comfortable and well made, it suggests that it might have been made in a foot-bath and dust-bin factory.
The Vannod has a torpedo body of stream-lined contour, while the Garnier, easily the best from the English point of view, is not so splendidly finished as it was last year.
British Motor Cycles.
Although not quite so many British machines are represented as last year, there is a good sprinkling of well-known productions. The tariff and rate of exchange render the prices of imported machines almost prohibitive; in fact, there fire French small cars on the market at a lower price than several of the British motor cycles. Nevertheless, motor cycles produced in this country are appreciated in France, and always attract the attention of the visitor to the salon.
From the English visitor's point of view probably the most interesting machine is the new o.h.v. Norton, which will also be on view at Olympia next month. It is a very substantial mount with the centre of gravity kept as low as possible. In order to accommodate the slightly higher engine, the lower tank tube is curved and disappears from sight into a recess in the tank. The overhead valve mechanism is supported on bronze columns in the cylinder head, and a finned nut is used to fix the exhaust pipe. A separate oil pump is located behind the seat tube, which carries the oil tank.
Another new model is the 350 c.c. B.S.A., an all-chain driven and slightly-reduced replica of the well-known B.S.A. singles.
The New Hudson agents also show, among the complete range of their motor cycles, one of the new 350 c.c. New Hudsons, a very taking machine which will he more fully described in a subsequent issue.
Improvements in detail are also to be found in the Douglas, always a popular machine in France. The larger model now has quickly detachable wheels, a shock absorber in the rear wheel, and double exhaust box below the engine. Larger collars to the overhead valves are also fitted, and the cylinder head bolts have been continued to the base of the cylinders
The latest Cedos models, recently described in The Motor Cycle, are among the best finished machines in the show.
Scotts are exhibited by the makers' depot. The full Triumph range, too, is on view; and other British makes represented are:
Aston-Atlas miniature. Cotton.
Kenilworth miniature. Velocette.
Skootamota. New Imperial.
Apart from the Scott and the Douglas the British twin is not represented, excepting in the Morgan, which, produced in France, is exhibited fitted with a J.A.P. engine.
American Motor Cycles.
The fact that no British big twin side-car outfits are exhibited would, at first sight, suggest that there is a very limited demand for this type of machine, yet three of the best known American machines are staged, i.e., the Indian (Scout, Powerplus, and Chief), Harley-Davidson (flat twin and big twins), and Henderson four-cylinder. The Cleveland lightweight is also shown by M. Picaud, who at one time was well known as the Clyno agent. M. Picaud informed us that he had sold 300 of these lightweights during the present year; they are very popular on account of their 26 x 3in. tyres.
The Briggs-Stratton Auto-wheel is also exhibited attached to various types of machines, including a weird cycle-car. The Evans motorised bicycle is also prominent.
Other Countries Represented.
One feature of the Salon, compared with Olympia, is its international character. In addition to the French, British, and American motor cycles mentioned above, there are representatives of Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy in the F.N., Motosacoche, and the Bianchi respectively.
The F.N. is of course quite familiar in this country, and Motosacoche is associated with M.A.G. engines. The Bianchi motor cycle is not so well known, but deserves to be. It is a big single with combined gear unit, but otherwise follows British lines. The Motosacoche employs an Enfield type gear, but has three speeds in which each gear ratio has its own clutch; this is one of the improvements for 1923. Another improvement is the enlargement of the fins on the cylinder of the 993 c.c. M.A.G. engine.
One does not go to the Paris show to study motor cycle accessories, but a look round is always instructive. Naturally Great Britain holds as great a lead over other countries in the accessories as in complete motor cycles. Nevertheless there is always something to learn.
Carburetters, for instance, unless of English make, are the products of such leading firms as Claudel, Zenith, and Longuemare, which have been two decades in the industry, and while they may cost rather more than our own, they aim at full automaticity. Claudel has produced a new model with the diffuser jet in an inclined position.
