French Motorcycles

Aster Motorcycle Engines

Brief History of the Marque

Ateliers de Construction Mecanique l'Aster was based at 11 Rue des Chaumettes, Saint-Denis, Paris.

They had manufacturing facilities in the UK and Italy:

Aster Engineering Co Wembley, England.

Aster Società Italiana Motori, Turino.

From 1900 to 1910 1 the company produced engines and chassis, and they also built complete tricycles and automobiles2. The firm exhibited 3 hp and 5 hp single-cylinder engines and a 12 hp twin-cylinder engine at the 1901 Paris Salon, and they exhibited a four-cylinder automobile chassis at the 1907 Salon.

Among the companies for which Aster produced power units and other parts were Austral 3, Gladiator and Arias in France, and British marques Argyle, Century forecars, Clement, Dennis, Singer, Swift, West and Whitlock. They also supplied engines to a number of American firms and to the Russian-built Starley of Saint Petersburg.

Most of these engines, which included a 335cc single, had horizontally split crankcases made from bronze.

Aster-1906c-Engines.jpg
Aster Engines c.1900

Fig. 10. — Moteur Aster à ailettes. Fig. 11. — Moteur à, refroidissement d'eau.

Moteur « l'Aster ». — Ce modèle, construit par une Société anonyme de Saint-Denis, est caractérisé par une enveloppe extérieure ou chemise en cuivre plissé, formée de deux parties emmanchées à froid à la presse hydraulique, et dont le pouvoir de diffusion est supérieur à celui des ailettes venues de fonte avec le cylindre même. Ce dispositif donne, d’après les constructeurs, six fois plus de refroidissement qu’avec le procédé ordinaire.

Le type à cylindre unique (fig. 11), peut développer 2 chevaux environ, et celui à deux cylindres accolés, 4 chevaux. La réfrigération des soupapes et de la culasse est opérée par quatorze ailettes. Les bielles sont articulées sur un arbre entre deux volants, et le tout est enfermé dans un carter hermétique contenant les engrenages de commande des tiges de soupapes. L’allumage est électrique par bougie, et l’enseinble est très robuste. Placé sur un tricycle, l'Aster à cylindre unique, type appliqué aux motocyclés, a fourni les meilleurs résultats.


"Aster" engine. — This model, built by a company from Saint-Denis, is characterized by an envelope exterior or jacket in pleated copper, formed of two parts cold-fitted with a hydraulic press, and whose diffusion power is greater than that of the fins coming of cast iron with the cylinder itself. This device gives, according to the manufacturers, six times more cooling than with the ordinary process.

The single-cylinder type (fig. 11) can develop about 2 horsepower, and that with two side-by-side cylinders, 4 horsepower. The refrigeration of the valves and the cylinder head is operated by fourteen fins. The connecting rods are articulated on a shaft between two flywheels, and the whole is enclosed in a hermetic casing containing the drive gears valve stems. Ignition is electric by spark plug, and the whole thing is very sturdy. Placed on a tricycle, the Aster single cylinder type applied to motorcycles provided the best results.

Source: Graffigny 1900, Chapter III

Notes
1. Henshaw gives 1898-1910, as does Tragatsch.
2. Tragatsch (pp 78-79) says they built three-wheelers, cars and motorcycles.
3. Aster possibly marketed an Austral model under their own name.
4. Other addresses listed: 74 Rue de la victoire, Paris, and 33 bld Carnot.

Sources:
Henshaw, Tragatsch
Graces Guide
Bourdache pp 75, 77, 80, 81, 121,315, 320.


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