Manufacturer : Blériot Aéronautique
3, Quai Galliéni
Pioneer French aviator Louis Blériot (1872-1936) produced motorcycles in the early 1920s. The first to fly the English Channel, Blériot also produced dynamos, starter motors and cyclecars.
His machines were quite advanced, featuring unit construction vertical twins of 500cc producing 5HP/12CV at 3000rpm to achieve 75kph, a respectable speed for the day.
The machines were offered in Sport, Tourist and Standard models, and a 750cc sidecar version was mooted. In 1920, the French police formed their first motorcycle squad, mounted on Bleriot machines.
The Blériot factory at Suresnes is now the site of Aerospatiale.
Bleriot, 1919 Paris Salon
Quite one of the most important features of the Show is the fact that the well-known aircraft firm of L. Bleriot have decided to enter the motor cycle market. Their production is well worthy of its originators, and though some may cavil at the type of engine selected, and the somewhat "stumpy " appearance of the complete motor cycle, there can be no two opinions as to the ingenuity of the design, or the excellence of the construction. The engine is a vertical side by side twin, having a bore of 60 mm. and stroke of 88 mm. (499 c.c), having both connecting rods attached to a common crank pin.
The two cylinders of the engine are mounted close together, the exhaust valve being set in front and the inlet behind, both being of exceptional size. The valve springs are neatly enclosed by split covers, held together by spring rings. Combined with the motor is a two-speed gear box, having both trains of gears in constant mesh, a selective clutch mechanism being employed to determine the ratio. The change is normally carried out by means of a lever, but when the high gear clutch is in use a pedal provides an alternative method of declutching.
Lubrication is to a large degree automatic, a considerable quantity of oil being carried in the engine base. This oil is splashed to all working parts, including the clutch box, draining back to the base, and replenished when necessarily through a sight feed drip. The final drive is by belt running over a very large front pulley.
The frame is a sound piece of work, suspended in front by coil springs through a trailing link action, and the machine can be supplied with or without a spring frame. This springing is so neatly arranged as to be almost imperceptible, all springs being enclosed in the rear down tubes, and the necessary link action occupies but a small space. Both disc wheels are shod with 650 x 65 mm. tyres, and the rear mudguard is extended over the top of the belt rim.
Duplex tanks conceal the tank rails, and are joined on the lower sides by a combined tap and priming device.
As is the rule on French motor cycles, both brakes act on the belt rim, one above and the other below the chain stay, and the actuation is controlled by twin pedals placed side by side, so that either one or both brakes can be applied as desired. A refinement which will be appreciated by many is that the angle of the handle-bars is easily adjustable. Twist-grip controls are installed, and a special compartment for tools is arranged in the tank.
The Motor Cycle, October 1919
Side-by-side twin engines are favoured by the Bleriot Company, for, in addition to the four-stroke two-cylinder model now established on the French market, a twin two-stroke of 750 c.c. capacity is introduced this year - finished, in fact, a few days before the Salon opened. Like the four-stroke model, the gear box forms part of the crank case, the clutch is located between the two crank chambers, and there are three speeds and reverse, the latter, perhaps, more by accident than intention, since the power unit was designed for and is fitted in the new French Bleriot cycle car. The machine presents quite a good appearance, but there is still a certain amount of experimenting to be done before the model will be offered to the public, such points as economy and silence not yet having had very close attention.
Sources: Tragatsch, fr.wikipedia.org, The Motor Cycle
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