The Zenith motor cycle carburetter is not normally used in England, but is found on the A.B.C. and others, while Longuemare has produced a two-lever pattern for the first time.
This year has shown a slight, but still marked improvement in motor cycle oddments, and whereas last year only one motor cycle headlamp was discovered, this year we found several, and one by the famous firm of Ducellier, which was quite up to expectations.
A most ingenious idea is carried out in the Cicca generator (made at 41, Rue Charles-Lafitte. Neuilly s/Seine). The water needle valve is not only controllable by a screw in the ordinary way. but when open can be pushed up and down against a spring. This allows the valve to be cleared without dismounting it and permits of an easy regulation of the gas delivery. Dupont et Traizet, 3, Rue Tesson, Paris, sell quite a good lamp set with a horizontal type generator.
As in other Continental countries, the vendors of dissolved acetylene are more enterprising than our own, for they deal in cylinders in a greater variety of sizes. The Société Anonyme l'Acétyl, 19, Rue Brunel, Paris, sells cylinders for motor cycles of quite reasonable dimensions and weight, equipped with a simple form of gauge, the dial of which comprises no figures, but merely shows by means of a red hand if the cylinder is full or empty. One lamp set sold by the Societe des Appareils Magondeaux, 212, Boulevard Pereire, Paris, has a bracket specially constructed to take a gas cylinder.
There is only one dynamo lighting set which is really up to British standards, and that is the production of Lavalette, an old-established French electrical firm. The set is well made and finished, and the dynamo is of small dimensions; it is demonstrated on a Harley-Davidson. We saw, however, several examples of the smaller electrical outfits friction-driven off the tyre. At present these sets have not been popular in England, but it is worthy of mention that one of the most famous Continental ignition specialists has placed an outfit of this type on the market.
Quite a good specimen is the Lucifer La Societé An. des Magnétor Lucifer which hails from Carouge, near Geneva, the dynamo of which generates a continuous current capable of charging a 4 volt 10 amp. accumulator. On the accumulator box the switches are neatly carried, while the excellently made headlamp has a small auxiliary bulb for use in towns. Much thought has been expended on the generator which is of the permanent magnet type, enclosed in an aluminium case which is water- and dust-tight, while ball bearings are employed, and a cut-out is provided to prevent the current returning from the accumulator to the generator at low speeds or when the machine is at rest. Owing to the ingeniously designed bracket which has a universal joint the dynamo or generator may be driven off either front or rear tyre or by means of a belt off any conveniently accessible shaft. As a safeguard against theft a lock switch is incorporated in the distribution box. Provision is made for an inspection lamp, the connection to which is on the fuse box.
Another example of the above system is the Alternacycle, which has been seen in England, but in this set an alternating current is produced, and no dry battery is supplied for keeping the lamps lighted when the machine is at a standstill, though it would not be difficult to fit one.
In view of the compulsory silencing of motor cycles in England a few words on the Johest silencer (E. Morle, 37, Boulevard Richard-Leuoir, Paris) will not be out of place. The outer casing is composed of two inverted cones welded together, while inside is a spiral gradually increasing in size towards the centre, and then diminishing to the same extent, with a hole drilled throughout the whole of its length. It is claimed that the exhaust gases meet with no obstruction, that a turbulence is set up which actually creates a suction, with the result that not only extra silence but greater efficiency is obtained.
Mention must be made of the excellent American cloth inner tube protector sold by J. Drapier et Cie, 5, Rue de Montmorency, Paris. The tube is rolled round the handle-bar and the cover is clipped over it. It is quite a good idea and is moderate in price.
Naturally English accessories were represented by various concessionnaires, Amac and Brown and Barlow carburetters, the products of North and Sons, S. Smith and Sons, and Tan-Sad specialities were to be seen at the Salon and in the Invalides Annexe.
Source: The Motor Cycle, October 12th, 1922