Bernardet Scooters and Sidecars
A Brief History of the Marque
Manufactured: 1949-1957 1
104 avenue de la République
Chatillon sous Bagneux (Seine)
The history of the firm dates back to 1921 when the brothers René, Robert and Roger Bernardet
built their first sidecars and presented them at the Paris, Berlin and
Geneva shows. They supplied sidecar bodies René Gillet.
The Bernardet brothers continued in the 1930s
with racing and achieved commercial success until 1940 when the production of civilian
models was interrupted. After hostilities ceased a small number of sidecars
were produced until 1948. Several cars were produced but none achieved
government authorisation (due, it is said, to the brother's resistance to the communist-dominated government of the early post-war years) and the factory switched to scooter production, building 15 models over the years 1947 to 1959.
The excellent site devoted to the marque: bernardet.com includes an introduction to the book Histoire Des Freres Bernardet, a translation of which reads:
"The BERNARDET Brothers. René, Robert and Roger demonstrate their expertise in the construction of side-cars in sheet metal from the late 1920s in their small workshop in Bourg-la-Reine, south of Paris. In the Châtillon-sous-Bagneux, in 1936, they manufactured numerous civilian models until after the 2nd World War, then specific sidecars for the Army and all French authorities. In 1947 this experience in mechanics and sheet metal work enabled them to start manufacturing scooters. They are the scooter precursors in France, and marked their era with characteristic lines and their production covered any revolution of this popular two-wheeler until the crisis and the competition overcame their efforts in 1956. Discover the impressive industrial history of the 3 Bernardet brothers in this book written by their descendants and illustrated thanks to the family archives after more than 20 years of research. Christophe Fresneau, the author, is the grandson of René Bernardet. Gérard Bernardet is the son of Robert Bernardet, the founder and president of the Association of Cycles and Vehicles Bernardet."
A.47 128cc Ydral, prototype
A.48 125cc Lardy Ydral engine
B.250 250cc 1949-1951 250cc (versions 1 & 2)
C.50 125cc Ydral, probably their most popular model.
E.51 125cc (several versions, some with Ydral engines)
E.51 250cc 1951
Y.52 125cc (also sold as Hirondelle
Militaire 1953 250cc 8-speed
Cabri 50 1954
Cabri 98 L6
Cabri 98 Servomatic 125cc
Cabri 98 M60 1955-1956 (several versions)
Guépar 125cc single
Guépar 125cc twin 1955-1956
Guépar 200cc twin 1955-1956
The scooters employed engines by Ydral and Marcel Violet (creator of the Sevitame), and some 125cc
& 250cc powerplants were made by Bernardet themselves.
Le Poulain acquired Bernardet in 1954 and continued producing scooters, some of which were supplied to one of the major Belgian firms which marketed them as Gillet, the original name of Gillet-Herstal. Fierce competition from the Italians brought the venture to an end, and Bernardet-Le Poulain was wound up on the 9th of March, 1959.
1. The company closed in 1959
joao.fernan10 at gmail.com
I have One Bernardet motocicleta, i think from the first ones, and would like to know more about ir.
Would apreciate some help
João Pedro Parreira Fernandes
Sun Sep 28 2008
mpt at nusurf.at
I looking for Tank / Whatch / Exhaust /Spare wheelcover and Spare wheel
to complet my c50 .
Need also detail drawing from Gurtner carb .
Hope you can help me .
Paolo Monti from Austria
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information about these classic French machines, please contact us